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An Understanding of Ghost Fishing and its Impact on World Hunger

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Ghost Fishing?

640.000 Tonnes of Fishing Gear Dumped in Oceans Every Year
By Baher Kamel
640.000 Tonnes of Fishing Gear Dumped in Oceans Every Year
640.000 Tonnes of Fishing Gear Dumped in Oceans Every Year
Ghost fishing. Sounds eerie, right? Unfortunately, it is indeed as eerie as it sounds. This is how the United Nations brings up another huge damage caused by human activities to the sole Planet we know - Mother Earth. But what is ghost fishing is all about?

Ghost fishing occurs when lost or abandoned fishing gear stays in the ocean and traps fish or other marine life, indiscriminately killing whatever it catches, explain two leading specialised international agencies—the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO and the UN Environment UNEP.

“Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear is being recognised as a topic that we must tackle now for the sake of our marine environment and the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

At least 640 000 tonnes of fishing gear is thought to be lost or abandoned in the oceans every year, the world bodies report while estimating that one tenth of all waste in the oceans is made up of this “ghost gear”.

Killing fish and other species, such as whales, dolphins, seals and turtles (some of which are endangered), is one of the many devastating impacts of ghost gear.

Unfortunately, this is not the only problem.

In fact, they explain that derelict gear can also alter seabed and marine environments; it can create problems for navigation when ships get their propellers caught in it, in the worst cases leading to capsizing and fatalities.

And ghost gear can also be washed up on the beach as litter, becoming a danger to birds and other coastal species and a health and safety hazard for beach-goers.

How Does This Happen?

There are many different ways that fishing gear can end up in the ocean, FAO informs.

Storms or bad weather can sweep it off of boats into the water. The marine environment itself can cause fishing gear to break, or fishing gear may become so entangled in other objects in the ocean that it becomes too difficult to retrieve.

“Some fishing gear may have unclear ownership and, therefore, be abandoned without repercussion. Sometimes there may be no adequate facilities in ports for boats to dispose of their end-of-life gear. Fishing gear may also be deliberately dumped as part of illegal fishing or simply be the result of accidents and human error.”

What Does All This Have to Do with Hunger?

All of FAO’s work is done with the goal of achieving #ZeroHunger. Whether obvious or not, ghost fishing is an important issue for this in two ways:

  • Ghost fishing harms our oceans and wastes the food sources within them.

With the increasing strain that all of our natural resources are facing, we cannot ignore the vital role that marine life plays for the food security of communities and peoples worldwide.

  • Ghost fishing harms the livelihoods of fishers and coastal communities.

Almost 200 million people depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. The more illegal or ghost fishing occurs, the fewer resources fishers around the world have to earn a living and secure food sources.

As well, the amount of fishing gear remaining in the marine environment will continue to accumulate and the impacts on marine ecosystems will continue to get worse if the international community doesn’t take effective steps to deal with the problem of marine debris as a whole.

What to Do?

The Food and Agriculture Organisation recommends some feasible measure to prevent the oceans from being further destroyed:

Mark the Gear: Marking gear enables identification of ownership and encourages responsible management of fishing gear. It can be a good way to identify and understand where recovered gear originally came from and return it to its owner, not just to identify offenders.

Like many things, investing in the prevention of the problem through best practices, such as gear marking, may be more cost-effective than the clean-up required after gear is already lost. This is generally a better way of reducing this kind of debris and its impacts.

Improve Reporting and Recovery: Lost gear should be reported so that recovery efforts can be made. However, many vessels may not be able to retrieve the gear themselves because they lack the appropriate equipment or because it would be dangerous for the crew. Other vessels do not report losses because of fear of blame.

A “no-blame” approach could be adopted to remove the vessel’s liability for losses. Incentivised retrieval schemes could also be implemented so that vessels that are equipped to do so bring back not only their own gear but also other lost gear that they encounter at sea.

