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Jun 04, 2009

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

 

Like a festival without the fun

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 04, 2009 01:00 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 - BonnThe Young FoEE day began earlier than any would have liked, especially after the late night spent banner painting in preparation for Friday, but everyone was keen to get their first look inside Hotel Maritim where the climate talks were taking place.

 

After final rushed meetings in the bus and tram we arrived at the rather soulless area around the hotel, and after a brief stroll along the footpath, adjacent to a motorway, 35 of us congregated in the front entrance of the hotel for the first group shot. Young FoEE had arrived, and we were hard to miss.


After passing security it was like being thrown into a sea of suits, and as my first experience at this kind of event I was relieved to find that it wasn’t as scary as I’d expected. A rather small venue, considering the importance of the talks, and a disturbing number of smiling delegates… was this a reflection on the progress of the talks? Not if the FoEI delegation were to be believed.

 

The atmosphere inside the hotel was a surreal cross between music festival and boardroom meeting: all the freneticism, energy and legions of sleep-deprived people that you’d find in a festival, but with all the music and fun removed.

 

The hotel was full of surreal juxtapositions and the rhythm strangely hypnotic: I would later find myself signing off a press release for Friday’s action with a snoring delegate on the sofa opposite, a destitute polar bear below, and calls of “Fossil of the day” echoing through the corridors.

 

But, to work! The Young FoEE groups split again into three, and continued from yesterday’s sessions. Action locations were scoped out, and plans refined. Policy differences were ironed out and the media potential was explored. It was clear there remains plenty of room for the Young FoEE/FoEI message.


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.

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...

Apr 21, 2009

Syeda Rizwana Hasan wins prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize

by PhilLee — last modified Apr 21, 2009 10:55 AM

Congratulations to Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Bangladesh/BELA, who has been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize 2009 for the Asia region, recognising her public interest work in the conservation of the environment.

Rizwana Hasan goldman prizeAs Bangladesh's leading environmental attorney, Rizwana's legal advocacy for tighter regulations for the country's environmentally devastating ship-breaking industry in particular, makes her one of six winners of the world's largest prize for environmentalists this year.

Rizwana, who is also a member of the Friends of the Earth International Executive Committee, collected the award last night (April 20) at a ceremony in San Francisco and will be honoured on  Earth Day (April 22) at a smaller ceremony in Washington D.C.

The Goldman Environmental Prize was established in 1989 by San Francisco civic leader and philanthropist Richard N. Goldman and his late wife, Rhoda H. Goldman. It has been awarded to 133 people from 75 countries.

Prize winners are selected by an international jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide network of environmental organizations and individuals.

 

Photo: Rizwana Hasan in San Francisco / credit: Goldman Environmental Prize

 

Mar 17, 2009

The World Water Forum

by PhilLee — last modified Mar 17, 2009 03:00 PM
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Delegates are gathering in Istanbul this week for the 5th World Water Forum (WWF). Meanwhile the Peoples Water Forum is holding solidarity events around the world to mark World Water Day.

boy with waterThe forum, held by the World Water Council, is intended as a space for governments and industry to exchange ideas about conservation and the development of water resources. Critics, including Friends of the Earth International, argue that members are more concerned about restricting access to water and pushing a privatisation agenda.

By way of protest the People's Water Forum is holding solidarity events around the world to mark World Water Day on March 22 by declaring water a human right and a central component of the global commons.

 

Feb 17, 2009

Climate Justice Assembly Declaration

by PhilLee — last modified Feb 17, 2009 04:18 PM

At this year's World Social Forum in Brazil, Friends of the Earth International supported and participated in several events on climate justice, plantations and food sovereignty. The allowed social movements and civil society organizations opposed to a world dominated by capital to debate just and sustainable alternatives. Below is the statement on climate justice produced in one of the workshops.

No to neoliberal illusions, yes to people's solutions!

For centuries, productivity and industrial capitalism have been destroying our cultures, exploiting our labor and poisoning our environment.

Now, with the climate crisis, the Earth is saying "enough"!

Once again, the people who created the problem are telling us that they also have the solutions: carbon trading, so-called "clean coal", more nuclear power, agrofuels, even a "green new deal". But these are not real solutions, they are neoliberal illusions. It is time to move beyond these illusions.

Real solutions to the climate crisis are being built by those who have always protected the Earth and by those who fight every day to defend their environment and living conditions. We need to globalize these solutions.

For us, the struggles for climate justice and social justice are one and the same. It is the struggle for territories, land, forests and water, for agrarian and urban reform, food and energy sovereignty, for women's and worker's rights. It is the fight for equality and justice for indigenous peoples, for peoples of the global South, for the redistribution of wealth
and for the recognition of the historical ecological debt owed by the North.

