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Developing Countries Insist Kyoto Stays

Posted on 14 December 2009 by editor

People demonstrating at Bella Center in support of Africa and calling for Kyoto targets. Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

People demonstrating at Bella Center in support of Africa and calling for Kyoto targets. Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

By Terna Gyuse

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) The U.N. Climate Change Conference enters its final week under a cloud of uncertainty as the Africa Group led a protest of the developing world against a perceived attempt to abandon the Kyoto Protocol.

Monday found long lines of delegates and observers waiting to clear security at the Bella Center’s entrance. The now-familiar invitations to this or that side event in the background, you could hear people discussing the fate of precious clauses over the weekend, and murmurings of trouble brewing in the official process. Continue Reading

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Writing a Climate Manifesto Aboard an Electric Scooter

Posted on 14 December 2009 by editor

The electric scooters used for R2C generate zero emissions and produce minimal noise. Credit: R2C

The electric scooters used for R2C generate zero emissions and produce minimal noise. Credit: R2C

By Liza Jansen

UNITED NATIONS (IPS/TerraViva) Composing a manifesto while driving towards a “green future” in Copenhagen is the goal of 300 Dutch student activists undertaking the Road to Copenhagen (R2C), a four-day trip on electric scooters.

“I want to show governments this generation’s youth cares about the future,” Peter Hardy, one of the drivers, told TerraViva. Continue Reading

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REDD: No Clear Targets

Posted on 13 December 2009 by editor

Jungle on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Credit: Diana Cariboni/IPS

Jungle on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Credit: Diana Cariboni/IPS

By Servaas van den Bosch

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) With five days to go at COP15 the REDD proposal no longer offers tangible targets for halting deforestation. A safeguard on the conversion of natural forest into plantations has been re-inserted though.

Reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) could lower global CO2 output by 15 percent, say scientists. Continue Reading

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Hope in 100,000 Flavours

Posted on 13 December 2009 by editor

One of many marches Saturday in Copenhagen: Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

One of many marches Saturday in Copenhagen: Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

By Terna Gyuse*

COPENHAGUE (IPS/TerraViva) The midpoint of a conference on climate change in which tremendous hope has been invested; unsurprising then that demonstrations of popular desire for decisive action against global warming took place around the world. Continue Reading

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Sun Comes Out to Greet “Flood for Climate Justice”

Posted on 12 December 2009 by editor

March in Copenhagen urging world political leaders to stop talking and act now. Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

March in Copenhagen urging world political leaders to stop talking and act now. Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

By Raúl Pierri

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – The sun came out in Copenhagen Saturday for the first time this week. But even though its rays were too weak to temper the bone-chilling cold, it shone brightly over the 5,000 people who braved the weather to participate in a demonstration organised by Friends of the Earth International (FOEI).

“Flood for Climate Justice” was the slogan that gathered activists from more than 20 countries around the world, and from a wide range of social, women’s, peasant and environmental organisations, along with dozens of young local people, who came out to voice their opposition to the carbon offsetting “solution.” Continue Reading

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Small Farmers Can Cool the World

Posted on 12 December 2009 by editor

Alicia Muñoz of La Via Campesina in Chile. Credit: TerraViva/A. Libisch

Alicia Muñoz of La Via Campesina in Chile. Credit: TerraViva/A. Libisch

By Stephen Leahy

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) Industrial agriculture may emit nearly half of climate-heating greenhouse gases, but that reality has gone unrecognised by negotiators at the climate treaty talks here, say farmers with La Via Campesina, an international movement of hundreds of millions of small-scale peasant farmers.

“Small-scale farmers use 80 percent less energy than large monocultures,” said Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, a Haitian farmer with Mouvement de Paysan, through a translator.

“Peasant farmers from La Via Campesina and others can help cool the planet,” Jean-Baptiste told a press conference at the Klimaforum09, the alternative climate action talks being held here in Copenhagen Dec. 7-18.

Unlike the official talks, set in a remote location surrounded by police and razor wire, Klimaforum09 is being held in the city’s community centre and is free and open to the public.

“System Change for Climate Change” – that’s the phrase most often heard at the Klimaforum09 and in parts of Copenhagen.

