WORLD RAINFOREST MOVEMENT
Monthly Bulletin – Issue 185 – December 2012
OUR VIEWPOINT: In confronting the climate crisis, what rights should hold precedence?
THE FOCUS OF THIS ISSUE: HUMAN RIGHTS
Peasants: Holders of rights
A new United Nations resolution implies complete recognition of peasant communities and other rural workers as holders of human rights that must be defended. The resolution represents a landmark victory in the peasant movement struggle against marginalization, extreme poverty, forced evictions, and criminalization when they take action to defend their rights to their land and territory and fight back not only against the appropriation and destruction of ecosystems but also the violation of their human rights as peasants.
MEGAPROJECTS, DEFORESTATION AND VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS: CASES AND DENOUNCES FROM THE SOUTH
- Brazil: Belo Monte, an illegal and immoral hydroelectric dam project that violates numerous rights
There are 53 legal actions pending against the Belo Monte project for various irregularities; the social, environmental and indigenous population-related conditions established to minimize its impacts have not been fulfilled; deforestation rates in the region have reached record highs, as have rates of violence and homicide and the cost of living for the local population; health care, education, sanitation, security and other basic services in the region have collapsed. Dozens of civil society organizations from throughout Brazil and abroad are calling on the Brazilian justice system to deal with the many legal actions filed against Belo Monte.
- Honduras: Bajo Aguán – Cry for the Land: New video denounces rights violations under the exploitative oil palm plantation model
In the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras, the oil palm plantation industry violates human rights in the broadest sense: it concentrates land ownership, displaces local populations, criminalizes and violently represses social protest, and denies the most basic rights to thousands of organized peasant families.
- Chile: Mapuche communities reclaim ancestral lands stolen by tree plantation companies
A total of 60 families from Lafkenche Mapuche communities have initiated a process for the recovery of 2,000 hectares of their ancestral land, which was being illegally occupied by the plantation company Forestal Mininco, a branch of one of the most powerful business groups in Chile.
PEOPLES IN ACTION
Filed under Actions / Protest, Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Forests and Climate Change, Biodiversity, Latin America-Caribbean, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Land Grabs, Commons, Africa, Commodification of Life, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Forests
6 December 2012. Source: Via Campesina
World Social Forum on Migrations, Manila, Philippines:
We have seen climate change related phenomena with intensity never seen before, like Hurricane Sandy, in many parts of the world in the past year. We no longer have the luxury of time as incidents of increasingly severe storms, floods, droughts, disruption of water cycles and other similar events are becoming the “new normal” for many countries. It is also becoming apparent that climate change is instigating more forced migration, and will create more climate refugees. An estimated 200 million people could be displaced by climate change by 2050. In 2010 alone, it was estimated that more than 30 million people were forcibly displaced by environmental and weather-related disasters across Asia and this number will continue to rise. Climate change has also been wreaking havoc on crops and farmlands, worsening the already growing food crisis and pushing even more people into hunger.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Events, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration
LONDON (UK), November 30, 2012 – Major farmland investors such as banks and pension funds must stop facilitating land grabs, say civil society groups  on the eve of a global farmland investment conference in London on 3-5 December. 
Banks and pension funds are increasingly engaging in large-scale acquisitions of land with extremely damaging consequences for local populations. The London conference will bring together funds with more than USD3 trillion in assets to explore opportunities for investments in Africa, Latin America and Russia.
The civil society groups are warning that pension funds and banks attending the conference, for instance Deutsche Bank, must ensure they do not fund risky investments that threaten the livelihoods and food sovereignty of countless local communities.
Filed under Africa, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Commons, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute each Tuesday and a weekly Earth Watch interview each Thursday.
This week’s Earth Minute addresses the UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar, and why many climate justice organizations have decided not to attend this year’s climate conference, and are organizing with social movements and communities instead.
Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Doha/COP-18, Earth Audio podcasts / MP3s, Earth Minute, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Geoengineering, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Oil, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Synthetic Biology, UNFCCC
Source: New America Media, August 8, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO—A large majority of California’s adult African Americans and Latinos want the state government to start reducing greenhouse gases and emissions immediately rather than wait for the economy and the jobs picture to improve, a new statewide survey found.