Against the disembodied, market-driven interests of the global elite and the dominant development model based on never-ending growth and consumption, the climate justice movement will reclaim the commons, and put social and economic realities at the heart of our struggle against climate change.

We call on everyone -  workers, farmers, fishermen, students, youth, women, indigenous peoples, and all concerned humans from the South and the North - to join in this common struggle to build the real solutions to the climate crisis for the future of our planet, our societies, and our cultures. Together, we are building a movement for climate justice.

We support the mobilizations against the G20 summit and on the global crisis from March 28th to April 4th, and the April 17th mobilization of La Via Campesina.

We support the call for an International Day of Action in Defense of Mother Earth and Indigenous Rights on October 12th, 2009.

We call for mobilization and action everywhere leading up to, during and beyond the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, especially on the Global Day of Action on December 12th, 2009.

In all of our work, we will expose the false solutions, raise the voices of the South, defend human rights, and strengthen our solidarity in the fight for climate justice. If we make the right choices, we can build a better world for everyone.

Feb 09, 2009

fourth annual photo competition

by PhilLee — last modified Feb 09, 2009 04:36 PM
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Friends of the Earth International is excited to announce our fourth annual photo competition.

photo-comp-09This year's photo competition will gather photos from around the world on the theme of “Biodiversity Lost, Biodiversity Preserved”. The best shots will be featured in a series of materials we will launch in conjunction with the 2010 UN International Year of Biodiversity, including a calendar and an international photo exhibition. 

 

Find out how you can take part in the competition and view last year's winners

Jan 28, 2009

World Social Forum 2009

by PhilLee — last modified Jan 28, 2009 05:17 PM
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Social movements and civil society organizations opposed to a world dominated by capital are gathering in Belem, Brazil to debate just and sustainable alternatives.

Friends of the Earth International are at the event and will be reporting back with media releases, blogs, audio reports and photographs.

 

Watch this space for all the updates.

Jan 16, 2009

Where is the humanity of the United Nations?

by PhilLee — last modified Jan 16, 2009 11:00 AM
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A poem by Juan Almendares chairperson of Friends of the Earth Honduras.

To the poet of the olives
Mahmoud Darwish (1942 -2008)
and for the children of Palestine.

Killing or war!
said the wise owl,
while waking up from its millenary dreams.
Killing!! Said the hawk,
while showing its sinister claws ...
Killing is the slogan!
Cried the Coryphaeus of death.

 

While the owl,
settled on my eyes,
I could not open
my tightly closed eyelids
due to the gruesome scene
of the Palestine massacre.

 

Who can sleep
and keep silence,
if this unpunished killing
hurts the heart
of humanity?

 

In the labyrinth of infamy,
missiles and bombs
killing the children,
torture the life of dreams
and strangle the heart of the mothers

Such land in Gaza
my throat is tightened,
pain tores
my silence.

 

I shouted and shouted with solidarity courage:
Where is the humanity of the
United Nations?
Brother, sister!:
The children,
the olive trees and the winds of the desert have died!

I heard the voice of the poet of the olives:
The "Birds are dying in Galilee"
And the joy is "withered in the borders."

 

I am skin and heart of all colors.
My soul embraces the planet
with the song of the lark
and the subtle flight of the hummingbird.

 

I love humanity,
without holocausts:
Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America,

Without the Nazi genocide against Jews and Gypsies,
without martyrdom in Palestine.

 

I love freedom:
freedom of the olives,
freedom without walls
freedom of the water.
Freedom of the stories
in "a thousand and one nights."

 

I Dream of the poet of the olive trees:
with no occupied territories,
without financial crisis and hunger
due to the business of weapons, or
oil wars;
due to gold and emeralds.

My dreams want to shake
the conscience of the people
and overcome with love and rebellion
the hunter of the planet.
I dream of the freedom of Palestine, and
Honduras, my occupied homeland.
A free Homeland!
Homeland for all mankind!


Jan 12, 2009

stop gas flaring in nigeria

by PhilLee — last modified Jan 12, 2009 05:55 PM

Today we launched a cyberaction (online petition) against the government of Nigeria urging them to put a stop to the illegal and harmful practice of gas flaring. Please join us by adding your name to cyberaction.

gas-flare-tnFriends of the Earth International is calling for an immediate end to the destruction of the environment and the lives of the people living in the Niger Delta. Please join us in calling on the President of Nigeria to end gas flaring in all Niger Delta communities.