La Via Campesina’s claim that industrial agriculture is by far the biggest source of carbon emissions is based on a recent study that looked at all emissions from the global food system.

This includes oil-dependent industrial farming, together with the expansion of the meat industry, the destruction of world’s savannahs and forests to grow agricultural commodities, the use of fossil fuel energy to transport and process food, and the extensive use of chemical fertilisers.

The study was conducted by GRAIN, an international non-governmental organisation that promotes the sustainable management and use of agricultural biodiversity to support local communities.

“These results are horrifying. So much carbon is lost from the soil using monoculture practices,” said Camila Montecinos, the lead GRAIN researcher from Santiago, Chile.

The study looked at all the available scientific literature and worked with soil scientists to arrive at this “rough” but thorough estimate, Montecinos told TerraViva.

The study does not include methane emissions from animals and their manure because studies conflict and incorporating manure into the soil increases fertility and soil carbon, she explained.

Surprisingly, one-third of the emissions come from food processing and transport, although the former is responsible for most. The bulk of emissions come from land use changes – conversions of forest and grasslands – and from direct agricultural production like fuel use, fertiliser and tillage.

Calculations in the report show that policies oriented towards agriculture in the hands of small farmers and focused on restoring soil fertility could, over the next 50 years, capture about 450 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is more than two-thirds of the current excess in the atmosphere.

“The evidence is irrefutable. If we can change the way we farm and the way we produce and distribute food, then we have a powerful solution for combating the climate crisis. There are no technical hurdles to achieving these results, it is only a matter of political will,” said Henk Hobbelink, coordinator of GRAIN, in a release.

Governmental policies and trade agreements the world over support industrial agriculture production and the study shows this must change in order to stabilise the climate, Montecinos said. “No governments are talking about this,” she noted.

Worse still, many of those policies are pushing small farmers off the land, the ones who are by far the most efficient in terms of carbon emissions and energy use, she said.

Ending such policies and giving the lands back to small farmers could result in major emission reductions on the order of 50 to 66 percent, said La Via Campesina in a news release.

“Such a transformation of world agriculture would not only greatly contribute to solving the climate crisis – it would also provide healthy food for all – as well as provide livelihoods to millions of women and men,” the group said.

When asked what he would like to tell the negotiators at the official climate talks, Jean-Baptiste said: “We have to change the model of production and consumption, especially in the northern half of the world.”

“Corporate control and concentration has not provided any solutions. Instead people suffering more than ever,” Alicia Muñoz from Via Campesina in Chile told TerraViva. “The men standing up there [at the official negotiations] will never solve the problems of poverty and climate change.”

“Women need to be involved and part of the solution,” she stressed.

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The World Is Sinking in Copenhagen

Posted on 11 December 2009 by editor

Delegates of the chief negotiating groups in tense press conference. Credit: Raúl Pierri/IPS

Delegates of the chief negotiating groups in tense press conference. Credit: Raúl Pierri/IPS

By Raúl Pierri

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) Poor countries will suffer “horrendous” impacts if an agreement isn’t reached by the end of the climate change summit in Copenhagen. That was the warning launched by the developing South Friday during the talks that remained as bogged down at the end of the first week as at the start.

A draft agreement circulated Friday at the COP15 graphically illustrates the numerous points of disagreement, especially in terms of target numbers and timeframes, because they are set off by square brackets. Continue Reading

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Cattle, the Ignored Predator

Posted on 11 December 2009 by editor

Activists urge people to go vegetarian. Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

Activists urge people to go vegetarian. Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

By Mario Osava

RIO DE JANEIRO (IPS/TerraViva) – Because of its effect on the environment, cattle must be given the same priority in global agendas as nuclear weapons, wars and, in particular, climate change, says Brazilian activist João Meirelles Filho, author of two books on Amazon deforestation. Continue Reading

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East Europe, Developed or Developing?

Posted on 11 December 2009 by editor

Poland takes fossil of the day award. Credit: Ana Libisch/IPS.

Poland takes fossil of the day award. Credit: Ana Libisch/IPS.

By Claudia Ciobanu

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – The European Union (EU) is presenting itself as a united front during negotiations in the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. But East European countries insist that they are developing nations and prefer to limit their aid and emissions commitments.