Stop Illegal Fishing: Although some gear is indeed lost by accident, some gear is abandoned as part of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

IUU fishing vessels sometimes dump their fishing gear when patrol vessels are nearby or when they have been denied entry to a port, FAO informs, adding that these ships are also less likely to report gear that may have been lost due to extreme weather conditions or human error.

The Consequences

The consequences are shocking. FAO in fact reports that such illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing human activity robs the world’s oceans of 26 million tonnes of seafood annually, bringing financial losses to a staggering 23 billion dollars a year.

Also that illegal fishing severely affects the livelihoods of fishers and other fisher-sector stakeholders and exacerbates poverty and food insecurity.

Being the United Nations an inter-governmental organisation… what governments are waiting for to act?

Baher Kamal
Baher Kamal is an Egyptian-born, Spanish national, secular journalist, with over 45 years of professional experience — from reporter to special envoy to chief editor of national dailies and an international news agency. Baher is former Senior Advisor to the Director general of the international news agency IPS (Inter Press Service) and he also contributed to prestigious magazines such as GEO, Muy Interesante, and Natura, Spain. He is also publisher and editor of Human Wrongs Watch.

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Phytotherapy, knowledge and experiences 03- “A path to the deep”.

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(Image by Claudia Mónica García)

We continue sharing from REHUNO Health the series of notes that Horacio Mesón gives us under the title: Phytotherapy, knowledge and experiences. In this third and final installment, the author invites us to delve into the relationship between his passion and knowledge in Phytotherapy with the depths of his inner world and his purpose in life. As Horacio himself tells us at the end of the article: “Phytotherapy is, for me, the best excuse to carry out my Purpose”.

By Horacio Mesón

My garden is small but with little you can do magic. The house is warm, comfortable and simple.

Summer was ending and our grandson Lorenzo had turned three years old. Very lively, sparkling, awake and emotional, with an interesting character when he plants himself.

I thought it was the right time and, in an orderly way, I took him with me to the garden and introduced him to some aromatic plants. First the creepers and then the shrubs. We gently caressed them.

We went from Peperina to Hierba Buena; then the Muña Muña that we collected last spring in the field. The Manzanilla was the one he liked the most.

We came to the Citronella, the first bush, there was rejection. The Pennyroyal more or less. He liked the Lemon Balm, but when we got to the Rosemary he jumped on it. A smile exploded all over his face without laughter and he hugged it. It was just in flower and he caressed its tops, dragging the scent towards him, I think he was imitating me.

Six months went by and he remembers the names of all of them, for him they already have an entity. But with Rosemary the chemistry, the affinity, the compatibility is very great. A bond was established between them as if they had known each other for a long time?

This link also grows between the three of us, it has the depth of my emotional and ancestral memory.

The plants that I came to as a child playing, out of devotion to my grandparents and then out of necessity, showed me in depth a path that I had already begun.

I came to understand with the heart of a city-dweller, that I have a feeling for Pachamama. That Mother-Earth concept, that unique devotion that I dare to call Love or something similar.

I understand that any “Craft and Discipline” faced with the Inner Force, that is to say with everything and without holding anything back, leaves us on the threshold of what is desired.

I understand that along the way one has passed even without method through certain “places” and registers.

That’s why a scheme of forms is required that allows one to precipitate…

There are key questions and tracer questions, directional questions. They help to focus, to concentrate and bring us closer to goodness.

In the service of what are my vocations? In the service of what are these capacities? Why do I do what I do without thinking about it? What is the motive? Is this my purpose? Do I have a plan? If I do, how do I perfect it? Do I want to go further? How far am I willing to give? What is the Valid Action? What is my greatest desire or aspiration?

Ancient dreams come together with the present and the future. The three times act in a permanent dynamic. Sometimes you think things are coming from the past but they are coming from ahead, from what will be. The register is here and now.


(Image Horacio Mesón)

The purpose was designed and deepened in dreams as children and today it detonates feeding on the future, on what is intuited and inspired.

The warm embrace between peers and the meaningful exchange is so necessary.

Valid action is not just an act, it is an achievement of actions guided by the chosen direction and pulled by the future thanks to the Purpose. Connected to the best of oneself.

