A selection of our field activities in 2021
So here we are, with 2022 starting to show its face, time to take stock! Despite the health crisis and political instability in particular territories, the energy transition is moving forward and gaining strength. Overview of the activities and projects undertaken.
Focus on the Mediterranean
In France, the battle against energy poverty is hotting up
In the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, efforts to combat energy poverty were on the increase, especially at the end of the year.
On the national day of action on energy poverty, the Geres Europe-Mediterranean teams, together with their partner NGO WECF, organized workshops in Marseille for households, schools and health professionals to raise awareness of the issue.
This video was produced in November 2021 with the inhabitants of “Les Crottes”, a district of Marseille.
From a more educational perspective, the Geres France and Europe-Mediterranean team also published two guides and a technical study:
- A guide to waste prevention and management, aimed at reducing food waste, produced and distributed to middle and secondary schools.
- A guide to understanding, analysing and working with methanation in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, aimed at private individuals and professionals
- The Empowermed consortium, of which Geres is a member, published a report on gender issues in existing financial mechanisms for combating energy poverty
In Marseille, Geres launched #TuGères, the first programme on social media dedicated to helping young people take up the challenges of Climate Solidarity. Held between October and early December, all the training sessions were facilitated by members of Geres and local influencers.
Art exhibition promoting the sustainable development goals, raising awareness of recycling in schools, challenging the general public to face the issues, podcasts… The topics and formats look promising.
Pending the official presentation of each individual project, you can already follow Yoan on Tiktok, or Marion and Gaël and Kelly and Marie Khane on Instagram. And if you want to keep the festive spirit going, take a look at the socially responsible Advent calendar produced by three of our female students at the graduate school of management in Aix en Provence.
In Morocco, renovation work is starting on several schools in Midelt
In Midelt region, high in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, work is getting under way to improve the energy efficiency of five classrooms in four primary schools in Midelt. Several awareness days on energy and climate have also been organized with pupils to inaugurate the building and renovation work.
- Still in Morocco, but in a completely different sector, Geres trained more and more users of highly energy-efficient ovens (FaranEco) in 2021. The main targets are bakeries and restaurants. A new feature for 2021, changing lives for the most modest businesses: facilitating access to green micro-finance and financial inclusion for bakery professionals. It is worth noting that Geres and its local partners are also piloting the development of a women’s sales network and the creation of inclusive green jobs.
- In two Moroccan regions, Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceima and Souss-Massa, Geres is fostering the emergence and consolidation of Energy and Climate Information Services (SIEC), adapted to local conditions, mobilizing Civil Society Organizations amongst others.
In Tunisia, boosting the power of citizens and professionals to take action on energy and the climate
- In the towns of Sousse, Nabeul and Bizerte, Energy and Climate Information Services (SIEC) are also being developed. These serve as teaching tools designed to support the energy and ecological transition by involving local stakeholders in awareness, training, advisory and/or support activities.
The SIEC have a genuine role as an observatory of energy behaviour.
More broadly, the aim is to enable civil society to play its part in the energy and ecological transition and empower citizens and professionals to take action. How? By strengthening dynamic local Civil Society Organizations so that they can take the initiative within national and international networks.
Focus on West Africa
In Mali, a new green business zone under construction
- In the village of Moro-Moro, Kayes region, work to build a new Green Business Area using compressed earth bricks (a local resource) began in January. Inauguration is planned for 2022! The objective: supporting rural entrepreneurship and facilitating access to finance for the small businesses setting up in the area, all surrounded by bioclimatic buildings.
- In Koutiala, Geres was invited in April to the Malian Cultural and Artistic Melting Pot Festival (FECAK). On that occasion, our local team organized a conference on the role of energy in adding value to agricultural produce, the struggle against the effects of climate change and the promotion of local entrepreneurship. On the same day, the Mali team provided training to around a dozen young people on the operation of photovoltaic energy in a Green Business Area.
In Benin, further action to reduce pressure on the forest and improve local living conditions
- In the heart of the Collines, Geres is continuing its efforts to reduce pressure on the forest and improve the livelihoods of the local communities. In this area, 90% of households use wood and charcoal for cooking and these practices only increase pressure on forest resources.
Among the broad thrusts of the project: not only meeting people’s energy needs through the development of rational charcoal production techniques, but also preserving and restoring forest cover in the long term. Activities are due to end in summer 2022.
In Senegal, NGOs are mobilizing to protect the “Senegal River”
- In October, Geres and several local NGOs took part in a series of co-building workshops to preserve the resources of the Senegal River, an environmental challenge and development vector.
Focus on Central Asia
In Tajikistan, 94 households escape energy poverty and two new projects come into being
- In early 2021, our teams helped 94 Tajik households in two rural districts to say goodbye to energy poverty while increasing their income thanks to lower spending on fuel. This operation would not have been possible without the support of our partner, the Abbé Pierre Foundation.
The autumn also saw the emergence of two important new projects on Tajik territory:
A project dedicated to sustainable housing, which aims to develop highly energy-efficient housing solutions capable of coping with the Tajik climate.
In Mongolia, the fight against atmospheric pollution continues
- Spotlight on the Ger district, in the vulnerable urban areas of Ulan-Bator, which also goes by the unfortunate name of “most polluted capital in winter”. Since 2018, a housing renovation project has been striving to improve the living conditions of poor communities by rolling out sustainable energy and financial solutions.
Over the first quarter of 2021: 178 energy assessments were carried out and 11 new households were able to insulate their homes thanks to their own investment and a green loan.
And with the aid of the advice and tailored instructions from the local teams, 275 households are implementing simple insulation solutions in their homes. In addition, 100 further households received a subsidy to insulate their roofs: an approach designed to increase the visibility of these simple solutions in the neighbourhood.
- Make room for Mongolian agriculture! In April 2021,the Geres Mongolia team launched a project to improve the food security and access to vegetables of vulnerable rural groups by encouraging sustainable vegetable production practices. The project is expected to extend into 2022.
- Along the same lines as the classrooms in Midelt, Morocco, the programme dedicated to improving learning conditions in schools in Arkhangai in Mongolia was consolidated in 2021 with the launch of energy audits for buildings, energy efficiency skills enhancement for professionals in the building sector and the establishment of an initial energy passport for public buildings in the province.
In Afghanistan, highly energy-efficient equipment is to be installed in 1200 additional homes
In spring 2021, Geres and its partners launched a project to install highly energy-efficient equipment in 1200 homes in the capital and the Badakshan region of Afghanistan.
Objective: to limit wood consumption, promote better forest resource management and create jobs in vulnerable communities.
Since summer 2021, Geres has chosen to suspend its activities in view of the political troubles and insecurity in the territory.
Focus on South-East Asia
In Cambodia, 30 textile factories are working with Geres to make the industry more sustainable
In Cambodia, 30 textile factories are working with Geres to make the industry more sustainable
- Geres is now working with 30 Cambodian textile factories to promote the sustainability of the sector! On a wider scale, the project’s ambition is to offer short workshops to employees in the clothing industry to develop their technical skills with regard to energy in factories.
- At the end of October, our Geres team facilitated training sessions on climate issues in two community protected areas of the Kingdom.
These training activities, involving local elected women representatives, aim to raise community awareness of the causes and impacts of climate change.
In Myanmar, women are stepping up the promotion of sustainable energy kits in rural areas
Despite the difficult political situation, 19 women entrepreneurs have been identified and received support, of whom 16 are still working to market sustainable energy solutions in around 20 villages.
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