Carol Schachet's blog

Resource Rights Video

Big business wants to gobble up our resources—grabbing land, privatizing water, patenting seeds and trying to squeeze out anyone who gets in the way of their profits. Fortunately, an alternative exists that places the rights of people and communities ahead of big business. The alternative is resource rights.

Grassroots International produced a short video that explains the challenges and hope surrounding the movement for Resource Rights, starting with the story of our partner, Dona Maria. By sharing it through social networks like Facebook, you can help spread word of this powerful movement to secure land, water and food right for all.

Ending Femicide and Violence Against Women

At least 35 percent of women and girls globally experience some form of physical or sexual violence, according to the United Nations. On this November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November, Grassroots International joins our global partners in mobilizing to strengthen the struggle and resistance around to systems that exploit women and remove them from their homes, creates wars and militarizes civilian territories. As La Via Campesina rightly states, “It is urgent to build new human relationships that are founded on gender justice and equal rights.”

Dams Burst in Brazil, Thousands Impacted by Toxic Sludge

When two dams owned by transnational mining companies burst in Brazil, a flood of toxic mud and wastewater poured into neighboring villages and began its journey down the Rio Doce (“Sweet River”). This tragedy could have been avoided if companies heeded warnings sounded more than two years ago. Instead, authorities estimate over 2,000 people have been affected in the immediate area of the dam, with more than 600 people evacuated (many rescued by helicopter), hundreds left homeless, and dozens of people who are still unaccounted for feared dead. 

Climate Solutions from the Ground Up

For small farmers, climate change feels like “the sun is getting closer.” That’s what Ginette Hilaire says, and she goes on to describe the escalating droughts, floods and other climate events that she and her community are experiencing with new intensity. “The seasons have completely changed,” she added.

But Ginette and others in her Haitian community are not merely enduring these hardships. They are working to address the root causes, adapt to the changes and put forward workable solutions.

How the Food Industry is Feeding Us Lies

A new report exposes an ugly truth about advertising and deception that really comes as no surprise: Industrial food giants create and fund front organizations to conduct stealth public relations campaigns to downplay the dangers of chemical-intensive agriculture and undermine organic food.

Summer of Our Power -- Toward a Just Transition for a Healthy, Equitable Planet

Grassroots International is a member of the Climate Justice Alliance, a collaborative of over 35 community-based and movement support organizations uniting frontline communities to forge a scalable, and socio-economically just transition away from unsustainable energy towards local living economies to address the root causes of climate change. CJA has been developing a unified campaign – the Our Power Campaign – which launched the “Summer of Our Power” this weekend. Below is information about that campaign.

Agroecology Declaration lays out the path for a sustainable, healthy planet

Small-scale food producers and global movement leaders gathered in Mali earlier this year to lay out a plan to transform and repair our food system and the rural world that has been devastated by industrial food production. Their declaration (below) spells out specific values, strategies, challenges and next-steps to not only feed the world, but also address climate change by advancing agroecology.

Hosted by Grassroots International grantee CNOP (the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations) and La Via Campesina, among several other leading agroecology organziations, the International Forum on Agroecology outlined agroecology is a key form of resistance to the commodification of food and seeds, and moves toward a healthy planet.

No Agrarian Reform with Women at Home: Video of Esperanza Cardona

With women at home, agrarian reform will not advance! Those words from Esperanza Cardona, a powerful grassroots leader from Honduras, kicked off a recent Grassroots International event lifting up the Global Campaign to End Violence Against Women.

The video below includes Esperanza's presentation (beginning at 6:20), which follows her introduction by Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of Grassroots International.

Engaging and Impacting Philanthropy

Grassroots International recently participated in the 2015 Just Giving Conference sponsored by EDGE Funders Alliance. Entitled “Better. Not More: Towards a Just Transition,” the conference worked to create a space within philanthropy to explore the deeper philosophical ideas that animate contemporary politics, economy, and culture.  Within this space, participants were encouraged to consider four goals for the transition to a just economy: 1) Decommodify nature; 2) Reimagine work; 3) Liberate knowledge; and 4) Democratize wealth.

Major Land Rights Victory for Maya Q’eqchi and Mopan of Southern Belize

The Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellant court, ruled that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied. The Court affirmed that these traditional land rights constitute property within the meaning of the provisions of the Belize Constitution that generally protect property free from discrimination.

After almost a decade of legal struggle, the April 20th judgement finally upholds the rights of the indigenous Maya to their ancestral lands.

Grassroots International has supported he Maya Leaders Alliance, a lead plaintiff in the case and community voice for indigenous rights and cultural.