If there is something natural as a very human virtue it is the action of Giving, this is the original intention.

A Purpose thrown forcefully out into the world and to others is a whirlwind, a cascade and a myriad of valid actions. And yet it does not live or register as a whirlwind, nor as a waterfall.

The greatest desire or aspiration is to be able to help others until the last moment of my life.

Final question: What then is Phytotherapy for me: “it is the best of excuses to carry out my Purpose”.

So much for the author’s words which complete this series of 3 notes on Phytotherapy. If you would like to know more about this knowledge and experience, please contact the author directly: horaciomeson@yahoo.com.ar

REHUNO Health

Source: Pressenza

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Saying Yes to Food Sovereignty, No to Corporate Food Systems

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No to corporate food systems! Yes to Food Sovereignty!

Read or download the Political Declaration of the People’s Autonomous Response to the UN Food Systems Summit

Confronting the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, climate chaos, increasing hunger and all forms of malnutrition, ecological destruction and multiple humanitarian crises, we, social movements, indigenous peoples’ articulations, non-governmental organizations, and academics assert our commitment to food sovereignty, and reject the ongoing corporate colonization of food systems and food governance under the façade of the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS).

Industrial food systems, global supply chains and increasing corporate control of food governance are responsible for the inextricably interconnected and existential threats faced by our populations and planet, including the climate crisis, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, land and ocean degradation, air and water pollution, hunger, marginalization, and countless human rights violations. An extractivist development model centered on corporate control of resources, policy debates, and regulatory processes has produced a global food system that has most recently left over two billion people under-nourished and economically destitute. Furthermore, ultra-processed industrial products cause malnutrition, excess weight, and obesity. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to unveil both the structural frailties and global inequities of this corporate market-based approach – a failed model that continues due to deep power asymmetries and a lack of political accountability to ensure that public institutions and policies serve the public good and demands and needs of the most vulnerable. Urgent political actions, from local to international levels based on democratic negotiation and political consensus-building, are needed to address growing inequality across and within countries, structural injustice, gender-based violence, and displacement. The status quo is simply untenable for the majority of the world’s population, and unviable for our youth and future generations. We cannot continue to divert the majority of public resources and institutional authority towards propping up false solutions that serve corporate interests and will fail to tackle these systemic global challenges.

The necessity of rights-based approaches to combating crisis
The only just and sustainable way forward is to immediately halt and transform corporate, globalized food systems. The first step on this path is fully recognizing, implementing, and enforcing the human right to adequate food, which is a human rights obligation of States and UN agencies. While foundational, the right to adequate food is indivisible from other basic human rights, such as the right to health, housing, safe working conditions, living wages, social protection, women and LGBTQIA+ rights, clean environments, and civil-political rights including collective bargaining and political participation, which collectively should be central to any transformational process. With this critical rights-based orientation, public food policy and governance must put peasants, indigenous peoples, fishers, pastoralists, workers, landless, forest-dwellers, consumers, urban and rural poor, and among these women and youth, at the center of governance and policy-making tables. Governments, and regional and international institutions, must support these constituencies’ pathways for transforming corporate food systems through agroecology and food sovereignty. We reject any empty dialogue process which ignores human rights and fails to explicitly and meaningfully elevate the agency of these food systems actors.

UNFSS: illegitimate multistakeholderism enabling corporate power

The UNFSS 2021, initiated by the UN Secretary General shortly after signing a comprehensive agreement with the World Economic Forum (WEF), fails to meet these fundamental requirements. Established by 1000 of the largest corporations in the world, the WEF and its affiliates have been controlling the Summit’s design, structure, processes, governance and content. Large multinational corporations are increasingly infiltrating the multilateral spaces of the United Nations to co-opt the narrative of sustainability, and divert it back into the channels of further industrialization with digital and biotechnologies, extraction of wealth and labor from rural communities, and concentration of corporate power in national-global governance. The capital and technology focused agenda proposed by the UNFSS reflects these corporate interests and is politically, socially, economically and ecologically destabilizing. We denounce the UNFSS 2021 for disregarding the urgent need to address the gross power imbalances that corporations hold over food systems and this UN event, and we reject false solutions which will continue to oppress and exploit people, communities and territories.

