AP News 23 Mar 2021
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — A Honduran Indigenous activist who helped led a fight against the construction of a dam has been killed, authorities said Monday.
National Police Inspector Juan Sabillón said one suspect had been detained in connection with the killing of activist Juan Carlos Cerros Escalante on Sunday.
Cerros Escalante, 41, was a member of Honduras’ Lenca Indigenous community. He was gunned down Sunday in front of a church in the town of Nueva Granada, in the Caribbean coast province of Cortes.
Betty Vásquez, the coordinator of the Santa Barbara Environmental Movement, said Cerros Escalante was killed in front of his children.
The World Bank has long been protested at its spring and fall meetings in Washington, DC due to its socially and ecologically disastrous policies, which are especially detrimental to women. It is best known for making development loans to poor countries and forcing them to implement austerity programs to pay back the loans and their skyrocketing interest. These austerity programs can include privatizing the country’s water and electricity, eliminating public health care programs, and selling off natural resources like forests to the lowest corporate bidder.
This photo was part of a 2015 GJEP exhibit by Anne Petermann titled Triumph and Tragedy: Movements for Change Around the World which can be found here.
GJEP’s Earth Radio segments, the Earth Minute and the Earth Watch Interview, happen each week in partnership with Margaret Prescod’s nationally syndicated Sojourner Truth Radio show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles.
You can find all radio segments here: https://globaljusticeecology.org/category/earth-radio/
Silvia Ribeiro is the Latin American Director of ETC Group (the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration) based in Mexico. She is a well-known lecturer, writer, editor and educator on emerging technologies (including geoengineering and biotechnology) and collaborates with a wide spectrum of Latin American organizations and social movements. Silvia is part of the editorial committee of the magazine ‘Biodiversidad, Sustento and Culturas’, and regularly publishes articles, including in Mexico’s ‘La Jornada’ and in Desinformemonos.org. With ETC group, Silvia has participated in the negotiations of several UN Treaties on biodiversity, food, environment. She has critically followed the debate and developments of geoengineering and its actors for over a decade.
The environmental and social devastation caused by flooding millions of acres of wild ecosystems for hydroelectric dams belies the idea that these dams are “green” or “climate-friendly.” Dam reservoirs release vast amounts of methane, exacerbating climate change, and poisoning people and wildlife with methylmercury.
In our conversation with Silvia Ribeiro, Latin American Director for ETC Group, we discuss geoengineering, the radical techno-fix to climate change. Geoengineering comprises dangerous attempts to alter climate on a global scale. Environmental groups are concerned with the unknown dangers of geoengineering, including its disproportionate risk to countries and people least responsible for global warming in the first place. Interview by Steve Taylor, Press Secretary of Global Justice Ecology Project.
Mike Africa, Jr. Responds to City of Philadelphia Apology for 1985 Bombing of MOVE House. GJEP first interviewed Mike Africa, Jr. of the MOVE organization during the October 2019 North American Forest and Climate Movement Convergence, which GJEP co-organized, and where Mike was a keynote speaker. In this interview, we catch up with Mike to talk with him about what has happened in his life since that time. In the interview, he discusses his anger over the unjust handling of the Capital riots, a recent HBO documentary that features his work to free his parents from prison, and the apology issued by the city of Philadelphia to the MOVE organization over the 1985 bombing of a MOVE house which killed 11 including 5 children.
GJEP coordinates the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, a national and international alliance of organizations that have united towards prohibiting the ecologically and socially devastating release of genetically engineered [GE or genetically modified] trees into the environment
The mission of the Campaign to Stop GE Trees is to protect forests and biodiversity, and provide support to communities threatened by the dangerous release of genetically engineered (GE or genetically modified) trees. This year we’re celebrating 21 years of movement building work to spread the word about the threat of GE trees. We’re working to coordinate a national alliance of organizations, scientists, Indigenous peoples and others who have come together with the goal of protecting wild forests, biodiversity and communities from GE trees. Join us as we build our movement to stop the dangerous release of GE trees.
GJEP enables small non-profits to focus their energy on their important work by acting as a fiscal sponsor. This helps them minimize bureaucracy so they can focus on their missions. These groups are doing crucial work for ecological and social justice, forest protection and human rights and include BiofuelWatch, North American Megadams Resistance Alliance, Vermont Street Medics, A Center for Grassroots Organizing, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, and REDD-Monitor.
