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Dec 17, 2009

Time wasting and empty promises

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 17, 2009 05:50 PM
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This morning members of Climate Justice Now, briefing the Klimaforum on the sate of the talks, were joined by Cristian Dominguez, a member of the Bolivian negotiating team. At the climate talks Hilary Clinton proposed a $100 billion fund for climate change but, as ever, the devil's in the details.

Ricardo Navarro from Friends of the Earth El Salvador opened proceedings at the Klimaforum by talking about the expulsion of the Friends of the Earth International delegation from observing the talks and how the people who represent the millions of affected people around the world are being denied a voice.


Today only two people from Friends of the Earth International were allowed into the conference centre where the talks are taking place.


On the talks Karen Orenstein from Friends of the Earth US said:


"The blame game is now beginning for who will be responsible for the no solution."


Friends of the Earth International believes that rich countries are squarely to blame for the lack of any meaningful progress made so far.


Cristian Dominguez from the Bolivian negotiating team at the climate conference told the audience what it was like on the inside for developing countries:


"They don't want to talk about the Kyoto Treaty so they delay. Last night we stayed until 2am and achieved nothing."


He said the politicians of the developing countries were focusing on the past and unwilling to change, "they are like robots of the capitalist system."


"We have faith that Evo Morales [the Bolivian President] won't sign a document that goes against humanity, against Mother Earth" he concluded.

the climate fund

Most of the politicians and heads of state attending the summit have now arrived in Copenhagen and are making announcements on how they propose to move forward.


Today US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced a $100 billion climate fund. However, she did not say how much the US would contribute to this amount that falls far short of what the United Nations say is needed.

Read the press release

Dec 16, 2009

False solutions: how to resist them and promote alternatives

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 16, 2009 06:10 AM
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The common theme than ran through today's talks was false solutions to climate change. Schemes such as REDD - a carbon offsetting mechanism - and carbon capture and storage are being put forward as credible ways to cut carbon emissions. These talks proved the opposite.

gas-flare-4The first talk explored the false solutions being promoted in the name of tackling climate change including the role of the World Bank, carbon offsetting, monoculture tree plantations and agrofuels.


The speakers included Camila Morena from Friends of the Earth Brazil and Nnimmo Bassey from Friends of the Earth Nigeria and the Chair of Friends of the Earth International.


Camila looked at REDD as a false solution.


"The Amazon covers 49% of Brazil and Amazon deforestation accounts for 48% of the deforestation taking place at the moment, four times the rate of Indonesia - the second deforester" she said.


REDD, which stands for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries, will mean that forests are incorporated into carbon markets.


Put simply, a factory in Europe can offset their emissions by buying credits on the carbon market and as a result a landowner in the Amazon will be paid not to cut down a hectare of trees. The way the mechanism is set up though could also mean that deforestation actually increases under the scheme. It is flawed in many ways.


Camila said there was "tsunami of investment in REDD projects in Brazil at the moment" and said that big agribusiness, who are the owners of most of this land - not peasant farmers as we are led to believe, who are cutting down the rain forest to plant soy are now being rewarded for not deforesting the Amazon anymore.


"We are paying the kings of deforestation not to chop down our forests" she said.


In the climate talks Friends of the Earth are demanding that forests are kept out of carbon markets, that plantations are entirely excluded and land rights are enforced as the basis of any forest policy.

Find out more about REDD


Nnimmo Bassey talked about gas flaring in his country.


Gas flaring takes place when the the associated gasses that occur when oil is extracted from the ground are burnt straight into the atmosphere. This is what Shell and other companies do in the Niger Delta, often in the middle of communities, twenty-four hours a day. Not only are huge quantities of CO2 pumped into the air but also toxins that have had devastating effects on the surrounding communities.


For decades oil companies have broken the law by illegally flaring, saying it's very difficult to stop. Now the clean development mechanism (CDM) has come along, another false solution, and Shell are looking to stop these illegal flares and claim money for doing so under the pretext of reducing their carbon emissions.


