Local Buffalo Organization Active in Paris Climate Organizing

GJEP_final_logo_3 copyBuffalo, NY (2 December 2015) – Buffalo based Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) is involved with the UN Climate talks in Paris through several different initiatives.

GJEP’s Buffalo-based media team is working with counterparts on the ground in Paris to highlight the voices of Indigenous Peoples, people of color and representatives of communities already being impacted by climate change. GJEP is linking these activists with major national and international media outlets to amplify their message that the proposed climate agreement falls far short of what is needed to avoid global catastrophe.

GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann also wrote a chapter for a book being released today by Spain and Belgium-based Carbon Trade Watch titled Paths beyond Paris: Movements, Action and Solidarity towards Climate Justice. [1]

According to co-editor Tamra Gilbertson, “ongoing struggles from communities in resistance to exploitative projects – from forest-grabs to pipelines – are the most powerful force for keeping fossil fuels under the ground and the main hope in the struggle against climate change. The authors of this booklet share a critical message for building future solidarity and effective action to stop climate chaos.”

GJEP is also involved in Paris-related initiatives here in Buffalo. Petermann is a featured speaker at the Western New York Environmental Alliance’s 2015 Congress, which has the theme “Taking Climate Action: The Future of Western New York.” The congress is scheduled for December 8th at the Buffalo Science Museum.

Additionally, GJEP’s ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery at 148 Elmwood Avenue is hosting an exhibit that discusses work done by artist Peter Beard that exposed threats posed by top-down conservation models that exclude humans from protected areas. The exhibit, The End of the Game-Revisited explores what happened in Kenya in the 1960s and 70s when elephants were moved into protected areas while local Indigenous populations were relocated and subsistence hunting outlawed. The elephants overpopulated, destroyed their habitat and died by the tens of thousands. These conservation models are being promoted at the Paris climate talks.

“While the lessons learned in Kenya should sound a warning, several initiatives in Paris are following this same tragic pattern,” explained gallery director and photographer Orin Langelle. “Schemes like REDD+ for example, are promoting forests and other ecosystems as ‘carbon sinks.’ This allows them to be used by polluting companies as ‘carbon offsets’ so these companies can continue polluting while claiming to be protecting the climate. Indigenous Peoples and forest dependent communities must be relocated under these schemes, leaving forests vulnerable to illegal logging and other damaging activities,” he added.

The End of the Game – Revisited exhibit will close with a reception at the Buen Vivir Gallery on December 17th from 6-9pm at its 148 Elmwood Avenue location.

 

Contact: Kip Doyle, GJEP Media Coordinator, kip@globaljusticeecology.org +1.716.867.4080

 

Notes to Editors

[1] Carbon Trade Watch is publishing a new must-read publication that includes cutting-edge essays from international activists, researchers, scholars, feminists and thinkers. Paths beyond Paris: Movements, Action and Solidarity towards Climate Justice includes 17 articles that push the limits in the quest towards social and climate justice. The collection of essays are a must-read for anyone committed to stronger, more radical and more effective climate justice movements. This climate justice compendium moves beyond the fallacy of the climate negotiations and towards a path of international solidarity and action. http://www.carbontradewatch.org/publications/paths-beyond-paris.html

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