May 6, 2013. Source: African Women’s Development Fund
We the undersigned participants at a strategic meeting on Women’s Economic Empowerment and Livelihoods, held in Cape Town on 3-4 May under the auspices of the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), wish to communicate the following key messages from our deliberations to the World Economic Forum-Africa meeting “Delivering on Africa’s Promise”, 8-10 May 2013
We welcome the new positive image of “Africa Rising,” and stand proud of the achievements of the continent’s women and men against overwhelming odds. As partners in the efforts to ensure that Africa’s growth is sustainable and is in the interest of the continent and its peoples, we wish to bring to the attention of this meeting, the following concerns in the hopes that they will form a part of the deliberations:
We remain sceptical that real progress for Africa’s one billion people—the majority of whom are women–will change radically through policies centred unremittingly on markets and profits, and based predominantly on the extraction of mineral resources. African people’s needs and interests—particularly those of women—are not part of this narrow economic vision. As African women, we are only too aware that:
By Oliver Kelly Dean, May 6, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry
Photo: VSmithUK on Flickr
In late March 2013 it was announced that ‘the government of Tanzania is establishing a corridor of 1,500 sq Km for both public and international interests’. The “international interests” are the United Arab Emirate’s Otterlo Business Corporation Ltd (OBC) that plans to use the land for big game hunting. The purpose of this project has been introduced under the noble banner of “conservation” but in reality the plan is for the land to be used to create yet another location for rich Arabs to hunt big game. Putting aside the obviously disgusting sport of hunting animals: the forced eviction of the Maasai people from their own land is defined as a crime against humanity and ethnic cleansing by both United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). This collaboration of east-African governments and corporate colonialists that is sweeping the continent – as foreign empires did previously – must not continue to be permitted.
Since 1992, the Maasai in Loliondo (Northern Tanzania) have been fighting to prevent their land from being stolen and used by members of the United Arab Emirate’s (UAE) royal family. Now OBC, with co-operation of the Tanzanian government, are taking a further 600 square miles of land to establish a wildlife corridor for “conservation” purposes. The proposal is, that by taking this land from the Maasai and banning them from using it for cattle grazing, it will allow wilder beast to roam freely between wildlife reserves. However, this is simply a misdirection in order to try and get the public and NGO’s on side. Continue reading
May 8, 2013. Source: Indigenous Environmental Network
Indigenous Peoples and allies from Chiapas and the Amazon protest California REDD in Sacramento in front of the capital building, after a California Air Resources Board hearing where they testified on the adverse impacts that the possible inclusion of REDD was already having on communities. October 18, 2012. Photo: Jeff Conant/Friends of the Earth-US
From Africa to the Amazon, from Chiapas to Siberia, global civil society is raising an international outcry to resoundingly reject California’s proposed forest offset scam called REDD, which would let climate criminals like Chevron and Shell off the hook, cause human rights abuses and worsen global warming. May 7, 2013, was the last day for public comments on the draft California REDD Offset Working Group recommendations regarding linking California’s cap-and-trade program with a program to supposedly reduce deforestation in Chiapas and Acre, Brazil.
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32, is posed to include REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a false solution to climate change, whereby California polluters could use the forests of Chiapas, Mexico and the Brazilian Amazon as sponges for their pollution instead of reducing greenhouse emissions at home. California REDD is considered a model for the world and if launched will probably be replicated both nationally and internationally.
“The global movement against REDD has been born!” cried Susannah, a delighted volunteer with the No REDD Group Initiative as she tallied letters from all over the world to California Governor Jerry Brown and the California Air Resources Board demanding that REDD be immediately stopped in its tracks. “The world is uniting against California REDD because it may unlock an avalanche of REDD-type projects around the world.” Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By Chris Lang, April 25 2013. Source: REDD-Monitor
On Earth Day, 22 April 2013, Oilwatch International put out a statement opposing the inclusion of REDD in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32). Meanwhile, Wildlife Works, a company developing REDD projects in Africa held a “REDD talks” workshop in California, promoting REDD as a carbon trading mechanism.
The positions expressed by Oilwatch and Wildlife Works are at polar extremes in the REDD debate. Oilwatch states that “REDD allows polluters to keep polluting and global warming to get worse.” Wildlife Works tells us that REDD “provides an immediate solution to combatting climate change.”
