#Imarchforyou – One Million Steps for Refugee Children – from Paris to Berlin, filmmaker and activist Grigorij Richters is fighting for refugee children

#Imarchforyou – One Million Steps for Refugee Children – from Paris to Berlin, filmmaker and activist Grigorij Richters is fighting for refugee children

Photo source:Grig Richters kneeling in front of the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin. Behind him is his 45 year old Volkswagen bus named Bulli. 09 December 2018 – Photo by Uwe Praetel for #Imarchforyou  www.imarchforyou.org

From October 27th to December 9th, Grig Richters was walking from Paris to Berlin. The filmmaker and activist from Hamburg initiated this march to gain attention for his mission to help save refugee children from refugee camps all over Europe. He fights for mainly orphened children who have no ambassador for their protection anymore, when they lost their parents and siblings on the way. He describes the horrible conditions in which refugees are living in these camps and that especially for these kids, rape and violence is a sad and unbearable normality for them. Many of them are trying to escape by suicide…

On his way he met a lot of people who were showing support and followed his call to sign his bus and the petition he is preparing. Although he reached successful agreements with mayors of major German cities, to take three to fourhundred children into their custody, laws and regulations have to be met accordingly. Therefore there is still so much that needs to be done. Richters appeals to not only these German mayors, but all UN governments, to open their gates to rescue these children in need. 

Here’s a short excerpt from his website:


“My name is Grig Richters. I am a German filmmaker and I am making 1 Million steps to save 1,000 children from the refugee camps. Will you join me?

We are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, “an unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Among them are nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.”

We need to save the refugee children stuck in camps on EU soil

Currently there are around one thousand unaccompanied children stuck in refugee camps on EU soil. Many of these children are held in Camp Moria, Greece. The only thing these children want is to live a normal life. Many of these children lost their families during the war and they went through hell to come to Europe. But many of these children are being raped and tortured inside the refugee camps. As the BBC recently reported, and I have friends who volunteer in these camps and witness this on a daily basis, many of these children try to commit suicide.

March with Me

Thats is why I march from Paris to Berlin – travelling over 1,000 Miles on foot – to raise awareness about their situations and to get the EU leaders to listen and to give these children the home they deserve!

I am asking the German, French, Canadian and Luxembourg Governments: “Please save our children” but my voice alone isn‘t enough so please join me by signing the petition.”

see all informations on the petition and this movement here…


Photo source: #Imarchforyou https://www.imarchforyou.org/


courtesy #Imarchforyou      https://www.imarchforyou.org/

The Lion Recovery Fund

The Lion Recovery Fund

The Lion Recovery Fund’s goal is to Recover Lions and Restore their Landscapes. We aspire to double the number of lions by 2050 through deeper and broader actions by the conservation and philanthropic community alike

We target protected landscapes—core protected areas and the communal areas within, around and connecting them – so that they are resourced and managed to help lions, their habitats and prey, and people thrive.

The Lion Recovery Fund has two programmatic areas in which it invests:

  • Conservation
    actions on the ground, to better manage protected landscapes so that they function as lionscapes
  • Campaigns
    to build the public, political, and philanthropic will to recover lions.

Please download our 2018 Progress Report for a more detailed look into the focus of our investments.


Conservation Actions on the ground

The LRF invests in three types of landscapes for site-based investment:
  • Retain Sites
    Sites with existing large lion populations that require protection and where we must hold the line.
  • Recover Sites
    Sites with potential for significant growth in lion numbers.
  • Rescue Sites
    Sites within countries where there is a high risk of national extinction of lions.

Investments in these sites range from strategies to address critical threats to lions, to active management of lion and prey populations, to strategies that expand the effective conservation footprint within protected landscapes.



Conservation Campaigns to build the public, political, and philanthropic will to recover lions.

Despite the tragic loss of lions across much of Africa and the dramatic impact their loss has on ecosystem health, few people are familiar with the crisis or what they can do to address it.
  • The public in Western countries is generally unaware of what is at stake. Similarly, the public in lion range countries either do not know of the decline in lions, are apathetic, or are actively antagonistic in attitudes towards lions.
  • The political will of African governments is often inadequate to allow for the effective resourcing of protected areas, or for taking the legislative steps to allow effective conservation on community and private lands to become a reality. In parallel, western governments lack awareness of just how vital Africa’s protected landscapes are for their ecosystem services to a growing African population and to tourism economies—and therefore fail themselves to provide support to conservationists’ efforts.
  • Philanthropy from the U.S. and other developed nations is woefully inadequate because there is virtually no awareness of the loss of lions and the imperative of improving management of the protected area estate in Africa.

