All posts in Project News

Mountain Caribou Initiative

David Moskovitz was supported to undertake work to help conserve the Mountain Caribou. The following is an update from David on his work.

Please also see this Lost Explorer article.

Mountain Caribou 2

Film: We are starting work on production for a 20 minute documentary on mountain caribou, the inland rainforest and BC’s continued efforts to liquidate a large percentage of the remaining old growth of the region. We are aiming to have the film ready for release in late spring 2017.

Photography: Images from the project appeared in the New York Times. High Country News also published a photo essay and article by myself on the plight of mountain caribou.

Book: I have a book contract with Braided River Press for a photography book on this story, schedule for publication for fall of 2018.

Education: We are working on developing educational resources which will accompany all of our major content pieces for the project to make it easy for teachers and community groups to use our content for structured educational purposes

Community Conversations: Our team has delivered our first slideshows for the project, all here in Washington State. One of our current tasks is to reach out to communities on a larger scale to bring the story in person to people within the region and beyond.

Continuing Field Work: I am planning on another 3 seasons of field work for the project as I work to nail down some of the most challenging and important images for this story.

Policy: The Canadian and USA federal governments are both currently reviewing their management of mountain caribou. Canada should have revisions to the current plan out in early 2017. Early reports are that the new plan will be stronger then the existing plan including important additional habitat protections. We are poised for these announcements to drive public engagement for official comment periods and to help hold government accountable.

Social Media: We have an active social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. We have been quiet the past several weeks since the USA elections as we have been dealing with more urgent conservation and social justice issues but will be gearing back up after the new year. Every major content release for this project will be paired with a coordinated social medial campaign.

As we roll into our final year of field work and and production of our most ambitious content pieces its good to see a growing number of individuals and organizations giving us support and encouragement along the way!

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT. We appreciate your support for the project.

New project supported – Mountain Caribou Expedition

Mountain Caribou D Moskowitz

Mountain caribou are on the brink of disappearing across most of their range in the Pacific Northwest of the USA and Canada.  David Moskowitz took part in the Wolf OR 7 Expedition, supported by StFF in 2014 and has now launched a new project to explore the world of mountain caribou and the conservation challenges faced to sustain them and the unique mountain landscapes they depend on.

Sculpt the Future Foundation has made a donation towards the project – see project page for more detail.

Swim the Eden – Report

In August, three brothers, Robbie, Calum and Jack Hudson, swam the length of the River Eden in Cumbria gaining Cumbrian, British and World Records in the process. StFF supported this adventure with a small grant and helped these boys achieve their ambition and will inspire young people and the local community engage with and value their environment.

Swim the Eden pic

 

We really couldn’t have done the swim without Sculpt the Future and will be eternally grateful for your support. It is something we will never forget and we think has inspired lots of people to engage in a more sustainable and positive relationship with the environment.

Kate Rew the head of the Outdoor Swimming Society (18,000 members) said that we “had captured the public imagination” and were “the big hit of the

summer”. The BBC said that it was an “incredible achievement” and ITV described it as “epic and engaging”.  Calum Hudson

Read reports  of their success here and here

 

Ed Stafford talks to Steve Backshall on BBC Radio 4

In a new series of BBC Radio 4’s ‘One to One’,  Steve Backshall meets StFF beneficiary, Ed Stafford, the first person to walk the 6,000-mile length of the Amazon River over a two-and-a-half year period.  Backshall’s aim is to discover what drives his guest to attempt almost superhuman challenges.

During the interview, Ed talks about being an adventurer and describes his formative years, to profound and fascinating effect.

We hear about his not-particularly-happy time at public school, a rebellious period as a young man and his thoughts on being adopted. He’s a pleasure to listen to, full of wisdom but never self-important:

To put yourself through hardship now is just a way of constantly making sure you evolve.

Ed Stafford

See Chris Gardner’s full review for The Radio Times

Listen to the full interview on BBC iplayer:

 

 

 

 

Swim the Eden – Update

I wanted to give David and the trustees a quick update on our Swim the Eden challenge.  We’ve got 26 days to go until the first day of our challenge and wanted to thank you again for all your support so far.
Here are some of the key highlights over the past month.

We’ve had a very large number of people get in touch about coming down to join us during our swim. This has ranged from local school kids who want to share a tin of beans at the end of the day while we’re camping, an elderly woman who swims everyday and has swam in the Eden for 65 years and farmers who want to bring their family down to wave as we swim past. These small gestures go a long way and we’re very proud that we’re inspiring people to reconnect with the natural world right outside their front door.

You’ve helped us generate a lot media interest and we’ve had many outlets contact us, from a CNN reporter who loves outdoor swimming, a Vogue photographer with an interest in siblings and twins, a BBC presenter with no previous wild swimming experience whose been roped in to do a whole day with us and many local newspapers and magazines. This is a huge help in promoting our conservation message and hopefully will make people rethink their own relationship with our natural heritage.

The Outdoor Swimming Society, the UK’s biggest wild swimming community (21,000 subscribers) has tipped our Swim the Eden expedition as this years big swimming challenge and they’ve run a competition for 10 winners to join us on the final 2 days of our adventure.

On a personal level your grant has enabled me to organise and plan what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable adventure and a journey that, alongside my brothers Robbie and Jack, I’ll never forget.
We’ve got an upcoming swim across the Corryvreckan on August 2nd as a training exercise for the Eden. The Corryvreckan is the 3rd largest whirlpool in the world and shipwrecked George Orwell and his brother while he was writing 1984 on Jura, we’ll be swimming straight across it and will be the first brothers to do this. I know David is a fan of unusual adventures and thought he might like that one.