But as Oilwatch points out, carbon trading allows Shell, one of the most polluting companies on the planet, to buy forest carbon credits and continue burning fossil fuels and emitting pollution. Obviously, this is not a solution to climate change. Continue reading
Filed under Africa, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Oil, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: Join Global Justice Ecology Project, the Dogwood Alliance, Earth First! and the STOP Genetically Engineered Trees Campaign from May 26-June 1st in Asheville, NC as we tell the GE trees industry NO WAY to plantation of GE trees for biofuels. Visit: treebiotech2013.org and view the call to action here.
-The GJEP Team
April 24, 2013. Source: Global Justice Ecology Project
In conjunction with an action in London today outside of the Drax power plant, organisations and networks from around the world released an Open Letter expressing opposition to plans by UK utility Drax to burn nearly 16 million tonnes of mostly imported biomass (wood), in a coal power station.
Drax is one of several European companies converting older power stations from burning coal to burning wood pellets or pellets combined with coal (“cofiring”). US and Canadian energy companies are also investing in biomass power stations and co-firing of coal with wood. This trend, supported by renewable energy policies, is establishing massive new demand and international trade in wood pellets, and represents a huge additional threat to forests, biodiversity, climate and communities.
Lacking forest resources to meet their own demand, European energy companies like Drax seek to import pellets especially from the southeastern US and British Columbia, Canada. In the longer term, they plan to invest in pellets made from industrial tree plantations in South America and/or Africa.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Greenwashing, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean
By Joe Hitchon, April 18 2013. Source: Inter Press Service
Nigerian widow Esther Kiobel, a plaintiff in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, cries as she speaks outside the Supreme Court in October 2012.
Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit against the Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum Company brought by alleged human rights victims.
The ruling, which was handed down Wednesday, is seen as a serious setback for the Ogoni community in the Niger Delta, who alleged gross human rights abuses during the mid-1990s by the military government in power at the time.
In addition, the decision essentially cuts off the U.S. courts system from those attempting to redress wrongs allegedly committed by multinational companies, particularly in developing countries.
In the widely watched Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Petroleum case, the victims had accused the oil company of being complicit in the crimes against them, including torture, extrajudicial killings, rape and crimes against humanity. Continue reading
April 16 2013. Source: La Via Campesina
Small-scale farmers and their allies are celebrating the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle tomorrow, 17th of April 2013, organizing hundreds of actions and demonstrations all over the globe. This event commemorates the massacre of 19 landless farmers demanding access to land and justice in 1996 in Brazil (1).
A full list of actions, ranging from university lectures and workshops to the occupation of land and government institutions is available on the website www.viacampesina.org. Amap of actions will also be updated on a daily basis.
The international farmers’ movement La Via Campesina is mobilizing this year by continuing to oppose the current international offensive by some States and large corporations to grab land from farmers, women and men, who have been cultivating it for centuries. We are also opposing the commercialization of nature and the Commons, which is something that is leading to a massive dispossession of people who are simply living on the land. Farmers, be they men or women are particularly affected.
This day of day action is taking place in the year when La Via Campesina’s is celebrating its 20th anniversary. To launch the next 20 years of struggle, we are calling for a massive day of mobilization on 17th April, to reclaim our food systems that are being increasingly occupied by transnational capital. It is also happening few months before LVC convenes its 6th International Conference that will be held in June, in Jakarta Indonesia. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration
April 3 2013. Source: African Center for Biodiversity
Civil society organisations from the South African Development Community (SADC) region, and around the world have condemned the SADC draft
Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights) as spelling disaster for
small farmers and food security in the region. These groups, representing millions of farmers in Africa
and around the world have submitted their concerns to the SADC Secretariat. They are calling for the
rejection of the Protocol and urgent consultations with farmers, farmer movements and civil society
before it’s too late.
According to the groups, the Protocol is inflexible, restrictive and imposes a “one-size-fits-all” plant
variety protection (PVP) system on all SADC countries irrespective of the nature of agricultural systems,
social and economic development. It is modelled after the 1991 International Convention for the
Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991), an instrument which was developed by industrialized
countries to address their own needs. UPOV 1991 grants extremely strong intellectual property right
protection to plant breeders, and disallows farmers from continuing their customary practices of freely
using, exchanging and selling farm-saved seeds.
According to Moses Shaha, regional chairman for the East and Southern African small-scale Farmers’ Forum
(ESAFF): “The proposed legislation gives big-business breeders significant rights, but in doing so,
disregards and marginalizes small farmers and their plant varieties. It fails to recognize that
small-scale farmers and their customary practices of freely exchanging and re-using seed for multiple
purposes, constitute the backbone of SADC’s agricultural farming systems.”