Nnimmo put this question to the audience:


"If I were a bank robber and I decide to rob only one bank a day instead of ten should I be given an award? This is what is now happening as oil companies turn to carbon development mechanisms."

Find out more about gas flaring


a future without fossil fuels

In another room George Monbiot, an environmentalist from the UK, also addressed false solutions and looked at the huge levels of investment that would be needed to continue down the road of fossil fuels.


He dismissed the notion that we'll soon be at peak oil and once that runs out we will naturally progress to renewables because we will have no choice.


"The problem we're facing is not too little fossil fuels, it's too much" he said.


He explained that as fossil fuels become harder to reach, more and more money will be needed to extract them. In the case of coal there is plenty in the far reaches of Siberia and the North Sea bed. The problem is getting it.


He conceded that the path to renewables is an expensive one - around $4.2 trillion he'd calculated - and will totally change our consumption patterns but the path to our continued reliance on fossil fuel would also cost around the same amount just to continue with business as usual.


As he sees it, there are two options:


"We spend trillions on securing fossils fuels for the next generation an adapt to the the disastrous consequences, or we can invest the same amount in renewables that will last forever."


I know which one I would choose.


Find out more -


Dec 15, 2009

Carbon, capture and storage - a new solution or another problem?

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 15, 2009 10:30 PM
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A study compiled by a Danish Professor, presented at the Klimaforum09, exposed carbon capture and storage (CCS), where the carbon emitted by coal fired power stations is stored underground, as a false solution to climate change.

ccs-talkThe event was hosted by Friends of the Earth Denmark in collaboration with Brian Vad Mathiesen, an assistant Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark. The Professor looked objectively at the case for and against CCS.

Firstly, Palle Bendsen informed us that the technology won't be ready until at least 2020 and not on a large scale until 2030. It's worth bearing in mind that 2020 is the date that countries are committing themselves to achieve large emissions reductions.

The Professor's presentation revealed some fascinating facts about CCS that never seem be raised by the people promoting this 'solution'.

Around 40% more coal will need to be burned just to enable the carbon dioxide to be captured and stored,

There are also added social impacts with CCS. In addition to the negative impacts of coal on the local population, there will now also be an impact on the people who live on land slated for the captured carbon facility. They will have to be evicted.

Professor Mathiesen said: "In Denmark at the moment a community of farmers need to be relocated to make way for a storage facility. They don't want to go and so the project has been delayed due as a result of their appeals."

At least in Denmark there is the benefit of an appeal. This can't be guaranteed for projects being developed elsewhere.

And finally, the money. It is estimated that a coal fired power station with carbon capture storage will take fifty years to achieve a return on investment.

With these stark facts laid out CCS clearly has to be exposed as a totally false solution to climate change.

Find out everything you need to know about carbon capture and storage

Dec 13, 2009

video: The Flood for climate justice

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 13, 2009 01:10 PM
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On Saturday, December 12 2009, more than 5000 people flooded the streets of Copenhagen demanding climate justice and an end to offsetting carbon emissions.

View another video here from the Danish Climate Movement

Dec 11, 2009

Video: FoE US on Democracy Now!

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 11, 2009 06:55 PM
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Kate Horner from Friends of the Earth US provides analysis of the climate negotiations on Democracy Now!

Call on the US to pay their climate debt

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 11, 2009 03:16 PM
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Todd Stern, the US Special Envoy for Climate Change doesn't think rich nations owe a climate debt.


Speaking at a press conference about the USA's role in creating climate change he said:

"The sense of guilt or culpability or reparations, I just categorically reject that."

Instead he wants the poorest subsistence farmer in Africa to have the same responsibility for tackling climate change as an American with a
private jet.

With President Obama, the US has a unique opportunity to take the lead on tackling climate change. But Stern is threatening Obama's chances.

