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November 4, 2016

Hello Changemakers,

Dive into the selection of climate justice news from this past week. Learn more about getting to a zero carbon economy in time to avoid catastrophic climate change. Express solidarity with indigenous people resisting Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Get ready for the Paris Agreement entering into force this Saturday. And finally learn more about the benefits of indigenous people being stewards of vast forest areas and efforts towards reforestation of Kenya.

In the midst of all this remember to think about how all these issues relate to you as an activist, share what you’re doing with the rest of SCI and remember - the power is yours!

Climate protection - scientific approach

What is climate change adaptation? In short, it is adjusting our lifestyles and surroundings to the impacts that global warming will bring: more frequent and extreme heat waves, tides coming far into land or deregulated weather patterns. Sounds catastrophic? Well, it can get much worse, unless the whole world economic system shifts towards zero carbon solutions. But what about people who are still waiting to experience the comfort of stable energy access? Learn more about the urgency and understand better why changes need to start happening now in the TEDTalk delivered by Alice Bows-Larkin “Climate change is happening. Here's how we adapt” (15 min). Also if you are into those kind of topics, check out the web page of Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research where Alice works.

Resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline

Protesters in North Dakota experienced another escalation of violence. On Wednesday, after an attempt to cross Cannonball River to establish a prayer camp on a sacred hill, law enforcement responded by firing less-lethal projectiles and pepper spray at the protesters (“Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Pepper Sprayed in Latest Standoff”, EcoWatch). In the meantime Amnesty International is planning to observe policing of Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance (Democracy Now!).

By the way, did you notice your friends checking in at Standing Rock, North Dakota on Facebook? This practice was originally intended to disorient the police, but ended up being a way for almost one million people to express their solidarity with the water protectors. You can do it too! “A million people 'check in' at Standing Rock on Facebook to support Dakota pipeline protesters” (The Guardian)

For inspiration read about some of the most prominent indigenous women leading the protest against Dakota Access Pipeline. Even "clicktivism" (activism limited to social media) can be a powerful way of bringing together beginners and civil society leaders. “15 Indigenous Women on the Frontlines of the Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance” (EcoWatch)

Paris Climate Agreement in practice

Tomorrow, November 5, the Paris Agreement officially enters into force. At its simplest, entry into force means that the compulsory elements of the agreement become binding on the parties who have joined. It also means the voluntary elements – or let’s say strongly encouraged elements – are also triggered into motion. And what does that mean in practice? Read more in the overview by the Climate Reality Project. "The Paris Agreement enters into force - Now what!"

Another round of the global climate negotiations starts on Monday in Marrakesh, Morocco. SCI sent its delegations to the climate summits in the past (check out page 14 in SCI's Annual Report 2015). This year we won't have anyone on the ground, but you can still expect updates.

Forests -> People -> Forests

In addition to reducing 20-30% of carbon dioxide emissions, forests provide benefits of clean water, pollination, biodiversity, flood control and tourist attractions… But do you need to be convinced about the value of forests? Neither do the indigenous people. A report by a consortium of research institutions shows that leaving the forests in the hands of their original guardians and ensuring indigenous rights are key to preserving forests (The Guardian). “When communities have secure forest rights, not only are forests better protected, but communities fare better. It’s what economists call an optimal solution. Everyone wins,” says Alain Frechette of Rights and Resources. Unfortunately forests protection is under pressure from the world economy and changes in local politics.

The Kenyan government is planning to increase the forest cover of their country from 7 to 10%. Kenyan researchers are developing trees that will withstand heat and drought. This can really improve the quality of life of local communities (e.g. improving food sovereignty even if rainfall decreases), but people often need to chose between immediate aid in the face of hunger (when they can get money by selling wood of younger plants) or waiting for 15-20 years to reap full benefits of harvesting fully mature trees. “Kenya Greens Drylands to Combat Land Degradation” (Inter Press Service)


Co-Funded by the Erasmus plus programme of the European Union.


The Association of Service Civil International ivzw receives support from the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.



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