[WSF-Discuss] Fwd: Cochabamba : Mining protests overshadow climate summit

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Wed Apr 21 08:02:22 CDT 2010


Wednesday, 21 April 2010



 From the Cochabamba Conference : Not the first report I expected to  
be posting on this list, but.. this is also the reality of life.  And  
the person who has posted this is someone who has a balanced and  
critical perspective.  So thanks, Michael.



I hope people not there have also taken the opportunity to listen in  
to what is happening, through the webcast facilities that have been  
set up and on which I posted details yesterday : http://envivo.cmpcc.org.bo/ 
.



There’s a lot happening there !



             JS


Begin forwarded message:

> From: MK Dorsey <mkdorsey at professordorsey.com>
> Date: April 21 2010 5:33:13 pm GMT+05:30
> To: Climate Justice Network <cjn at lists.riseup.net>
> Subject: [climate justice now!] Mesa 18
>
>
> Cochabamba: Mining protests overshadow climate summit
> Participants, many from environmental and social groups, hope the  
> summit's conclusions will be taken into account at the next UN talks  
> in Mexico in December. From SolveClimate, part of theGuardian  
> Environment Network
> Claudia Lopez Pardo for SolveClimate, part of the Guardian  
> Environment Network
> guardian.co.uk,	 Wednesday 21 April 2010 10.12 BST
>  larger | smaller
>
> Bolivian President Evo Morales gestures during a press conference at  
> the Bella Center in Copenhagen, December 16, 2009 on the10th day of  
> the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference. Photograph: Bob Strong/Reuters
>
> Reporting from Cochabamba, Bolivia
>
> Bolivian President Evo Morales launched the World People's  
> Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth on  
> Tuesday, welcoming over 10,000 people from 135 countries and dozens  
> of social organizations to what he declared to be an alternative to  
> the United Nations climate talks.
>
> In a moving multicultural ceremony in a stadium outside Cochabamba,  
> amautas — indigenous cultural leaders — performed an official  
> ceremony opening offering a gift to mother earth "Pachamama".
>
> A written goal of the conference is "to save the planet," and  
> Morales, who opposed the U.S.-backed Copenhagen Accord during the  
> last international climate conference, was clear about where he'd  
> like to start.
>
>
> "We can not have equilibrium in this world with the current  
> inequality and destruction of Mother Earth," Morales told the crowd.  
> "Capitalism is what is causing this problem and it needs to end."
>
>
> For three days, Cochabamba, a city of fewer than a million people,  
> will hold 17 conference workshops where topics such as structural  
> causes of climate change, harmony with nature, adapting to climate  
> change, indigenous peoples, the dangers of the carbon market,  
> climate justice and others will be discussed.
>
> The participants, many from environmental and social groups, hope  
> the summit's conclusions will be taken into account at the next UN  
> talks in Mexico in December, though its unclear whether world  
> leaders will even acknowledge the proposals.
>
> The Rebel Workshop
> Off the official summit campus, visitors can find Workshop No. 18  
> and another set of concerns.
>
> Workshop No. 18 is a self-declared rebel workshop.
>
> Morales' government doesn't want to hear the demands of the social  
> organizations there because they are exposing environmental problems  
> caused by extractive activities like mining, new projects  
> hydroelectric dams and water legislation within Bolivia,  
> participants said. Mining is likely to expand and cross paths with  
> the global push for sustainability because Bolivia holds huge  
> deposits of lithium, used in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries  
> used in electric cars. At the same time, Bolivia faces a danger of  
> water shortages as its glaciers melt.
>
>
> "The social and environmental issues that we are raising must be  
> addressed by government," Secretary of Extractive Industries of the  
> Confederation of indigenous Aymara Rafael Quispe said.
>
>
> The Regional Federation of Peasant Workers of the Altiplano Sud  
> (FRUTCAS) is one of the participating organizations at workshop No.  
> 18. It is a grassroots organization of community members from Nor  
> Lipez province of the department of Potosi who are in the midst of a  
> conflict that has upended the operations of a huge Japanese trading  
> company.
>
> The protest is against the San Cristobal mine, which is owned by  
> Sumitomo Corporation. It has been in operation for more than three  
> years in the Andean region near the Salar de Uyuni in the town of  
> Avaroa, but for the past week and a half, it has been largely shut  
> down by the protesters.
>
> With blockades, marches and office take-overs of the San Cristobal  
> mine, the communities are demanding that the silver and lead mine  
> replenish the water expended by the extraction processes of an open  
> pit mine and that it be taxed. Six hundred liters of water every  
> second are extracted by the mine.
>
> They are also demanding the completion of projects that were  
> promised by the mining companies when they began operations, such as  
> electrification and improved road infrastructure, with emphasis on  
> water issues.
>
> So far, the Morales government has not taken action against the  
> protest. The situation remains tense, and organizations at Workshop  
> No. 18 are in solidarity with those who are mobilized.
>
> So with an emphasis on indigenous culture, a sharing of information,  
> and participants that range from indigenous to students, academics,  
> government representatives from around the world, the conference and  
> its satellites are under way. There is expectation and an excited  
> willingness to move forward in the heated debates that are sure to  
> come.
>

______________________________
Jai Sen
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