By Jorge Barrera, April 15, 2014. Source: APTN News
People round dance around burning tires on the highway during demonstration last fall against SWN Resources Canada’s shale gas exploration work. Photo: APTN/File
Another round of battles loom between the Mi’kmaq in New Brunswick and a Houston-headquartered energy firm exploring for shale gas deposits in the province.
SWN Resources Canada has submitted two proposals under the province’s environmental impact assessment process to drill exploratory wells in separate parts of New Brunswick. The projects were registered with the provincial environment department on Monday, according to an official.
The company plans to drill one well in Chipman, which is in central New Brunswick, and a second well near Richibucto, which is in an area that saw intense demonstrations against shale gas exploration last autumn.
The Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog is only about 17 kilometres west of Richibucto and its War Chief John Levi said SWN should again expect resistance.
“We are just getting ready to go back out there and stop them. It’s going to be rough,” said Levi. “It ain’t no game. This is our livelihood that is at stake. We are not going to allow it. It’s like they are trying to kill us slowly.” Continue reading
April 15, 2014. Source: Idle No More
TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013.
Last year, TransCanada announced their intention to build a 4,500 km pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, already devastating many Indigenous communities, to New Brunswick, where communities like Elsipogtog had to fight to stop dangerous fracking last year.
A group of concerned Indigenous activists recently met in Winnipeg to discuss how Indigenous Peoples across Canada could work together to stop this pipeline (watch them on APTN here).
This pipeline passes through major cities including Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Montreal, but also through the territory of over 150 Indigenous communities.Mi’qmaq women took action against the #EnergyEast pipeline proposal and shut down the Maritime Energy Association meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 31, with the support of hundreds of young peoples who were converging for the PowerShift Atlantic conference. Check out the photos here and read their press release here. Continue reading
By Saroja Coelho, April 15, 2014. Source: Deutsche Welle
Brazil is one of the most dangerous places for environmental activists worldwide. Photo: Global Witness
Competition for access to natural resources is intensifying as the global population grows and consumer waste forces up demand. This has placed enormous pressure on the world’s forests and other natural areas. A battle has broken out between conservationists and corporations with competing interests.
Rights group Global Witness has been monitoring the violence and in a new report, they reveal that nearly a thousand people have been killed in the past decade. Oliver Courtney, a senior campaigner with Global Witness, discussed his findings with DW.
DW: Where are we seeing an increase in violence?
Oliver Courtney: This is a global problem. But Latin America and Asia Pacific are two regions particularly hard hit by this problem.
Why are people being attacked?
Ordinary people are coming into conflict when they oppose the sale or taking of their land for large scale natural resource projects. The key drivers are the expansion of industrial logging trade, land grabs by agribusiness and mining projects.
We are seeing deals being done behind closed doors. Large scale resource deals for land that belongs to local people or that people have lived on for generations. This land is being taken off them without their consent, without consulting them. When they object, they are forcibly ejected from their land – often with fatal consequences, as we are seeing here. Continue reading
April 14, 2014. Source: African Press Agency
Over nine thousand farmers and pastoralist in St. Louis in the north of Senegal are facing possible evictions from their land as multi-national agro-industries scramble for agricultural land in the region. Speaking to the African Press Agency on Sunday, Fulani cattle herders of the local community in Ross Bethio accused Senhuile â€“ Sénéthanol, an Italian multinational company of encroaching on their grazing and farm lands.
They claimed that more than 37 villages are currently deprived of their land thanks to activities by the company which is based in St. Louis.
The local population said they have lost over twenty six thousand hectares, leaving them without the means to continue herding cattle and farming their lands.
“We prefer to die than to allow our land to be taken away by a foreign company. We shall not succumb to this new form of colonization” said Gorgui Sow, a member of the youth platform in Ndiael local community to fight the “illegal occupation”. Continue reading
By John Ahni Schertow, April 14, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry
Leaders of the Unist’ot’en resistance camp held a press conference in Vancouver on April 7, 2014 in response to leaked information that the Provincial government is preparing an injunction against the camp. The camp is in Wet’suwet’en territory in northern BC on the route of the Pacific Trail fracked gas pipeline.
Premier Christie Clark has staked her political future on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, more accurately called liquefied fracked gas or LFG. But pipelines from the fracking fields in the province’s north-east must pass through unceded Indigenous territory on the way to the coast. They therefore require the free, prior and informed consent of the people of those lands; consent they do not have and will not receive from the Unist’ot’en and the other Wet’suwet’en hereditary clans.