 

 

 

 

Gas is often found mixed with crude oil and must be separated. Burning the gas is the cheapest way to do this yet also the most environmentally destructive. Regardless, this is what the major oil producers in the Niger Delta have been doing for decades despite it being illegal in Nigeria since 1984.

Nigeria is the world’s second largest flarer of gas associated with crude oil extraction. The country burns 23 billion cubic meters annually. This practice, which costs $2.5 billion in annual revenue losses has led to a myriad of social, health and environmental costs, and is also a major factor in the tension and conflicts raging in the Niger Delta region.

In 2005 a Federal High court sitting in Benin ordered Shell to stop gas flaring in Iwhrekan, saying it violates the people’s fundamental right to life and dignity of human person. The judge ruled that gas flaring is a "gross violation" of the constitutionally-guaranteed rights to life and dignity, which include the right to a "clean poison-free, pollution-free healthy environment".

There can be no more excuses. We must act in large numbers and demand the government of Nigeria brings about an end to gas flaring once and for all.

 

Take action now!

Dec 30, 2008

Stop to the attack on Gaza

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 30, 2008 04:36 PM
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Friends of the Earth International statement on the current situation in Gaza.

Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) joins its member organisation in Palestine and the Palestinian people to call on the Israeli government to immediately halt the attack on Gaza and the massacre of innocent people. As we write, over 390 Palestinians have been killed and close to 2000 have been wounded, including children and numerous civilians.

 

The attacks and destruction, which began on 27 December 2008 are an unacceptable humanitarian catastrophe.

 

These attacks have been indiscriminate and grossly disproportionate. Palestinian houses, universities, medical stores and mosques have been destroyed. The attacks have equally destroyed electricity and water supplies and have crippled other essential services already brought to there knees during the last two years, during which Palestinians in Gaza have been living under siege with food and fuel supplies being blocked and the healthcare system starved of basic medicine and equipment.

 

Friends of the Earth International denounces in strong terms all violent action and calls for an immediate ceasefire. We also demand the dismantling of the apartheid walls built across Palestinian territories as these have created major social, environmental and human rights abuses – making life extremely hazardous for the Palestinians and others.

 

We call for an immediate halt to this Israeli aggression against civilians in Gaza and an end to all violence against civilians on both sides. We also call for access to medical and food supplies in Gaza.

 

The ongoing destruction is a deep scar on the conscience of the world and cannot be allowed to continue.

 

We ask peoples across the world to unite in action for solidarity and peace, and call on all governments to bring pressure to bear for a just and lasting peace.

 

Take action

Join us in calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza - and for peace to be achieved between Israel and Palestine in 2009. Sign the petition on the campaigning website AVAAZ.org

 

Find out more about Friends of the Earth Palestine's work

Dec 16, 2008

FoEI welcomes eight new members to the federation

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 16, 2008 03:10 PM

We are delighted to announce our new members and executive committee as voted in by our current members at this year's Biennial General Meeting in Honduras.

meena-nnimmoAt our Biennial General Meeting in Honduras this November the Palestinian Environmental NGO Network became a full member of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) and eight new groups were admitted as associate members. A new chairperson and executive committee were also voted in.

 



Friends of the Earth Palestine / PENGON

PENGON is a network of 21 member organizations dealing with environmental issues such as; agriculture, water, health and sanitation, sustainable development, cultural heritage, human rights, pollution, wildlife, research and development. They are a welcome addition to the Friends of the Earth family.

 

Find out more about Friends of the Earth Palestine

 

associate members

We are also pleased to welcome the following eight new groups to the federation:

 

Liberia - find out more

Malawi - find out more

Mexico - find out more

Mozambique - find out more

Tanzania - find out more

Timor Leste - find out more

Sri Lanka - find out more

Uganda - find out more

 

chairperson

Nnimmo Bassey the Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria has been elected as the Chairperson.

 

In his acceptance speech to the members present in Honduras he highlighted the unique period in history we are in:

 

"We stand at the crossroads of history with the scaffoldings erected by capitalism and neo-liberalism collapsing like a pack of cards. No matter how many people live a lie, the lie remains a lie.

 

People may decide to live in the imaginations of their minds, but the truth is that sooner than later the reality knocks us back to concrete challenges. We stand at a crossroads, but we must take the right turn and FoEI is well positioned to take the lead in that march."

 

executive committee (Excom)

Finally, congratulations to the new and existing members of the ExCom who will guide the federation in the right direction over the next two years.

 

Karin Nansen - FoE Uruguay, Vice-Chairperson

Jagoda Munic - FoE Croatia, Treasurer

Meena Raman - FoE Malaysia

Mario Godinez - FoE Guatemala

Rizwana Hasan - FoE Bangladesh

Bobby Peek - FoE South Africa
Sarah Jayne Clifton - FoE England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Elizabeth Bast - FoE US

 

Photo: Meena Raman, the outgoing chairperson, stands alongside Nnimmo Bassey the incoming chairperson.

Dec 15, 2008

FoEI speech to the UN climate conference

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 15, 2008 12:50 PM
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At the end of the COP 14 negotiations in Poznan Friends of the Earth International were invited to give their verdict on the conference. Kate Horner from Friends of the Earth US spoke on behalf of the federation. This is what she said:

Friends of the Earth International came to Poznan hoping for progress. We had hoped industrialized countries would commit to steep emission reductions - without offset loopholes - and would announce their willingness to support developing country mitigation and adaptation actions.

However, we remain thoroughly disappointed with the outcomes of the talks thus far.

The distinct lack of achievement here in Poznan falls squarely on the shoulders of the rich industrialized Annex I countries who after 16 years, and despite the rhetoric we have heard about urgency, are still failing to take the climate crisis seriously and realize their obligations under the Convention.

Most Annex 1 countries have spent the majority of this precious negotiating time crafting get-out-clauses and offsetting schemes at the expense of genuine reductions.

These delaying tactics do not set an encouraging tone for the intense year of negotiations to come.  Here in Poznan, we have seen, yet again, the same obstructionist, business-as-usual approach of developed countries. 

Looking forward, we must not ignore the science and the reality of what needs to be done.

For any reasonable chance of avoiding dangerous climate change, Annex-1 countries must by February 2009 commit to at least 40% emission reductions by 2020.  But even this level of reduction may not be enough for many vulnerable nations, so why are we discussing anything less?

To achieve necessary emissions reductions globally, finance and clean technology must be urgently delivered to allow developing countries to make a just-transition towards low-carbon development.

Further, negotiations under REDD:

  • are failing to ensure the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities are genuinely protected,
  • are failing to distinguish monoculture tree plantations from natural forests,
  • are failing to recognize the biodiversity benefit of forests,
  • and are risking the privatisation of forests through market-based schemes.


We are not approaching a cliff; we are hanging dangerously over the edge.  We must see a radical shift in the focus of this process.

Anything less with be a failure for all people and the planet.

Dec 12, 2008

Pessimism, pessimism plus more pessimism..

by Carlos García-Robles — last modified Dec 12, 2008 06:35 PM
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After two weeks of early mornings and late nights was it all worth it? The businessmen probably think so.

algoreThis morning’s meeting was probably the last one. A lot of us have been disappointed about what has happened (or not happened) here at the COP. Even though it was somehow expected, we are still drained and depressed.

 

After the meeting, I went to sit in one of the multiple corners of the venue, and saw all these people walking from one place to another trying not to be late for the next (possibly) senseless meeting or negotiation.

 

Well, maybe for big business it’s not so senseless, they are definitely the big winners here, as they will keep on with their "business as usual" plus they will get some more profit from polluting with all these crazy offsetting mechanisms.

 

So expectations to reach an agreement here at Poznan are very low. As I see it, these negotiations are sold out to the people with fancy suits who got us in this mess in the first place. Will you allow them to keep making the COPs a series of international business meetings to see how they will take advantage of climate change as a business opportunity?  Ok, some of my colleagues from FoE tell me that not all businesses are bad, like wind and solar... But the problem is how businesses are structured and how they work, not what they sell.

 

As global civil society we should block this nonsense and make a call not to accept what’s going on here. I don’t understand why people can’t see the urgency of our situation, this is why it is so important to inform and empower!

 

I’m a little disappointed about the international youth group (not Young FoE - those guys are great), at first it was looking good, they were planning outrageous actions to wake the delegates up, but sadly some of those involved watered down the actions (just like some of the grown ups also at the UNFCCC), afraid they would loose their accreditation. BUT, there are some youth groups and young people that are not letting themselves be manipulated by the status quo, these are the true heroes and my respect goes out to them.

 

OK! I feel better now! No more pessimism. We need to keep on fighting for a fair and clean planet. You probably are thinking that I’m too pessimistic and that I’m not giving any positive thoughts on how we could fix this mess.. but that’s another post =)

 

PS: Poland is sooo much into 80s pop music!! you can hear it all over the place. Maybe there’s a historical reason why?

 

Cheers!

