HSBC Mexico’s “Adopt A Potter” Program Takes On Urgency After Earthquake

HSBC launched a unique “Adopt A Potter” program in support of Pure Earth’s work to reduce lead poisoning from the widespread use of traditional leaded pottery in Mexico.

Under the program, corporate volunteers visit artisans who have made their practices lead-free in order to see how their pottery workshops are run. The volunteers subsequently work in teams to develop a strategy for the artisans, providing assistance in sales, marketing, finance, administration and other business skills required to grow the lead-free business.

However, prior to this meeting, an earthquake struck which resulted in the loss of community member lives as well as damage to pottery workshops.

In response, HSBC volunteers brought relief supplies to the community. In addition, the volunteers decided to continue with the “Adopt A Potter” program.

In October, one month after the earthquake, volunteers packed a bus and headed to Tlayacapan, Mexico. The volunteers visited several workshops, where they watched the potters work. The volunteers also aided with some repairs to the buildings damaged by the earthquake.

The collaboration is expected to continue as the artisans and volunteers work together to promote lead-free pottery.

From the Pollution Blog: HSCBC Mexico’s “Adopt A Potter” Program Takes On Urgency After Earthquake

Barro Aprobado In New York – Helping Mexican Lead-Free Artisans Reach A Wider Market

A team comprising of a group of artisans from Michoacán in Mexico travelled to New York to showcase their lead-free pottery at one of NY Now. This is one of the largest trade shows in the country where buyers come to scout for products that fill store shelves nationwide. Pure Earth’s Barro Aprobado program is to promote lead-free pottery and to create a demand for it. This is partly achieved by expanding the market for it through NY Now.

Some of the potters from Michoacán, Mexico

Retdes, a small non-profit working with the potters, reached out to Pure Earth last year when they needed assistance in assessing the effect of lead use in the Michoacán artisan community. In response, Daniel Estrada , Pure Earth’s program director in Mexico, travelled to Michoacán to assess the extent of lead contamination in the community.

Homes, play yards, pottery workshops, food storage areas, and other areas were tested for lead. Children tested for lead in Michoacán had blood lead levels as high as 65 µg/dL (the U.S. level of concern is 5 µg/dL, although there is no safe level of lead).

The Pure Earth team then returned to remediate three workshops in Michoacán and continues to lend a hand. To date, two of Retdes’ artisans have joined Pure Earth’s Barro Aprobado promgram, and we expect more to follow

From the Pollution Blog: Barro Aprobado In New York – Helping Mexican Lead-Free Artisans Reach A Wider Market

Restoration of Rainforest Stripped By Gold Mining in the Amazon

Replanting work in progress

This project is focused on the restoration of rainforest in the Madre Dios region of Peru, a hotbed of ecological and economic riches.

First Application of Mining Restoration Plan: Pure Earth partnered with CINCIA (Amazon Center of Scientific Innovation) to ecologically restore the Paolita II Mining Concession of Madre de Dios during December 2017.  Plant species were first selected based on their ecological and economic potential. The plants we re chosen using prior knowledge from previous pilot studies conducted by CINCIA. Nine different species were eventually chosen for restoration. Many species were chosen for their various uses. For instance, the Huito tree was chosen as it can be utilized as timber but can also provide local indigenous populations with temporary tattoo dye, ointment and medicine. The project team, which included seven university students from CINCIA dispersed more than 4000 kl (kiloliter) of compost and planted 4,166 seedlings. In March 2018, the team will add 744 additional seedlings to reinforce initial growth.

The Pure Earth Paolita II plantation will function as a model and training center to help future stakeholders responsibly close mines without leaving behind a legacy of social and environmental degradation.

From the Pollution Blog: Restoring Rainforest Stripped By Gold Mining in the Amazon