Call on Todd Stern to think again

Dec 10, 2009

Failed promises and a call for stronger emissions targets

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 10, 2009 12:05 PM
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Day three of the climate conference saw FoEI call for 40% cuts in EU emissions and our Chair Nnimmo Bassey releasing a statement urging President Obama to rethink his administrations approach to the climate talks on the eve of him receiving his Nobel prize in Oslo

Wednesday was a busy day all round for FoEI. The launch of our 40% report in the morning was followed by a 'target action' where Young Friends of the Earth walked the halls of the conference centre holding up large red targets calling for a commitment to emissions reductions of 40 percent without using any offsets (see video above).


Later the media team released a statement from our Chair Nnimmo Bassey directed at President Obama, who will be in Norway on Thursday (11th Dec) collecting his Nobel prize. The prize was awarded for the President's 'vision for a better future and his ability to inspire hope that bold change is possible'.


In the words of Nnimmo:


"We congratulate him on this honor, but he has not kept true to the vision he articulated during his campaign....he pledged to solve climate change, but the United States is now playing a harmful role on the global stage."

Interview with Rafael Flores from the Bolivian delegation

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 10, 2009 12:47 PM
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Rafael Flores from the Bolivian delegation talks about the commitment of the Bolivian government in calling for climate justice in Copenhagen.

Oct 08, 2009

Video blogging from Bangkok climate negotiations

by PhilLee — last modified Oct 08, 2009 02:05 PM
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International climate change negotiations are underway in Bangkok, Thailand. Karen Orenstein and Kate Horner from Friends of the Earth US are there following the developments and reporting back.

Sep 23, 2009

A Call for World Wide Solidarity Against the Repression in Honduras

by PhilLee — last modified Sep 23, 2009 11:20 AM
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Friends of the Earth International statement on the return of the legitimate President of Honduras to the country.

Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) applauds the return to Honduras of its legitimate president, Manuel Zelaya, who has taken refuge in the Embassy of Brazil in Tegucigalpa. At the same time we note with grave concern the siege on the Brazilian Embassy and the increase in repression following the return of President Zelaya.


Friends of the Earth International denounces the gross human rights violations in Honduras perpetuated by the illegitimate government. This repression violates international norms and cannot be accepted under any circumstances.

The people of Honduras have stood firmly by their legitimate president and have not wavered since the day the unfortunate usurpation of power took place on 28 June 2009.

Friends of the Earth International calls on the international community to pressure the illegitimate authorities in Tegucigalpa to step aside for dialogue and for the completion of term of the legitimate president. Specifically, Friends of the Earth International calls on the Security Council of the United Nations to take immediate actions to stem the rise of violence in Honduras.

We also assure the peoples of Honduras of the continued support and solidarity of our 77 groups and 2 million members spread around the world.

Nnimmo Bassey
Chair, Friends of the Earth International



Sep 16, 2009

the age of stupid

by Krista Stryker — last modified Sep 16, 2009 05:25 PM
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Friends of the Earth International is proud to be associated with The Age of Stupid, director Franny Armstrong's new film illustrating the disastrous effects of climate change.

age-of-stupid-titleThe drama-documentary follows an old man living in the devastated world of 2055, asking himself the question, "why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?".  The incredibly provocative and powerful film has helped bring about important discussion around climate change ahead of the Copenhagen Summit in December of this year.


The premiere of The Age of Stupid will take place worldwide on September 21/22 for International Day of Climate Action and is expected to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous screening ever. 


Global support for the film is quickly bolstering, and celebrities and politicians are lined up to take part in the premiere across the globe.  The New York premiere alone will feature Kofi Annan, Gillian Anderson, Moby, The Age of Stupid's oscar-nominated star Pete Postlethwaite and filmmakers Franny Armstrong and Lizzie Gillett. 


Many other A-list celebrities will be arriving to the Big Apple premiere by sailing boat, bike, rickshaw, electric car or skateboard before walking down the green (not red!) carpet, and Radiohead's Thom Yorke is scheduled to play a song for the global audience via satellite linkup.