These challenges make conserving lions monumentally harder. The LRF therefore invests in campaign concepts from within and from outside the conservation community that will elevate:

  • The Public Will so that targeted segments of society in the West and in Africa are significantly more aware of the lion crisis and invested in lion recovery.
  • The Political Will such that African and donor governments alike invest more in lion recovery and restoration of Africa’s protected areas, and
  • The Philanthropic Will such that financial support by corporations, large foundations, bi-lateral government aid, multi-lateral agencies, and private individuals is dramatically elevated and expanded.





BakuForum – International Humanitarian Forum 2018

BakuForum – International Humanitarian Forum 2018

WANN: 25. – 26. OCTOBER 2018

About Forum

Baku International Humanitarian Forum is an event of famous representatives of political scientific and cultural elite of the world community including famous statesmen, Nobel Prize’s winners in the various fields of science and leaders of influential international organizations whose aim is holding dialogues, discussions and exchange of views on wide range of global issues in the interest of all humanity.

The organizers and participants of the Forum are representatives of natural and social sciences, as well as cultural elite of the world who have ambitious task of forming a new humanitarian agenda with the aim of its further consideration in the world scale. Most powerful people of the world are also invited to take part in the Forum. They are acting or former heads of states and founders of multinational corporations. Assembly of the representatives of all spheres of human activity leads to the optimal solution of vital problems, which disturb all humanity.

The initiators of the Forum in 2010 were the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his colleague the President of Russian Federation Dmitriy Medvedev.



taking into consideration humanitarian problems in the era of globalization and reflecting voice of the heart of humanity – are highlighted in the Baku Declaration.

The Goal

is to build a dialogue through round tables. Every single person can listen and can be heard in the arena for actual topics of concern.


The Task

is formation of ground for constructive debates and discussions; exchange of ideas, theoretical and practical knowledge.


is embodied in recommendations and calls to international organizations, leaders of states and every single individual.

Traditions of the Forum

  • The Forum is held once every 2 years in Baku, the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
  • All participants of the Forum receive personal invitation;
  • Working languages of the Forum are: Azerbaijani, English and Russian;
  • The Forum is headlined in media.


read more about this event here….


“…a forum to strengthen the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable societies…”

This Promo was exclusively prepared by BRANDBUILD for Baku Forum on Sustainable Development (25-26 october, 2018). Forum gathered together national and international experts to share regional experiences on nationalisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focused on countries where Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) Platform have been undertaken and SDGs accelerators are being implemented. Our contacts: info@brandbuild.az Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brandbuild.az

EcoMotive – Support for collective housing projects / Born out of the Ashley Vale Housing Community in Bristol

EcoMotive – Support for collective housing projects / Born out of the Ashley Vale Housing Community in Bristol

EcoMotive – support for collective housing projects

About us

Ecomotive is a workers’ co-operative which grew out of the Ashley Vale self build project in Bristol. After they had completed their own self build home, Jackson Moulding and Anna Hope wanted to be able to offer other people the same opportunity to design and build their own homes in a community setting. And so Ecomotive was born. Our name (Eco = from the Greek root of ‘home’; Motive = ‘reason for action’) symbolises the way in which we take action to create opportunities for more sustainable homes, and empower others to do the same. Over the years we have grown and evolved, building up a strong core team supported by an inspiring collective of professional associates and volunteers.

Ecomotive operates in many different spheres, from the grassroots through to the national policy arena. You might equally see us giving a presentation at a housing conference or a spontaneous radio interview on the stage of a music festival. We are passionate about what we do and are willing to go the extra mile in order to bring quality to every area of our work. We especially love to get hands-on, and a highlight of our year is building the Ecomotive ‘structure’ at Glastonbury Festival. Our ethos is to be creative, flexible and solution-focused and we enjoy taking on a bit of a challenge!



How it all began – Ashley Vale, Bristol

a view round the central village green

from left to right – individual houses, the communal village green area, bungalows, the terrace of houses and, (bright red), the flats above the workshops and community centre. This is one of the most interesting recent examples of group selfbuild in the UK, not only because of its commitment to green values but also because of the way it started, the variety of types of buildings, the extensive community involvement and the effort made to incorporate affordable housing.

