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Showing posts with label indigenous peoples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indigenous peoples. Show all posts

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fair-Trade Award Winning Coffee from India

Indigenous Indians Fight Deforestation Threat with Gourmet Coffee

Article by Rina Chandran, Reuters

Once forbidden by colonialists from cultivating coffee, indigenous people in southern India have won a prestigious award for their bean, which they farm while fighting deforestation.

Adivasi indigenous peoples harvesting coffee in the Araku Valley in India 

Araku Valley Coffee won gold in the Prix Epicures (Award) in Paris earlier this month. The beans are grown by Adivasis - or “original inhabitants” - of southern Andhra Pradesh state through a cooperative set up by the Naandi Foundation.

The organic farming model has benefited more than 45,000 Adivasi families, with profits from the high-grade coffee put into schools, healthcare and other needs of the remote community, according to Manoj Kumar, who founded Naandi.

The initiative has been a success because it built on the strong connection that Adivasis have to the forest, he said.

“They fully embraced the concept of biodynamic farming, because it is a holistic approach that benefits the eco-system, and is in tune with their traditional beliefs of caring for the community and the forest,” he said.

“This is not just about food security; it is also about pride in living without government handouts, and conserving the forest,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation over the phone.

The Adivasis are also countering deforestation by planting millions of mango, papaya and orange trees to provide shade for their coffee crops, as well as in other areas, with support from the Paris-based Global Livelihoods Funds.

While India has pledged to keep a third of its total land area under forest and tree cover, a growing population and increasing demand for land for mining and other industrial activities are placing greater stress on forests.

Activists say a new forest law favoring commercial plantations would undermine indigenous rights over forests and lead to more logging.

Coffee estates thrived in the Araku valley’s cool climate during the British colonial period, but Adivasis were prevented from growing it and did not take up the crop after independence, according to Kumar.

That changed after the Naandi Foundation began working in the region 18 years ago, first setting up schools and healthcare facilities, and then helping to organize a cooperative to farm and market coffee.

Araku Valley Coffee soon commanded high prices in global auctions, and opened its first cafe and shop last year in Paris.

But the real challenge for the Adivasis is not picking coffee beans the right shade of red or deciding on a marketing plan; they face a more existential threat as forests disappear, Kumar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The Adivasis have such a deep spiritual connection with the land and the forest,” he said.

“Taking that away from them is taking away their life.”

Report (Article) by Rina Chandran @rinachandran. Editing by Jared Ferrie. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Sami People Adopt the Indigenous Unity Flag for Solidarity

International Indigenous Unity Flag in Stockholm

By Maria Veneke Ylikomi, Author and Goodwill Ambassador

At Riksbron bridge in Stockholm, Sweden, every Thursday between 11 and 12 o'clock, there is a group of devoted people who fight for land rights, clean water and a living cultural heritage. In all weathers, they stand up for the rights of indigenous peoples and protest against Sweden’s current mineral regulations. On Thursday, October 26th, Pierre Åhrén received the International Indigenous Unity Flag. The International Indigenous Unity Flag is an international symbol uniting all indigenous peoples in world peace calling for the need to unite to protect indigeneity and the planet earth (mother nature). The flag was created in 2012 by aboriginal Canadian, Col. Michael Lawrence Sher, one of the commissioning founders of the organization Globcal International.

Tidningen Gränslöst is a magazine published in Sweden, this article was published original article: "Riksbron every Thursday"

Pierre Åhrén became a Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples Unity.

After demonstrating for 3 years with a homemade banner of the International Indigenous Unity Flag on Thursday, October 26th, Pierre Åhren received a genuine flag, representing unity among indigenous peoples, world peace and how we must become united to protect our planet. The gift was facilitated by goodwill ambassadors of Globcal International.

It all started in November 2013

Pierre Åhrén explains the background to the activities that take place on the Riksbron bridge every Thursday. It all started in November 2013 when activists demonstrated against the mining project in Gállok outside Jokkmokk during the summer. When Pierre stood there demonstrating he came to think of the women in Argentina, Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, whose children disappeared between 1976 and 1983, and who march on Thursday every week. Pierre decided that he also can march once a week, on Thursdays, and other people followed him.