Instead of being grounded in human rights, the UNFSS is a multistakeholder forum in which all actors, whether governments, individuals, regional/international agencies, or business/corporation representatives are portrayed as equal participants. But stakeholders are not necessarily rights-holders: people’s and communities’ rights and sovereignty should not be confused with private-sector business interests. While majority of the world’s food is produced by small-scale producers and workers, this individuated multistakeholder process gives outsized power to a few powerful corporations that control food, agricultural and capital markets. The so-called Scientific Group of the UNFSS impoverishes the scientific basis for responsible policy making: it advances narrow, corporate backed narratives and excludes diverse forms of knowledge and areas of expertise such as agroecology, indigenous knowledge and human rights. The lack of adequate Conflict of Interest safeguards in the Summit processes has allowed corporate-driven coalitions to position themselves as agents for implementing public policies with public resources, but without the accountability mechanisms, mandates and transparency standards of public institutions.

We will not accept this top-down, non-transparent and unequal process of deliberations that has resulted in corporate friendly “Coalitions of Action.” The capital-intensive, proprietary technologies and products proposed as “game changing solutions” will be ecologically destructive, deepen extractivism, colonialism, patriarchy and inequality, and open up more areas for corporate expansion and control.

The failure of the UNFSS governance structure has been laid bare, as many ‘stakeholders’ are walking away from the process and no political consensus has been reached among UN member states for truly transformative pathways forward to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda. In this context we find it unacceptable that the UNFSS, as a non-normative process with an illegitimate governance structure, is attempting to infringe on and undermine the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), which is an intergovernmental system, and the foremost and most inclusive UN multilateral body for food governance, with the authority and legitimacy to lead food system dialogues and policy-making. The UNFSS does not have this authority and violates the CFS’s mandate and reform statutes. We demand that the inclusive vision and processes of the CFS be recognized and strengthened. We also remind UN leadership that the UNFSS has no mandate or legitimacy beyond September 23rd, 2021, and we urge our governments to defend multilateralism, and rights-based and participatory policy-making, as established by CFS member states regarding the rules of participation of civil society organizations and social movements.

Food sovereignty for food system transformation

The struggle for sustainable, just and healthy food systems cannot be unhooked from the realities of the peoples whose rights, knowledge and livelihoods have gone unrecognized and disrespected. We have the viable solutions to address the systemic problems in our food systems. As we have demanded in our People’s Autonomous Response to the UN Food Systems Summit, the transformation of food systems must be ecological and socially transformative, putting forward a feminist vision of equality and justice. Since 1996, social movements and civil society have been building a global movement and community-based processes of governance around the vision of food sovereignty, based on agroecology, and the rights and aspirations of small-scale food producers, workers, indigenous peoples, women, youth and rural-urban communities.

In this 25th year anniversary of food sovereignty, we reaffirm our unity and commitment to push for radically transformative strategies which recognize peoples’ needs, accord dignity, respect nature, put people above profits, resist corporate capture, and work collectively towards a fair and decent food system for all.

Source: CSM: Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism

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La Via Campesina: The UN Food Systems Summit is hogwash. It is a threat to peoples’ food sovereignty

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La Via Campesina’s Press Statement | September 22nd 2021, Harare:

La Via Campesina is among scores of other social movements of organized small-scale food producers, workers and indigenous people boycotting the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), slated to take place in New York – September 23rd, 2021. Peoples’ movements are united in condemning the illegitimacy of this ‘summit’ and in denouncing the attempt by transnational corporations to usurp the institutional spaces within the United Nations.

Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM) that comprise social movements including La Via Campesina has pointed out that the pre-summit events held in July are now erecting parallel governance structures. UNFSS is undermining the existing institutions and multilateral bodies responsible for developing global policy frameworks for food and agriculture. Several member states are left wondering what this Summit intends to achieve and whether its outcomes would be binding upon developing national policy frameworks. It will override the existing institutions such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and forebodes a corporate takeover of the global food governance.