It also includes several collective initiatives such as a ‘village green’, a community centre, a shared landscaping commitment and a (hard to define) inclusion of the skills and supportive efforts of many people who are closely associated with the place but don’t actually live there.

For instance one of the directors of the group, Mike Harvey, a close neighbour though not one of the self builders, has taken on an interesting role as a visioner, coordinator, designer and builder for the group. Various other people have been very supportive to the group such as the father of one of the self builders who is a retired sewage engineer with a broad experience in mechanical services. He has advised and helped with the infrastructure servicing of the site which had all to take place above the enormous existing concrete slab covering the site. (see more on this below)

the building site before work began

the building site before work began

In the late 1990s a site, which had previously been a yard owned by a scaffold supply company was about to be bought by one of the volume house builder. A group of 7 or 8 locals wanted something a bit more ‘home grown’ to happen, something better in terms of housing and mixed use in the community. They got together and lobbied the council and succeeded in preventing the impending development. They then held a ‘planning for real’ day which attracted good local participation.


Group purchase of land

Following this the group which formed, raised the money, by means of individual mortgages, to buy the site with the financial help of the Redland Housing Association, with the intention of the housing association incorporating some affordable housing for the elderly. They made an offer with a view to buying the site and then succeeded in obtaining planning permission, to a large extent because of the strong support by people in the area and around the town.

They formed a not-for-profit limited company and the self builders formed their own group which consisted of members wanting to build four houses in a terrace, four semis, about fourteen individual houses (and eventually convert an existing building on the site to workshops, flats and a community centre). The intention was that Redland Housing association would come in to build half a dozen old people’s bungalows in the centre of the area.

As the time approached when the land transaction had to be completed there was a certain amount of drama as some people dropped out and others came in but on the actual day of completion of the sale all the purchasers with their respective solicitors met in a room with the vendor and their solicitor and the deal was done.

Unfortunately a major glitch soon occured when Redland Housing Association was placed under supervision by the Housing Corporation because of management problems and it backed out of the commitment to build the bungalows and eventually the Ashley Vale group bought the land back from them, but not before the land had (apparently by law) to be offered to every housing association in Bristol – a process taking two years! Finally the bungalows were offered for sale on the open market to recoup the land value.

Finally, through the help of a local benefactor and a bank loan, the bungalows were built to a ‘complete shell’  stage so that purchasers could then finish them internally to their own requirements. Meanwhile the self build side was progressing well with a variety of interesting designs built to a very high, but not outstanding, ecological standard (except probably the house by Jackson Moulding and Anna, and Jimmy’s house which do show a deep commitment to green design values).

There is an excellent account of the processes the group went through to achieve their aims.

the finished bungalows

the finished bungalows

The office block which came with the site when they bought it is  being converted into four flats plus two rooftop studio flats, three small workshops and a community centre which will be used not only for the benefit of the group but also to promote a wider range of cultural activities in the area. Heating by a wood pellet boiler.

the block after upgrading, including external insulation

the block after upgrading, including external insulation

The site itself was a challenge because the enormous existing concrete slab covers ground which is contaminated by previous industrial uses and it was a condition that it should not be disturbed. It was left in place and everything, including services was placed on top of it. Because of its limited strength this meant that traditional masonry construction could not be used. Hence the number of timber frame houses. See part A of the Approved Documents in the Building Regulations which deals with contaminated land.


Read all about this intelligent, innovative housing project here…


photo source: https://www.selfbuild-central.co.uk/

A Case Study on Ashley Vale Self Build Housing Association

Compostable products and packaging are an unavoidable choice on the path to a circular economy

Compostable products and packaging are an unavoidable choice on the path to a circular economy

Worldwide top brands confirm the role of biobased plastics

At the 2018 World Economic Forum, recently held in Davos, industry leaders such as Unilever, Coca-Cola, Mars, and Pepsico committed to having switched to reusable, recyclable, and compostable plastics by 2025 at the latest. Clearly these large companies see composting as an important waste-processing option. It is therefore ever more remarkable that composters in the Netherlands are trying to block this – or as Christiaan Bolck from Wageningen University and Research (WUR) puts it: “This choice seems to be aimed at preserving the dinosaurs.”