The Poisonous and Destructive Mining Industry

Pierre is on the bridge half an hour before the other demonstrators arrive to prepare the activities. Through the years, they have had protest placards supporting different peoples and places in the world, for example Brazil. The purpose is to protect the earth from deforestation and destruction. The mining industry is poisonous to nature and contaminates our drinking water. The mass consumption society is destroying our planet.

If you follow the chain starting from the mine in the mine you extract metals, from the metal things are made that people should buy, then the things are thrown away and new things are bought. This is going on all over the world, says Pierre.

In Sweden, many of the mines are located in the Sami reindeer herding areas.

The Sami Cultural Heritage

Despite the severe problems with the mining industry, Pierre is quite hopeful when it comes to young Sami people. He means that young Sami people readopt the Sami languages and the Sami art. The young Sami people are the ones who feel the urgent need to protect their cultural heritage.

Kinship with all Indigenous Peoples


When talking about the Indigenous Unity Flag and the event on the Riksbron bridge on October 26th when Pierre Åhrén received the flag from Erica Lundström, he gets emotional.

I feel kinship with all the world’s indigenous peoples.

On October 26th Pierre Åhrén was awarded a medallion to acknowledge and recognize his contribution to the advocacy of human rights and future of indigenous peoples in Sweden.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Discover the Truth about Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous World in 2017

10th Anniversary UNDRIP Special Edition eBook

The International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) has published Indigenous World 2017 which provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide and a comprehensive overview of the main global trends and developments affecting indigenous peoples during 2016.
 Download Indigenous World 2017

Download Indigenous World 2017 for Free

The Indigenous World 2017 comes in a special edition marking the ten years anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The public launch took place April 25, 2017 during the 16th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.

Symbolically, it was launched on the same day, as the UN General Assembly marked the ten years anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Highlights of Indigenous World 2017

Despite some encouraging national achievements, the country reports from around the world in this year’s edition continue to illustrate the great pressures facing indigenous communities at the local level.

If national policies are even available they are often not properly implemented, while in some countries national policies are in direct contradiction with international human rights obligations, including the UNDRIP and ILO Convention No. 169.

The country reports reiterate that the main challenges faced by indigenous peoples continue to be related to the recognition and implementation of their collective rights to lands, territories and resources, their access to justice, lack of consultation and consent, and the gross violations of their fundamental human rights.

The issue of extractive industries is once again a recurrent and overarching theme in the Indigenous World. Numerous examples show that both states and industries are repeatedly ignoring the key principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent.

Mega infrastructure projects, investments in extractive industries and large-scale agriculture are increasingly posing a threat to the everyday life of indigenous peoples and their ability to maintain their land, livelihood and culture.

The year 2016 also witnessed an alarming rate of violence and discrimination of indigenous peoples and human rights defenders around the world.

On a global level, the implementation of the commitments adopted by UN member states at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) continued at a slow but steady pace.

2016 also marked the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and, here, indigenous peoples continued their engagement. Within the area of climate change, the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, entered into force in November 2016, which was seen as a great success with regard to states’ commitments to combating climate change.

About the Book: The Indigenous World 2017 contains 59 detailed country reports and 12 articles on defining global processes in a total of 651 pages.

International Authorities

Over 70 distinguished experts, indigenous activists and scholars have contributed to the Indigenous World 2017. Among the contributors are Claire Charters, Patricia Borraz, Albert Barume, Stefan Disko, Joan Carling, Robert Hitchcock, Lola Garcia-Alix and many more.

All the contributors are identified by IWGIA on the basis of our knowledge and network. The contributors offer their expertise on a voluntary basis, which means that not all countries or all aspects of importance to indigenous peoples are included in the book.

