2009 Newsletter

Thanks especially to those of you who have replied to our most recent appeal, and to everyone who has given in the past year.

Thanks to the following foundations for their ongoing support: Firedoll Foundation, Puffin Foundation and Patagonia. Thanks, too, to our Board of Directors.

Global Justice Ecology Project Expands!

West Coast Desk: In July, Global Justice Ecology Project opened a new west coast desk in The Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA. Our new New Voices on Climate Change Coordinator. Hallie Boas is personing this new west coast desk, which is in the office of our Board member Karen Pickett.

Brazil Desk: Next month we are set to open a new desk in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which will be staffed by Camila Moreno, our Brazilian GE trees/Agrofuels Advisor.

Take Action!

Join the Climate Change Pledge of Resistance (Climate CPR): Global Justice Ecology Project is an initiating organization of the Climate CPR.

Have you heard enough about climate change? Do you agree that it’s time for action? Are you ready to join thousands of others in risking arrest to protect people and ecosystems around the globe from the catastrophic impacts of climate chaos. If so, then we are asking you to take a stand.

Sign Our Letter to the USDA Against GE Eucalyptus Trees

As Jim Hightower pointed out recently in his national commentary, the USDA’s preliminary approval of ArborGen’s petition to plant over a quarter of a million GE eucalyptus trees across seven Southern U.S. states is “irresponsible, dangerous and stupid.” Sign our letter to the USDA demanding they reject ArborGen’s dangerous plans.

Spotlight on Global Justice Ecology Project Supporter: Marion Leonard

This quarter, we pay tribute to Marion Leonard, who passed away on August 14th at the age of 100. Marion had been a strong supporter of GJEP since our founding in 2003.

From her obituary: In 1956 Marion was hired as librarian at the Storm King School in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y. It was there she became involved in her first big fight-the-power action — literally. It was against a proposed Con Edison power-generating facility whose

presence would have destroyed the environment around Storm King Mountain. A

protracted legal battle finally resulted in defeat for Con Ed and the founding of the Natural

Resources Defense Council by Marion’s friend, attorney Stephen Duggan. The case is

credited with launching the eco-activism movement in the U.S., and ultimately led to the

passing of the National Environmental Policy Act… Marion returned to Vermont in 1997,

settling in Rochester in the Park House, a senior residential facility. Re-energized by meeting

more people of like mind in the Green Mountain State, Marion founded Save Our World-

Vermont, which has sponsored teach-ins, environmental seminars, lecture series and more.

And she became known as the woman who wrote more letters to the editor than anyone

else.GJEP says, “Marion Leonard, ¡Presente!”

Photo of the Month:

To see all of our photos of the month visit our website

Climate-Connections Program Accomplishments:

Indigenous People’s Global Summit on Climate Change, Anchorage, Alaska, April 20-

24: GJEP Co-Director/Strategist Orin Langelle was sponsored by the Global Forest

Coalition to travel to Alaska for the Indigenous People’s Global Summit on Climate Change,

after he was invited to participate and help with media outreach by the Indigenous

Environmental Network. Through Orin’s aggressive media work, he helped IEN and our

other allies get interviews in hundreds of articles in newspapers highlighting their concerns

related to climate change and climate justice. This was a major success and helped to solidify

our collaborative work with IEN.

The declaration which emerged from the summit called for a rejection of all GMOs from

indigenous lands.

In preparation for this event, we helped edit the Indigenous Peoples’ Guide to

False Solutions to Climate Change, produced by IEN, Earth Peoples, and the Society for

Threatened Peoples.

Mobilization for Climate Justice: GJEP was among the founding members of the

Mobilization for Climate Justice and we also act as the group’s fiscal sponsor. We are

continuing our involvement in MCJ, helping with the fundraising and developing a plan of

action for protests against the G-20 in Pittsburgh, September 24 and 25. For more

information on the MCJ and the Pittsburgh protests, go to: www.actforclimatejustice.org

IFG meeting: Developing strategies going into Copenhagen, Washington, D.C. April 28-

29: Executive Director Anne Petermann was sponsored by the Global Forest Coalition to

participate in this meeting, which was called by the International Forum on Globalization. It

focused on developing strategies around the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen this

December. Anne ensured that indigenous rights were included in the outcomes and

strategies of the meeting.

Climate Justice Now! Meeting:

Following the IFG meeting, Anne met with other Climate Justice Now! participants to

discuss the advancement of CJN!, including developing a website and a timeline of events

leading toward the UN Climate Convention in Copenhagen in December.

“The Global Fight for Climate Justice” Book Released June 2009:

Anne and Orin

Contributed a chapter to the “Building a Climate Emergency Movement” section, titled

“Crisis, Challenge and Mass Action.”

UN Climate Talks, Bonn, Germany, June 3-9: Co-Director/Strategist Orin Langelle

participated in an intercessional meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate

Change in Bonn, Germany in early June, where he worked on media outreach for our allies

at Global Forest Coalition. While there he took part in and did media for a protest, which

issued an “urgent call to end deforestation and conserve the world’s forests”

SmartMeme Climate Justice Strategy & Messaging Retreat, Andover, NH June 29-July

2: Anne and Orin participated in this important climate justice retreat with key climate justice

and environmental justice organizers from across the country. This event turned out to be

critically important in advancing the goals of the Mobilization for Climate Justice.

