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Indigenous Women: The Frontline Protectors of the Environment PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 27 April 2017 09:33

 

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The Bhumia tribal community practices sustainable forestry: these women returning from the forest carry baskets of painstakingly gathered tree bark and dried cow dung for manure. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

The Bhumia tribal community practices sustainable forestry: these women returning from the forest carry baskets of painstakingly gathered tree bark and dried cow dung for manure. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 27 2017 (IPS) - Indigenous women, while experiencing the first and worst effects of climate change globally, are often in the frontline in struggles to protect the environment.

A forum organized by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) brought together indigenous women from around the world to discuss the effects of climate change in their communities and their work towards sustainable solutions.

“This forum is very much dedicated to frontline communities around climate change issues…we really wanted to take the time to visibilise women’s leadership and their calls for action,” said WECAN’s Executive Director Osprey Orielle Lake.

She added that indigenous women are “drawing a red line to protect and defend mother earth, all species, and the very web of life itself.”

Among the forum’s participants was Executive Director of the Indigenous Information Network Lucy Mulenkei who works with indigenous communities in Kenya on sustainable Development.

She told told IPS how Kenyan indigenous women are bearing the brunt of climate change, stating: “We have been experiencing a lot of prolonged droughts…so it leaves women with added workload [because] getting water is a problem, you have to go father.”

In February, the Kenyan Government declared a national drought emergency which has doubled the number of food-insecure people, increased the rate of malnutrition to emergency levels, and left millions without access to safe water.

Because of climate change, the country also experiences heavy rains which lead to floods, impacting indigenous communities as a whole, Mulenkei said.

Such extreme weather is largely attributed to the fossil fuel industry whose greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to global warming. The United States is responsible for almost 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the top emitters.

Despite being over 8,000 miles away from Kenya, Mulenkei told IPS that “whatever you do from far away impacts us here.”

The fossil fuel industry is also impacting indigenous communities within the U.S. through its mega infrastructure projects.

“You cannot imagine how much things changed when the oil came,” Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network’s (IEN) Extreme Energy and Just Transition Campaign Organiser, said in reference to the discovery of oil in the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota.

“The air is being poisoned, the water is being destroyed,” she continued.

Mossett is among the frontline indigenous women in the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) which garnered international attention in 2016 after thousands of protestors were met with violence by security forces.

She told IPS that indigenous communities are disproportionately targeted for such projects. “You don’t see a frack well in Hollywood or in the White House lawn. You see it in low-income, minority populations.”

Women return from fetching water after the water in their homes was cut off during the water rationing. Credit: Charles Mpaka/IPS

Women return from fetching water after the water in their homes was cut off during the water rationing. Credit: Charles Mpaka/IPS

Mossett highlighted the importance of consent prior to the approval of such development projects as cited in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adding that neither the company or government officials did as such in the case of DAPL.

“Consultation is not consent,” she told attendees.

Indigenous communities are facing similar issues as the economy and companies shift to renewable energy.

In Kenya, indigenous communities are seeing the construction of renewable energy projects on their land and without their consent, including the Ngong Hills and Kipeto wind power projects on Maasai territory.

“I feel neglected, I feel marginalized, I feel isolated,” Mulenkei told IPS regarding the lack of consent and consultation of indigenous groups on such projects, adding that the projects would be beneficial if only they were participatory.

Indigenous peoples at times face more extreme violations in the increasingly green economy including the displacement of Maasai communities following the expansion of geothermal energy production in Kenya. In Honduras, indigenous environmental activist Berta Caceres was shot and killed in her home in March 2016 after opposing the development of a hydroelectric dam.

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America’s War-Fighting Footprint in Africa PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 27 April 2017 07:17

America’s War-Fighting Footprint in Africa 
Secret U.S. Military Documents Reveal a Constellation of American Military Bases Across That Continent 
By Nick Turse 

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176272/tomgram%3A_nick_turse%2C_the_u.s._military_moves_deeper_into_africa/#more

General Thomas Waldhauser sounded a little uneasy. 

“I would just say, they are on the ground.  They are trying to influence the action,” commented the chief of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at a Pentagon press briefing in March, when asked about Russian military personnel operating in North Africa.  “We watch what they do with great concern.

And Russians aren’t the only foreigners on Waldhauser’s mind.  He’s also wary of a Chinese “military base” being built not far from Camp Lemonnier, a large U.S. facility in the tiny, sun-blasted nation of Djibouti.  “They’ve never had an overseas base, and we’ve never had a base of... a peer competitor as close as this one happens to be,” he said.  “There are some very significant... operational security concerns.”

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Long Way to Go for Indigenous Rights Protection PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 10:38

 

Tadodaho Sid Hill (shown on screens), Chief of the Onondaga Nation. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Tadodaho Sid Hill (shown on screens), Chief of the Onondaga Nation. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 25 2017 (IPS) - Despite progress, many gaps remain in international indigenous rights protection, said representatives during an annual UN meeting.

More than 1000 indigenous representatives from around the world have gathered at the UN for the 16th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). This year’s meeting focuses on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which was adopted 10 years ago by the General Assembly.

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Fate of Earth Must Not be Decided by US & Fellow Nuclear States PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 24 April 2017 15:38

By Joan Russow Reprint |    | alt Print | 

Dr Joan Russow is Co-ordinator, Global Compliance Research Project

Credit: UN photo

Credit: UN photo

VICTORIA, BC, Canada, Apr 24 2017 (IPS) - When the United Nations continues its negotiations in June for an international treaty against nuclear weapons, there must be a treaty that should cover every single aspect of the devastating weapons — and leading eventually to their total elimination from the world’s military arsenals.

As envisaged, the treaty should not only prohibit stockpiling; use and threat of use, and planning for use of nuclear weapons but also the deployment; transfer, acquisition, and stationing; development and production of these weapons—along with testing; transit and transshipment; and financing, assistance, encouragement, and inducement and an obligation for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and a framework to achieve it.(WILPH, Reaching Critical Will).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:34
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DRAFT; FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE AND DISARMAMENT PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 14 April 2017 07:54

 

By Joan Russow PhD

Global Compliance Research Project

(OUTLINE FROM A LARGER DOCUMENT)

(RELEASED NOW BECAUSE OF TRUMP'S INCREASED MILITARISM AND DEFIANCE OF THE RULE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW)

 

Image result for image  peace AND DISARMAMENT

DISARMAMENT POSTER - NORTHERN fRIENDS' pEACE BOARD 1935

 

 

A.

PEACE PROMOTION

*COMMON SECURITY

1. We must reappropriate the word “security” and not allow it to be distorted by the military. (Dr. Ursula Franklin, internationally renowned scientist and pacifist (1984 at the lead up conference to Nairobi Conference on Women, 1985)

 2. “True security exists when all are secure, through “common security” (Olof Palme, 1982) whose objectives could be extended to include but not limited to the following:

(a) to achieve a state of peace, and disarmament; through    reallocation of military expenses and delegitimization of war;

(b) to promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights including  labour rights, civil and political rights, indigenous rights, social and cultural rights – right to food, to housing, to safe drinking water and sanitation , right to education and right to universally accessible not for profit health care system; right to water and sanitation

(c) to ensure the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment, the respect for the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, to reduce the ecological footprint and to move away from the current model of unsustainable and excessive overconsumption

(d) To enable socially equitable and environmentally sound employment, energy and transportation,

(e)  to fully implement the UN Declaration the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 16:29
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