There will be a global digital screening of The Age of Stupid plus highlights from the New York premiere on September 22nd at 19:00 (CEST). 


For information about where the film will be showing in your country, go to The Age of Stupid website.

Aug 31, 2009

Join the youth climate movement

by PhilLee — last modified Aug 31, 2009 12:34 PM
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The Young Friends of the Earth Climate project is for young people from all over Europe who are ready to take climate action and demand climate justice for the people and the planet from our governments.

2009 is the pivotal year for climate change. In December the worlds’ governments will meet in Copenhagen to negotiate measures to stop climate change. Act Now!



If your are young (age 18 – 29), motivated and believe that our time has come to act, we invite you to join one of the four regional youth climate conferences that Young Friends of the Earth are organizing all over Europe.


From October 8 – 11, Act Now conferences will take place in Berlin, Toulouse, Malmo and – from Oct. 15 to 18 – in Dublin.


To apply, go to


At these European youth climate conferences, you, and more than 200 young Europeans will learn the latest news about climate change and the status of international climate politics, discuss with elected politicians and be trained how to run climate actions, do media work and motivate more young people to join the movement.


Finally, you will find out how to come to Copenhagen in December and we will jointly plan peaceful yet powerful actions to influence this crucial climate change conference.



To apply for one of the four conferences go to


Applications for all four conferences are open until September 10th.

Jul 29, 2009

Donate to the Honduras Solidarity Fund

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 29, 2009 05:10 PM
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People in Honduras need your support. Please make a donation to help Friends of the Earth Honduras protect people's rights.

The Honduran people continue to risk their lives and livelihoods demonstrating in support of democracy in Honduras.





Jul 05, 2009

The people need soil not oil!

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 05, 2009 05:55 PM

Ahead of the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, the alternative G8 summit is taking place in Sardinia. Nnimmo Bassey Chair of Friends of the Earth International is there.

Today the debate is on the Crisis of Civilization and Research for new Paradigms. The day began with a presentation by Roberto Espinoza of the Coordination of Native Andean Organisations. He spoke about the recent resistance in Peru and noted that some of the underlying factors were the privatization of land for agrofuels production as well as moves in the destructive mining sector. The people resisted because their livelihood was being made impossible by the pollution of their waters, land and air. 6000 communities were affected and half of these have their coastline impacted by mining. He mentioned also that oil corporations have appropriated up to 15 million hectares of forest area for their activities.

Roberto stressed that the struggle of the people is not for a mere of government but for a fundamental constitutional review to defend the collective rights of the peoples’.

Speaking further on the subject of today’s debate, he said that the multiple crises the world is faced with today go beyond being a crisis of neo-liberalism. According to him, this is a crisis of civilization with soft words such as climate change being used to describe its manifestations. Man has gradually been separated from nature and consumerism is driving humanity towards destruction. He noted that oil and mining remove the soil on which the peoples depend and that the people need soil not oil!

Human wellbeing cannot be constructed on increased consumption and competition but on solidarity. Everything cannot be a commodity. Commodification leads to expropriation and control. We must defend our diversity in every sphere.

A commentator from Italy noted that what the nation (Italy) was facing is a challenge of democracy and that this is the case with other European nations. He agreed with Roberto that cultural, social and other crises all affect the peoples’ way of life and builds uncertainties and uneasiness. This uneasiness creates fears and tensions and does not create a path for the future. What is needed is a joint project that would pool resources together to effect a radical change in the way we do things. This new path must lead away from free trade, which dissipates nature. This new path must help the people recover their sovereignty from market forces.

He called for cultural change and a new discussion of the very concept of modernity. This must include the recovery of the imagination in a lifestyle that recognises human interdependency with nature.

Another high point of today’s debate was the contribution of the mayor of Iglesias. He captured the multiple crises as one of identity. He rooted his contribution to the historical realities of colonialism and neo-colonialism in Sardinia within the Italian context.

