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Service Civil International

October 14, 2016

Hey all you Climate Warriors!
This week you can read more about the environemntal and social challenges recognized by Balkan youth. Check out updates from the true front line of the war on fossil fuels - Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, USA. Understand better that climate change impacts threathen the lives and well-being of poor people, no matter in which country they live. And finally get interested in the issues of seed banks and adapting agricultural strategies to a hotter, more unpredictable global climate system.
Read on and get inspired. As Captain Planet used to say - the power is yours!

NIMBY - Not In My Balkan Yard

Balkan Youth Climate Movement

The awareness on topics such as Climate Justice, Renewable Energy and Global Warming within the Balkan states is pretty low. However, that does not mean that there are no people at all concerned with such topics. Actually, there are already a number of local NGOs, discussion groups and movements that touch upon the mentioned topics.

Read and observe in details the root causes of the refugee crisis or sea level rising in Oceania and you will realize that these are all interconnected and altogether contribute in this humanity crisis. The youth of the Balkans came together to initiate a movement that studies these root causes and advocates for the Climate Justice as one of keys to solve this crisis and point out that it is not “In Your Back Yard” but it is already in your homes and lifestyles. The solution! Read more> (Balkan Youth Climate Movement)

Watch a Gaia Kosovo movie "Kosovo B - The Impossible film" (12:00 min) to understand part of the issue better.

Resistance at Standing Rock Reservation

What started as a Native American movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation has become a larger, national cause for many groups. Credit: Reuters

Even after a federal appeals court ruling on Sunday that allowed construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to continue on both sides of the Missouri River, Native American and environmental activists are far from giving up. Despite Sunday's court ruling, opponents believe that crucial link beneath Missouri River can keep the pipeline from being completed. While the biggest challenge to stopping completion of Dakota Access may be how much of it already has been built, there have been times when major infrastructure projects were stopped even after construction had begun. ("Dakota Access Opponents Thinking Bigger, Aim to Halt Entire Pipeline", Inside Climate News)

On Tuesday, activists who said they were supporting the Dakota Access opposition, temporarily shut down five pipelines that carry tar sands crude from Canada to the U.S. ("Activists disrupt key Canada-U.S. oil pipelines", Reuters)

Do you feel called to action? Share a photo or short video to express of solidarity with the Indigenous protectors at Standing Rock fighting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Or ask your bank about their ties to the project ("A Strategy to Stop the Funding Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline", Post Carbon Institute).

Seeds of the future

Lebanon’s Bekaa valley offers a wealth of ecosystems — and now hosts a growing ICARDA seed bank. Hussein Malla/AP

Seeds are a powerful symbol of hope and change, but they are also quite real and vital for our survival. Seed banks around the world are securely preserving genetic material of plants that are the basis of our diet. One of such banks is located in Aleppo, it specializes in agriculture of dry areas, but has been largely inaccessible for the past four years due to war. Read the story of efforts to relocate the collection of over 700 plant varieties to Lebanon and Morocco. ("Syrian seed bank gets a new home away from war", Nature)

At the same time, farmers in Kenya are improving their livelihoods thanks to planting seeds that are resistant to draught. This is the future of agriculture in the era of climate change. ("Kenyan farmers sow resistance to drought, boosting seed demand", Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Hurricane Matthew

Courtesy of 350.org

Hurracane Matthew left over 1000 people dead and many more devastated, most of them in Haiti, the poorest country in the northern hemisphere. In the hours leading up to the storm many Haitians were unaware of the pending danger ("Why Hurricane Matthew Hit Haiti So Hard?", Time). These are exactly the kind of challenges that need to be addressed by climate adaptation projects. However the richest economy in the world was also hit very hard. Despite many US coastal areas threatened by rising sea levels, some state and federal lawmakers are still debating the reality of climate change, delaying decisions which will save people's lives. Because "Hurricane Matthew's Destructive Storm Surges Hint at New Normal" (National Geographic).
If you want to help the communities recover, look for information near you, but remember these simple principles to avoid getting in the way of the aid effort.


 Co-Funded by the Erasmus plus programme of the European Union.
 The Association of Service Civil International ivzw receives financial support from the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.




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