WISIONS of Sustainability

Our mission is to empower individuals and communities to transform the production and use of energy so that it effectively enables sustainable development. Read more about WISIONS activities, goals and background.

News Blog

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13th Encuentro of RedBioLAC

News from WISIONS posted on November 3rd, 2021

Our regional partnership network RedBioLAC held their 13th Encuentro (Annual Meeting) from the 26th to 28th of October. It took place as an online event due to COVID and was broadcasted live. The goal was to share expertise as well as practical advice about the implementation, long term success and potential of biogas and biodigesters for Latin America and the Caribbean.Read moreMinimize
For more detailed information about the Encuentro visit their Website.

One aspect, that ran through the event was the question what role the local communities play for the long term success of biodigesters. It was stated that the active involvement of locals from the start is a necessary step to establish an acceptance of the technologies. This is vital, because the local communities are usually involved in maintaining the structures and therefore guarantee the longevity of the technologies. To achieve this acceptance, biodigester implementation must focus on the individual needs as well as the specific socioeconomic, cultural and technical conditions. This is especially relevant for the implementation of domestic biodigesters, who are a promising technology due to their relatively low consultancy cost.

At the same time, the empowering potential of biodigesters for women was highlighted e.g. by the good practice example of the implementation of more than 18,000 biodigesters in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Women played a vital role in the adoption and extensive training for users, technicians, masons and supervisors to ensure quality control of biodigesters. To fulfill the empowering potential in those technologies, it needs public policy support, which also allows for a wide dissemination.

Besides the socioeconomic aspects, the event also discussed the technical side of biodigesters. The intertwining of production processes and biodigesters, a revaluation of waste and wastewater treatment plants were highlighted cornerstones on the way towards a circular bio economy. Also highlighted was the technology of anaerobic waste systems that provide sustainable energy as well as nutrients, while being relatively low cost and therefore are a viable option especially in rural areas.

If you want to learn more about one of the topics, you can rewatch the entire Encuentro on YouTube!

RedBioLACs working groups on biodigesters

News from WISIONS posted on August 19th, 2021

The recording of the online exchange on biofiltration of biogas is available on RedBioLAC youtube Channel. The exchange is part of the activities of one of RedBioLAC’s working groups [http://redbiolac.org/grupos-de-trabajo/], which focuses on the treatment and use of the effluents from biodigesters. In this exchange Dr. Emky Valdebenito of the Universidad de Concepción (Chile) presented (and discussed with experts of the region) advances in the research and development of biofilms for the removal of hydrogen sulphide from the biogas.Read moreMinimize

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

News from WISIONS posted on August 9th, 2021

We would like to spotlight the fact that indigenous communities around the world are leveraging decentralized renewable energy solutions to strengthen their livelihoods and protect their land. On the occasion of the International Day of Indigenous People, check out our project examples from Malaysia and Colombia on how advancing SDG7 can also effectively contribute to empowerment of indigenous communities.Read moreMinimize
One example is the “Integrating Watershed Development and Conservation” project which was implemented by our partners GreenEmpowerment and Tonibung in the Ulu Papar rainforest region in Malaysia: Here, three micro-hydro powered mini-grids were developed in close cooperation with the people of the villages of Pongobonon, Kalangaan and Longkogungan. More than 500 of the Orang Asal people living in 50 extended family households directly benefited from the project activities, which also included the building of pipe gravity and water filtration systems, training community members in systems operation, maintenance and administration, establishing finance mechanisms for small-scale agricultural processing, as well as developing a watershed protection plan for each village to preserve 2231 hectares of tropical ancestral rainforest. Besides such direct effects on their livelihoods, the project contributed to the political empowerment of the larger indigenous movement in the region, which eventually achieved a moratorium on the construction of a large dam in their territories.

Another example of how WISIONS aims to strengthen the role of community-based initiatives in promoting the diffusion of sustainable energy solutions in rural contexts is the conduction of research workshops on sustainable family farm practices in Colombia. In transdisciplinary formats, we aim to create spaces for the exchange and integration of knowledge from different perspectives, including representatives from farmer associations, NGO’s, research institutions, as well as local state institutions. Previous research by WISIONS on this topic has shown that the sustainable adoption of renewable energy solutions is often closely related to the level at which those energy solutions are integrated into the farming systems of rural households, and that community associations play a key role in that process.

We believe that promoting the appropriation of clean energy technologies does not only advance SDG7. It can also positively impact multiple dimensions of the development opportunities of indigenous people. In this way energy becomes a means for reducing inequality and marginalization.

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