Still, any omissions of specific country reports should not be interpreted as “no news is good news”. In fact, sometimes, it is the precarious human rights situation that makes it difficult to obtain articles from specific countries.

The book is published with support from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Danida.

USE OF THE BOOK: It is IWGIA’s hope that indigenous peoples themselves and their organizations will find the Indigenous World 2017 useful in their advocacy work of improving indigenous peoples’ human rights situation. They may also, in this regard, find it inspiring for their work to read about the experiences of indigenous peoples in other countries and parts of the world.

It is also IWGIA’s wish and hope that the Indigenous World will be useful to a wider audience interested in indigenous issues and that it can be used as a reference book and a basis for obtaining further information on the situation of indigenous peoples worldwide.

The Indigenous World 2017 is, in that sense, an essential source of information and an indispensable tool or those who need to be informed about the most recent issues that impact on indigenous peoples worldwide. Article reformatted from IWGIA Website book reference. 

Article: States and industries still ignore the rights of indigenous peoples

Despite significant progress on global and regional level, indigenous peoples are left behind when it comes to recognition and protection of their right to land, territories and natural resources. This is the main conclusion of IWGIA’s 30th edition of the annual global report on indigenous peoples.

For ten years, indigenous peoples like the Maasai, Adivasi, Inuit and Quechua peoples have had their own UN declaration that commits States to promote, respect and protect indigenous peoples’ rights.

Still, the dignity and survival of the world’s 370 million indigenous people is under threat, as the global race for land and natural resources is increasing.

The Indigenous World 2017 provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide and a comprehensive overview of the main global trends and developments affecting indigenous peoples during 2016.

Focus on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous World 2017 comes in a special edition marking the ten years anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The public launch took place April 25 2017 during the 16th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. Symbolically it was launched on the same day, as the UN General Assembly marked the ten years anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Lola Garcia-Alix, co-director of IWGIA, says, “The adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a landmark. Still, action on the ground is really needed. Good intentions are simply not enough, as indigenous peoples lose lands and livelihoods every day.”

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides a legal framework and an instrument for fulfilling the rights relating to indigenous peoples, including recognition of their right to self-determination, collective land rights, self-determined development, culture and more.

During its first ten years of existence, the Declaration has helped to shape laws, policies and programmes worldwide and continues to do so.

Consultations ignored in the global run for land and raw materials

Still, the realisation of the Declaration falls short in many parts of the world. Numerous examples show that both states and indus­tries are repeatedly ignoring the Declaration’s key principle of free, prior and informed consent. The principle is to protect indigenous peoples by including them in processes that affect their lands and lives.

Kathrin Wessendorf, co-director and coordinator of IWGIA’s climate programme says, “In the global race for acquiring land for industries and large-scale infrastructure projects, indigenous peoples and their rights are too often neglected. International companies and States should be concerned with this development and take responsibility. We call for joint action to realise the Declaration and ensure the dignity and survival of indigenous peoples.”

Development projects on indigenous lands continue to take place without consulting the people living on and from the affected land. And increasingly, energy projects and tourism threaten indigenous peoples to the same degree as construction of hy­droelectric dams, fossil fuel development, logging and agro-plantations do.

Shrinking space for indigenous activists

The year 2016 witnessed an alarming rate of violence and discrimination of in­digenous peoples and human rights defenders around the world.

Conflicts over land often lead to forced eviction and displacement of indigenous peoples. When defending their rights to land and territory, indigenous peoples risk being arrested, harassed, threatened and even murdered.

Lola Garcia-Alix says, “We condemn the use of threats, arrests and violence against indigenous peoples. Our hope is that by applying the principle of free, prior and informed consent and by generally respecting indigenous peoples’ rights, violent conflicts over land and resources will decrease in the future.”

For any further questions, please contact IWGIA's Press and Communications team: press@iwgia.org or +45 30749470.