“While the elected leadership of some Indian bands have signed agreements regarding the Pacific Trail Pipeline, Wet’suwet’en hereditary clans have jurisdiction over their territories” says Freda Huson “The Unist’ot’en are standing up for our territory, and protecting Mother Earth on a global scale by keeping fracked gas in the ground.” Continue reading
April 8, 2014. Source: La Via Campesina
Image: La Via Campesina
This year we dedicate the 17th of April, international day of peasant struggles, to the defense of seeds. Seeds are an essential basis for achieving food sovereignty because almost everything in agriculture depends on them: What we can plant and how it is grown; the quality and nutrition of our food, our ability to account for different tastes and cultural preferences; and also the wellbeing of our communities, our ecosystems and the planet. In this article we explain why this implies not so much the defense of seeds as such but especially the defense of peasant seeds—that is, seeds that remain in the hands of the peasant and family farmers of the world. We also give some examples of how we are carrying out this defense among the organizations in the 73 countries that make up La Vía Campesina.
The seeds used in agriculture are different from those that exist in non-cultivated nature. Until several thousand years ago the enormous diversity of peasant varieties of rice, potatoes, cabbages or barley did not exist as such. The richness of our nutrition today is based on the knowledge, practices, visions and needs of the peasant communities around the world that created them in the first place. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
April 10, 2014. Source: Biofuelwatch
Campaigners have awarded the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) the “Biomess Award” after coming out on top of an online poll coinciding with a major biomass industry conference in London, with Drax and the Green Investment Bank coming a close second and third place, respectively.
The award for forest destruction was given at an alternative awards ceremony held last night outside a gala dinner for delegates. After a last-minute change of venue the dinner took place at the conference venue, Grange St Paul’s Hotel. More than 40 people held banners reading: “Big Biomass Fuels: Deforestation, Landgrabbing & Climate Change” and “Big Biomass Is Greenwash not Renewable Energy”.
Biofuelwatch Campaigner Duncan Law, who hosted the satirical awards ceremony, said:
The people have spoken, and as far as they’re concerned DECC are the biggest biomass baddie. Through their outrageous support for the biomass industry they have fuelled a new market for burning wood, and rewarded irresponsible companies such as Drax and their pellet suppliers Enviva for clearing ancient forests and pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
By Vincent MacIsaac, April 6, 2014. Source: South China Morning Post
Myanmar farmers are far from happy with their lot. Photo: AFP
Myanmar’s swift economic development has been marked by the rise of a new class of political dissidents: the ploughing protesters.
They are farmers and activists angry that developers have snatched away farmland, rights groups say.
Five farmers were arrested on January 2 for trespassing on land they had been farming for decades – the day after President Thein Sein announced on national radio that all of Myanmar’s political prisoners had been freed, said Nay Myo Zin, a former military captain who runs the Yangon-based charity Myanmar Social Development Network.
The farmers had staged a ploughing protest, tilling land – some with oxen – that had been theirs until it was confiscated by an agribusiness, the men’s relatives said.
By Robin Llewellyn, April 9, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry
All photos by Robin Llewellyn
The controversial Barro Blanco dam project will face another challenge today when the Cacica Silvia Carrera presents a demand of unconstitutionality before Panama’s Supreme Court of Justice regarding Law 18, passed on March 26, 2013.
With Article 127 of the Panamanian Constitution protecting collective ownership of lands and prohibiting private ownership of indigenous territories, Law 18 was rushed into place by President Ricardo Martinelli to allow the legal appropriation of collective lands, particularly lands held by the Ngäbe communities of Nuevo Palomar, Kiad, and Quebrada Caña. All three communities face land seizures as a result of the dam’s construction.
Genisa, the Panamanian company developing Barro Blanco, initially argued that no land within the Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca would be affected by the 28.85 MW dam project; but then claimed that the indigenous communities had consented to the dispossession of their territories. The project has been approved by the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, and is supported by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Dutch state development bank FMO, and the German development bank DEG.
By Beverly Bell, April 2, 2014. Source: The Nation
Members of a Lenca indigenous community protest against the planned construction of a dam in Honduras. Photo: AP Photo/Edgard Garrido
“Screw the company trying to take our river, and the government. If I die, I’m going to die defending life.” So said María Santos Dominguez, a member of the Indigenous Council of the Lenca community of Rio Blanco, Honduras.
April 1 marks one year since the Rio Blanco community began a human barricade that has so far stopped a corporation from constructing a dam that would privatize and destroy the sacred Gualcarque River. Adults and children have successfully blocked the road to the river with their bodies, a stick-and-wire fence and a trench. Only one of many communities fighting dams across Honduras, the families of Rio Blanco stand out for their tenacity and for the violence unleashed upon them.
The Honduran-owned, internationally backed DESA Corporation has teamed up with US-funded Honduran soldiers and police, private guards and paid assassins to try to break the opposition. Throughout the past year, they have killed, shot, maimed, kidnapped and threatened the residents of Rio Blanco. The head of DESA, David Castillo, is a West Point graduate. He also served as former assistant to the director of military intelligence and maintains close ties with the Honduran Armed Forces.