Grassroots International

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  • A New Collaborative: Announcing Launch of the Grassroots Climate Solutions Fund

    Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, and diverse grassroots groups around the world have the solutions to our global climate crisis. The Grassroots Climate Solutions Fund finances and amplifies these solutions—to ensure a brighter future for us all.

    “We are thrilled to join with sister foundations and move more funding and support to grassroots solutions to climate change,” says Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of Grassroots International. “Together our complementary strengths and common resolve can have a greater impact by supporting powerful, community-led and globally minded solutions.”

    The Need for Grassroots Solutions

  • Climate Change, Learning Exchanges and Your Coffee

    Nearly 75 percent of Mexico’s coffee is dying. A fungus (known as la roya, or rust) is working its way across the coffee fields in Oaxaca, Chiapas and other states, threatening to ruin farmers’ livelihoods and severely impact the supply of coffee that growers export around the world.

    The rapid spread of the Roya Fungus is rooted in two global phenomena: climate change and trade agreements.  And small farmers are organizing to adapt to the first, and confront the second, with remarkable innovation and courage.

  • On Palestinian Land Day, the Catastrophe Continues

    Today is Land Day in Palestine. It’s a day when Palestinians mark with protest the continual expropriation of their land. There is a lot to protest since Palestinians have been losing land for 68 years.  For Palestinians, the year 1948 is the year of the Nakba (or catastrophe) during which 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes, and land and hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed. 1967 marks the year when the state of Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights, and Sinai in Egypt. This year is known to Palestinians as the Naksa (or grief). Today, Israel continues with relentless plans to annex the Jordan Valley for illegal settlements.

  • Women Gather for the 60th UN Commission on the Status of Women

    Grassroots International has the privilege of working with some very courageous women working on the frontlines of human rights defense. One such woman is Yasmín López, a national coordinator for the Council for the Integral Development of the Peasant Woman (CODIMCA). A partner of Grassroots International, CODIMCA is the lead organization for the Women’s Regional Commission of La Vía Campesina–Central America, and one of the first women-led peasant organizations formed in Honduras with the explicit objective of reclaiming women’s land rights.

  • Solidarity in Spirit and the Streets

    Over the last several weeks, I’ve come to see that solidarity can be a gritty, challenging, dig-deep-into-your-spirit kind of thing. But above all that, solidarity can be dangerous, and it matters.

    On Thursday, March 17 movement organizations in Honduras showed the world – and most especially the Honduran government – what solidarity looks like. Fierce. Smart. Unrelenting.

  • International Women’s Day – Celebrating the Life of Berta Cáceres

    This year Grassroots International is dedicating International Women’s Day – March 8 – to Berta Cáceres, courageous indigenous Lenca leader and coordinator of the Civic Council of Indigenous People’s Organizations in Honduras (COPINH). Just days ago we learned that Berta was assassinated in her home. A leader in the Lenca community, Berta helped organize a powerful movement to stop the construction of the Agua Zarca dam and to protect the Gualcarque river basin. For more than a year the Lenca people maintained a human blockade to stop trucks from entering the dam construction site and thus halted its construction.

  • Mozambique’s Movement to End Land Grabs

    To corporations, the forest is only business. To communities, the forest is everything: trees, medicine, culture, spirituality. Land-grabbing and the removal of communities from forests and land breaks the community, displaces access to food and water, and uproots the connection to nature and local knowledge. If the community structure is broken, if the land – the means of food production – is lost, we lose everything. Land That Can Only Grow Stones In Mozambique, where 80% of the population is campesinos – traditional, family farmers – companies are taking the best, most fertile land and moving people to land that can’t grow anything.

  • Brazilian farmers win state funding to build and renovate 1000 homes

    Grassroots partner, the Popular Peasant Movement (MCP), recently won renewed funding by the Brazilian state of Goiás to build and renovate 1,000 homes for small farming families. For the MCP, this marks a major milestone for advancing farming family rights and recognition by the state of the crucial role that small farmers play in society.

    The signing of the ‘My House, My Life’ agreement on April 5th in the state capital, Goiânia, was attended by members of the MCP, the Governor of the State of Goiás, Marconi Perillo, and representatives from the federal government and state financial institutions.

  • Human Rights Leader Murdered in Honduras: Berta Cáceres, Presente!

    Last night indigenous rights leader and social justice warrior Berta Cáceres was murdered in her home in Honduras. This follows weeks of mounting threats and years of violence and aggression targeting indigenous peoples, women, small farmers and environmental activists in Honduras and throughout Central America.

