New Voices Climate Change Tour Launched

Anna Pinto speaks at the University of Vermont on the beginning of the Global Justice Ecology Project‘s New Voices on Climate Change.  Ms. Pinto is the Executive Director of CORE (Center for Organizing, Research and Education) in India. She is traveling throughout the northeast U.S. and speaking on climate change, gender justice and Indigenous rights. Her tour will finish at the G20 meetings in Pittsburgh New Voices Climate Change Tour Launched.

The tour will travel from New England, to the G20 in Pittsburgh, September 24-25, and then to Appalachia, the midwest, southeast, Quebec and the final leg of the fall tour will culminate on November 30, 2009 in the West Coast. November 30th is the 10th anniversary of the WTO Shutdown in Seattle, and is a key organizing date for climate actions around the world this year.

For Immediate Release
15 September 2009


New Voices on Climate Change North American Tour Launched

Burlington, VT–Global Justice Ecology Project‘s New Voices on Climate Change fall tour was launched on Monday, September 14th at the University of Vermont. The tour will travel from New England, to the G20 in Pittsburgh, to Appalachia, the midwest, southeast, Quebec and the final leg of the fall tour will culminate on November 30, 2009 in the West Coast. November 30th is the 10th anniversary of the WTO Shutdown in Seattle, and is a key organizing date for climate actions around the world this year.

The New Voices tour is co-sponsored by Global Exchange, Speak Out and the Mobilization for Climate Justice.

Hallie Boas, Coordinator of New Voices on Climate Change stated, “We launched the New Voices tour to raise awareness about the root causes and implications of human-induced climate change.”  She continued, “The tour is intended to inspire and empower audiences to be aware of real community based solutions to climate change already being implemented all over the world and to build the U.S. movement for climate justice, while educating people about the particularly pivotal role of U.S. climate policy in preparation for the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark this December.”

The first speaker on the tour is Anastasia Pinto [1], Executive Director of CORE (Center for Organizing, Research and Education) in India. Ms. Pinto is traveling throughout the northeast U.S. and speaking on climate change, gender justice and Indigenous rights. Her tour will finish at the G20 meetings in Pittsburgh, September 24-25.

“Climate change and false solutions to climate change are having an especially great impact on women and indigenous peoples in the so-called developing world, including my home country, India,” stated Ms. Pinto. “If we are going to have any hope of stopping the climate crisis, we must join together to take strong action,” she concluded.

Other sections of the tour feature Jihan Gearon [2] from the Indigenous Environmental Network Faith Gemmel, [3] an indigenous organizer for REDOIL, Camila Moreno, [4] from Terra de Direitos, a Brazilian NGO, and the final speaker of the fall tour is Fiu Mataese Elisara, [5] an indigenous Samoan activist.

Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project stated, “There are actions planned around the U.S. and all over the world on November 30, the day the tour ends.  This is also one week before the beginning of the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.  World leaders are gathering there to discuss creating a new global agreement on climate change. People are mobilizing globally to demand these meetings take real steps toward dealing with the climate crisis and do not merely focus on pro-corporate, profit-oriented false solutions. The New Voices tour is part of this mobilizing process to ensure that the Copenhagen climate talks must not become the CorporateHaven climate talks,” she continued.

FOR INTERVIEWS PLEASE CONTACT:

Hallie Boas, Global Justice Ecology Project (West Coast Desk), New Voices Coordinator, +1.415.336.6590
Orin Langelle, Global Justice Ecology Project Co-Director, +1.802.482.2689/mobile: +1.802.578.6980
Reede Stockton, Global Exchange, International Climate Equity Campaign Manager, +1.415.575.5559

For more information please visit New Voices on Climate Change.

NOTES to Editors:

[1] Anna Pinto is the Secretary and Programme Director of CORE (Centre for Organisation, Research and Education), an indigenous peoples’ policy research and advocacy organization based in the North East of India. Anna has been an active member of the Indian Women’s Movement for over two decades. She will speak about the intersection between climate change, gender issues and indigenous rights. Anna will tour the Northeast U.S. in September to help mobilize participation in actions and events that will take place in Pittsburgh during meetings of the G-20. While the leaders of the twenty richest countries meet about the financial crisis and the climate crisis, activists representing diverse movements will convene in Pittsburgh to expose the common root causes of the financial crisis and the climate crisis and link them to war as well as the other crises we face: including food, water and biodiversity. For more on Anna: Click Here

[2] Jihan Gearon, is Diné (Navajo) and African American. She is Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, and her maternal grandfather is Tl’ashchí’í (Red Bottom People) clan. Jihan’s family is from the community of Old Sawmill and she grew up on the eastern part of the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Jihan is the Native Energy Organizer at the Indigenous Environmental Network, a member of the Steering Committee of the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative and on the Coordinating Committee of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. Jihan will be speaking about the impacts of climate change and fossil fuels on poor communities and communities of color in the United States; and about the intersection between the financial crisis and the climate crisis and connections with the struggle for environmental justice in the U.S. She will be speaking in the industrial Midwest on a tour beginning in Pittsburgh during the G-20 talks at the end of September and ending in Detroit one week later.  For more on Jihan: Click Here

[3] Faith Gemmill is a Pit River/ Wintu and Neets’aii Gwich’in Athabascan from Arctic Village, Alaska, and is a campaign organizer for REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands). Faith previously worked on behalf of the Gwich’in Nation for over ten years as a representative, public spokesperson and Gwich’in Steering Committee staff to address the potential human health and cultural impacts of proposed oil development and production of the birthplace and nursery of the Porcupine Caribou Herd which is located within the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Faith continues as a public spokesperson, press and tribal liaison and human rights advocate with the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC). She will be touring through mountaintop removal coal mining country in the Appalachians to build bridges between the communities suffering from coal mining and those suffering from oil extraction.
For more on Faith: Click Here

[4] Camila Moreno is a lawyer and researcher with Terra de Direitos, a Brazilian NGO working on peasant and indigenous land rights. She has worked for years in support of the struggles of indigenous and peasant movements in Brazil. Camila will be speaking about the links between deforestation and climate change and the impacts on forest dependent indigenous communities, as well as the impacts of monoculture tree plantations (including genetically engineered tree plantations) developed for the production of agrofuels (biofuels). She will be touring through the Southeast U.S. during the first week of November to speak to communities where genetically engineered eucalyptus tree plantations have been proposed for the manufacture of cellulosic ethanol.  For more on Camila: Click Here

[5] Fiu Mataese Elisara-La’ulu is the Executive Director of the Ole Siosiomaga Society (OLSSI). He came to the organization after spending over eight years (1993 – 2001) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Samoa, six and a half of those years as Assistant Resident Representative (1996 – 2001). Fiu was given overall responsibilities for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and environmental programmes throughout much of his eight years with UNDP Samoa, and was closely involved with the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and other environmental partners, including OLSSI, in the implementation of environment programe around Samoa and the Pacific Island countries.  For more on Fiu: Click Here
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