The Corryvreckan Vortex

I will keep the updates coming as we get closer to the start date, back to the pool for me!
Have a great week.
Best regards,
Calum

 

 

Living on One Dollar launched on Netflix

StFF beneficiary – Living on One – produced an inspirational film: Living on One Dollar, which launched on Netflix on 1 January 2015 in the US and Canada.

 

End of Year Waste Ventures Update

In 2010/11 Waste Ventures was awarded first prize in StFF/MYOO’s Beat Waste Challenge and reports on 2014′s work:

2014 was an exciting year for Waste Ventures Charities as it marked critical additions to the team and the development of some tremendous initiatives.We have hired a new Executive Director for Waste Ventures Charities. Jo Hill was the Director of Ventures at UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs where she raised £10 million to support the most ambitious social ventures in the UK. She has developed a high impact strategy for Waste Ventures that brings together funders and pioneers to scale up waste picker led services. Already, under her leadership, Waste Ventures has secured investment to replicate the Waste Ventures model in Nepal.

To support our work, we have received generous funding from the Peery Foundationand were recently selected for the Grand Challenges Canada ‘Stars in Global Health’ funded by the Government of Canada.

Outlook for 2015

We are incubating a new set of waste picker initiatives that have the potential to create transformational impact in India. Our current projects include:

Waste Picker Franchise
This is a low cost, high impact model that moves waste pickers off the dump into dignified green jobs, doubling their incomes and diverting 83% of waste away from landfill. We are partnering with Hasiru Dala, a network of 5000 waste pickers and I Got Garbage, an online performance management platform that tracks data daily. We are currently raising funds to grow the franchise model. To set up one franchise costs $10K, generates 10 jobs and creates a long term livelihood for waste pickers.

Waste Impact Bond
We are developing a structured, results based financing mechanism to provide patient capital for the delivery of waste services at scale. The waste sector lends itself to an Impact Bond due to the tangible, measurable results such as:

  • Number of dignified, green jobs created for waste pickers
  • Volume of waste composted and recycled
  • % of waste diverted from landfill

The Waste Impact Bond has the potential to be a future game changer in terms of unlocking millions in long term private finance to mainstream the implementation of waste picker led services across India.

Thank You

In addition to the gratitude I have for our funding partners, I also want to wish you – my friends, family, colleagues, and mentors – a heartfelt thank you for your support to help us tackle one of the world’s biggest social and environmental challenges. If you would like to know more about our initiatives, feel free to reach out to me at parag@wasteventures.org or Jo at jo@wasteventures.org. We are also humbled and grateful for your continued support and contributions.

Happy Holidays and Warmest Greetings,

 

Parag Gupta
Founder and Board Chair
Waste Ventures Charities

 

The Lonely Himalayas – project at editing stage

StFF beneficiary – The Lonely Himalayas team – reports on progress so far.

A small grant was made to help enable Ryan Stock and his team film a documentary to explore climate change, industrial farming and urban migration on remote Himalayan landscapes.

Click here for the update.

 

 

Rachel Sussman – Feature

The Online version of the weekly magazine, The New Yorker, provides current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925.

Its latest issue carries a feature on StFF beneficiary, Rachel Sussman and her ‘Oldest Living Things in the World’ project and contains the shocking news that:

Of the thirty ancient living things that Sussman has photographed, two have since died.

The article is headed ‘Survivors’ and  is written by Raffi Khatchadourian.  Read the article here.

Rachel Sussman CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY TOM BACHTELL

 

 

Winner of ‘Beat Waste Startup Challenge’ growing

Founded by Parag Gupta, Waste Ventures works in India to incubate solid waste management companies that are owned and operated by waste pickers.  The company provides the tools to environmentally process the waste and in the process enables them to generate a much better living from selling recyclables,  biofertilizer and earn carbon credits.

In 2010 Waste Ventures was the winner of StFF funded ‘Beat Waste Startup Challenge’ and is now becoming an extremely successful company:

Waste Capital Partners, Inc. Completes its Convertible Note Offering

The Impact Enterprise Will Use Proceeds of Oversubscribed Round to Scale Model in India

San Francisco, CA: On August 29th, Waste Capital Partners, Inc. completed its convertible note offering. The round of finance led by the James Lee Sorenson Family Foundation will be primarily invested in its India operating company, Waste Ventures India, to streamline existing projects and dramatically expand the footprint of the Indian company in South India.

Parag Gupta, Founder and CEO of Waste Capital Partners, stated, “We were thrilled to be oversubscribed in commitments by investors. It is validation of both an extremely important issue that touches upon climate change, sanitation, livelihoods, and agriculture as well as the confidence in our company’s potential to profitably solve this challenge.”

Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Foundation, stated, “The James Lee Sorenson Family Foundation is pleased to invest in Waste Capital Partners and its innovative model that cleans up cities in emerging markets while creating much needed compost for farmers.”

Other investors in this round include the Marshall Foundation, the Cordes Foundation, and Impact Assets. The Peery Foundation has also renewed its earlier investment.

About Waste Capital Partners, Inc.: Waste Capital Partners, Inc. environmentally processes waste in emerging markets to form nutrient-rich compost it sells to small farmers. Its efforts currently affect more than 240,000 residents and have been recognized by the United Nations and the Indian State Government of Andhra Pradesh. It is a Village Capital Winner and a Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) ‘Innovation Against Poverty’ Awardee.

Read more here.