According to the mayor, the local people had over the years got to depend on what they are told was right for them rather than discovering their own realities for themselves. He regretted that today, our world views are framed by what we see on television and unfortunately the medium is largely controlled by those whose desire is to keep us under their control!

The major talked about how an agriculturally prosperous region had their livelihoods disrupted by promises of a better life through mining. While they moved to the mines all they got in return was polluted environments, health problems and a rapacious appropriation of their resources. Even coastlines that served as touristic magnets became damaged by a culture that sees concreting as a measure of development and progress.

An activist or community person from any nation in the global South could have made the mayor’s presentation as they mirrored the exact situation of things today in those climes. We saw in this presentation the clear fact that struggles of the peoples of this world can find common grounds if we are true to our sense of perception and the realities we face.

For those who do not know, Iglesias is a town in Sardinia, an island province in the south west of Italy.

I will pause here.

We are working on the outcome document or declaration for the debates on the post carbon economy. That document will be my final post on the Gsott8.

Jul 03, 2009

Keep the oil in the soil

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 03, 2009 06:35 PM

Ahead of the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, the alternative G8 summit is taking place in Sardinia. Nnimmo Bassey Chair of Friends of the Earth International is there.

I should have mentioned that there are three of us here from the FoEI family. Anne-Sophie Simpere of Les Amis de la Terre, France is here. Also here is BAsilo Tzoy Grijalva of the Council for the Protection of the territory of Indigenous people, Guatemala. His organisation related with FoE Guatemala.

Today’s events are organised in panels and will conclude at midnight after the screening of La Ricaduta, a documentary on irresponsible extractions in the Niger Delta.  There will also be a special testimony by a citizen of Abruzzo – the earthquake region where ENI wants to extract crude. The people of Aruzzo don’t want crude extracted from their territory.
As already mentioned in my earlier post, today’s panels are focusing on oil/gas, mining and tar sands. Tomorrow the focus will be on food sovereignty matters. The three cardinal objectives of these sessions are the phasing out of oil economy, keeping the oil in the soil; community control over their resources; new frontier of resource exploitations. The idea is also to strategize on how to find allies and build alliances for the struggle. 

The first panel opened with Tom Kucharz of Ecologistas en Accion, Spain interviewing Ivonne Yanez of Accion Ecologica, Ecuador. The thrust of the discussion was the Ecuadorian Yasuni proposal in which a civil society driven process led the government to state readiness to leave the billion barrels of crude oil in the soil at the protected Yasuni Park. Ivonne traced the history of the campaign and noted that although the government was initially seeking payment for leaving the oil in the ground in a way similar to the carbon trade arguments, this has changed to the demand for solidarity funds to avoid drilling for oil in the area.

The purpose of the Yasuni proposal is to commence a process of breaking the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, and by so doing reduce carbon emissions and directly tackle climate change. She revealed that just a fortnight ago Germany offered to contribute $1Billion to Ecuador at the rate of $50 million per year over the next 20 years – towards leaving the oil in the ground at the Yasuni Park.  This proposal has thus become very concrete.

Nicholas of Corner House interviewed me on the second panel. The thrust of our discussion was our proposal to leave new oil in the soil of the Niger Delta. This proposal is similar to the Ecuadorian proposal but with some key unique aspects. The similarities basically include simply leaving the oil in the soil, defending the environment from degradation related to oil spills and gas flares and also directly tackling climate change. 

I traced the historic struggle of the Ogoni under the leadership of Ken Saro-Wiwa who was executed in November 1995 with the active connivance of Shell. Since 1993 direct oil activities in Ogoni ceased with the expulsion of Shell; and the land has from after the post expulsion conflicts known a measure of peace.

The key demand is that there should be no new oil field developments in Nigeria for the following reasons. Nigeria can easily meet a 3 million barrels production right if the Niger Delta knows some peace. Currently the nation’s production quota stands at 2 million barrels per day with another estimated 1 million barrels of crude stolen on a daily basis. The government has plans to increase daily production to 5 million barrels per day from the year 2015. We propose that Nigerians can contribute funds to keep those additional 2 million barrels per day in the soil. This comes to only $156 per year for each Nigerian. We note that not all Nigerians (for example the children) can make this contribution. But, there are many who can buy multiple units. There are businesses who can but muliple units and there are concerned citizens, organisations and governments of the world who would be willing to contribute to this fund.