For sure, the global food systems must undergo a radical overhaul. Rising hunger, ecological harm from food production, including deforestation, soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, decimated fisheries, polluted waters, growing rural poverty, the continued repression of peasant and indigenous movements worldwide, displacement and climate crises – all point to the need for urgent transformation. The demand to transform the global food system and skew it in favour of small-scale food producers has been a long-standing one, stated first during the Civil Society Forum in Rome in 1996.

Yet when the Secretary-General of the United Nations announced two years ago that a Food Systems Summit (FSS) would be held in late 2021, the news was puzzling. Why did the Secretary-General initiate this food summit in partnership with the World Economic Forum – a private sector body – when the FAO hosted all the previous editions after specific mandates from the Members States? To leave no further doubt about the corporate interests driving the Food System Summit, the Special Envoy appointed for the Summit, Agnes Kalibata, is the president of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). This Gates/Rockefeller funded agency is pushing high input, high tech agriculture and GMO seeds. Founded in 2006, this Alliance has worked in 13 African countries to increase productivity for 30 million smallholder farming households by encouraging industrial farming adoption. Despite AGRA’s promises of doubling crop productivity and incomes while halving food insecurity by 2020, backed by billions of donor dollars, it has been unable to provide documentation of delivering on these goals. AGRA’s failures on the continent and Ms Kalibata’s apparent conflicts of interest in her role as UNFSS Special Envoy resulted in broad resistance from social movements and civil society.

The farce of ‘inclusiveness.’

The Summit organizers follow a multi-stakeholder approach as against a multilateral arrangement. Multilateral Summits, based on human rights, with transparent decision-making processes and accountability mechanisms, are meant to prioritize the voices of rights-holders and hold governments responsible for upholding those rights. But this “UN Food Systems Summit” is based on the idea of “multi-stakeholder” – treating all stakeholders as equal, without considering power imbalances or their position in the system. This fiction of equality leaves the powerful both unchallenged and unaccountable, hiding or ignoring any conflicts of interest. By conflating private corporate interests with the public interest, it overrides and erases the latter. To advertise “inclusiveness”, it has proliferated a dizzying array of platforms, dialogues, consultations, committees, documents and forums for participation. Private citizens and governments are being drawn into these processes. Some of these are open, but many are for invited participants, bypassing and undermining autonomous, democratic organizations while favouring hand-picked individuals. The entire process lacks transparency and legitimacy. Who is making decisions? On what grounds? Who is accountable? To whom?

The guise of progressive language

In July this year, La Via Campesina was among the members of the CSM that co-organized counter mobilizations – to call out the unacceptability that has come to define this year’s food systems summit. A wide variety of attendees came together and catalyzed and amplified a counter-narrative to the official proceedings. With critical articles and pieces published in major media outlets, and several thousands of #FoodSystems4People posts on social media seen by potentially 10 million users, the counter-mobilization succeeded in reaching a broad public with its vision for genuine transformation of unsustainable food systems.

This organized resistance rattled the organizers of the official Summit. In response, they have now ramped up the use of progressive language (“sustainability”, “nature-positive-solutions”, “planetary boundaries”, “women’s empowerment”, etc.) and references to human rights in their documents. But the primary orientation of the FSS remains firmly rooted in the corporate interests that initiated it rather than the demands and rights of people producing food and those most impacted by current food systems. It continues to confirm a narrow range of scientific partisans data while ignoring the traditional and experiential knowledge of small-scale farmers, indigenous, peasant, and rural peoples. Digitalization, genetic modification, precision agriculture, and other chemical-, capital-, and fossil fuel-heavy approaches are taking centre stage because these so-called solutions are the most profitable to corporations (at the expense of the environment and farmers’ livelihoods).