“All the EU aid money comes from every country, even the poorest one,” said Andres Turesson, negotiator for Sweden (the country currently holding the presidency of the EU). This statement was a show of EU unity.

But at the end of October, nine East European leaders negotiated with the rest of the EU to reduce the amounts they would contribute to the total aid amount to be committed by the union to the developing world during the Copenhagen summit. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov declared that his country had “saved” 40-50 million euros (60 – 73 million US dollars) in this way.

It is still not clear whether this “saving” for Eastern Europe lowered the total aid amount the EU decided to commit (2.4 billion euros or 3.5 billion dollars annually, as announced in Brussels on Friday).

The prevalent view in the region is that the former communist countries are too heavily burdened by their own development needs to be able to send aid to countries in the global South.

Even environmental groups agree that the contributions made by the various EU members to external aid should be differentiated. Friends of the Earth (FoE) calls for a scheme in which the share of aid to be contributed by every country would be calculated taking in to account the levels of emissions produced and the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

At Copenhagen, Poland, the largest and most influential East European country in the EU, argues that if it makes any financial pledges they must be purely voluntary. Under the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, Poland and the other East European states are included in Annex 1 of industrialised countries, but not in Annex 2 of industrialised countries which must pay for the costs of developing ones.

“East European countries do have a historical responsibility towards the global South which cannot be ignored,” Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of FoE Europe and a Pole herself, told TerraViva. Eastern Europe industrialised at the same pace as Western Europe during the 20th century – albeit under state socialist rather than capitalist system – so it is an equal contributor to global warming.

“But it is also true that they are less developed, so they cannot pay as much as Western Europe,” added Stoczkiewicz. “It is important to build up more solidarity inside the EU,” she explained. This would allow for the total aid given by the EU not to be lowered while not overburdening the still developing Eastern Europe.

East European countries are also posing problems in terms of greenhouse gas (GhG) emission reductions. During the fourth day of the Copenhagen talks, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, head of the European Committee of the Polish council of ministers, declared in Brussels that the EU’s plan to reduce GhG emissions by 30 percent by 2020 on 1990 levels has no chance of being accepted by all members of the EU.

Over 90 percent of Poland’s electricity comes from coal.

Poland took the “Fossil of the Day” award in Copenhagen Thursday for actively blocking the proposed upgrade of the EU’s emissions reduction target to 30 percent from 20 percent.

“Poland is afraid of committing to 30 percent emission reductions because this would mean they will have to slow down their economy,” said Stoczkiewicz.

The FoE director said that most Polish leaders think that they can only reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2020 on 1990 levels if they start developing nuclear power.

“That is because the leaders have not done their work properly over the last 20 years,” Stoczkiewicz thinks. “The knowledge on renewables was there 20 years ago but it was not applied in Poland. And the development vision which dominates most political heads is one of continuous economic growth.”

And Poland is no exception. GhG emissions decreased in the region in the early 1990s, but they are estimated to have risen by 11 percent between 2004 and 2010. Increased car ownership and consumerism are largely to blame for this.

East Europe is unlikely to be a serious obstacle to a Copenhagen agreement. But its positions might make it difficult in the future for the EU to stick to its commitments of emission reduction.
(END/2009)

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Coastal Carbon Sinks in Dire Need of Protection

Posted on 11 December 2009 by editor

 

Mangroves, like these in Timor-Leste, may store 50 times the amount of carbon than tropical forests. Credit: Lofor/Creative Commons

Mangroves, like these in Timor-Leste, may store 50 times the amount of carbon than tropical forests. Credit: Lofor/Creative Commons

By Stephen Leahy

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) What would it be like if the air we breathe was 30 percent more acidic? The oceans are already 30 percent more acidic, and on their way to becoming 120 percent more acidic in 50 years at the current rates of carbon dioxide emissions.

