International community action
“My children’s health has been harmed by the company I work for”
My name is Roy Nyer. I live in South Africa in South Durban where we are surrounded by large companies that pollute our area. I worked for Mondi for a period of twenty years. Mondi paper company that produces paper and newsprint. My concern is that two of my kids have been affected with sickness through the pollution. And on my investigation I found out that the company that I worked for for twenty years has been a contributing factor to the cause of my children’s sickness.
The other reason is that we are poor. And they realised that as an Indian community that we always believed in family values. That our families would not let us lose our jobs. The companies knew that. Being poor, we would be scared of losing our jobs, so whatever they have done by polluting the area or causing any concern to our community, that we would not fight back. Because we’re scared to lose out jobs and if we lose our jobs our families would suffer.”
One of the reasons I believe that the industries have been built close to our community, predominantly an Indian community, is they’ve taken advantage of our passivity. We are a race that does not fight very aggressively. Whenever we want to bring our concerns, it’s done very passively. This is the reason I believe that most of the industries have come and built their factories close to us because they would not get any violent reactions or violent protest.
You can see more testimonies from around the world at www.raisedvoices.net
Friends of the Earth Australia has strong campaigns on energy and climate issues.
Sustainability Street is a fun and energetic project which has involved communities in reshaping their neighbourhoods to be more sustainable.
Coecoceiba amigos de la tierra Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Friends of the Earth group. It mobilises Costa Rica’s urban and rural communities in search of sustainable societies, in defense of their rights to a healthy environment and just societies.
A small indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon are suing one of the worlds biggest oil companies for $12bn to repair the damage done to their lands. Article: ‘Cofan people sue Chevron for $12bn’
Native Solutions to Conservation Refugees is set up to help when people, frequently indigenous people, are displaced because of conservation or environmental designation of their lands.
Accion Ecologica is a campaigning group working on issues around the impact of oil exploration and exploitation in Ecuador.
School kids show how it’s done. As part of a project called ‘The Bet’ (part of Friends of the Earth Germany) German schoolchildren from 150 schools bet their government that they would be able to save more CO2 in eight months than the government had promised to save in eight years. They won.
The Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE) is representative indigenous peoples’ organization based in Manipur, India.
The forests of India are a critical resource for the subsistence of rural peoples throughout the country, but especially in hill and mountain areas, both because of their direct provision of food, fuel and fodder and because of their role in stabilising soil and water resources. As these forests have been increasingly felled for commerce and industry, Indian villagers have sought to protect their livelihoods through the Gandhian method of satyagraha non-violent resistence. In the 1970s and 1980s this resistance to the destruction of forests spread throughout India and became organised and known as the Chipko Movement.
The Third World Network is an independent non-profit international network based in Malaysia. It is comprised of organizations and individuals involved in issues relating to development and North- South issues.
Environmental Rights Action works on environmental human rights issues in Nigeria.
The Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International works with communities through people-centred programmes to foster self-reliance within a changing world.
The Centre for Civil Society was established at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in July 2001, with the mission of promoting the study of South African civil society as a legitimate, flourishing area of scholarly activity. A related goal was to develop partnerships within civil society aimed at capacity-building, knowledge sharing, and generating reflection and debate.
The Durban Network for Climate Justice is a vibrant global network of grassroots groups campaigning for climate justice. Read the Durban Declaration on Carbon Trading.
Groundwork seeks to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people in South Africa, and increasingly in Southern Africa, through assisting civil society to have a greater impact on environmental governance.
Earthlife Africa is a membership driven organization of environmental and social justice activists, founded to mobilize civil society around environmental issues in relation to people.
Focus on the Global South is an NGO based in Thailand, the Phillipines and India. It combines policy research, advocacy, activism and grassroots capacity building in order to generate critical analysis and encourage debates on national and international policies related to corporate-led globalisation, neo-liberalism and militarisation.
People at Bo Nok and Ban Krut fought a long struggle and defeated corporate and state plans to build two coal-fired power plants in Thailand. Article: Thai community wins fight against coal-fired power plant.
Climate and Development Initiatives is one of the lead civil society organizations working on climate-change in Uganda, CDI has been involved in many national and regional capacity building projects on implementing mechanisms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Current focus is on building adaptive capacity to climate change impacts in Africa.
The World Rainforest Movement is an international network of citizens’ groups of North and South involved in efforts to defend the world’s rainforests. It works to secure the lands and livelihoods of forest peoples and supports their efforts to defend the forests from commercial logging, dams, mining, plantations, shrimp farms, colonisation and other projects that threaten them.
Mendocino County, California
Willits Economic Localisation. The mission of Willits Economic LocaLization (WELL) is to foster the creation of a sustainable, local economy based on the principles of sufficiency, responsibility, and life promoting actions. WELL is made up of a network of citizens and community organizations that meet regularly to create a common vision, foster education, plan work, and carry out projects.
The Indigenous Environment Network is “a network of Indigenous Peoples empowering Indigenous Nations and communities towards sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the Sacred Fire of our traditions.”
Step It Up – an insight into just how much climate action is happening all over the United States
City Repair was formed in Portland, Oregon in 1996 by citizen activists who wanted a more community-oriented and ecologically sustainable society. Born out of a successful grassroots neighbourhood initiative that converted a residential street intersection into a neighbourhood public square, City Repair began its work with the idea that ‘localization’ (of culture, of economy, of decision-making) is a necessary foundation of sustainability. By reclaiming urban spaces to create community-oriented places, they plant the seeds for greater neighbourhood communication, empower our communities and nurture our local culture.
The Global Justice Ecology Project builds local, national and international alliances with action to address the common root causes of social injustice, economic domination and environmental destruction.
Washington D.C, Maryland
The Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative is a diverse, consensus-based group of U.S. environmental justice, climate justice, religious, policy, and advocacy networks working together to promote just and meaningful climate policy. Their mission is to educate and activate the people of North America towards the creation and implementation of just climate policies in both domestic and international contexts.
Yellow Springs, Ohio
The Community Solution, started in 2003, is a national resource for knowledge and practices on low-energy living and self-reliant communities. They educate about the coming global oil production peak and climate change, and design solutions to the current unsustainable, fossil-fuel based, overly centralized way of living. The Community Solution seek alternatives to both non-renewables (hydrogen, large scale coal/gas-to-liquids, carbon sequestration, tar sands) and renewables (large scale wind systems, biofuels, solar) that are risky and intended to maintain inequitable and unsustainable levels of resource consumption.