  • What We Celebrate from Paris: 14 Moments and Connections for a Stronger Global Climate Justice Movement

    In a previous blog, we shared our critiques of the Paris climate agreement, and analysis of what took place. In this photo blog, we share some of the moments and lessons that demonstrate what Grassroots International celebrates from what took place in Paris – the clarity and strength of social movements on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and in the forefront of struggle to expose false solutions and promote real solutions to achieve climate justice. We were honored to be in that space with our Global South partners, US and other international allies, making connections across geographies and issues – these relationships are a key part of what it will take to heal and cool the planet, while developing deep resilience to the shocks and slides to come.   

  • Land and Ocean Grabs Not the Solution to Climate Change

    When Hiba Al-Jibeihi stepped off her flight in Paris in early December, it was her first time outside the occupied Palestinian territories where she had lived all of her 24 years. She wasn't quite sure how she would relate to her fellow international social movement delegates in parallel meetings to the climate negotiations taking place during the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). The daughter of a sheep breeder and teacher, Hiba works as an advocacy officer for the Union of Agricultural Works Committees, a well-organized group of small-scale farmers in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

  • Burkina Faso abandons GM Bt cotton

    In a major move against Monsanto and GMOs that will undoubtedly have implications rippling across Africa, Burkina Faso has decided to abandon GM cotton.  Tellingly, Burkinabe cotton-growing companies are also demanding that Monsanto compensate them USD 280 million for the crop losses incurred due to declines in cotton quality over the last 5 years. The following article by GMWatch.org explains:

    Burkina Faso abandons GM Bt cotton


    The country’s exit from Bt cotton cultivation may have implications for Africa’s stance on GM crops in general, says a new briefing by GM Watch reporter Claire Robinson

     

  • Climate Justice and Palestine: The New Intersectionality

    On February 9, 2016, the US Supreme Court in a troubling example of shortsighted hubris halted Obama’s latest climate change resolutions which had emerged from the December Paris Agreement on global warming, thus also threatening commitments made by other top polluters, India and China. While China has now surpassed the US as the number one polluter, the decades of fossil fuel use by the US stills makes us the largest contributor to the climate crisis. The decision to freeze the resolutions which sought to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants until legal challenges are resolved, threatens to imperil an already inadequate approach to climate change.

  • Celebrating Women Farmers of West Africa

    Women farmers of West Africa hold a piece of Black history and ancestral knowledge to be celebrated and honored this and every month. In Africa women produce the majority of food consumed locally, and for centuries they have been the guardians of seeds, passing on local strains from generation to generation. Grassroots International is supporting rural women farmers associations in five countries in West Africa - Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Guinea - to build connections between local associations and to strengthen the voice of rural women farmers regionally.

  • La Via Campesina, Building an International Movement for Food and Seed Sovereignty

    Who we are fighting for is every single peasant farmer – more than 200 million – on the planet. People are eager to join hands in building a global voice.                     Transnational corporations are pushing policies in African countries for industrial farming and the use of GMO [genetically modified] seeds, while grabbing our land and [stealing] our natural resources.  No one should come and tell us how to produce food.  In Via Campesina, we believe in controlling our land and seeds and producing the healthy food that we want, the way we want.

  • Trans-Pacific Partnership vs. the People and Planet

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a potentially disastrous “trade” deal, fundamentally undermines economic and social equality, environmental protection, and human rights. With Congress poised to vote on the Obama-touted deal, it’s time to expose the false promises of the TPP.

    The final TPP text was finally released in November after seven years of secretive negotiations, during which 500 official U.S. trade advisors representing corporate interests had special access and Congress, the public and press were shut out.

  • Standing with Flint for Water Rights

    We have been horrified by the poisoning of the water supply of the residents of Flint, Michigan, a predominantly Black community.  As part of alliances such as the Climate Justice Alliance, and through our work accompanying Global South social movements, Grassroots International understands this issue as part of the struggle against racism and for the human right to clean water around the country and around the world.  We are moved by the statement of solidarity below by the South by Southwest Experiment, a project connecting grassroots communities in the US South and Southwest, and invite you to share it broadly.

  • Global Connections Beyond Paris

    Like thousands of people committed to climate justice, I traveled to Paris last month to participate in the historic events surrounding the UN climate change meetings (COP-21). There I connected with Grassroots International’s team – including key staff members and representatives from partner organizations from Brazil, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Palestine – and joined in the activities in the ‘climate action zone’.