Healing Land to Restore Soil, Preserve Culture, Reverse Warming
THETFORD, Vermont — August 6, 2016 — Soil4Climate is pleased to announce a partnership with Ildalalekutuk Maasai Action for Development (IMAD), a Kenyan grassroots organization. Through this partnership, the two groups agree to collaborate on research and outreach to empower the Maasai people in Kajiado Central district of Kenya to manage their land to improve soil health and capture atmospheric carbon.
IMAD is also establishing a chapter of Soil4Climate, Soil4Climate-Kenya, to connect members of the local community who wish to learn together about soil as a climate solution and to participate in this ambitious ecological restoration effort.
Dalmas Tiampati, founder and director of IMAD, stated, “The Maasai are a proud herding people whose way of life is threatened by desertification and climate change. We are pleased to work with Soil4Climate to spread awareness of how the Maasai people can preserve our culture while being leaders in the global effort to restore savanna grasslands and reverse global warming.”
Seth Itzkan, co-founder of Soil4Climate, said, “This cooperative relationship with IMAD presents a wonderful and exciting opportunity to further our mission of advocating for soil carbon sequestration. As indigenous livestock herders managing their animals in ways that enhance food security and help to reverse global warming, the Maasai people can be recognized as climate heroes.”
IMAD was created to lead community-based efforts to identify viable long-term solutions to chronic problems of water scarcity, food insecurity, climate change, soil degradation, severe drought, and massive loss of livestock in order to foster sustainable livelihoods. Its vision is to promote a self-reliant, socially-just, environmentally-conscious, and prosperous Maasai society.
Soil4Climate advocates for regenerative cropping and grazing practices to heal land, improve soil fertility, prevent flooding, return flow to dried-up rivers, restore wildlife habitat, and revitalize rural economies while sequestering excess atmospheric carbon. Membership in the Soil4Climate Facebook group includes ~2700 scientists, farmers, policymakers, journalists, and concerned global citizens. Dalmas Tiampati serves on the Soil4Climate Advisory Board.
Ildalalekutuk Maasai Action for Development
Chorale Performance of Soil4Climate Anthem “Brand New Sky”
THETFORD, Vermont — August 1, 2016 — Highlighting the talents of the multigenerational Family Folk Chorale and the songwriting skills of Cambridge-based musician, Kevin O’Connor, Soil4Climate today released the video and choral arrangements for its anthem “Brand New Sky,” and is encouraging other musicians and choral directors to add the song to their repertoires.
On June 18, 2016, “Brand New Sky,” extolling soil as a climate solution, was first performed in a choral arrangement in front of a live audience at Piccadilly Farms in Winchester, New Hampshire.
“Our song ‘Brand New Sky’ brings the hopeful message about soil to the climate movement,” said Seth Itzkan, co-founder of Soil4Climate and contributor to the song. He continued, “One of the lines from the song, ‘Where there was once nothing to see, now there is life all around me,’ refers to my observation of ecological restoration in Africa. When we heal the land, we heal the climate.
Chris Eastburn, who, as artistic director for the Family Folk Chorale, created the choral arrangement for “Brand New Sky,” commented, “It’s a song that’s poignant and meaningful right now especially in terms of building consciousness around climate change and looking for climate solutions… The song speaks of something very important. It’s nice to bring a whole host of voices to that from across the generations.”
Gwendolyn Atwood, a singer as well as a parent of a child singer in the Family Folk Chorale, observed, “I really loved the experience of … looking over at the kids and seeing them knowing that they’re part of something, and that their optimism and hopefulness is well placed… If we get ourselves in synchrony and harmony with each other and with all the microbiology in the soil, we can actually fly right through [global warming].”
Alison Houghton, another singer with the Family Folk Chorale, noted, “This song has a huge capacity for hope and … the lyrics are catchy. We can use more songs that bring hope into various places, and this song definitely does that.”
Cambridge-based musician Kevin O’Connor, principal song composer remarked, “It was a rewarding experience to express in music an important issue. I hope this song inspires people to take up the challenge.”
A video of the June 18th Family Folk Chorale performance
A video of children from the Creative Minds after school program in White River Junction, Vermont, singing the song at an Earth Day rally
A studio recording sung by Boston-area musician Leigh Meunier
An instrumental-only version
Sheet Music for Choral
Lyrics and chords-only are available
Information on the Family Folk Chorale
Information on singer, songwriter Kevin O’Connor
Soil4Climate is a Vermont-based nonprofit advocating for soil as a climate solution. Information can be found at soil4climate.org. Join its Facebook group atfacebook.com/groups/soil4climate.
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