Mercy Corps supported families affected by the landslides on the southern edge of Bogotá - meeting immediate needs of housing and food.
The community is now being mobilized to help mitigatate against further landslides. An assessment in coordination with the municipal and regional governments, has identified the need for a reforestation and tree-planting project to stabilise the soil and help prevent future landslides. Mercy Corps is aiming to assist the community in expanding reforestation activity, while studying the market potential for the establishment of private tree nurseries - providing income-generating opportunities for the project’s participants. More than 67,000 trees need planted for the total reforestation of the region. Economic opportunities created through this project will specifically benefit the marginalised communities of internally displaced people, Indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations. Every € 3,500 donated to this programme enables Mercy Corps to plant a further 1,000 trees.
Initiator of this project is Matto Barfuss, who became famous worldwide as "cheetahman". Matto has already spent several months living close to animal. He has shown through his experiences that creatures, who are usually perceived as dangerous, are often much closer to humans than they seems to be. Through his films, drawings and oil paintings Matto Barfuss has documented and presented his experiences. With the proceeds from the sale of his works, he has already financed several projects for animal protection, including protection of mountain gorillas in the Congo, to which the German "wildman" have developed a close relationship. Since the mid-90s, their habitat has been increasingly restricted by thousands of refugees from neighbouring Rwanda. It is time to defend these animals from more attacks by the rebels and poachers. To achieve this, the equipment of park rangers should be continuously improved. In addition, the initiative "Education for Species Protection" should contribute to permanent improvements on indispensable knowledge of this area.
Environmentally compliant behaviour predicates an appropriate awareness. The Madagascar Wildlife Conservation (MWC) has taken this realisation to heart and has implemented an environmental education program at the public primary schools of the Alaotra region. The basis of this program is a comic developed by MWC and produced in Madagascar. The comic series tells the story of the Bandro (a half ape that is only indigenous to this region), a kingfisher and a duck representing the animals, and two boys and two girls who represent the villagers. Each of the nine episodes addresses a specific conservation issue of the unique Alaotra ecosystem and is the starting point for further discussions and school activities on the subject. The pupils are made aware of environmental issues in a playful and creative way and a resource-saving attitude is translated later into action. The pilot phase of the project in eight school classes was successfully completed in August of this year. In the course of the next years further teachers should be trained and all the schools of the region should be supplied with supportive educational material. Our donations will help this goal to be achieved as quickly as possible.
Mainly water, fibre and energy are needed for the manufacture of our papers. These valuable resources we use as gently and sparingly as possible.
We use pure spring water from the Solling Mountains for the production of fine papers. More than four centuries ago, the availability of clear water was the main reason for the establishment of our paper mill. To date, it has drinking water quality. A large part of the water is captured in the production cycle and reinstated. Our wastewater is not contaminated with pollutants and returns to the natural water cycle. As bordering a nature reserve pursuant to the European flora fauna Habitat Directive (FFH area) we meet the highest requirements of the environmental impact of our production. A study of the PTS Foundation Munich certifies us above all economical and responsible dealing with water.
Our product portfolio includes more than 500 different artist papers, filter papers and technical papers for industrial and medical purposes. Ensuring high purity of the paper, no waste paper can be used for the production. We use pulp from 20 of different deciduous and coniferous tree species and focus on raw materials from sustainable forest management. A large part of our worldwide suppliers are certified - for example, according to the guidelines of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Another commodity is linters (very soft and aging-resistant fibres from the seed pod of the cotton plant). This we use in six different varieties.
Raw materials for our 'green' papers are rapidly renewable bamboo fibres or bagasse pulp, a residue of sugar cane production, which would otherwise burned. We ascertain that the acreage of these raw materials were not created at the expense of tropical forests.
Paper production is energy-intensive and electric power our main energy source. Since January 1, 2009, we cover our electricity exclusively from renewable energy sources (water, wind and solar energy). The electricity comes neither from nuclear nor from coal -, gas - or oil-fired power stations. Thus we avoid CO2 emissions by over 3,000 tonnes per year. A value which makes us proud and is broadly in line with our annual production of paper.
We generate heat with natural gas and recover waste heat where this is reasonably possible. Our heating system is below the approved limit values for emissions by 40%.
Cut-offs incurred and remains in our production we return immediately to the production cycle as far as this is possible. Where this is not possible, we collect remnants of paper and submit it to other processors. Hence we have hardly any production waste.
For our packaging we only use material which can be reused.