This motivating experience is about Lore and Feli, about these two characters, with their children Sara and Juan, and revolves around the challenge we al know in our lives, in the search for the answer to the question: what are we called to be? After a very brief interlude in conventional life, Lorena and Felipe opted for more than gratifying bets: to build an associative experience in full horizontality, circumscribed to alpine landscapes in tune with dignified crafts manship and the option of permacultural family life, embraced by the forest.
Environment and development
GTA held its first physical Assembly in Kenya earlier last month (8th-13th August) and renewed our bonds of companionship and affection, weaving together both a material Tapestry of fabrics from our individual contexts and a Tapestry of ideas featuring what our vision should look like going forwards.
In Catachilla and Rancho Nuevo, two communities in the municipality of Santivañez, Cochabamba – Bolivia, a group of people have managed to adapt to the climate crisis, particularly to extreme water stress, through their family agro-ecoforestry gardens. As a collective, they mark a route of mutual nurturing, based on “learning by teaching and teaching by learning”; recovering from their socio-environmental relationship common goods such as water, soil, biodiversity and seeds, as well as food culture. Everything begins as an initiative, induced from different projects, gradually achieving a full emancipation from these external supports. The group is constituted as “Ecohuertos Agroecological Producers” and “Eco-Huertos Agroecological Fair” and, perhaps most importantly, they have taken ownership of their process. This transfer of protagonism, from the project to the self-determined and autonomous process of the community fabric, is a common path that many projects seek to achieve but seldom achieve. To the question: why was it possible to achieve what is so difficult to achieve? Usually, there is no possibility to adapt the project to changing and changed realities, thus ending the project in a failed attempt to accommodate reality to the logic of the project…it seems that here the opposite happened.
Thank you, we have won with an overwhelming YES to life!
Today we celebrate an important victory for life! Today we have won a decisive referendum for all
people on this planet. Today, hope is alive in this small corner of the world and in our hearts.
Today the Chocó Andino (Ecuador woke up and lit a spark in the hearts and minds of many people.
Let us dream together that it is possible to walk the path of peace between all beings that live on
Beings that travel the planet!
It has taken some intense years to reach this moment and I want to write these lines to you who
have crossed my path and inspired me. THANK YOU! Thank you for giving me strength with your
Thank you for showing me the possibilities to fight for social justice and the rights of nature.
Thank you for showing me the ways to fight for social justice and the rights of nature.
Thank you for showing me the ways to fight for social justice and the rights of nature.
Thank you for supporting your struggles and our struggles. A thousand thanks for showing me the
way. It was often difficult, but I am sure that it was your energies that accompanied us.
Dear friends, thank you. I share the great joy that millions of people feel after winning the
plebiscite. Today, the Chocó Andino has received a clear “yes” from millions of people, a yes for
I thank you from the bottom of my heart and send you a hug.
From the Chocó Andino (Ecuador)
Model Forest Chocó Andino (Ecuador)
In this article we present a look at the decretionist proposals as a response to the environmental disasters produced by capitalism, and we question their proposals from a revolutionary ecosocialist perspective.
In the highlands, north of the Mexican capital, there is sun all day long, more than three hundred days a year. When Gregorio came from Germany to do a social year in the diocese of Tula, he only knew the climate of his home land. It became a lifelong challenge for the young man to discover and further develop ways to use the energy provided by nature. He man-aged to locally manufacture a solar heater, a pioneering model in its time that can still be found on the roofs of many hotels and residences in the area.
Since then, inventions have become the guiding thread of Gregorio’s life, a self-taught man with a long life. With his company Trinysol, he remains true to his motto: “Concentrated solar power for everyone and everywhere”, with unique approaches.
In Khonoma, traditional knowledge has led to a boom in ecotourism and sustainable farming practices.
originally posted on asambleamundialamazonia.org
Amazon, May 15, 2023
Presidents of the Amazon
Ref: Summit of Presidents of the Amazon
We hereby wish to send you the following proposal documents for the Summit of Presidents of the Amazon that have been the result of a discussion process of several months of the Pan-Amazonian Social Forum (FOSPA), the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM), the World Assembly for the Amazon (AMA), various indigenous organizations from the Amazon basin and civil society institutions.
