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[SDGs] Three main principles of the SDGs and firewood

There are three main principles of the SDGs

  1. Leave no one behind.

  2. Get involved in the fundamentals.

  3. And don't just do the good stuff (no cherry-picking).

Let's think about this in the context of deforestation in Ethiopia, which I photographed about 10 years ago. Let's focus on the people first. Who is doing what? On the right there is a woman and a child carrying firewood on their backs. On the left side, we see a man in a white shirt walking slowly.

Now let's focus on the surroundings. If you look around, you will see a bald mountain. Analyzing this background with what I noticed with the subject, the bald mountains caused by deforestation are related to women and children carrying firewood. Many people in Africa still use firewood as fuel for cooking. And in many parts of Africa and Asia, picking firewood is a job for women and children, not for men. If we just try to make this easy for men to pick up firewood, we cannot make men ask firewood job, because some women shame that their husbands are on the edge of picking up firewood. Even if you try to stop deforestation, if you don't solve the basic problem of "no cheap energy for cooking", you will be overloaded somewhere and other problems may occur. For example, when I was in Malawi a few years ago researching renewable energy like we did here in Ethiopia, I heard a news story about a clash between a group of people who were running a firewood picking business in a national park and the police who were guarding the park. It was resulting in the death of the police officer.

This shows that we must tackle not only the issues of gender and deforestation, but also the lack of cheap cooking fuel.

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