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Home > English > Alternatives International Journal > 2011 > October 2011 > Alternatives International Project Briefing – October 2011

Alternatives International Project Briefing – October 2011

Sunday 2 October 2011, by Lili Eskinazi, Tamkinat Mirza

Each of the nine member organizations of the Alternatives International federation is constantly at work on a variety of projects to improve social, economic and environmental justice in their respective countries and to create international solidarity. Every month, the AIJ publishes the Project Briefing which features a summary of interesting projects from various members. Read on to stay connected!

Institut Terrazul - Fortaleza, Brazil

Brazil will host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012. The conference aims to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development, to assess progress in implementation of previously agreed commitments, and to address new issues. Its themes are “a green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication,” and “the institutional framework for sustainable development.” Policy suggestions put forth include public procurement contracts and the need to include specifications for labour and environmental sustainability standards; generating new funds through a financial transaction tax (with such funds being earmarked for environmental goods and services, social protection, poverty eradication and climate change mitigation and adaptation); recognition of the monetary value of ecosystem services within their national accounting systems; developing ways of measuring national welfare, going beyond Gross Domestic Product; and catalyzing a transformation in the poorest countries.

Alternatives Espaces Citoyens – Niamey, Niger

As a follow-up to the October 2010 Thematic Forum on the right to food and food sovereignty in the Sahel, Alternatives Espaces Citoyens (AEC) recently released a comprehensive report on the subject. The publication “Combattre la faim au Sahel” is a summary of the forum’s conclusions and key recommendations to improve food security in the region. After facing two major food crises in the past decade, Niger’s food supply and agriculture industry are at their most vulnerable. Rather than adopt this pessimistic point of view in the report, AEC seeks to highlight the enormous potential for agricultural and pastoral activities in the Sahel. As such, properly managing the region’s human and natural resources can improve food security over the long term. Today, raising awareness about food insecurity and engaging political actors and social activists in the fight against hunger are both fundamental to achieving the long run improvements that Nigeriens are demanding. Ultimately, through the Thematic Forum and the report, AEC demonstrates the immediate need for legislation on the right to food in Niger.

Alternative Information Center –Jerusalem, Israel

On September 15, AICafe held a discussion on European views regarding the Palestinian September Initiatives. The discussion also examined the issue of Water in Palestine. The event was led by Luisa Morgantini, former President of the EU-Parliament and Chairperson of the Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council. Morgantini was in Palestine for an initiative on the Right of Water with the Italian Committe for the World Water Contract.

Alternatives Asia – New Delhi, India

Alternatives Asia works with Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samithi (BGVS), an Indian NGO focused on local literacy. Through its continuing education program, BGVS provides a platform to address people’s needs regarding information, their livelihood and governance. A panchayat resource group of 8 to 10 people provides the support to integrate these efforts and aims to bridge the economic and social divide in the population. The group targets economic divides by integrating government schemes pertinent to the conditions of its region of operation. It targets the social divide by organizing cultural festivals and group activities. BGVS also provides group classes to increase local basic and computer literacy.

Initiative pour un autre monde (IPAM) – Paris, France

IPAM is advertising for the Human Rights Film Festival of the Quartier Latin, to take place September 29th-Octiber 4th. This event is organized by Amnesty Paris, the Parisian branch of Amnesty International, which aims to put Human Rights on screen for one week in Paris. The festival aims to draw focus on the interactions between cinematography and human rights through both full-length and short films.

Also advertised by IPAM is the conference entitled “La France en situation postcoloniale?” This is a two day conference organized in reaction to the release of the article “La France en situation Postcoloniale?” which was censured in May of 2010 by the Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration and its journal Hommes et migrations. The conference will be held from September 30th to October 1st, at the École Normale Supérieure.

Alternatives Montreal — Montreal, Canada

Alternatives is collaborating the Council of Canadians and a number of Québec and First Nations organizations, student and labour groups, to organize a major conference in Montréal, October 21-22, 2011. INDIGNEZ-VOUS! HOPE IN RESISTANCE. This initiative was inspired by the title of Stephane Hessel’s recent book “Indignez-vous! Mr. Hessel has been invited (not confirmed) to talk about the “Indignant” movement his book has sparked in Europe. The movement is an expression of outrage, particularly on the part of youth, against the growing gap between the very rich and the very poor. People are coming together to defend democratic rights and to protect the environment in the face of the complicity of politicians and the economic elite.

The conference will explore how we can work together as civil society movements in Canada, Québec, and the First Nations to create positive alternatives to a system that makes profits more important than people and the planet.
On the agenda is a public forum Friday evening, October 21, and a full day of plenary panels on Saturday, October 22. The opening panel on Saturday will explore how social movements will work with progressive politicians in Québec and the rest of Canada. Other panels will focus on the protection of our water and environment, strengthening our public health care system, and the threats posed by new trade and security agreements to democracy, public services and civil liberties. The closing panel will feature movement-building campaigns and concrete ways we can work in solidarity.

Forum des Alternatives Maroc (FMAS) – Rabat, Morocco

The Forum des Alternatives Maroc held its 5th meeting on “Community Media for Citizen Information” that took place September 24-25. This meeting, organized by the civil society portal Maghreb-Machrek E-JOUSSOUR of the FMAS, hosted a series of debates around the promotion and development of community media in Morocco. As a six-part series of conferences, the discussions focused on the reform of the communications sector to guarantee freedom of expression and to put into place a legislative framework to guarantee the existence of community media. Participants also discussed challenges and hopes around information and communication as it relates to civil society.

Teacher Creativity Center - Ramallah, Palestine

In preparation for the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, The Arab Campaign for Education for All and the Arab Network for Education on Human Rights and Citizenship (ANHUR) launched the one million educator’s signature for full recognition of State of Palestine petition.

This campaign comes as an initiative by the Teacher Creativity Center, a member in the Arab Campaign for Education and the Arab Network for Education on Human Rights and Citizenship (ANHUR), which are two local Arab networks containing hundreds of educational institutions in the Arab world.

The statement of the campaign considered the decision of the Palestinian leadership to approach the United Nations will provide the State of Palestine with a legal status and new international legitimacy; in addition to ending the despicable occupation over the Palestinian people.