 

Carlo

Dec 11, 2008

Wrap it up!

by HannahElvery — last modified Dec 11, 2008 09:00 PM
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Some cause for hope and excitement on another rainy day in Poznan.

globeThis morning was brightened up with a colourful, fantastic action by Young Friends of the Earth Europe.


They've spent months collecting almost 2000 messages on little squares of fabric from people in 30 countries.  After many arduous hours stitching them together into banners and ribbons the outcome was incredible. 

 

"Act now!  Wrap it up!  Act now!" was the message of the day, with a 2 meter globe being wrapped in a ribbon containing messages of hope and action, to inspire delegates and urge them to 'wrap up' the negotiations.


The individual messages were fantastic, covering everything from more wind power to demands for climate justice and more.  Quite a number in languages I didn't recognise either, which is always good to see (the dominance of the english language in the climate negotiations is appalling).

The great atmosphere and colours of the action meant that not only the ministers who had agreed to come showed up, but also someone from the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a Commissioner from.. well, not really sure where along with crowds of people peering through the windows at us.

The Ministers that came - from Norway, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany - were presented with a framed fabric message, and, there even appeared to be genuine excitement from some.

A good job at any rate.  The Young FoE Europe crew are fantastic and a force to be reckoned with.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they're involved in next - although there may not be much more opportunity for action before this climate meeting ends, there are rumours of interesting plans for 2009. If you want to keep an eye on them, or get involved, check out their blog here - http://countdowntopoznhagen..wordpress.com/

On a more serious note though, the negotiations are supposed to end today, and so far there isn't much to be hopeful about. The statements from Ministers started today, which really highlights what is important to different countries and gives an idea of what will come out of this. I spent so much of the day frowning I think I've given myself permanent creases between my eyebrows - and we still have a day of statements to go!

Nevertheless, I'll keep you posted (and try to keep a degree of hope - a necessity if you're going to be involved in this process).

hannah

Dec 10, 2008

Almost the end...

by HannahElvery — last modified Dec 10, 2008 05:00 PM
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The opposition from certain countries to resolutions is as depressing and predictable as the weather.

daygtosAs it gets closer to the end of two long weeks, many people I've been talking to are just ready to go home.  I'm sure part of it is due to the overcast, rather miserable weather but it's also because the texts that are set to come out of these negotiations are looking far too inadequate.

Yesterday, important wording around the recognition of Indigenous Peoples' and forest peoples' rights was removed from a text on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation(REDD) - a mechanism which I suppose was designed to protect forests, but in its current form can undermine land rights, encourage the conversion of forests to plantations, and reduce the value of forests to their carbon content... among other things.

We remain hopeful that we can get this wording back into the Draft Text, however it was a big blow to Indigenous Representatives here.  Actually, that's an understatement.  There was outrage, tears and anger, particularly at the four countries who opposed the text - Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand.  Not surprisingly, these are the same (only) four countries that voted against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.

Response came in the form of an impromptu protest, and campaigners raising it with several delegates from Indonesia, Australia, the US and more.  What impact this will have though is uncertain. With Indigenous Peoples having no official voice in the UNFCCC process, it may require a lot more yelling to get their rights recognised not just in the REDD but in all mechanisms which affect rights to land, food and livelihoods.

Yours in solidarity, hope and a hint of depression,

 

hannah

 

Photo: Daygots from the Oneida Indian Nation, New York, chanting "No Rights, No REDD".

 

Civil society against the world bank

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 10, 2008 12:00 AM
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Check out this video of the world bank demonstration in Poznan that Friends of the Earth International took part in.

 

Dec 09, 2008

No rest for the...

by Carlos García-Robles — last modified Dec 09, 2008 12:25 PM
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Too much nonsense in so little words

world-bank-bannerI had decided to take Monday off, but, guess what? Even though there are no formal negotiations today, I'm here at the conference attending all sorts of press conferences, side events and meetings. So much for taking it easy.

 

Here at the COP 14 most people are talking about CDMs, REDD, FCPF, LCA and..GEF. Hold on.. what!!?? No, I didn’t get it either. Uhh well, some of these things have to do with offsetting.. aha, yes ..well, this means for example that if I throw rubbish in my back yard, I can pay my poor neighbor some money so he doesn’t cut his grass so the wind can blow some of my rubbish in his backyard and then he keeps it there well hidden, because this would mean ..it would mean... no I don’t know what it would mean!!

 

This is ridiculous, wouldn’t it be easier not to throw any trash at all? And in this case, stop emitting Co2??

 

To me it just sounds like legalized bribing to keep polluting so big business can keep making more profit and governments are letting this happen just because they are scared their economy will collapse. But then again, isn't this happening already??

 

Cheers!

 

Carlos
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