The term biodiversity (from “biological diversity”) refers to the
variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems,
and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural
processes that sustain life.

Want to take action on Biodiversity?

A few areas of focus that we tackle under biodiversity include: Adaptation, Afforestation, Agriculture, Agroforestry, Community Gardens, Composting, Coral Reefs, Deforestation, Desertification, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Indigenous Peoples, Invasive Species, Landcare, Oceans, Plantings, Pollination, Regenerative Agriculture, Resilience, Soil, Tree Planting, Water Ecosystems, Wind Power.


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How Environmental Changes Impact Peace

Topic: On this International Day of Peace Shab will lead us through some of the diversity of actions of our existence and how these create stresses that bring us into conflict with nature and each other. Then, how we as Rotarians are People of Action to bring peace and harmony into our world, using his wealth of experience from numerous peace and humanitarian projects.

Shab’s Bio: PDG Chehab ElAwar (Shab) was born in Lebanon. He migrated to the United States in 1978 where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a masters in structural engineering. He is married to Dr. Bricia, they have four grown children, all college graduates and five grandchildren. He is a private real estate investor, and a Rotarian since 1997.

He has served as Assistant Governor for two years, international and matching grant director, youth exchange officer for two years, polio chair for five years, Grant oversight committee and District Governor 2014-2015, Rotary International President representative 2015-2016. He has also served as District International service chair in 2006 thru 2008 and once again in 2016-2018. District Global grant chair, endowment fund, PETS Committee, GETS and KNATS committee and PETS board of directors. PDG Shab has also participated in over 400 Global Grants, has been on over 30 missions including NID Polio vaccination in Benin Africa. Foundation giving, member of AKS (ARCH Klumph Society) level four, Platinum Trustees Circle.

Out of the four million, 1.5 million is given to the peace center to sponsor one peace fellow each year. At club level, he has served as international chair, executive secretary, global grant chair. At the Rotary International level, he served as International Service Chair Champion, district resources network, and Cadre of Foundation Technical Support. He is a recipient of the Service Above Self Award from Rotary International. He also received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from The MANNA Foundation in 2017.

He was a beneficiary of one more Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Black Culture Foundation in 2018. He is on the Board of Directors for Rotary Action Group for Peace, Chairman for Global Council for Peace Ambassadors. Global grant chair for District 5300. Founder of the Group Rotaract for Peace, Rotaract World Peace Conference, World Peace Music Festival, SDG Choupal Kindness Ambassador. And Rotary International Committee to promote the Houston Convention.

Date and Time: next Tuesday September 21, 2021 – 2:00pm UTC (7:00am Las Vegas; 9:00am Evanston) PDG Shab ElAwar –. Zoom Registration:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Sewage Pollution of Rivers and Remediation

Topic: Many major rivers and other water bodies of the world are polluted. Their pollution is mainly caused by stormwater and municipal and industrial waste discharges from the villages, towns, and cities, runoff from agricultural fields, and acid rain. Voluntary organizations such as the River Cleanup, Rivers of the World Foundation, WASRAG and ESRAG of Rotary International, and many environmental groups and heads of governments around the world echo the concern for remediating the pollution of rivers. The efforts of these organizations are laudable. However, in general, their impact on remediating the pollution of all rivers, particularly in developing countries, is marginal. With the addition of Environment as the 7th area of focus of Rotary International, Rotarians are well suited to undertake projects to protect rivers from pollution. People living in the river basin areas of these countries can be motivated to derive immense benefits by preventing pollution of their rivers. This can be achieved by creating awareness about the benefits that they can derive by changing their behavior towards protecting them from pollution. In-situ technologies have been developed and implemented to protect rivers by remediating pollution caused by wastes. Examples of these will be presented along with how the application of the principles of circular economy to sewage treatment would yield benefits not only in terms of protecting receiving waters like streams and rivers, but also in yielding food and energy and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

Bio for Prakash

Dr. Prakash Tata is a member of The Rotary Club of Naperville, IL of District 6450. He is a member of the International Service Committee of his Club. He is a Life Member of WASRAG, and he is currently serving as the Chairman of the Central North America Region (Region 10) of ESRAG. He has been instrumental in implementing several Global Grant projects in India. He is a TRF Cadre member. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers University, NJ. In 1966, he worked in India for eight years on Rural Water Supply and Sanitation problems. He served on the faculties of Cornell University and Illinois Institute of Technology and subsequently retired as the Assistant Director and Head of the Environmental Monitoring and Research Division of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in 2002. He served on various committees of the Water Environment Federation. He also served as a consultant/advisor to various international organizations. He published more than 160 papers and reports, co-authored four books, and received many awards including two Life-time achievement awards and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is awarded to highly accomplished immigrants of the USA.

Date and Time: next Wednesday 22, 2021 2:00pm UTC (9:00am CDT Evanston)

Zoom Registration:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Biodiversity Task Force – Life on Earth


Our Agenda will be:

  • Zoom room opens 10 minute early for chat and to check connectivity.
  • 00-05 start, new introductions, and guests
  • 05-15 news and updates
  • 15-50 Presentation, questions, and Rotary service solutions
  • 50-60 other business and what’s next up :
  • 60-75 overtime?

Upcoming Meeting Schedule

Date Time UTC Time Local Presenter Topic Domain Focus
8-Sep-21 UTC 2:00pm 7:00am PDT Bryan Ingram Watershed Restoration Biodiversity-World Rivers Day #6
15-Sep-21 UTC 2:00pm 5:00pm EAT Dr Gavin Reynolds UN Adopt-a-River: Valuing Water Pollution-World Rivers Day #7
22-Sep-21 UTC 2:00pm 9:00am CDT Dr Prakasam Tata Wastewater and Rivers Pollution-World Rivers Day #8

Life on Earth

ESRAG launched a Task Force to bring together the “Life on Earth” activities of ESRAG into one cohesive unit. This Biodiversity Task Force covers four great realms that can be visualized in the adjacent diagram.

  1. Biodiversity of Life : seeking to slow and stop further loss of species
  2. Ecosystem Restoration : seeking to restore ecosystem services of the web of life
  3. Sustainable Production : seeking to produce and harvest resources efficiently
  4. Environmental Resilience: seeking to establish a sustainable balance between humans and biodiversity

Biodiversity Task Force Mission

In keeping with the mission for all Rotary Action Groups, the mission of ESRAG’s Biodiversity Task Force is to explore the different avenues of service that are available to the Rotary Family, and specifically to be engaged with projects for Supporting the Environment.

The three primary actions are to:

  1. PROVIDE EDUCATION: we need to provide the best understanding of nature, the best management practices for sustainability, and the best interrelationship between humanity and the life on Earth that supports our daily existence.
  2. BUILD PARTNERSHIPS and SPONSORSHIPS: there is a multitude of organizations at all levels of society that are actively engaged in supporting “Life on Earth”, some will be our collaborators and cooperators, others will seek our volunteer support, and others will be seeking to support us.  The opportunities are endless.
  3. TRACK OUR PROGRESS: In ESRAG we call this Project Impact Reporting (PIR). This is not only the place to showcase our Rotary Action stories but also to monitor our progress on Effective Conservation, asking the question “How well are we doing?” and being able to have an evidence-based answer.


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