Acidification is already affecting coral reefs, algae and plankton, the base of many marine food chains, according to a new report released here by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Continue Reading

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“The G77 Is More United Than Ever”

Posted on 10 December 2009 by editor

Tuvalu took "Ray of the Day" award. Credit: Ana Libisch

Tuvalu took "Ray of the Day" award. Credit: Ana Libisch

Raúl Pierri

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) “If there’s ever been a time in which the G77 has been more united than ever, that time is right now,” was the categorical statement made by Venezuelan negotiator Claudia Salerno to TerraViva, after a tiny island nation in the south Pacific stirred things up at the COP15 climate meetings.

The voice of the small island states of the Pacific was heard loudly in the Danish capital when the delegation of Tuvalu, a nation of 11,810 people and just 26 sq. km., firmly demanded the approval of a treaty setting a ceiling of a one to 1.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures, rather than the two degree limit being discussed in the negotiations.

Tuvalu’s outspoken stance won it the first-ever “Ray of the Day” prize, awarded to a country making an outstanding contribution to advancing negotiations towards an internationally legally binding agreement.

“Developed country Parties which have not taken commitments prescribed in Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol, and other Parties who voluntarily elect to do so, shall individually or jointly undertake verifiable, nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions in the form of quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments,” says paragraph 1, article 3 of Tuvalu’s proposal.

The United States is the main industrial country that is not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol.

Furthermore, “Parties undertaking (such) commitments or actions”…”shall not use these commitments to fulfill obligations established under the Kyoto Protocol,” opening up the possibility for a two-pronged scheme.

Article 3 of the proposal includes a detailed three-tier initiative for developing countries to also adopt emissions cuts, although it does not say they should be legally binding.

“Developing country Parties, notwithstanding paragraph 1 above, shall undertake nationally appropriate mitigation actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” it adds.

The Kyoto Protocol does not include binding targets for nations of the South, and the so-called emerging economies are resisting a new agreement that will commit them to reduce their emissions, arguing that the climate debt must be paid by the nations that have achieved growth through centuries of industrialisation at the expense of polluting the environment, and that emerging nations are entitled to their own development now that they can finally grow.

The problem is that today these emerging nations account for more than half of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

Nobody expected the discordant note in the G77 (the Group of 77, which represents 130 developing countries) to come from the small island nations, although there were reasons to believe it would, since they are without a doubt the most affected by climate change.

The United Nations has said that global warming has already caused several islands to disappear, and warned that in the next 40 years it will displace one billion people. Tuvalu could be wiped right off the map.

Salerno, head of international cooperation and management in Venezuela’s Environment Ministry, said that the responsibility lies with the industrialised North, and not with emerging nations.

“The problem we’re facing today is not the result of recent industrialisation processes. The right to development is not at issue here. What are at issue are the countries that for 200 years have been destroying our planet,” she said to TerraViva.

“They are the ones that have to stop. Scientifically the issue is critical, because no amount of effort from developing countries is going to be enough to repair the damage. There are 20 countries with the power to make a difference for the whole world,” she added.

Salerno, who participated in a joint conference of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, bloc in Copenhagen, contended that despite appearances, the G77 is firmly united, especially in its common rejection of certain moves by some countries of the North at the COP15.

“I think that, contrary to what certain media have said, all the actions by developed countries that have been aimed at undermining the process have only served to bring us closer together,” she said, in reference to a leaked draft agreement prepared by Denmark.

“We think it’s best that this document came out now and not on the 18th, because we would’ve been working without a clue of what was going on in back-room negotiations. The countries that are committed to the process are paying no attention to that paper. It means absolutely nothing to us, not to the G77 countries and not to the ALBA countries,” she said.

ALBA is made up of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela.

For his part, Cuban delegate Pedro Luis Pedroso told TerraViva that, pursuant to the Convention, Tuvalu has the right to present its own proposals in line with its national concerns.

The assistant director of Multilateral Matters of Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said that the G77 had not yet examined the island nation’s initiative as a group.

The ALBA members have so far shown a demanding and ambitious front at Copenhagen. This Thursday, in addition to requesting the approval of a legally binding treaty that will put all the responsibility on the industrialised North, ALBA countries called on the international community to “change consumption patterns” in order to “address the causes of climate change, and not just the consequences.”

However, its positions have not been fully backed by the rest of the Latin American community. Several other countries in the region, including Brazil, have announced their willingness to make voluntary cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.

