programs and campaigns highlights in 2008
We also began the process of building two more international programs, as well as continued to ensure that gender issues were brought in to all programs and international activities. In 2008, we campaigned internationally to shift the balance of power in international institutions towards the needs of peoples and the environment, and we fostered international solidarity for crucial local and national struggles for environmental justice.
Through our Climate Justice and Energy Program, we fight for justice for the communities affected by climate change and promote energy sovereignty, the right of communities to choose their own sustainable energy sources. We also advocate a strong agreement within the framework of the UN negotiations, a just agreement on climate finance and an end to deforestation, one of the biggest causes of climate change.
Our Food Sovereignty Program aims to halt the corporate control of our food and genetically modified organisms. We defend the right of people to determine and control their own food systems and act in solidarity with peasant movements like La Vía Campesina to promote people-centered ecological and culturally-appropriate agriculture that can feed people with nutritious food and protect the environment.
In our Forest and Biodiversity Program, we campaign against illegal logging and deforestation, and work with communities and local people to uphold their rights to manage their forests. We also expose and oppose the negative impacts of monoculture plantations of crops such as, sugar cane, palm oil and soy, to produce agrofuels.
Our program on Economic Justice - Resisting Neoliberalism challenges the current economic model by exposing and resisting corporate power and the Global Europe strategy, as well as the entire paradigm of 'free trade' which is spear-headed by the FTAs, Investment Protection Agreements and the WTO, while identifying and promoting initiatives that generate sustainable livelihoods. We challenge the influence of big corporations on governments and international institutions, and question neoliberal policies and trade agreements that do not take people’s needs into account.
In 2008, we decided to build a program to support Resistance to Mining, Oil, and Gas projects, bringing together community-based struggles and international campaigning to stop the appropriation of territories for resource extraction and address the environmental and community impacts of mineral, oil, and gas extraction.
Friends of the Earth member groups continue to work on issues related to water, defending water territories for the benefit of communities and biodiversity. We work together with local communities in protecting the right to water, and opposing privatization of water and ‘development’ projects that pollute rivers and that use large quantities of water. Finally, we mobilize the public to vote for new laws and regulations that keep water in the public domain and uphold water as a human right.
We also have an international campaign on agrofuels, which cuts through most of the international programs. First of all, the expansion, production, and trade in agrofuels affects forests and biodiversity as well as food sovereignty; secondly agrofuels are falsely presented as a solution to climate change; and finally large corporations and international financial institutions are driving investments in agrofuels.
Importantly, in 2008 FoEI conducted a review of our gender work and our strategies for mainstreaming gender in all of our operations. We decided to redirect our efforts towards ensuring timely gender analysis in our international programs and collaborations with allied organizations, such as the World March of Women. We developed a joint project with the World Rainforest Movement on women and plantations, and are now fostering regional activities on women and food sovereignty.