Perhaps you’re thinking that those idiots haven’t heard about the latest UN report, which states that until we dramatically shift the way we farm, climate change will clobber us and our food supply will be at serious and increasing risk.
But that’s just what these crazy people are hopeful about.
“Beacons of Hope: Accelerating Transformations to Sustainable Food Systems” is a new report out from a group philanthropies called the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, in partnership with the Swiss-based, Africa-focused Biovision Foundation. They insist that the revolution necessary to rescue climate stability and a reliable food supply is already happening, and illustrate that claim with twenty-one examples. The idea is that if enough people hear about these stories and can be convinced that the transformation we so desperately need is possible and real, change will accelerate.
After I read them I felt hopeful. (I can’t believe I’m saying this.) Here’s a few stories from the report to brighten your day a bit:
The first begins with elephant poaching in rural Zambia; a bad thing. Most poachers don’t kill precious animals to get rich but to survive. In the case of these men in the Luangwa Valley, poor yields and drought made their families hungry. Some conservationists realized that locking people up for poaching wasn’t going to do the trick; it would only make them hungrier.
In 2003, Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) made a simple offer to around twenty high-profile poachers in the valley: for free, they would get good seeds, tools, and coaching on the basics of building up soils and managing pests, as long as they gave up their guns and pledged to leave the elephants alone.
“Soon,” the organization writes on its website, “hundreds of poachers were approaching COMACO’s field staff offering to surrender their weapons for a similar trade.”