The direct implication of keeping new oil in the soil would manifest in reconnection of Nigerians to the national economy. This would raise accountability and transparency in governance. It would also directly move the nation from dependence on one source of revenue and lead to a diversification of the economy in a productive way. FoE Nigeria schedules to present this proposal formally to the federal government of Nigeria by November 2009.

The other panel that shows the people resisting new oil is in Abruzzo, Italy. This is the region where a devastating earthquake occurred recently. Speaking on this was Maria Rita D’Orsagna of the Abruzzo Movement Against Oil Extraction. She said that when the idea of oil production in the area was first announced to the people the general understanding was that it would be the production of olive oil! A strong resistance is building with the realization that it is crude oil that is to be drilled for here.

The struggle against the Shell Pipeline in Ireland was presented by Nessa  Ni Chasaide of Action From Ireland (AFRI) in a day that was loaded with stories of resistance and mobilizations from several countries. The stories of tar sands in Canada and the degradation of indigenous areas were brought by Ben Powless of the Indigenous Environment Network. The mining situation in the Republic of Congo; the situations in Zambia, Guatemala, Philippines and Indonesia all took centre stage. 

The last session of the day was a panel that spoke on alternatives. The ideas that came from this panel were mainly on what people and communities can do to show that alternatives exist and that others can be constructed. The vital need to build movements was stressed. The transition to a post carbon civilization will not be easy, but must be planned for and made to happen. The need for reduced consumption and the need to change from the current fossil fuel intensive agriculture were also brought forward forcefully. Other alternatives included building designs using locally available materials and skills thereby being climate sensitive and reducing dependence of materials transported over long distances.

It was agreed that REDD was not a solution to forest protection or for climate change. The need to reframe the climate debate towards climate debt, equity and justice was emphasised.

The day ended at midnight with the screening of a documentary “La Ricaduta” – a story of irresponsible behaviour of oil companies in the Niger Delta with a special focus on ENI (AGIP).

A statement will emerge from the sessions on extractives. It is in the forge at the moment!
4/5 July will focus on Food Sovereignty issues. La Via Campesina and other groups are driving this section.

Jul 02, 2009

Movement against mining's leader disappears

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 02, 2009 11:13 AM
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CESTA/Friends of the Earth El Salvador expresses concern about the disappearance of Gustavo Marcelo Rivera Moreno, leader of the social movement against mining in San Isidro Cabañas. His has not been seen since June 18.

Rivera Moreno, has been one of the main activists and opponents against the presence of mining companies in Cabañas. He campaigned against the harmful effect the mining operations were having on the environment and human health.

In recent years church groups, environmentalists and civil society leaders in the region have maintained strong opposition to the operations of the companies involved urging the government to take a similar position.

In El Salvador, 6% of the territory has been acquired by large organizations for the mining of gold, silver and copper. The Canadian company Pacific Rim is one of the largest players in the country.

CESTA  are calling on the authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the disappearance of Gustavo Marcelo Rivera Moreno. In addition they express there sympathies with relatives, social organizations and environmentalists that work and fight to prevent the continued destruction of the environment in the area.


take action

There will be a period of mobilization and protest starting today until next Sunday in Central Park, San Isidro, Cabañas, El Salvador.


Jun 04, 2009

Campaigning in South East Europe summer training and skillshare

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 04, 2009 10:58 AM
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Friends of the Earth International and Friends of the Earth Croatia invite you to the seminar 'Campaigning in South East Europe' ­to be held on the island of Sholta, Croatia from July 20-26, 2009.

The Seminar is a part of the Friends of the Earth International project: Capacity building and networking among environmental NGOs and youth in South Eastern Europe with FOEI experience.