NAMRA’s mission is to protect rivers and their communities by resisting megadams and associated transmission corridors. NAMRA seeks to:
Call to action!
Sign NAMRA’s petition to Governor Baker in Massachusetts and Governor Mills in Maine to stop the NECEC corridor and to NYC Mayor DeBlasio to stop the CHPE corridor.
Upcoming webinar series:
Three-part webinar series (2021): What’s new in the campaign to save rivers and their communities? Register here.
For more information:
REMEMBERING FUKUSHIMA :
Demand phase-out of all Nuclear (fission) power plants.
Ten years ago, on the 11th of March 2011, ‘all hell broke loose’ in the Pacific coast of Japan. A huge Tsunami, triggered by the gigantic ‘Tohuku earthquake’, which swept away towns and villages, also hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants on the coast, overwhelming the ‘defensive sea walls’. What followed is now well known to the whole world, as the live television coverage of the apocalyptic events streamed into all homes around the globe. Three of the six boiling-water nuclear reactors went completely out of control into meltdown spreading deadly radioactive materials, lakhs were evacuated, huge areas became uninhabitable for decades or even centuries, massive amounts of radioactively contaminated water was (and is still being) dumped into the Pacific ocean causing untold damage to marine life…….
And that disaster is still unfolding 10 years down the line, with no certainty about when the technologically and financially sound Japanese government and Corporate world (TEPCO owns and ran the Fukushima Daiichi NPP) will be able to fully contain and decommission these reactors. One was reminded of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in then existing Soviet Union, as the only comparably horrendous nuclear disaster, both being classified at the highest rank of Level-7 in the deceptively named “International Nuclear and Radiological Events Scale INES”. These are Not just Events, these are apocalyptic events. Many such nuclear disasters have happened every decade, in many countries operating nuclear power projects, in various smaller scales.
And let’s not forget the cataclysmic nuclear bombings of Hiroshima (over 1200,000 dead from one small fission bomb) and Nagasaki. That’s not the end of nuclear bombs destructive story though, as the ‘nuclear powers’ have tested over 2000 of these nuclear weapons of mass destruction in several designated areas of the world. The tales of the major US testing site, the Marshal Islands and how its unsuspecting citizens were used as nuclear-exposure guinea pigs, is another horror story. Similar but lesser known stories exist from the Soviet nuclear test sites of Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, Novaya Zemlya and others, the French nuclear test sites of Reggane & Akker in Algeria and the Mururoa Atoll in the Pacific, the British test sites in the Australian territories of Monte Bello, Maralinga, Emu Field., and the Chinese test site of Lop Nur in the Uyghur Autonomous region.
The devastation that this nuclear fuel chain causes, starts right at the beginning, from the mining and refining of Uranium. One has only to visit the Indian mine sites of Jaduguda, Turamdih and Tummalapalle, to see the untold sufferings the local populations are undergoing. Lots of diseases, severely deformed chldren being born,…are commonplace in Jaduguda, the oldest of India’s Uranium mining sites. Even the newest – Tummlapalle in Andhra Pradesh, has started causing devastation within 8-9 years of operation. Anyone visiting the nearby villages of KK Kottala, Mabbuchintalapalle,…. will be struck by the cancerous lesions on skins of dozens of children, domestic animals strangely dying by the hundreds, the only cash crop of these oor villagers – banana plantations – being devastated by contamination from the mine wastes.
Why is it that the Govts of several countries are still pursuing this foolish and dangerous dream ? And most important for us, we the Indian Citizens must ask – Why India ? The “reason” offered by the Govt and Nuclear lobbyists was that – “a power starved country” like India needs a “reliable source” of electricity in nuclear. That “logic” was false earlier, and even more senseless now. Today, Indian installed Power capacity is about 375,000 MW (with a tiny part, just 6,780 MW contributed by nuclear), while the peak summer demands touch about 188,000 MW. About a hundred grid-connected power units are shut down due to lack of demand. All built with public financing. So, Why waste our hard earned savings into dangerous non-productive “assets”? Why indeed!
