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Investing in mental health will help us move forwards together

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an alarming effect on mental health. More so in developing countries as economic insecurity compounds the effects of lockdown. This is then magnified by grief, isolation, anxiety, absence of social support structures and the social stigma which sufferers experience. With 90% of people unable to get the mental health care they need in developing countries, access to psychosocial support was already limited, but social distancing has exasperated the situation. According to a report by Plan, 90 percent of girls and young women are experiencing higher levels of anxiety due to COVID-19.

Virtual mission to Southeast Asia – connecting minds for a sustainable future!

Between October and December 2020, representatives from Southeast Asia and the Netherlands will gather online to discuss how our countries can join forces to tackle societal challenges and secure a sustainable future for all. This virtual mission to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will focus on three sectors: agrifood, water and waste management.

Rotterzwam: coffee grounds for mushrooms

Who would have thought coffee grounds could be circular? In fact, they are ideal as a fertile substrate for growing oyster mushrooms. Rotterdam-based rotterzwam collects the coffee grounds from local pubs, large corporations and restaurants. They cultivate the mushrooms and sell the produce to customers in the Rotterdam area.

Happy livestock and efficient farming through artificial intelligence

Farmers play a crucial role in global food security, and now Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help them increase productivity with a happier herd. Meet IDA, the Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant.

Building with nature: Sand Motor

Deltas and low-lying coastal areas are constantly faced with threat of erosion and flooding from the sea. Over centuries, the Netherlands has learnt that the key is to work with nature by using the natural power of the sea. The Sand Motor is a prime example of nature-based solutions.

Global action vital for access to water and sanitation

To mark its 75th anniversary year, the UN launched a global consultation at the beginning of 2020 and recently published the results in a report The future we want, the United Nations we need. Among its findings is a loud and clear call to give immediate priority to improved access to safe water and sanitation (SDG 6).

Making clean shipping a global norm

If the world is to achieve the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal, it is crucial that the inland shipping and short-sea sectors substantially reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and do so fast. Within the Netherlands, freight transport represents almost a quarter of total national emissions, 5% of which comes from inland shipping. That is why, the Dutch national and provincial governments, port authorities, maritime associations, shipping and transport companies, banks and research institutes agreed to a Green Deal to help make clean shipping the global norm.