Water Rights

Today is World Food Day!

Today is World Food Day!

World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16 – the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. World Food Day raises awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger. This year's theme for World Food Day is "Achieving food security in times of crisis."

A critical issue related to food and agriculture that is finally gaining more attention is climate change. Industrial agriculture contributes significantly to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions.

Amigo, Can You Spare a BTU?

Chances are, the average U.S. resident has no idea that their demand for electricity might require that a Mexican village be flooded for a hydroelectric dam. The question is: if the human cost were known, would we consume just a little bit less?

At Grassroots International, our bet is that a little bit of knowledge would go a long way.  For those who value human rights, that high social and environmental cost is not likely to sit right.

Our unabashedly biased perspective is based upon the way we’ve worked for more than a quarter century: offering financial support to communities around the world whose natural resources have been extracted and despoiled and sharing their stories in living rooms, community centers and across cyberspace.

Why Do We Need a Global Climate Justice Movement?

 
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

Growing hope and fighting hunger on the Gaza Strip

This is the time of year when gardeners start to reap their rewards—fruits and vegetables that make for a healthy feast. But for the people of Gaza, gardens produce a serving of self-sufficiency, too.

Urban gardens usually bring to mind savvy urbanites indulging in an organic lifestyle—witness Michelle Obama and her model urban garden at the White House. Although urban gardens in the West may not be a total indulgence—Ms.

Building a Movement, Haitian Style

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.
    

Honduras: Crisis of Democracy & Human Rights

Last April my colleague Saulo Araujo (Program Coordinator for Brazil & Mesoamerica) and I visited Honduras. What impressed us the most was the strength and vibrancy of social movements, like our partners the Via Campesina (Central America) and COCOCH (the Honduran Coordinating Council of Peasant Organizations), and our allies like COPINH (Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras) and OFRANEH (Honduran Black Fraternal Organization). And especially the strong and resilient women in the forefront of struggle. Afro-Hondurans like Leoncia and Wendy, Lencas like Pasqualita, and Mestizo women like Analina and Berta 

At a candidates forum convened by the Via every single presidential candidate attended.

14 Brazilian Activists Freed After Protesting Mega-Dam Project

Our colleagues in the Brazilian Movement of People Displaced by Dams (MAB) just sent some wonderful news that I want to share with you. After a week of intense work gathering support from Brazilian and international organizations, 14 MAB members are now free, although another four still remain in jail.

The original group of 18 activists was arrested for demonstrating on behalf of families displaced by the Tucuruí Dam in the Amazon region. The group of peasant families called on the Brazilian government to stop the mega-dam project and instead provide infrastructure projects--such as roads, schools and health clinics--and to open lines of credit for agriculture and fishing farming.

Two new reports available from Other Worlds Are Possible collaborative

Two new reports are available from Other Worlds, a multi-media education and organizing collaborative.

People's Water Forum -- Declaration of Istanbul

Last month I was in Istanbul to participate in the People's Water Forum that was being held simultaneously with (and challenging) the World Water Forum. The latter is organized by water corporations through their front, the World Water Council, and with the support of multilateral financial organizations like the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.