Sunday, July 21, 2019
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Climate change affects us all and we all need to do our part to create better, healthier, more sustainable environments. In an effort to be more conscious of our carbon output, GVI will be accessing all of our bases and implementing systems, big and small, to help reduce our carbon footprint.

The Challenge

GVI supports communities and conservation initiatives all around the world and to do so relies on a network of volunteer bases, and offices. GVI sends over 2000 international volunteers to these locations every year. Through The GVI Trust, GVI aims to reduce the carbon footprint of their volunteer projects by reducing the carbon emissions required to run both bases and offices. To do so GVI will use both renewable technologies and sustainable and environmentally friendly behaviour to enable this transition.

The Solution

The solutions involved in this transition will be multi-faceted and each location will have different requirements. Solutions will be designed based on available resources, project goals and community needs. GVI has various existing projects designed to help ensure more sustainable lifestyles for communities and volunteers – through initiatives that promote recycling, rainwater collection and local agriculture. In 2016 we will focus on  creating a 100% carbon neutral base in Toruguero National Park, Costa Rica where GVI runs a scientific research base that supports local conservation initiatives.

For the last 3 months, we have had very little progress on the Jalova Carbon project. The main reason for this is a slowing down in incoming funds. When more funding becomes available we will continue with our plans to make the base in the heart of the Tortuguero National Park, carbon neutral, sustainable and be able to use it as a blueprint for other GVI bases.

GVI has a number of bases in remote and pristine locations that would benefit from being upgraded to become carbon neutral. For example, we work in a national park in Limpopo South Africa, on a largely uninhabited island in Seychelles and in a marine reserve in Mexico and Fiji. All of these bases, although very rustic, would benefit from being overhauled to become more environmentally friendly.

As soon as we have funding available, we are going to be making the following changes in Jalova:

Water Treatment

Currently, the wastewater from the base is drained and seeps into the sand that is located only 100 metres away. In order to mitigate this, we have a plan to build bio-gardens. The bio-gardens will work as a filter for the grey- waters, treating it before it is filtered back into the ground.

Solid Waste Disposal

The solid waste is divided into organic (composting and non-composting) and inorganic (recyclable and non-recyclable) waste.  We need to improve our compost area and create a better storage system in order to keep the animals away from the waste while we are waiting for it to be moved off the base.

We hope to be able to bring you a more positive update next time.

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