- Blog,Food Policy & Politics,Forests
Monday, February 2nd, 2009, 9:56 PM
We wanted to post part of a letter from our colleague, Leila, Agribusiness Campaign Director at Rainforest Action Network. If you want to get in touch with Leila or learn more about the campaign visit RAN.
Good Evening All! I thought I’d share a little more details on our participation and plans at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Belem, Brazil beginning tomorrow. (Read RAN staffer Andrea’s blog here.)
For the first time ever, the World Social Forum is being held in the Amazon, and will gather the largest Indigenous delegation in the history of the forum. Levana and Andrea are representing RAN on the ground at the WSF and will be taking an active role within an international Amazon delegation, comprised of Indigenous allies/networks such as COIAB, COICA and international NGO allies such as Amazon Watch, Amazon Alliance, IFG (International Forum on Globalization, BIC (Bank Information Center) and many others. We’re very excited to be participating and co-coordinating one of the most visible actions at the forum—the “Human Banner.” (see below)
Our participation in the WSF is a great opportunity to launch the year by reconnecting with allies from all around the world, frontline communities impacted by soy, palm oil and agrofuels, as well as playing a crucial role in bringing attention to the Amazon, Indigenous rights, rainforest issues generally, and the importance of making forests a top priority in the upcoming climate negotiations.
Here’s what we’ll be doing on the ground:
Prior to the mass march of nearly 100,000 people that officially opens the WSF, we will be supporting our Indigenous allies in sounding the alarm in defense of the Amazon and its inhabitants. We are working with the Amazon delegation to organize at least 1,000 people or so to participate in a human banner near the Amazon River. We will be using human bodies to spell out “SOS Amazonia”, indicating the need to focus on protecting the Amazon, and its inhabitants, particularly given its fundamental significance in climate stabilization. This will be photographed by award-winning photojournalist, Lou Dematteis and videographed by Antoine Bonsorte, from a helicopter. Joining them in the helicopter and on the ground will be photographers and journalists from major media outlets/wires such as AP, AFP and Al Jazeera, as well as Brazilian media.
Other events and meetings at the World Social Forum:
The Amazon delegation is sponsoring several events and workshops at the World Social Forum. We’ll be actively participating and/or recruiting our allies to participate in the following events:
· Jan 28, “State of the Amazon”, panel and a media briefing where Andrea will serve as a spokesperson and talk about the Rainforest Agribusiness campaign and agribusiness impacts in the Amazon.
· Jan 29, Challenging IIRSA (Integration of South American Regional Infrastructure) Workshop, where Levana and Andrea will be leading a session on corporate campaign strategies to use in challenging national and regional “development” projects
· Jan 29, Indigenous Rights in Action Workshop focusing on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
· Jan 29, Brazilian Amazon Now and Forever focusing on the Amazon and Climate Change
· Jan 30, Action for the Amazon, a strategy session to prepare for the Amazon Forum taking place in Manaus, Brazil in July.
Andrea will be speaking at a couple of other workshops, including:
· REDVIDA panel on food, water and climate change
· The launch of a Global Women’s Network on Right to Livelihood which is seeking to link issues of agriculture, food sovereignty, seeds, climate change, land, water and forests to issues connected with livelihoods.
If you have any questions about our work at the WSF or after, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks!