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friends of the earth international and strategic alliances

As part of FoEI’s commitment to mobilizing people, the federation agreed at the BGM that reaching out, building and participating in strategic alliances with other actors in civil society is a priority. Groups endorsed the concept that building strategic alliances is different to participating in existing networks. Strategic alliances refer to relationships between movements, or between FoEI and other organizations, who share our values and vision, and with whom we can work at many different levels.

image: foei and strategic alliancesStrategic alliances are also mutual relationships, which require each participating organization to support their allies in their specific and broader struggles. This is different to taking joint action to achieve a specific campaign goal: it speaks to a long-term vision of movement-building and transformation, towards sustainable societies. Working with strategic allies entails taking action in the interest of the other organization or movement, even in issue areas that are not seen as immediate priorities for FoEI (although they will, by definition, still fall within our shared values, vision and mission).

FoEI is committed to collaboration with our strategic allies, strengthening each other at different levels (global, regional, national, local) and in different areas of work (campaigning, communications, membership development/capacity building, learning, active solidarity and fundraising).

We also believe strategic allies should rely on each other’s areas of expertise, and will work with and be informed by strategic allies that represent particular constituencies and issues (such as peasant farmers, feminism and women’s rights).

Today, La Via Campesina is FoEI’s strongest and deepest alliance. Our relationship with them varies from country to country and region to region. The BGM agreed that we need to look at more practical ways to strengthen this relationship: it is important to strengthen and stabilize it across all regions. Currently, only ATALC and FoEE work closely with the regional Via Campesina offices. The other regions also need to reach out.

The BGM agreed that we also need to map out wider potential strategic alliances, with trade unions and the human rights movement, for example. We will build on existing local and national relationships to strengthen international collaboration with these potential allies.

Finally, there was also an acknowledgement that FoEI needs to broaden its political understanding of issues such as indigenous issues and gender justice.

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