As the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food notes, “Intensive industrial agriculture relies on high-input, high-output agricultural systems, dominated by large-scale specialized farms. Ever since Governments started adopting the Green Revolution in the 1950s, the world’s food systems have been increasingly designed along industrial models, the idea being that if people can purchase industrial inputs – synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and carbon-reliant machines – then they can produce a large amount of food. Productivity was not measured in terms of human and environmental health, but exclusively in terms of commodity output and economic growth.”

Unfortunately, the UN Food Systems Summit ignores all these warnings and continues to bat for an intensive corporate-led agricultural model that masquerades as “solutions”.

Forebodings of a new global governance structure?

This Summit attacks from the front and will undermine existing global policymaking spaces and institutions like FAO and the CFS. Instead, it erects a parallel architecture to suit agribusiness interests. The Summit organizers are now encouraging stakeholders to form “coalitions of action” to implement “solutions”. Governments are encouraged to develop “national pathways” with stakeholder coalitions, many of which will inevitably be dominated by those who can afford to fund them. Middle and Low-income countries are vulnerable to entering “coalitions” with investors and philanthrocapitalists, such as the Gates Foundation, to carve out “national pathways” profitable for their coalition partners.

The resistance to this parallel structure is coming from within the official Summit too. In her resignation letter (dated August 25/21), Dr Kristy Buckley, Chair of the UNFSS Governance Action Area, derided the attempts to view the global food governance “through the lens of innovation, finance, technology and data, with no regard to human rights, gender, and Indigenous Peoples”. Her statement is a vindication of what social movements have been warning for a long time.

The real solution to climate crises, hunger, distress migration and extreme poverty lies with the people. It must emerge from the principles of food sovereignty and social justice. It must recognize food as a fundamental human right and not as a commodity for speculative trade. It must respect the diverse agroecological small-scale food systems that exist in our territories.

The “UN Food Systems Summit” of 2021 is an anti-thesis to these principles and threatens peoples’ food sovereignty. La Via Campesina will not remain silent. The UNFSS has no mandate, legitimacy, or authority to extend beyond September 23rd, 2021. We must prevent the Summit’s corporate affiliates from further embedding the multi-stakeholder structure into the UN food and agriculture agencies. Throughout this week, La Via Campesina’s member organization will hold counter mobilizations in Asia, Africa and Europe. Our North American members and allies will be holding a virtual counter-summit on September 23rd to expose the real agenda behind this Summit while also presenting the elements of the radical transformation we seek in the global food systems.

Source: La Via Campesina

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Mobilized TV

Mobilized TV on Free Speech TV  takes a deep look at our world, the consequences of human activity on our planet, and how we can reverse and prevent existing and future crises from occurring. Mobilized reveals life on our planet as a system of systems which all work together for the optimal health of the whole. The show delves into deep conversations with change-makers so people can clearly take concerted actions.

Produced by Steven Jay and hosted by Jeff Van Treese.

Mobilized’s TV series Mobilized TV  premieres on Free Speech TV on Friday, October 15, 2021. All episodes appear:

Fridays 9:30 PM Eastern (USA/Canada)

Saturdays; 6:30 PM (Eastern USA/Canada)

Sundays: 8:30 AM Eastern (USA/Canada)

October 15, 16, 27
Many communities of native Americans have been subject to irreparable harm, and now there are some who are trying to indoctrinate them into their form of religion. We take a deep dive into conversation with Lakota Sioux Tribeswoman, Davidica Little Spotted Horse as she brings us up to speed of issues that should concern us all.

October 22, 23, 24
The overwhelming news being shoved down our throats on a daily basis is having a debilitating effect our our mental and emotional health. While many people seem to feel powerless, there are a lot of actions that people can take. Mobilized.news gives you a front row seat to the change that you can create in the world when we speak with Rob Moir, Executive Director of leading environmental organization, The Ocean River Institute.

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Architect Buckminster Fuller said “”Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. IF we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.” So how can builders, architects and people in the construction industries learn from nature’s design and create healthy living systems that actually work with the natural landscape and ecosystem instead of against it? Mobilized.news takes a deep dive in conversation with Nickson Otieno of Niko Green in Nairobi, Kenya.

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