GREENPEACE vs. TOXIC POLICIES & LEADERS

donald trump tweet global warming

In an interview, the Campaigns Manager of Greenpeace Spain argues how Trump’s administration represents a threat to the progress that has been made in terms of gender and ethnic equality, and for sure: global warming. 

“Because environment is not isolated”

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María José Caballero,  Campaigns Manager of GP SPAIN and volunteer.

 

Maria José Caballero, Campaigns Manager of Greenpeace Spain has been almost 10 years working in this great NGO. Graduated as a biologist by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and then specialized in Management of NGO’s by ESADE, it’s pretty clear the profile of professional and conscious person she wanted to be: a volunteer.

I feel so grateful about how comfortable she made me feel, the interview turned into a close conversation. I’ve learned so many things thanks to this great woman in such a short time! She showed being an expert on international affairs because -among other things.- I had not even warned about my visit.

We started talking about her current projects, in order to understand deeply what are her functions in the core of the NGO.  In fact, she and her team are working on the “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” international campaign. And many others such as the Artic and Amazonas Projects; also they are working on national issues as the bees affected by insecticides with neonicotinoids and the help to the artisanal fishermen. The women as one of the main collectives affected by climate change also play an important role in their agenda-setting.

“Environment is not isolated, we fight for reach a fair society passing through people rights to climate protection” she said. Apparently, both of them with nothing in common. The thing is that the ecosystem needs to be carefully protected by institutions: the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the jobs we keep in order to survive, the home where we rest… and this is the aim of Greenpeace, rebuild an environment corrupted by corporations that, protected by states, destroys our ecosystems where human being, fauna, and flora must be keeping in balance. “We are living in a globalized world where the rules of the market are being imposed” she complained.

Related to “the water we drink”,  M. J. Caballero remind the situation living by the population along to the threatening pipelines of Keyston XL and Dakota. That last one, is feared because of the tribe’s water supply could be in danger and it also desecrated sacred lands. She said they and the population -without under the brand of Green Peace.- have stopped temporarily the construction of that pipeline. They are clearly more than social denouncement. They achieve real merits with real action.

resistAfter dissertation, I cut straight to the point, inquiring her about the “RESIST” banner by GREENPEACE USA in front of the White House and the consequent idea of political positioning or political lobbying that could be understood, she answered that Trump’s assumptions are totally against to the goals of the NGO and GP as a movement that pretends bring the power back to the people, they just pretend to protect the society from the threat that is living in their government by encouraging people. “We believe in a diversity world, far from xenophobia, racism, and sexism, and we are absolutely independent of political parties, nor ideologically neither economically speaking .” Obviously is the essence of any NGO being totally impartial in order to defend public interests, that specific topics states tend to avoid or forget.

Surprisingly, sometimes political parties and GP defend same laws reinforcements or paralyze them at international cooperation scenarios…

Protest ahead of Vote on EU-Canada Trade Deal at EU Parliament in Strasbourg


Action of GP while is approving CETA in the EuropeanParliament (Strasbourg)

…but with different intentions. Is the case of CETA agreement that was positively voted in European Parliament the past 15 of February. Between its opposition were Podemos, Marie Le Pen, and Los Verdes, for instance. Some because of their populist way to work and the achievement of their isolation aspirations; some others because of real worries about people and dangerous environment which is involved. And some, for the combination of both of those.

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The label of any product

CETA is a new ‘toxic’ trade agreement between EU and Canada that allows the free exportation between its territories. Why is it ‘toxic’? Easy. It would be toxic for our European democracy which has restrictive politics about toxic elements of hormone foods and its labels (“If they take away from us the capacity to choose freely, what’s left?” warned M. J. Caballero), not to mention the specific Tribunal that is pretending to implement to judge harmful reports to that trade individually from European and national laws from the Member States; or the dismissing of employees, taking into account that a lot of current European trade of food are producers from our borders.

While we were discussing these topics, we realized that she was running out of time, and I didn’t want to obstacle the key role that she means in the team of Campaigns with such an important work to do in this shocking scenario. So we said goodbye at the shout of:

“The fight continues!”

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María José Caballero being interviewed by student Alba Tissera at the headquarter of GP in San Bernardo,107, Madrid.

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DARA for Bangladesh: a race against nature’s clock

“Our people are struggling to survive now during the wake of climate change”

– Statement by Kiribati at the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Dhaka, 14 November 2011

Located in south Asia and with a tropical climate, Bangladesh is a country very susceptible to climate changes and natural hazards. The humid monsoon season, that lasts about four months, is known for causing several natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, tropical rains and cyclones. Only in 2007, the population of Bangladesh saw its country be destroyed by two major floods and the Cyclon Sidr, with winds over 240 km/h, cutting off communications and transportation: all in all, they affected over nine million people, caused sever food shortages, rises of fuel prices, inflation in the products and a serious outbreak of avian influenza in the most affected areas. The total people affected were over 8 million, 1,100 of which died,and not to forget the economic damage of 2.3 billion dollars.

Bangladesh’s vulnerability to natural calamities caught the attention numerous organizations: among them, the non profit organization named DARA is doing a particularly important work.

DARA is an independent organization founded in 2002 by Silvia Hidalgo. It’s main aim is to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian aid for vulnerable populations, affected by disasters and climate change, and victims of conflicts: it achieves its goal by conducting evaluations on the humanitarian operations across the five continents, in the service of numerous governments and the United Nations, not to mention the different European agencies and international organizations like the Red Cross.

Through those evaluations, and the development of different indexes and monitoring projects  (Humanitarian Response Index, Climate Vulnerability Monitor, Risk Reduction Index) DARA is able to provide the right expertise and give useful development suggestions, innovative solutions and practical knowledge.

The reason for DARAs interest in Bangladesh is, obviously, related to the environmental consequences and need to establish an agreement/resolution. Environmental consequences lead to human suffering, and dramatic irreversible changes of nature.

In trying to achieve its goals of economic, environmental and political adaptation, the organization is facing many challenges.

First of all, it is a race against natures clock, which means there is a time pressing factor, therefore agreements should be established the better the sooner. Reaching agreements is also a great challenge and as a consequence DARAs work of selling the event and news, must be extremely effective. This includes organizing travels and logistics for meetings (delegates and special guests), including communication methods such as the international press. Providing technical assistance and aid in drafting declarations, is also necessary. All time long, bearing in mind the fact that the declarations are of non-binding character.

It is undeniable truth that we, human beings, haven’t seen but a short photogram in the film of the life of the earth. Consequently, we can’t state that the climate on our planet is drastically changing due to our industrial activities and pollution. So even when we must be aware that temperatures and climate on earth have changed from glaciation to desertification, even after the appearance of the first human beings, we should try to build our civilizations in parallel to the environment around us. That would mean not only to avoid our activities from damaging its balance, but also to adequate our progress to its nature. An example of this could be the architecture techniques that have allowed constructing buildings in Japan able to resist earthquakes. However, this can’t be applied in most of the times and the worst consequences of the anger of nature are suffered by the less developed countries, so we should take DARA’s action as an example for the humanity and for developed countries to awake to this reality in which, if we are heading into a global civilization, we should unify our strength to help one to the others in a constant seek for global progress.

For more information of DARAs imapct and dimension go to: http://daraint.org/