Against all odds: first social preCOP in Venezuela

by Maria Alejandra Escalante 

(Spanish version here)

Venezuela’s government, controversial and criticized by many in the international arena, made the effort to do something that not many other governments would do today: invite more than 130 groups both of Venezuelan and international social organizations and representatives of social movements to Margarita Island for a week (full list of guests). Besides enjoying the sun, the seafood, the ocean and salsa bands, all those who flew across the world to be together, social activists and environmentalists both from grassroots groups and NGOs who carry the banner of climate justice in their fights, devoted their days to work on the construction of a new vision of society, a more egalitarian one, less consumerist, less destructive of all around us.

Photo credit Zack Embree - see www.zackembree.com

Photo credit Zack Embree – see www.zackembree.com

Photo credit Zach Embree - see www.zackembree.com

Photo credit Zach Embree – see www.zackembree.com

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Contra viento y marea: la primera preCOP social en Venezuela

por Maria Alejandra Escalante 

(English version here)

El gobierno de Venezuela, criticado por muchos y polémico en el ámbito internacional, se tomó el esfuerzo de hacer algo que no muchos otros gobiernos harían hoy en día: llevar a más de 130 grupos de organizaciones sociales tanto venezolanas como internacionales y a representantes de movimientos sociales a Isla Margarita por una semana (lista completa de invitados). Además de disfrutar del sol, los mariscos, el mar y las orquestas de salsa, todas aquellos que volaron a través del mundo para estar juntos, activistas sociales y ambientalistas tanto de comunidades de base como parte ONGs que llevan como bandera la justicia climática, se dedicaron a trabajar en la construcción de una nueva visión de sociedad, una sociedad más igualitaria, menos consumista, menos destructora de todo lo que nos rodea.

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Photo credit Zach Embree – see www.zackembree.com

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Photo credit Zach Embree – see www.zackembree.com

 

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We Need to Talk About Adaption

by khristian méndez //

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As the President of Guatemala walked out the room, the First National Congress on Climate Change came to an end. Behind the President, Otto Pérez Molina, came a parade of political figures: the Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, the President of the Guatemalan Congress, a German Ambassador, and several other local and political authorities. Of course, they were swarmed by the participants, some of whom eagerly shook hands with them. I took the elevator down to the fourth floor, and Mr. President  Afterwards, all 500+ participants disbanded into the city, carrying the sting of words and ideas we had come across in the past day and a half.

The third and final day of the Congress saw a lot of statements by government authorities and scientists, most of whom repeated Business As Usual things around climate change (in addition to shift responsibilities between private sector and civil society), so I’ll spare you and skip to the interesting bits.

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End Gaza War Now!

Since this letter demanding the ceasing of Israeli attacks in Gaza was issued, the number of Palestinian deaths has doubled and thousands more are injured.

At social preCCOP: Earth in Brackets, along many other civil society organizations, condemns the continued Israeili attacks on the besieged people of Gaza 

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Divided before a Changing Climate

by khristian méndez //

Bright eyed and still a little weary from a charged first day, the First National Congress on Climate Change carried on today in Guatemala City. As I wrote yesterday, there’s quite a spectrum of political actors and stakeholders regarding climate change. Today, the voices began to show stronger colors, some in stark contrast of each other, characterizing the different sectors of our Guatemalan society as the day ticked away and adaptation is becoming critical.

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