International, trendsetting research institutions such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in their report ‘The New Plastics Economy’ also envision an important role reserved for composting and fermentation of plastics. A wide range of businesses have participated in this report, such as Nestlé, IKEA, McKinsey, and DSM.


The Netherlands is well on its way to shaping the circular economy. Bioplastics play an important role in this process – a role that has recently been endorsed by various research reports and policy proposals. Holland Bioplastics is pleased with the fact that a clear direction has been chosen and embraces the conclusions of these reports. Here is a brief summary of the most relevant conclusions that are important for consumers:


Biobased materials – an inexhaustible source for qualitative and sustainable packaging

Bioplastics, also known as biobased plastics, are plastics made out of natural materials. Recent research by CE Delft for the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment indicates that these biobased plastics play an important role in achieving CO2 reduction and switching from a primarily fossil and linear economy to one that is more circular and biobased and makes less use of fossil fuels. This is also confirmed in the report of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation mentioned above.


Application of compostable plastics prevents unnecessary pollution with traditional plastics

The CE report also indicates that biologically degradable plastics can play a clear role in getting more biodegradable kitchen trash into organic-waste bins and reducing the presence of microplastics in the environment. Final compost still includes many plastic fossil fragments that are scattered over the soil together with the compost and often end up in the surface water. This leakage into the environment can be stopped by using compostable plastics. Undesirable leakage is caused by teabags, partially made out of polypropylene, which ends up in final compost and does not degrade in the environment.  Other examples are agricultural film or plastic plant clips, both widely used in horticulture. Erwin Vink, chairman of Holland Bioplastics, is glad that an independent research institute has arrived at these positive insights which the government will now use as policy guidelines.


Compostable bioplastics can also play an important role in collecting more organic waste. This is the case with compostable plastic bags or bags to gather organic kitchen waste, such as compostable teabags, coffee pods, and packagings for potatoes, vegetables, and fruit. It would also be beneficial to make fruit labels compostable. It looks like collection of organic waste will be obligatory within the EU in the future. At the European level and in leading countries such as Italy and France, legislation has already been introduced to require switching some of these applications into biobased and compostable bioplastics! In that respect, Holland Bioplastics would welcome a more proactive and leading role from the Dutch government.

CE Delft also concluded that compostable plastics may be a solution for packagings that are difficult to recycle and are made out of traditional plastics, such as multi-layered structures. This is confirmed by the WUR.



In the figure presented above CE Delft specifies what should be done with biodegradable plastics. Biodegradable plastics certainly do not belong with residual waste – they contribute to the production of more and better-quality compost.


Holland Bioplastics is also pleased with the clarity that the CE Delft and WUR reports establish in terms of how to deal with bioplastics waste. The Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging (KIDV) has brought out a series of standardised logos with easy instructions for consumers about where packaging waste should go. According to Erwin Vink,this makes it very simple for every consumer.“Compostable bioplastics that benefit the environment by being collected as food or garden waste display logos in the packaging that clearly identify them and indicate that the packaging should be disposed of as organic waste.” If there is no logo, then the plastic goes into a dedicated plastics container (known as a ‘Plastic Hero’ in the Netherlands). “We all know how important it is to reduce CO2 emissions and our environmental pressure, and with these new guidelines we provide a great deal of clarity for consumers as well,”adds Vink.


Involve consumers in shaping the circular economy by informing them properly

In that respect an important task has been reserved for bioplastics producers and processors. To maximise the positive effects of bioplastics, consumers must be made aware of what the seedling logo stands for, and why products and packagings displaying it must be disposed of in organic-waste containers.

More on bio-plastic you’ll find here ….


Video in German language – youtube video from WDR TV

What you can do to reduce microfiber pollution

What you can do to reduce microfiber pollution

It’s incredibly frustrating to think that the very clothes that allow us to enjoy the great outdoors are also contributing to polluting it.

We’re all dumping tiny plastic fragments into the water.


article by Starre Vartan

The issue of plastic pollution in our environment has become a huge problem, and quickly. In the past few decades, our use of all types of plastics has skyrocketed — especially single-use disposables, which 40 percent of plastics are. And in that short time, plastics feel like they’ve become entrenched in our culture. I know know even though I try pretty hard, I still end up using a lot more than I want to. Even worse? Many of us are polluting with plastics despite our best intentions, just by washing our clothes.