“Each country has its own national perspective, but I think that in essence we all basically share the same concerns and positions. How these concerns and positions are incorporated varies depending on the approach, but I think in essence we have a common stance,” Pedroso told TerraViva.

The heads of state of the ALBA members that will attend the COP15 summit are Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez.
(END/2009)

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No Democracy at Climate Summit, Says Bolivia

Posted on 09 December 2009 by editor

Bolivian delegation. Credit: Raúl Pierri/IPS.

Raúl Pierri

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) “Who made the decision that 30 handpicked countries can decide for 190? What really drew my attention was the lack of democracy and transparency in this process,” the head of Bolivia’s delegation to the COP 15, Angélica Navarro, told TerraViva.

Bolivian delegation. Credit: Raúl Pierri/IPS.

She was referring to a Danish draft proposal for a new climate agreement that was leaked to the press this week during the climate summit that opened Monday in Copenhagen.

Bolivia’s representatives complained Wednesday that rich countries were trying to control the outcome of the climate talks, and that there is a “lack of transparency” in the negotiations. They also called for respect for “the rights of Mother Earth.”

Developing countries are up in arms over the leaked text, complaining that it toes the U.S. line and would set specific emission reduction targets for developing countries. They also say it sidelines the United Nations and the Kyoto Protocol in the talks.

“I find this alarming for two reasons. First of all, who made the decision that 30 handpicked countries can decide for 190? What really drew my attention was the lack of democracy, participation, inclusiveness and transparency in this process, which we are not used to from our European friends, who we want to urge to return to the route of democracy,” Navarro said.

“We are also very worried about the content, because it only refers to one new agreement. What about the Kyoto Protocol? Do they want to kill it off? And second, this accord has new obligations in financing, mitigation and adaptation for developing countries? In other words, we have to pay for the damages they caused?”

The Kyoto Protocol, whose first period of commitments expires in 2012, does not include binding greenhouse gas emissions cuts for the developing South.

The United States, however, is pushing for a new framework in which responsibility for emissions cuts would be shared by developing nations, and for voluntary, not binding, targets across the board.

The countries that make up the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) bloc -
Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela – presented a declaration insisting that the industrial North must assume the costs of climate change, make significant emissions cuts and provide financing and technology for mitigation and adaptation in the South.

“After over-consuming the atmosphere and releasing more than two-thirds of the emissions, the developed countries have a climate debt to developing countries,” said Navarro.

“This can be paid in two ways: the first is through substantial domestic reductions, and the second is by providing adequate financing and technology – not the numbers that they are putting on the table at this time in the negotiations,” she said.

“What worries us about the negotiations is that the ambitions are too low. The numbers that they are putting out there are so low that they would not really curb climate change,” said Navarro.

Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Pablo Solón Romero, stressed in a press conference the importance of recognising “the rights of Mother Earth.”

The diplomat, flanked by two representatives of indigenous groups, said the world must see that the Earth is being “enslaved.”

Romero called for more ambitious targets, such as a ceiling of a one to 1.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures, rather than the two degree limit being discussed in the negotiations.

“Because if we say that the goal is two degrees and 450 parts of a million (of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere), that means more than two degrees for Africa – and it means that a catastrophe lies ahead,” he said.

At the end of the news briefing, the Bolivian delegation exclaimed “Hayaya Pachamama!” which means “for the life of Mother Earth!” in the Quechua language.
(END/2009)

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Latin American Women Want Change in Trade Rules

Posted on 09 December 2009 by editor

Guatemalan indigenous girls. Credit: Danilo Valladares/IPS

Guatemalan indigenous girls. Credit: Danilo Valladares/IPS

By

Daniela Estrada

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – “We don’t need to change the climate, we need to change trade,” said Brazilian activist Marta Lago at Klimaforum, the civil society meeting held in parallel with the climate change summit in the Danish capital.

Lago and Norma Maldonado from Guatemala, who belong to the International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN), criticised the free trade treaties signed by Latin American countries with the United States and the European Union in a panel Tuesday.

They said free trade agreements accentuate poverty and the loss of biodiversity, as a result of megaprojects for the extraction of natural resources which use water intensively, spew out pollution, and exacerbate the effects of climate change.