People’s Movement on Climate Change: Orin Langelle was invited to join the international

Facilitation Group of the People’s Movement on Climate Change (PMCC) and accepted in

June.

University Lectures: Anne Petermann lectured at classes at the University of Vermont and

the Community College of Vermont on the Growing climate justice movement and the

Copenhagen mobilization.

Stop GE Trees and Agrofuels Campaign Accomplishments:

GE Trees on NPR’s Living On Earth Program: Executive Director Anne Petermann was

featured on NPR’s Living on Earth Program in an interview devoted to the potential social

and ecological impacts of genetically engineered trees. Listen to the interview.

Mobilization Against GE Eucalyptus Trees in the United States: This past spring, the STOP

GE Trees Campaign learned that ArborGen, an international GE tree R&D company

headquartered in the U.S., had submitted a request to the U.S. government to allow the

planting of 260,000 GE cold-tolerant eucalyptus trees on 330 acres across seven states in the

U.S. south. In May, The U.S. government issued its draft Environmental Assessment (EA)

for this request, which recommended approval of the ArborGen’s GE eucalyptus. During

the 30 day comment period on the draft EA, which began on June 6, we mobilized people to

submit comments to the USDA in opposition to these GE eucalyptus. By the end of the

comment period, nearly 17,500 people had submitted comments against ArborGen’s

request. Only 39 comments in favor were received.

On August 6, Jim Hightower issued a commentary slamming the idea of GE eucalyptus

plantations. This has greatly helped us raise awareness of this disastrous proposal across the

country.

GE Trees Call to Action—Capitalizing off publicity generated from the Hightower

commentary on GE Eucalyptus, GJEP issued an Action Alert encouraging people to call

ArborGen’s President and CEO Barbra Wells to tell her to get ArborGen GE eucalyptus

trees out of the U.S. South and off the planet.

GE Strategy Meeting: Developing campaign to stop GE trees and agrofuels, Washington,

DC April 30- May 1: Executive Director Anne Petermann attended this meeting, which was

extremely useful to build the effort to stop the deregulation of GE eucalyptus trees for

deployment in vast plantations across the U.S. southeast for cellulosic agrofuels and other

uses. It was an excellent networking opportunity and built ties to the Center for Food

Safety, which is coordinating the legal fight to keep GE eucalyptus from being

commercialized.

National Public Radio Interviews: Advance media work by Co-Director/Strategist Orin

Langelle with reporters from National Public Radio’s Living On Earth program resulted in a

feature on the Permanent Forum and the concerns of Indigenous Peoples about the UN and

World Bank schemes to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation (REDD). Listen to the

Interview.

GE Trees Protest, May 22:Anneand Orin organized a spontaneous protest at the Belgian

Permanent Mission against the decision of the Belgian government to allow the development

of a test plot of GE poplars for the future production of agrofuels. Indigenous Peoples from

North and South America participated.

Indigenous Environmental Network REDD event, May 21: Petermann took part in an event

discussing the forest-related impacts of REDD. She focused on the links between REDD

and monoculture timber plantations including genetically engineered trees (GE trees or

GMO trees). She also showed the film “A Silent Forest” about the social and ecological

dangers of GE trees.

REDD Capacity Building Training for Indigenous Peoples, May 30: Petermann presented a

detailed powerpoint about the threats of GE tree plantations to indigenous communities and

the link to REDD during this capacity building training on REDD organized by Global

Forest Coalition and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

GE Trees and Agrofuels: Presentations, Outreach & Writings: Anne Petermann wrote

articles on the U.S. attempt to legalize the release of GE trees for World Rainforest

Movement’s Bulletin (May 2009), and Global Forest Coalition’s Forest Cover (July 2009).

New Voices on Climate Change Upcoming Events: On the Road to Copenhagen: New

Voices on Climate Change Must be Heard: As fall approaches New Voices on Climate

Change is moving forward in its attempt to reach a larger audience with the goal of

broadening the climate debate by amplifying the voices of peoples around the world who are

already being impacted by climate change. Some of the upcoming activities include:

Speaking tours across North America throughout the fall and early winter in collaboration

with Global Exchange, SpeakOut and the Mobilization for Climate Justice.

Presentations at the G-20 meetings this September in Pittsburgh, PA; and the UN

Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark in December.

A continual aggressive media campaign to ensure that new voices that promote climate

justice are heard and not drowned out by corporate or governmental interests.

Staff Changes:

At the end of March, Colette Oesterle left GJEP due to family and school commitments. At

the end of June, Co-Director Orin Langelle left his position as Media Coordinator for

Global Forest Coalition and his title was changed to Co-Director/ Strategist for Global

Justice Ecology Project. Co-Director Anne Petermann’s title was changed to Executive

Director. In July we hired Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist as our new Media/Campaigns

Organizer. In July we also hired Hallie Boas as our New Voices on Climate Change

Coordinator. Hallie is running the Global Justice Ecology Project West Coast desk in

Berkeley, CA. In August, Camila Moreno joined us as our GE Trees/ Agrofuels

Campaigner in Brazil. Skyler Perkins has been interning with us throughout the summer.

Global Justice Ecology Project Press Releases:

On the Road to Copenhagen: New Voices on Climate Change Must be Heard

Public Overwhelmingly Rejects Genetically Engineered Trees

U.N. Urgent! End Deforestation, Conserve World’s Forests

Belgium protested by Indigenous Peoples in New York

Biotech Trees in Belgium Condemned

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