This report summarizes the campaigns and projects that EarthAction supported and carried out in 2010. Read about our work to protect a forest in Moscow, indigenous peoples' rights in Colombia, elephants in Africa, endangered languages in Siberia, and much, much, more. It's all part of our goal to create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.
EarthAction played a leading role in halting the logging in the Khimki Forest in Moscow
In July, we sent an email Action Alert to our Partner Organizations worldwide asking them to take action to support local environmentalists in their efforts to protect the Khimki Forest in Moscow. As the trees were being felled by chainsaws to make way for a highway project between Moscow and St. Petersburg, the local environmentalists were being beaten by thugs and jailed by the police. Within a month of our campaign, the New York Times reported that Russian President Medvedev, “responding to the global public outcry,” reversed his decision and called for a moratorium on the logging. Following his announcement, Medvedev fired Moscow’s mayor over the Khimki issue. Soon after, the two European Banks that were funding the highway construction project withdraw their financial backing. We had also asked our Partners to write to the banks with exactly this request.
Sadly, in January 2011, President Medvedev announced that the building of the roadway from Moscow to St. Petersburg will proceed through the Khimki Forest. EarthAction will continue our work with the local environmentalists, who are being physically attacked and imprisoned, to preserve this land.
Other Environment, Development, Peace, and Human Rights Issues Addressed:
- The 10/10/10 Global Work Party that engaged millions of people taking local action to slow-down climate change.
- UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – August 9
- The Elders Project Black Line Journey in Colombia
- Call for proposals from the US Institute for Peace for peacebuilding projects managed by non-profit organizations throughout the world.
- A Report on the UN Millennium Development Goals
- Cultural Survival’s campaign to build support for Guatemala Communities Hit Hard by Tropical Storm Agatha
- The global movement to Free the Hikers who were detained in Iran (One was released, two are still held.)
- Human Rights Violations in Russia
- Creating a World Without Nuclear Weapons
- International Women’s Day – March 8
- Solar Workshop Project in New York City
- Maintaining the World-wide Ban on Ivory Trading as a means to Save the Elephants.
- The Charter for Compassion
- The Story of Stuff
In addition, EarthAction partnered with Solutions magazine to promote our work.
Launched 2020 Action and the 2020 Education Fund
In 2010, 2020 Vision and the 2020 Vision Education Fund, organizations that Lois Barber (EarthAction’s Co-founder) created in 1986, gave their assets to EarthAction with the intention that it would carry on the work of 2020.
In April, EarthAction updated the names or both groups to 2020 Action and the 2020 Education Fund and ‘went public.’
2020 Action, the advocacy branch, sends monthly action postcards to its members via email and mail, each focused on a critical environment or peace issue. Each postcard asks members to take one small action and provides all the information needed. The postcards feature photographs that celebrate the beauty and wonder of the natural world. By the end of 2010, 2020 Action had 200 members. A membership costs $20/year.
The 2020 Ed Fund works to promote active citizen participation in our democracy by educating Americans about how our government works and about critical environment and peace issues with a focus on climate change and nuclear weapons. It also produces monthly postcards that ask members to contact decision makers other than members of Congress.
The Alliance for Renewable Energy (ARE) & the ARE Education Fund
In 2010 EarthAction continued to provide leadership for the Alliance for Renewable Energy—ARE and the ARE Education Fund, a coalition of businesses, NGOs, academics, and others that promote the world’s most effective renewable energy policy: feed-in tariffs (FITs). Lois Barber, EA’s Executive Director, serves as co-chair of ARE and the ARE Ed Fund.
EAN maintains ARE’s website: AllianceForRenewableEnergy.org, and Lois organizes and chairs monthly Steering Committee conference calls and meetings.
In addition, in 2010 Lois gave many presentations on FITs in Colorado and elsewhere. In May, she represented ARE at a gathering focused on FIT policies convened by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund held at Pocantico, RBF’s conference center. She continues to work with the strategic planning group that emerged from that gathering.
Feed-in tariff policies have been adopted by several states, cities and provinces in the US and Canada and are being considered by many more.
“Science and Spirituality in the Global Awakening: An Exploration with The World Future Council”
As part of an ongoing project funded by the Fetzer Institute (through Amherst College), EAN helped to organize a three-day meeting on sustainable and compassionate economics that was held at the United Nations, May 8-10, 2010 during the 18th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. The workshop was designed to be the first in a series of working meetings organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the context of the preparation of the "United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development" (also called "Rio+20"), to be organized in Brazil in 2012.
The title of the meeting was: The Challenge of Sustainability: A Workshop in Preparation for Rio + 20. Participants included 20 of the world’s leading economists and thought leaders from North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Also participating were representatives of the World Future Council, EarthAction, and the Fetzer Institute. A paper summarizing the discussions of the meeting and written by meeting participants can be found on EarthAction’s website.
In late 2009 EarthAction launched The Elders Project to preserve and protect the indigenous culture of the peoples of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia. In January 2010, Rick Harlow, the Program Coordinator, and a film crew organized and accompanied a group of 13 indigenous leaders and 4 support staff on a two-week long journey along The Black Line of the Sierra Nevada region. The Black Line, as the mamos or spiritual leaders call it, is the ancestral territorial boundary of the four Indigenous pueblos and is in great need of restoration. A written report and a 25-minute film were produced documenting the journey.
Later in 2010, Rick Harlow returned to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region to begin work initiated by Saga Benerexa of the Arhuaco tribe to train and support women's spiritual work that has been an integral aspect of the indigenous tradition and is considered crucial for maintaining the harmony and balance of spiritual forces in “the Heart of the World.”
The Endangered Languages Project
The Endangered Languages Program (ELP), sponsored by EAN, supports the preservation and restoration of Native languages and the Earth-honoring worldview at their core. Mariyam Medova, who lives in Alaska, is ELP’s Project Coordinator. One of the overarching goals of this program is to help revive indigenous traditions, ways of life, and continuity in knowledge transmission through preservation of the language. Small, effective teaching programs in languages that are endangered in North/Central America and Siberia are given priority. The projects are chosen primarily according to the level of urgency to protect the language and the likely effectiveness of the proposed projects. In 2010 ELP supported 6 projects in Siberia with grants totaling close to $14,000.