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Around the globe, we are relying on our Earth to grow the crops and provide the water sources that people need to become food secure. On World Environment Day, we call out the importance of protecting our Earth, recognize the pressing environmental challenges we face, and restate our commitment to producing food in a way that will facilitate sustainable growth for generations to come. Here are a few ways we’re doing that in countries worldwide:

Introducing Climate Smart Agriculture in Cambodia

Women farmers in Cambodia can develop their agricultural and business skills through an initiative to grow climate-smart crops in three provinces in partnership with Growing Hope Globally. In-country partner World Hope International (WHI) pilots affordable technologies like mushroom grow houses, that increase resilience to climate change by reducing water consumption and making use of farming by-products. Project participants receive training in organic horticulture, basic business management and assistance with access to food markets, including supermarkets, processors and restaurants. The area served will also receive increased access to clean, safe water, by drilling deep wells that can provide water for household and garden use for up to 200 families. Read more.

Growing Disaster Preparedness in Haiti

Photo: Rony Janvier/Church World Service

Environmental degradation in Haiti, primarily caused by deforestation, increases the rate of erosion and runoff and endangers precious topsoil that takes years to recover. Farmers can no longer count on seasonal patterns, as dry periods are lengthening and rainy seasons have shifted due to climate change — Haiti ranks high in susceptibility to climate change. The country’s vulnerability is systematic, and reducing the risks from the next disaster requires more than just a band-aid: it requires long-term commitment and resilience building. In partnership with Church World Service and on-the-ground partner, Group of Research and Support for Agroecological, Innovative, Durable Development (GRADAID), we are working to maximize capacities of farmers in the Northwest of Haiti to withstand the next disaster. The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project focuses on the Northwest region where food insecurity rates are the highest in the country, and four out of five people depend on agriculture for income. Read more.

Building Resilience to Climate Change in Nicaragua

Climate change and limited access to water are pressing challenges in Nicaragua. Farmers are learning sustainable agriculture methods that reverse environmental degradation and maximize scarce water resources through our partnership with Growing Hope Globally. Families are restoring soil through crop rotation and reducing crop failure risk by planting a larger variety of crops, including drought-resistant varieties. In-country partners World Renew and Fundación San Lucas de Nicaragua are training community leaders how to advocate within their municipalities for water access and climate adaptation plans. To date, three communities (545 people) have succeeded in gaining access to piped water, in no small part due to their willingness to hand dig five miles of trenches for the pipes — part of their cost-share in an agreement with the government. By 2019, 625 beneficiaries will possess the skills to provide their children more nutritious foods, guard their crops against climate-related shocks and gain access to potable water. Read more.

To learn more about our sustainable development efforts, visit our Empowering Communities page.

Shared in Blog, Empowering Communities