With the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond the day before providing a note of urgency, the Public Policy Institute of California on Tuesday released the survey, “Californians and the Environment” at a briefing held by New America Media.
Among ethnic groups surveyed, Latinos and African Americans show the most support for immediate state action against global warming, 74 percent and 55 percent respectively, while non-Latino whites and Asians agreed at a rate of 46 percent and 45 percent respectively.
And despite economic difficulties, minority communities also show overwhelming support for the law requiring the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by the year 2020.
By Imara Jones, July 31 2012. Source: Colorlines
Old industrial area in Dalian, China. Dalian has become an attractive location for outsourcing. Photo: China Photos/Getty Images
News this month from two seemingly unrelated crises—one environmental and the other employment-related—are working in tandem to make a powerful point: our Holy Grail obsession with economic growth at any cost endangers the planet, widens both racial and income inequality, and increases human suffering.
Our growth-centrism is animated by misguided assumptions. Left unaltered, they will make life on this planet, particularly for the marginalized and less well off, ever more unbearable and unsustainable. That’s why we must transform them.
The core problem is that the very formula used to determine prosperity, gross domestic product, or GDP, embeds dangerous misconceptions into every facet of economic life.
August 9-12 – Thursday-Sunday
Wheelock Mountain Farm
Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
This Direct Action Camp will bring together radical organizers and activists from northeastern US & Canada to build a Northeast climate justice movement that challenges false solutions to the climate crisis including upcoming regional infrastructure projects like the Trailbreaker Pipeline, the North Plan & the Northern Pass transmission lines, as well as destructive projects like biomass electricity plants. Together, we will develop our understanding of the historical context of direct action in the Northeast and the skills needed to plan & execute non-violent direct action as part of a successful strategic campaign.
Workshops will include Action Climbing, Blockading, Media and Messaging Strategy, Legal/Know Your Rights, Security Culture, Banner Drops, and much more!
Please register here
to reserve your space in the camp. We have a limited number of spots available.
We hope to see you there!
Note: At the same time that Rio+20 Earth Summit participants were wringing their hands over what to do about the destruction of the Earth’s life support systems, Indigenous Peoples in Brazil were taking direct action to stop the devastation of their homeland for a massive dam project being built to power aluminum smelting.
–The GJEP Team
By Ahni Jun 28, 2012
Cross-Posted from Intercontinental Cry
Hundreds of Indigenous Peoples from the Xingu River Basin have occupied a Belo Monte Dam construction site on Pimental Island in the Xingu River in Pará, Brazil.
The protest began on June 21st, just a few short days after the Xingu+23 anniversary gathering came to a close. The gathering, which ran parallel to the Rio+20 Summit, marked the first major victory against the Belo Monte Dam since 1989.
Initially the protest was led by a group of about 150 Xikrin Peoples; but after successfully managing to paralyze work at the construction site, the group was joined by representatives from the Juruna, Araweté, Assurini and Parakanã.
Interview with Ta’kaia Blaney, 11-year-old indigenous activist from the Sliammon nation, and Jeff Conant of Global Justice Ecology Project on KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show, June 20, 2012.
Global Justice Ecology Project partners with Margaret Prescod and the Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Segment interviews every Thursday–as well as daily interviews during international gatherings such as the Peoples’ Summit in Rio.
On June 16, as part of the Rio+ 20 Peoples’ Summit, organizers in Rio de Janeiro organized a “toxic tour” of communities in the city overburdened by industrial pollution and associated health and social problems. In the videos that follow, two members of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance share their impressions from the tour.
Naeema Muhammed tells of her visit to the community of Santa Cruz.
Lottie Spady of East Michigan Environmental Action Council speaks about the toxic burdens faced by marginalized communities in Detroit and in Brazil.
Throughout the week, Climate Connections will be posting short videos of participants in Rio+20 Earth Summit and the alternative Peoples’ Summit.