Maybe you’ve heard about microplastic pollution. Every time we wash synthetic fabrics like polyester, which is just a yarn made from plastic, very small pieces break off and flow down the drain into our local waterways. No, water-treatment plants can’t catch all the pieces. And the older the fabrics, the more fibers they shed in the wash, so those of us who keep our clothes for decades to save both money and resources, are actually the biggest offenders when it comes to microplastic shedding.

No, it doesn’t matter what kind of polyester, nylon, or combo-synthetic fabric you use, this microfiber shedding in the washing machine happens whether you buy a fleece or yoga pants made with virgin materials or made from recycled bottles.

Once these fibers get into the local river and beyond, “they act like sponges, sucking up other pollutants around them,” explains the Story of Stuff project, which is raising awareness and seeking solutions to this issue. They’re like little toxic bombs full of motor oil, pesticides, and industrial chemicals that end up in the bellies of fish and eventually in the bellies of us. It’s gross. It’s already estimated there are 1.4 million trillion in our oceans. That’s like 200 million microfibers for every person on the planet!”

So, what are the potential fixes to microplastic pollution?

For the most part, the key to addressing this issue is going to be up to textile manufacturers and the fashion companies that use their materials — which is discouraging, considering how long its taken companies to deal with the labor abuses and other environmental issues endemic to the fashion industry.

But that’s who has to make the change, figuring out a way to make fabrics in such a way that they don’t shed tiny fibers. We need to keep talking about this issue and get clothing companies to come up with solutions, with some caveats.

As the Story of Stuff explains, “There are some roads that we don’t want to go down; for example, the idea of a chemical coating to prevent microfiber release could cause more problems than it solves if those chemicals are also bad for the environment and human health.” So let the companies you buy stuff from know what you think about this issue; when you’re in the store trying on clothes, ask an associate what their plan is and how the company is tackling the issues — especially any outdoor company, since their business model should take into account keeping pollution out of the places we wear their clothes.

Another industry ally could be the companies that make washing machines. As Mary Jo Dilonardo reported here on MNN: “It would be really great if the washing machine companies would get on board and come up with a filter to trap these microfibers,” Caitlin Wessel, regional coordinator for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, told the AP.

But there are issues with that idea: “The problem is that there are already 89 million washing machines in the United States, and we don’t think it’s realistic to retrofit all of those machines. What’s more, we don’t know how or if this type of filtering would even work. At the end of the day, this problem is the responsibility of the clothing industry, not washing machine manufacturers,” points out The Story of Stuff.

But you can also tackle this issue personally by making some simple changes in what you buy and your laundry routine:

Wash your clothes less frequently: Plenty of us throw our clothes into the laundry even when they’re not really dirty, to avoid putting them away. This is a waste of water resources (and energy, if they’re dried in the dryer). But it also contributes to microfiber pollution every time you wash. So if you wash less, fewer fibers get loose. So wear that fleece a few more times before tossing it into the wash, or wear a cotton undershirt beneath your polyester tops or dresses, so you can simply wash the undershirt and not the whole dress or blouse each time you wear them.

Wear only natural fibers: Choosing only 100 percent natural-fiber clothing like wool, alpaca, cashmere, cotton, linen and silk is one way to avoid sending microplastics into the environment, since when these materials are washed, the fibers they lose are biodegradable. I’ve actually gone this route over the last few years; I haven’t actively thrown away good clothing, but when it’s come time to replace a jacket, I have gotten a boiled-wool sweater instead. I find natural fibers to be much more comfortable against my skin and less stinky too, when it comes to workout wear, meaning I need to wash them less.

Use a fiber-collecting device in your washing machine: There are a few out there, like the Guppyfriend, which collects microfibers inside a bag. You can then scoop them out and toss them in the trash, where at least they won’t work their way into the water supply. There’s also the Cora Ball, which might be easier to use, since it collects whatever microfibers loosen in a whole load of wash. Besides, you might not know exactly what clothes are even made from if labels wear off over time.

There’s no simple solution to our plastics problem, whether we’re talking microfibers or single-use plastics or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Dealing with any of it will require time, money, ingenuity, individual behavior change and — toughest of all — getting large companies to change their business models. Because right now, the capitalist structure that we all live within requires constant growth for every company, and the faster the growth, the better. So, the more plastic we use, the more stuff we consume, the better for financial bottom lines — even if it’s worse for our health and the health of the planet.

Link to original article …