The World has changed from the 1960s and 1980s, when the world went gaga over Nuclear power. There were few alternatives then, and the mainstay coal power is heavily polluting. The situation has changed completely. Today, the Cheapest source of new electricity plants is Solar Photovoltaic or Wind turbines. Their per MW installation costs came down to less than Rs.5 crores/MW, while even a comparatively less costly PHWR nuclear power plant costs around 12 crores/MW. Generated power is also cheapest from Solar and Wind, at Rs.2.50–3.00 per KWHr. Nuclear power, taking subsidies into account, costs almost double. And what about the continuous stream of radioactive byproducts, which is poisoning our land-water-air, and will keep poisoning us and our children for thousands of years to come.
We the Citizens must demand from our governments — COME BACK TO SOME SENSIBILITY — SCRAP ALL NEW NUCLEAR (Fission) POWER PROGRAM, And Phase-out the existing ones in a Planned manner.
— Soumya Dutta.
Beyond Copenhagen Collective /
Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha – BJVJ (translates to – India people’s science campaign) /
Note: Biofuelwatch is a fiscally sponsored project of Global Justice Ecology Project. Rachel Smolker is the Co-Director at Biofuelwatch and a member of the international and national Campaign to STOP GE Trees.
by Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch
The Indonesian government recently announced plans for several new “food estate”projects in Central Kalimantan, Papua and North Sumatra Provinces. These would target hundreds of thousands of hectares of land, including some of the world’s last remaining areas of pristine tropical forests in the region, for logging and conversion. Past experience with food estate projects (the “Mega Rice” project and the “Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate”) proved to be a social and environmental disaster, displacing communities, producing little food and causing more, rather than less, hunger, and leaving vast swathes of previously forested land denuded and smoldering with peat fires that polluted air across continents. Who benefitted? those who profited from the sale of timber followed by establishment of palmoil and other export commodity crops.
The new food estate proposals are framed as a response to economic impacts of COVID and food insecurity, but in reality they are opportunistic land grabs aimed to further pad the bloated coffers of a few corrupt individuals at the expense of people and the planet.
With implementation of the food estates partially under authority of the ministry of defense, displacement of communities, under threat of violence is commonplace and resistance often life- threatening. Indonesia’s people deserve to be safe, to enjoy food sovereignty, to be consulted about their lands, and treated with respect. The governments’ proposed food estate programmes will do none of the above.
Our planet is in crisis. Deforestation and ecosystem degradation, pollution and loss of biodiversity, and the impoverishment of peoples and places leaves us faced with dire predictions for the future. Meanwhile, international agreements including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Aichi targets, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and international agreements on climate and biodiversity all will be rendered meaningless and blatantly violated if Indonesia proceeds with stated plans for more “food estate” disasters. The international community cannot abide by these proposals. Banks and potential investors must act responsibly to reject Indonesia’s thinly veiled plans for escalated destruction of her forests and her peoples.
Read the full report: Swallowing Indonesia’s Forest
Image courtesy of World Rainforest Movement
World Rainforest Movement 8 March 2021
In the midst of the global health, social and economic crisis caused by Covid-19, women organized around the world—from Brazil to India, Sierra Leone to Mexico—once again show a possible way forward: One of solidarity, of growing and accessing healthy foods, and of caring for and sharing the commons; one in which women resist, and sustain paths of collective struggle toward sovereign ways of life—free from the oppression of capitalism and patriarchy; and one where livelihoods are interconnected with cycles of nature, coexisting in harmony and balance with forests and other ecosystems.
This March 8, on International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the path forged by feminist struggles, which continue to resist and combat the various and brutal forms of violence against women. These forms of violence are intrinsically related to the extractive industries, such as oil palm companies.
Particularly, women who live near or work on industrial oil palm plantations suffer rape and sexual abuse, dispossession of their land, and contamination of water sources and health problems; this is because they are subjected to forced labor and exposure to agrochemicals. This pattern of violence is seen repeatedly in countries in Central and West Africa, Asia (especially in Malaysia and Indonesia) and Latin America.
On this day, we share a series of articles from the WRM bulletin, and a recent video made by the Informal Alliance Against Oil Palm Plantations in Central and West Africa. These publications and video denounce the violence against women and highlight their struggles in different countries in the Global South.
Today, we once again express our solidarity with women organized around the world, who are resisting and forging a path of hope in the face of oppression from capitalism, racism and patriarchy. The struggle goes on.
For more information visit World Rainforest Movement