Locally in Action for Biodiversity

Locally in Action for Biodiversity

5 January 2014
‘Building a new sustainable neighbourhood on the outskirts of Sneek, together’. This is the philosophy behind Harixmaland. The city of Sneek would like to give collective and sustainable initiatives in this area a chance. A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is the way to put together ideas from a collective vision for the future and bring them to action. The Sneek Association for Urban Agriculture (Stichting Stadslandbouw Sneek) invited CREM to lead a BAP session. Around 50 participants came together on the evening of 31 October to brainstorm about the biodiversity-rich area. Among the participants were current and future users of the area, business people and employees from care, educational and health organizations. Local government employees were present as observers. (more…)
South African Certified Biomass Challenge

South African Certified Biomass Challenge

4 January 2014

The project Moving South Africa forward to certified sustainable energy was started out in 2009. The project was managed by the National Development Agency and Tsebo Consulting in South Africa and supported in particular by Gwynne Foster (South Africa), Brinkmann Consultancy (the Netherlands) and CREM.

During the project, small producers were supported in the production of certified biomass and the creation of local employment options. The crops, soy and sunflowers, were cultivated on degraded land. Maize was cultivated in addition to the biomass in order to increase food production in the region. (more…)
The Square of the Future

The Square of the Future

27 December 2013
On the afternoon of Monday, the 9th of December, the conference, ‘The Square of the Future’, took place in Amsterdam. The program was based on the knowledge and experience acquired through the project, Sustainable Squares, carried out bySOMO, CREM and Humanrights@work’s Liesbeth Unger. Around thirty architects, advisors, involved citizens and local government employees gathered for the meeting in the Pakhuis Willem de Zwijger.

Participation of residents and businesses

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Make way for the smallholder

Make way for the smallholder

22 December 2013

Smallholders are responsible for a large proportion of all palm oil production. These are mostly family businesses that have one to a few hectares of land. In Indonesia, 30-40% of the palm oil is produced by one million smallholders. The certification of smallholders for sustainable palm oil production has specific sustainability issues associated with it.

There are inequalities between smallholders and palm oil factories in the areas of land rights and contractual dependence relationships. (more…)

How Sustainable is Biomass Production, Actually?

How Sustainable is Biomass Production, Actually?

2 September 2013

The EU has the goal of reducing the use of fossil fuels and using more biomass for energy production. To reduce negative impacts of the production of biomass, the EU has established sustainability requirements. In the current requirements, however, there are no criteria set forth for social issues or for water, ground and air quality.

The production of sustainable biomass is a common theme in CREM projects. Last month we finished a project about palm oil production in Indonesia and one about the cultivation of soy and sugar cane in Brazil.

Social, water, ground and air quality issues

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The Power of Nudging

The Power of Nudging

30 August 2013
Governments mostly make use of information campaigns or financial incentives to stimulate sustainable consumption. These traditional instruments do not always work effectively. Campaigns offer information and strong arguments and people assume that these lead to behaviour change by themselves. Recent research shows the possibilities for social norms strategies or ‘nudging’. For the Sustainability Department in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, CREM did research into the role of the government in stimulating sustainable consumption. This role is difficult to determine because consumer behaviour is dependant on many different factors. (more…)
From good intentions to actual effects

From good intentions to actual effects

16 August 2013

A Dutch steel company provides local communities in the Sahel with simply serviced hand pumps. A horticultural company trains farmers in Africa and Asia. An installation company supports vocational training for girls in Kenya.

These are examples of good projects started by Dutch companies in developing countries. But what barriers to these companies face? How do they find, for example, a reliable social organization to work with? And how do they ensure that they move from good intentions to actual effects? (more…)
Can Small Producers Also Supply Green Energy from Bioproducts?

Can Small Producers Also Supply Green Energy from Bioproducts?

7 February 2013
Resources taken from nature, called green bioproducts, are increasingly being used for energy. These include sugar-based ethanol added to gasoline/petrol, soy oil used as a basis for biodiesel or wood pellets used in power plants.

To keep the green motor running, sustainable production is essential. For biofuels – green natural resources turned into fluid fuels such as diesel – there have even been regulations to guarantee their sustainability enacted at a European level.

Certification for Green Natural Resources

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