Our proposals seek to contribute to the process of elaboration of the documents that will come out of the Summit of Presidents of the Amazon with the objective of avoiding the point of no return of the Amazon and the hope that very clear and developed mandates will be agreed on the issues that we raise .
Each one of the documents that we present contains a first part of the state of the situation based on science and objective data, a second part that includes the regulations and mechanisms already agreed at the international level and between countries in the region so that those agreements become effective. fully and are the starting point for the decisions to be adopted, and thirdly our concrete proposals that are born from the experience and reflections in the Amazon.
Hoping that the process towards the Summit of Presidents of the Amazon does not follow the same route as the meeting of presidents of the Amazon in Leticia in 2019, where there was no participation of civil society, we are ready at your disposal to attend all the meetings face-to-face and virtual meetings that you call us to be able to discuss these and other proposals that you are considering.
The documents we include are 1) Let’s avoid the Amazon’s point of no return, 2) The fate of the Amazon is the fate of its peoples , 3) Let’s save the Amazon from mining and mercury, 4) Water for life in the Amazon, 5) Direct, transparent, participatory financing and not to commodify the Amazon, and 6) In defense of the bodies and territories of Andean-Amazonian women in their diversity.
Pan-Amazon Social Forum
Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network
World Assembly for the Amazon
Jarillas, elsewhere better known as Caña Brava (a type of cane), is a reed that usually grows on the marshy banks of rivers. Tlacotal, the Nahuatl name for the place where jarillas grow, is a community in Iztacalco, one of the mayorships in the southeast of Mexico City. The Miramontes River, at that time emblematic for Tlacotal, became a canal; but the jarillas are still in the orchard of the Cultural Center that bears the same name. This cultural center is a reference for Mexico City for being managed from the territorial community, cohesioning the social fabric and the sense of community at the scale of the neighborhood locality, with a tireless work from the culture and urban identity. It is an icon for the development and self-determination of an urban community, involving the third generation, giving tangible form to the demands of the people of Tlacotal in their struggle for the right to the city.
- While in the United States and Europe, most pollinating bee colonies are managed by humans, India’s prime pollinator, Apis dorsata (the rock bee), is a wild insect.
- The total area of bee-dependent crops in India is around 50 million hectares.
- With climate change and pesticide abuse threatening bee population across the world, the Nilgiri tribal people show the way ahead by reverting to their traditions to further bee conservation.
Even as modern science grapples with the rapidly declining bee population, we could look back and take a lesson on sustainability from the ancient culture of the adivasis (the first people) of the Nilgiris.
Covering over three states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is home to over eighteen ethnic groups. Of them, Kattunaickens, Kurumbas, Sholigas and Irulas are known to be the primary honey hunter tribes. Traditionally, these tribes hunt for honey on the cliffs of the Nilgiris, atop high trees, inside tree cavities and also in underground hives (puthu thaen or burrow honey). In recent times, with reduced forest cover, climate change and government restrictions, it has become increasingly difficult for these tribes to collect wild honey.
Even as we begin the honey trail for our story, early rains play spoilsport and the locals were worried that it would drive off the bees. Such unpredictable rains are a recent phenomenon in the Nilgiris, which has had a direct impact on honey availability and hence the honey bees and the honey hunters. After months of follow-up, we finally meet up with Masanan, an Irula tribal from Masinagudi in Nilgiris district, who belongs to a family of honey gatherers.
He said, “When I used to go with my father for gathering honey, there would be 15 combs in a cliff. Now there are hardly six.”
He tells us that their community treats the bees as sacred beings and they hold prayers before they leave for harvesting the honey. Even as we walked miles across the outskirts of the forest, Masanan knew the location of the bee hives, be it atop the trees, or in cavities or cliffs, like the back of his hand. He points to how the bees always prefer a place near a water source and also about how the flowering season impacts the quality of honey.
“We always wait till April to harvest honey, as it gives a better survival rate for the larvae and mature honey (with less water content) for us. Traditionally, we do not use destructive methods like crushing the hives or burning them. Our elders use the herbs in the forest to create smoke that drives away the bees. We then harvest only what is necessary for us, leaving enough for the bees to sustain. For instance, if there are few hives in the cliff, we leave 60 percent untouched for the bees, they come back to the same place every year,” added Masanan.
