March 8th Learning call announcement and news

Hello all,

We are pleased to announce an upcoming Learning Call with Anil Naidoo from the Council of Canadians/ Blue Planet Project. Anil will talk with us about the upcoming Rio+20 conferences, where a “Green Economy” approach will in fact serve to green-wash a set of problematic proposals. Anil will be explaining those “Green Economy” proposals in greater detail, and talking about recent and upcoming civil society efforts to contest them.

For a bit of further background on the dynamics behind the upcoming Rio+20 conference, see this article in the Guardian. A key quote in that article comes from Andy White of the Rights and Resources Initiative, stating: “there is nothing in the draft Rio+20 text that even mentions the rights of poor people to their land and their forests, even though we know they are far better custodians of nature than governments or private corporations.” If you’re looking for further reading along this theme, this set of commentaries in conversation with one another around environmental economics is interesting.

The call will be at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 8th. If you would like to RSVP for the call-in number, or ask for more information, please email lela@ips-dc.org.

In other resource rights developments,

Edgardo Ayala reports for the Inter-Press Service on the distant goal of environmental courts in El Salvador. While budgets are prohibitive, the piece underlined the importance of El Salvador having such a court: environmental law is complicated, and specialized judges are needed to deal with cases arising around the widespread environmental degradation that has been taking place in that country. One example was the notorious case currently under proceedings against the Baterías Récord company. According to Ayala, the attorney general’s office places the lead contamination damages caused by this battery plant at 4 billion dollars.

China and Resource Rights: When it comes to non-intervention, foreign investment in resource exploitation, and engagement with First Nations, the Chinese government has some really complicated politics to navigate. This article illustrates those dynamics quite well. A more detailed look (brought to our attention by Jamie Kneen at MiningWatch!) at increasing civil society advancements towards corporate social responsibility in China can be found here.

On the topic of some of the permaculture videos we shared last post, Seattle is set to build the nation’s first food forest.

Also, here you can watch the Al Jazeera coverage of Malaysia’s Bakun Dam:

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About resource rights project

Seeks to be a clearinghouse for information around resource rights-related issues, to better link and inform. This is a work in progress, more to come.
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