The project will last for three years and is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you are based in the region or this is simply something you're interested then please go to the Friends of the Earth Croatia website to find out more.

Nnimmo bassey interviewed by Dutch magazine

by Krista Stryker — last modified Jun 04, 2009 01:05 PM
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Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International chair and co-founder of Environmental Rights Action (ERA) in Nigeria was recently interviewed by Ex Ponto Magazine in the Netherlands.

Nnimo Bassey

In the article he talks about his introduction to human and environmental rights in the 1980's and how his goal since then has been to help strengthen and mobilize local communities to fight for their own interests. 


Nnimmo also mentions the dangers he's encountered as an activist and how he has used music and poetry to cope with his own struggles and to empower others.



  • Read the full interview here


Jun 03, 2009

Young FoEE, split three ways

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 03, 2009 12:45 PM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

As the discussions continued in the Maritim hotel, Young foe-ers prepared for the following four days, with morning briefings going deeper into the FoEI position and the background and history of the UNFCCC.


Using “action preparation” as a very poor excuse to get out of these discussions my colleague and I jumped on a bus into central Bonn in search of chalk, paint, paper, fabric and general school materials. You ask why? All will become clear on Friday.

The afternoon saw the Young FoEE group split into three working groups: Action, Media and Policy, followed by three hours of discussion and training.


By the end, in short, the Action group came up with some wonderful ideas and concepts for actions throughout the week, with a teaser for the Flood in Copenhagen (FoEI's large mobilisation at the UN climate talks this December) on Thursday, the main action on Friday (more to be revealed), and further ‘fairytale’ actions/interventions on Saturday.

The Media group tried to define their role so as to best assist both the Action and Policy groups, to get the Young FoEE and FoEI positions across, and to get the most amount of media-coverage possible, while discussing the possibilities and potential for new-media.


And finally, from what I could observe, the Policy group got incredibly frustrated, and stuck in a quagmire of acronyms and detailed technical discussion.


Back in central Bonn, the REDD side event: “REDD traps: can we avoid them?” with the Global Forest Coalition, asked if it is possible to develop REDD policies that respect indigenous peoples’ rights, conserve and restore biodiversity, and do not undermine the climate regime.



Tomorrow brings the Young FoEE-ers first trip to the conference centre, accreditation, the small task of preparing and implementing the Flood teaser action, a small amount of press work, and an introduction to Climate Justice from the Climate Justice Now!


Lots to do.

Jun 02, 2009

Plans are a foot

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 02, 2009 12:30 PM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

young foee at bonn-2Arriving Tuesday afternoon in glorious weather, weighed down by sacks of wellington boots, flyers and other materials, not to mention our tents, we were greeted by fellow Young FoEE-ers in the garden outside our hostel.


We would not be entering the Maritim Hotel, the centre of the talks, until Thursday, and looked forward to two full days of training and action preparation.


We had no first-hand idea of how the talks were going yet, but the general feeling was one of optimism, although, this would soon be challenged.


The Young FoEE activities got off to a great start. The first afternoon was spent with introductions and to each other and the whole UN climate talks process known as UNFCCC.


After a brief overview of the week’s activities, the evening brought an unexpected surprise when members of the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) delegation arrived for an evening workshop. What was meant to be an informal chat about the FoEI stance on the talks turned into very intense and motivating discussions.


young foee at bonn-1Initially the FoEI delegation looked incredibly exhausted and frustrated by the UNFCCC processes, and said as much, giving all the Young foe-ers a bit of a reality check . But, the pessimism was soon swept aside by a motivating and passionate talk from Asad Rehman, Senior Campaigner for Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The core message of the talk was that the frustrating UNFCCC process should not be demotivating, but in fact the complete opposite: it should be motivation for action action action. This got us all very excited.  Talks continued until around midnight, and it became clear that there was a huge gap waiting to be filled by the Young FoEE activists in Bonn: an action-sized gap right outside the Maritim hotel. Plans are indeed afoot...