Earth Day April 22, 2012

Earth Day: ADRA Celebrates Commitment to Maintain a Healthy World

SILVER SPRING, Md. – April 22 will mark Earth Day 2012, a day set aside each year to remind us of our responsibility to protect the rich resources available on our planet that sustain the lives of the world’s estimated 7 billion inhabitants. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency ( ADRA) remains committed to take care of earth’s natural resources, educating and training people to work with it in creative and beneficial ways.

“ADRA recognizes the importance of taking care of the environment and strives to implement environmentally-friendly practices in all of its activities,” said Jozimo Santos Rocha, Senior Technical Advisor for Agriculture and Economic Development for ADRA International.

ADRA understands that earth’s resources are essential in supporting people’s livelihoods, fostering that approach through agriculturally friendly projects. In Western Nepal, ADRA is using sustainable agro-based activities to fight against the effects of poverty, increasing food security, and promoting income diversification. ADRA is doing this by increasing income-generating capacities of women through agriculture-related entrepreneurial and vocational classes.

In response to chronic food insecurity and poverty in Ghana’s rural communities, ADRA implemented an integrated food security project using fruit trees that not only provide supplemental food, but in addition provide thick shade that protects the soil from desertification. Citrus, mango, and cashew trees were planted, intercropped with short-term annual staple crops, to provide immediate household food needs, and to enable long-term income generation over 30 years enabling credit repayment. ADRA’s approach to agroforestry, supported by capacity building and market linkages, offered numerous opportunities for sustainable rural livelihood enhancement and poverty reduction.

“Vulnerable farmers are more prone to harm the environment due to destructive agricultural practices. This is due to various reasons, amongst the most common are the imminent need to feed their hungry families, and a lack of knowledge about the environment,” explained Rocha. “Through training and project activities, ADRA not only teaches farmers how to improve their production, but to do so in an environmentally-friendly approach.”

This Earth Day, ADRA encourages everyone to get involved in preserving the natural resources in their own communities and look for ways to be better stewards of these finite resources.

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