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By Salena Tramel
March 19th, 2010
Last August, I stood in Haiti’s Artibonite valley with several peasant organizers and looked out at the mountains leading up to the Central Plateau. The older leaders in the group explained in depth how green the mountains once were, while the younger organizers and I listened in amazement. The tropical lime forests they described from their past were the antithesis of the sandy naked slopes we saw in the distance.
By Nikhil Aziz
March 14th, 2010
Cultures in different parts of our planet have long held rivers to be life-giving. Early human civilizations are even known by their connection to the river systems whose banks they arose from like the Indus-Ganga, the Nile and the Yangtze Kiang-Huang He. But today human actions and inaction have literally throttled our rivers through industrial pollution, mega dams, diversification, deforestation and the list goes on.... But people are fighting back -- especially those most directly impacted. In my home country India, numerous popular movements have emerged like the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA-Save the Narmada Movement) and the Ganga Mukti Andolan (GMA-Free the Ganga Movement).
February 2nd, 2010
Harmony Foundation releases new educational presentation, Troubled Waters
Harmony Foundation of Canada recently released a new educational presentation, entitled Troubled Waters. This 27 minute, narrated multimedia presentation examines freshwater issues of global importance and inspires local action through examples of grassroots leaders working to protect and conserve fresh water in communities around the world.
Grassroots International's program coordinator for Brazil &Mesoamerica, Saulo Araújo worked with the Harmony Foundation to helphighlight the One Million Cisterns Project in Brazil, begun with seed support by Grassroots International for its partner Pólo Sindical.
As the Climate Summit in Copenhagen plods onward, various so-called solutions to global warming are being tossed around: Alternative energy, Cap and Trade, adaptation and mitigation, and many more. It can be hard to make sense of them, and even more difficult to unpack the myths from the realities. Fortunately, Annie Leonard, who brought us “The Story of Stuff” offers a new video to explain the Story of Cap & Trade.
And, the answer is...350. That is 350 parts per million of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere, the upper limit for sustainability of life, human life anyway. The question, however, is why are more -- not less -- Americans not convinced about the dangers of global warming and climate change in 2009 than in 2006? A new poll by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press released yesterday, found some alarming downward trends. Only 35 percent of Americans see global warming as a serious problem, and about 57 percent believe there is solid evidence that the earth is getting warmer.
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), an independent international research and development organization, recently published a book that should be of interest to Grassroots International's supporters. Available free online, Towards Food Sovereignty: Reclaiming Autonomous Food Systems offers great analysis and links to video and audio files that show farmers, indigenous peoples and consumers all working to promote food sovereignty.
Throughout the world, social movements are the driving force behind a new food sovereignty policy framework, which aims to guarantee and protect people's space, ability and right to define their own models of production, food distribution and consumption patterns.
October 17th is marked as by the United Nations as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. At Grassroots International, we have been working with our partners for over 25 years towards achieving that goal. Clearly, a lot needs to be done to get us there.
Mamadou Goita, the Executive Director of the Institute for Research and the Promotion of Alternatives in Development (IRPAD) in Mali, was interviewed at the Salzburg Global Seminar by Susanna Thorpe, of WREN Media. IRPAD is a Grassroots International ally that works closely with our partner, the Via Campesina. Mamadou’s was a rare dissenting voice at the conference "Toward a 'Green Revolution' in Africa?" where top-down technocentric solutions dominated the discourse.
Here is the youtube video of Mamadou's interview:
Because we need just, equitable and not simply effective action on climate change – it’s not just about numbers but about just numbers. Because the rich countries are shifting the burden to the South – on the developing and least developed countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that have contributed the least to global warming. Because short-term economic interests are driving the negotiations – the considerable lobbying power of big oil, big coal, big agriculture, and other big corporations is out in full force ahead of the upcoming Copenhagen negotiations in December 2009. And because the people are not being heard – especially those who will be adversely affected
I spent the better part of last week crisscrossing Haiti’s arid Northwest with Grassroots International’s partner the National Congress of the Peasant’s Movement of Papay (MPNKP). MPNKP is best known to our allies and friends for their Creole Pig Repopulation project that we have supported for many years, and I was excited to follow up with families in far-off rural areas that our organization has not yet visited.
Throughout our time on the ground together, it became clear to me that it’s not just about the pigs—it’s about the organizing. The pig repopulation project represents this organizing.