Examples are mining projects, construction of large hydroelectric dams, and plantations of monoculture crops and genetically modified (GM) organisms.

Free trade deals include strict regulation of intellectual property rights for patented GM seeds, which harms small farmers, creating food insecurity in poor communities that already suffer from harvest variability because of global warming.

“Where there is biodiversity, where there is wealth, where there is culture, that’s where corporate interests flock,” Maldonado, deputy head of Ecumenical Services for Christian Development in Central America (SEFCA), an organisation working with women and young people for community development and political effectiveness, told TerraViva.

SEFCA’s work covers a wide range of issues, focusing on the recovery of traditional farming practices, the carving out of local markets for products, the improvement of the diets of people in rural communities and the provision of training for international trade negotiations.

“The trade treaties give (foreign countries) a legal claim to plunder our natural resources. We cannot separate the trade treaties from their everyday effects: the privatisation of water; the loss of land; the mining companies that use 250,000 gallons of water a minute for free, while polluting our rivers,” she said.

“Guatemala was the birthplace of many food crops, and yet its people are undernourished. Children are dying of hunger. How can we have a country that produces food, but all of it for export, to sell to the great international markets?” she demanded.

In her view, the EU “gives with one hand,” through development aid, “and takes away with the other,” by means of its trade treaties.

In Guatemala, SEFCA works with Q’eqchi’ indigenous communities that are recovering degraded coffee plantations.

Women bear the brunt of climate change effects, Lago and Maldonado said, as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) stated in its latest report.

SEFCA is making a documentary to raise awareness on the water crisis, which includes footage, screened at Klimaforum, showing rural women who spend four hours a day fetching water from streams around their communities.

According to Maldonado, “the problem of water has been, and will continue to be,” a women’s issue, “for cultural reasons,” because they are the ones who do most of the cooking, bathing of children and washing of clothes in their homes.

“Lack of access to water adds to women’s burden,” already a heavy one, she said.

“Women take four hours to fetch two gallons of water at a time, and then we want them to further their education and participate in community affairs. What time do they have for this?” she asked.

How much do Guatemalan women supported by SEFCA know about climate change? According to Maldonado, they are unaware of factors like greenhouse gas emissions and other scientific aspects. “Actually, I don’t understand them very well myself, yet,” she admitted.
“What we are very well aware of is that there are constant landslides and floods, while we women can’t even swim, that the weather is getting hotter all the time, that the rhythm of the crops is altered – sometimes the coffee is ripe in January and previously it was in October – and the cycles and agricultural calendars are upset, and we don’t have enough water,” said the activist.

“We may not know what a carbon sink is, but we do know that our land is being taken from us,” said Maldonado, who said she has been threatened and intimidated for her opposition to free trade agreements in Guatemala.

“A wave of repression swept the country when the first free trade treaty between Guatemala and the United States was signed. Since then there has been systematic persecution of the leadership and raids on organisations (opposed to the trade accords). They searched my house, injured two colleagues, took our computers: we are on their blacklist,” she complained.

Maldonado is in Copenhagen, but she said she “expects nothing” from the Dec. 7-18 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, attended by delegates from 192 countries and 3,500 journalists. She says she is putting her faith in the alliances that emerge from Klimaforum, where the keynote is scepticism of the current development model.

This huge alternative meeting is being held in a multi-purpose centre in the Danish capital that includes a conference centre and is 15 minutes by train from the Bella Centre, the venue for COP 15.

The Klimaforum programme lists 150 panels and talks, 50 exhibitions and 30 artistic events, including documentaries, theatre and music, which will continue until Dec. 18.
(END/2009)

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Leaked Draft Proposal Ruffles Feathers

Posted on 08 December 2009 by editor

Yvo de Boer. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch

Yvo de Boer. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch

By Terna Gyuse

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) A negotiating text produced by the Danish government, leaked by the UK newspaper the Guardian, received plenty of attention at the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen today.

Discussion of the text has been floating around for several days, with murmured disapproval over the idea that what it outlined might be imposed on the meeting after having been agreed by a few powerful countries without consulting more widely. Continue Reading

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