Sasi, a Kattunaicker tribal member from the neighbouring Coonoor agrees that this practice is common amongst their honey gatherers too.
Masanan smiled, “We live and let live.”
Keeping the buzz alive
We stood there watching in amazement as hundreds of bees buzzed around him and he did not swat even one, “Normally, one or two bees will sting us, but if he hit them, hundreds will swarm us recognizing the smell of the dead bee. So, while you watch, make sure you do not kill even a single bee,” he warns, taking out the honey, undeterred by the (literal) buzz around him.
But not every tradition has survived time. Masanan, for instance, uses his beedi (native cigar) to smoke out the beehive we found. He was able to save the brood of the hive in the tree cavity, but in the tree branches, it sometimes becomes impossible to cut the honey without striking the brood. “Unlike petti then (box honey) apiculture, we cannot always tap just the honey,” he said.
Justin Raj, a beekeeping expert with conservation NGO Keystone Foundation, tells us that most tribes in Nilgiris traditionally follow a sustainable method of honey harvesting. “Our job is to ensure that they stick to these sustainable and clean practices through training workshops,” he said. “First, we request them not to touch or attack the queen cell. And as is their traditional practice, if there find seven combs, we ask them to harvest only three. We also request them to take out just the honey part (wherever possible) and leave the brood with the larvae intact. Lastly, we ask them to wait for over six months to gather mature honey with less water content and less damage to the bees.”
Be it apiculture or wild honey harvesting, Keystone Foundation insists that the honey gatherers they work with follow sustainable honey harvesting practices and their products are given a better market price for following sustainable methods.
Bharath Kumar Merugu, Project Lead, Just Change works with over 175 Kattunayakar honey gatherers through a tribal union called ‘Thenkootam’ (then – honey, kootam – crowd) under the umbrella of Adivasi Munetra Sangam. “We think it is important to support sustainable non-timber produce like honey and coffee. This will ensure that our tribal people turn protectors of the forest even while guaranteeing them a reliable livelihood option. The price of the honey is fixed by the tribal union themselves, we merely help them reach a better market.”
Ecologist Godwin Vasanth Bosco agrees that it is crucial to include the indigenous tribes instead of keeping them out of the forests and even perhaps use their traditional expertise to conserve the wild bees in the Nilgiris. He opines that it is equally important to educate farmers in the biosphere to stay off harmful pesticides that could directly impact the bee population. Several villagers of the Athakarai Village in Nilgiris district we spoke to also confirmed that swarms of bees die after visiting pesticide-ridden jasmine farms in the region.
In India, conservation has primarily focused on introducing the European species Apis mellifera, renowned for easy domestication and high yield of honey. But studies show that this has had an adverse impact on the native rock (A. dorsata) and hive bees (A. cerana indica) as they compete for food. This loss of bee diversity could directly impact the plants dependent on it for pollination.
Hariprasad, Professor – Agri-entomology, Annamalai University informs us that the European bee, which is the most domesticated in the world is also easily disease-prone. He says, “Of the five prominent bee species in India, the rock bees or A. dorsata species are the major honey yielders. But they cannot be domesticated. The Dammer bee (Melipona irridipennis) on the other hand is good for cross-pollination even though the honey yield is less.” It is therefore important to find the middle ground between sustainability and utility.
Hariprasad suggests that improving the local food source by making it pesticide-free could play a major role in conserving bees and biodiversity of the region. He also suggests that initiatives like providing mountaineering kits for personal safety and training on sustainable production of value-added products from beeswax and pollen could help the tribals gain more profit and enable them to become part of the solution.
Mudhan, an Irula tribe member from Masinagudi suggests it will be good if traditional honey gatherers like them are given training in apiculture, where they could breed indigenous bees throughout the year.
He added, “Irrespective of the jobs we do, in the summer, we would always want to go back to the cliffs. Our lives and culture are always intertwined with these bees.”
First published by Mongabay on 23 March 2020.