Mirna Ines Fernández Pradel is 27 years old and she cares for the environment and is passionate about protecting it.
Mirna, who lives in Bolivia, became a Girl Guide when she was just six and it’s a movement that’s inspired her to stand up for what she believes in. That’s why she’s determined to make the fight against climate change a priority.
“In Bolivia, there are many ecosystems and people depend on them to survive. Unfortunately, the impact climate change is having on the ecosystem is being felt most by the poorest
communities who are finding it the hardest to deal with,” says Mirna Ines Fernández Pradel, 27, from Bolivia.
The issue of c limate change now affects every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives. It’s costing people, communities and countries a great
deal. Unless measures are put in place, the situation will only get worse – and it will affect girls disproportionately.
Among the poorest communities, girls are most vulnerable.
Mirna says, “Girls often have to drop out of school to take care of their siblings and to do the housework. As the effects of
climate change worsen, it’s the girls who will have to shift activities to help their communities. This means they might have to drop out of school to help address issues associated with
climate change, such as collecting water or becoming farmers to help families make ends meet, leaving them more vulnerable to early marriage.”
Having grown up in Bolivia, Mirna knows the difficulties girls face. She became part of the Bolivian Girl Guides Association when she was six. Now, she’s a leader and, as part of her
role, she is focusing on the Global Goal 13: Climate Action, and campaigning to ensure change happens.
Launched a year ago, the Global Goals are a series of ambitious targets to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change for everyone, and it’s a notion that’s at the forefront of
“We can use the Global Goals to push decision-makers to move towards the change the planet needs, so the current challenges we are facing can be addressed,” says Mirna. “They
also bring hope, reminding us it is possible to reach a consensus over all the intercultural and political differences.”
A committed campaigner, Mirna is also educating her fellow Girl Guides about why climate change needs to be tackled, through a range of non-formal education programmes.
“I want to influence as many people as possible to care about biodiversity related issues. At a grassroots level, I want to keep motivating my Girl Guides to work on environmental issues. At a national and global level, I want to network with young people from different regions focusing on biodiversity, as well as bringing solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Her campaign work is going well and it’s clear girls in Bolivia are passionate about the topic.
“The group of Girl Guides who want to learn more about the environment is increasing. At the beginning I was the only one in my group working on environmental issues, now there are many more who want to learn about it.”
As well as pursuing a Masters in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Mirna has also represented the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) at a range of
high-level conferences, including the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
“For a young woman’s voice to be heard at these high-level conferences is a life-changing experience and it’s a responsibility we all take very seriously,” she says.
“It’s crucial girls and young women’s voices are heard. Empowering them through education and decent job opportunities means more resilient communities will be created, ensuring the coming generations will be aware and capable of how to build a better future.”
The Girl Guide and Girl Scout movement has been integral to Mirna’s journey, helping her to shape her values and beliefs.
“I owe a lot of my values, including the environmental ones, to the Girl Guiding Movement. My commitment towards nature comes from the outdoor activities I enjoyed as a Girl Guide. Being a Girl Guide leader helped me understand some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as poverty, sustainability and inequality, while I was able to develop my knowledge on environmental issues thanks to the non-formal education program,” says Mirna.
“Finally, my best friends, young women that I admire a lot, come from the movement, and I am still able to work with them. Now, as we come together to mark International Day of the Girl, it’s important to realise our full potential and to recognise that we don’t need to wait to grow up to make a big differences in the world. Change can happen now.”
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .