32 results for tag: climate change


Climate Risks: Understanding Haiti’s Climate Vulnerability

photo credit Vic Hinterlang As we celebrate Earth Day this year and acknowledge all that our planet has to offer, it’s important to also remember what we are up against. Our ongoing exploitative transactional relationship with the Earth’s environment has resulted in the rapid depletion of natural resources, animal extinctions, forest destruction, increased natural disasters and pandemics. Vulnerable communities, like those we serve in Haiti, suffer disproportionately from these occurrences and it's important we shed a light on the true climate risks these populations are experiencing and will continue to face. Though Haiti’s geographical ...

Understanding the Price: the Push for Economic Biodiversity

                                                                                                                                             (photography credit theguardian.com) The question of putting a price tag on planet earth has been a topic of discussion over the last few years, as we grapple with how to address the global impacts of climate change. On a planet where distribution of environmentally beneficial resources (like the Amazon rainforest) is vastly different among countries, how do we ensure that these resources are protected for total planetary health?  A new ...

Celebrate World Soil Day!

photo courtesy of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Agriculture is Haiti’s main industry and makes up over 60% of the workforce nationwide. However, food production can be quite challenging for many farmers in Haiti due to heavily degraded soils as a result of exploitative production like deforestation and over-intensive agricultural practices during the colonial era. Before farmers are able to support the growth of bountiful harvests or reforestation initiatives, degraded soils need to be restored and brought back to a natural balance. Maintaining soil health and biodiversity is critical to establishing resilient ecosys...

A Vision for the Future: The Circular Economy Model

In 2006, SOIL began working to provide safe, dignified access to in-home sanitation in Haiti, through our EkoLakay toilet service. Since then, the situation in Haiti, and the world at large, has become increasingly complicated. The dread of climate change has become an indisputable reality, exacerbating preexisting vulnerabilities, including the global sanitation crisis. Both the impacts of climate change and the pressing need to find sustainable solutions that make our planet and people more resilient have helped to frame SOIL’s model. Since its founding, SOIL has sought to revolutionize the approach to sanitation by piloting a circular ...

Celebrate World Toilet Day!

Since 2006, SOIL has been working to provide safe, dignified access to in-home sanitation through our EkoLakay toilet service. Our community-driven regenerative and ecological sanitation solution was designed (and continues to adapt) to improve public health, quality of life, and the environment - to facilitate the long-term sustainability of in-home sanitation services in Haiti. For SOIL, providing an in-home toilet is only one part of supporting our communities’ essential needs; we’re invested in setting households and individuals on a path for long-term quality of life improvement, safety and security, and opportunities for dignified living. ...

Increasing climate resilience: how Konpòs Lakay helps agriculture producers during drought

Haiti is currently ranked third in the Global Climate Risk Index  as being  particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Climate change impacts Haiti in a number of ways: increases in the intensity and frequency of hurricanes, flooding, landslides due to soil erosion, and also drought brought about by erratic rainfall patterns, which is compounded by a lack of water management systems. Drought can be particularly devastating to agriculture production, but also contributes to lack of food security and malnourishment. SOIL’s regenerative sanitation solution seeks to not only offer better sanitation options for vulnerable urban communi...

Yale Climate Connections: As the planet warms, can we afford to treat poop as waste?

photo credit: Yale Climate Connections For centuries, people have been using human waste as a precious commodity for soil fertilization around the world. In fact, night soil, the term given to the human waste product, has had entire economies built around it as a means for sustainable agriculture production from Asia to the Amazon. A recent article in Yale Climate Connections provided some insight into understanding why we have wandered so far from these roots, how that has impacted climate change, and if it is time once again to rethink human waste as a valuable commodity. Prior to World War II, livestock manure management was an integral part of ...

Container-Based Sanitation: Including Vulnerable Populations in Climate Mitigation

photo credit: Vic Hinterlang Since its pilot, SOIL’s EkoLakay service has been carefully designed as a holistic model that can offer benefits beyond a simple household toilet. Rather than thinking solely about EkoLakay’s potential for individual impact, we’ve used sanitation provision as a starting point for designing a solution that leverages the interconnection between sanitation, climate, and human rights. This is evident in SOIL’s waste treatment and composting facility, where we turn human waste from the EkoLakay toilets into regenerative compost that can stabilize Haiti’s fragile soils. More recently, a study conducted on SOIL’s ...

Reflections on Research: Biogeochemist Gavin McNicol shares insights from his research at SOIL

Gavin McNicol and a team of researchers at SOIL's compost facility in Haiti. Earlier this summer, SOIL was pleased to share newly published research in the journal Nature Climate Change  that revealed groundbreaking analysis on SOIL’s sanitation solution and climate mitigation potential.  We are particularly grateful for the remarkable and dedicated team of researchers who worked on this research with SOIL, and who are endeavoring to help solve the global climate crisis while simultaneously promoting the inclusivity of vulnerable and less privileged populations in the climate conversation. We are thrilled to share a brief personal reflection on ...

Nature Climate Change: Groundbreaking Research on GHG Emissions Offset of SOIL’s Sanitation Solution

Around the globe, 4.5 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation with 1 billion of those living in densely populated urban settlements. Many urban residents rely on pit latrines where human waste is not safely managed and carries the potential to contaminate water sources and critically endanger public health. To address the urgent need for safely managed sanitation in the communities we serve, SOIL’s water-wise sanitation solution in Haiti is designed to remove human waste from dense urban neighborhoods to mitigate the spread of waterborne disease, prevent negative environmental impacts from untreated waste, and transform the waste ...