By Nicola Bullard with Gopal Dayaneni
September 16th, 2009
By Nikhil Aziz
June 25th, 2009
Grassroots International's friends at the Global Development & Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University announced their award of the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought to Bina Agarwal of Delhi University, India. Agarwal is an early pioneer of research and advocacy on gender and land rights, which many of Grassroots' partners have been fighting for in the field.
Ravi Rebbapragada Receives National leadership Award
Ravi Rebbapragada, coordinator of Mines, Minerals & Peoples-India (MM&P), received the National leadership Award - 2008 for Community Service and Social Upliftment. MM&P is a growing alliance of communities, individuals and institutions who are concerned and affected by mining, and a grant recipient of Grassroots International through the Global Activist Fund.
Below is a press release from MM&P describing the honor:
June 12, 2009
Ravi Rebbapragada Receives National leadership Award for Social Service from Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari
"The cascading series of events now known as the world food crisis started in Mexico as the 'tortilla war' in January 2007. It then flared up in Italy as the 'spaghetti strike' nine months later. Later it became an unstoppable avalanche ... La Vía Campesina believes that this crisis is the result of decades of destructive policies: pressure from international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to decrease investment in small-scale food production through structural adjustment programs; increasing the power of transnational corporations; financial speculation; and more recently, governments' support for the frantic escalation in the production of agro-fuels."
Since 1996 April 17 has been declared by La Via Campesina "International Day of Peasants' Struggles." This day commemorates the slaughter by the Brazilian police of 19 peasants of the landless movement (MST) while they mobilized to get access to some land. Thirteen years later, the struggle for recognition of peasant rights remains a priority of the Via Campesina, one of Grassroots International's partners.
According to the Via Campesina's press release,
The opening day of the World Water Forum (WWF) in Istanbul was emblematic of the undemocratic and unaccountable nature of the WWF. The WWF, like the World Economic Forum, is a virtual country club. Dominated by multinational corporations like Veolia and Suez, international financial institutions like the World Bank, and governments, it is run by an unelected body, the World Water Council (WWC), which charges exorbitant entry fees and goes further to silence opposition by nefarious means.
On February 23, Grassroots International partner, the Via Campesina met with representatives of the United Nations in New York City to discuss ways to address the chronic problems faced by peasant communities around the globe.
The growing violation of resources rights of peasants by development policies - especially mega-projects whose main goal is to speed up the extraction and export of resources for corporate profits - is an issue that demands immediate attention.
It has become clear that the numerous crises we face today are a result of disastrous global governance formulas that try to accommodate powerful interests, instead of addressing the real issues.
And these formulas are getting old. Discredited in the public eye, global institutions led by a handful of nations, and dominated by corporate agendas, are losing ground.
In 2006 Grassroots International received a report from the Social Network for Justice and Human Rights (Rede Social), one of our Brazilian partners, about rapid expansion of agrofuels production based on large scale plantation-style cultivation of sugar cane for ethanol. We also heard from them about massive expansion of soy plantations and U.S.