Content re-published from IWGIA WebSite for Globcal International Network followers.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Indigenous Unity in Diversity is Now a Reality

Indigenous Views Collated Worldwide 'For First Time'

By Lisa Nikalau at SciDev.Net

[MADRID] Indigenous people will soon be able to put their opinions across to international policymakers thanks to an initiative which is the first to collate their views worldwide, its developers say.

The initiative, known as the Indigenous Navigator, will be officially launched at the UN General Assembly in September.

It is the largest-ever attempt to fill the data gap in development specific to indigenous people, who account for some 370 million worldwide and are overrepresented amongst the poor, illiterate and unemployed, according to the project’s coordinator Cæcilie Mikkelsen.

“The Indigenous Navigator is a great example of how marginalised and excluded groups, who are invisible in official statistics, can collect data themselves.” -Birgitte Feiring

“For the first time, we have global indicators for monitoring the rights of indigenous peoples,” says Mikkelsen, coordinator for sustainable human development at the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). “It is an awareness raising, a monitoring and an advocacy tool.”

By providing a data collection method that is free, open source and available online, the initiative enables authorized contributors to answer user-friendly questionnaires at either a national or community level. Based on the responses, the tool then creates an index to illustrate the status of indigenous peoples’ rights in selected countries or communities. 
Connect to Data with Indigenous Navigator

In 2007, countries adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which set out a universal framework of minimum standards for indigenous people’s survival, dignity and well-being. Seven years later, UN member states and indigenous leaders took part in the first-ever World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

But one of the most significant global commitments to addressing indigenous issues was the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The ambitious goals refer to indigenous peoples six times, focusing on the systematic abuse of their rights, discrimination and other drivers that have left indigenous people behind in all measurements of human development.

A New Global Data Set

“The Indigenous Navigator is a great example of how marginalised and excluded groups, who are invisible in official statistics, can collect data themselves,” explains Birgitte Feiring, chief adviser of human rights and development at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR).

“The active assessment of their situation will [not only] strengthen and empower communities but also give them a powerful tool to raise their issues and concerns with governments, U.N. bodies and others,” she added.

Because the tool is web-based, however, some indigenous experts are concerned that the sample of indigenous leaders providing data will not be representative of the global community.

“Many indigenous people’s advocates — the organisations that represent them, their community leaders — many of them are online,” says Amnesty International’s indigenous rights advisor Chris Chapman. “There is a big bias among those who are online, particularly towards North America and Australia and New Zealand, so I think they’re going to have to somehow account for that.”

However, Chapman added that as a tool, the Indigenous Navigator allows people to take ownership of their needs, their liberties, what is said about them and who says it — rights which are recognised in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Indigenous Navigator is a collaborative initiative developed and managed by IWGIA, DIHR, the International Labor Organization, the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Philippines-based NGO Tebtebba and the Forest Peoples Programme. The initiative is also backed by the European Union.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Indigenous Forest Guardians: Good or Bad?

Empowering Indigenous Peoples with their Own Lands

Studies show Indigenous people are the best custodians of the planet's threatened forests.

By Paola Totaro
 
WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Granting formal land rights to indigenous people living in the world's tropical forests is among the most effective, but underused, ways to stop illegal deforestation that fuels violence, poverty and global warming, according to new research.

Local communities are best equipped to safeguard valuable forests, and those with strong land rights are the most effective, said a raft of studies presented this week at the World Bank's annual Land and Poverty Conference.

A representative from the Maya Leaders Alliance, Belize, addresses the crowd on behalf
of award winners at the Equator Prize ceremony in Paris. Image: Eco-Business
Deforestation is known to be detrimental to the earth's climate. Clearing woodlands for agriculture and grazing, and fires that often follow, is responsible for about one-tenth of carbon emissions that contribute to a dangerous rise in global temperatures, researchers say.

Shrinking forests can cause poverty and conflicts as well, as local residents are forced to compete for fewer resources.

A six-nation study for the World Bank's Program on Forests found deforestation rates are significantly lower where communities have legal rights to the forests and government support for management and enforcement, compared with areas elsewhere.

"Critical links" exist among land security, local economic development, biodiversity conservation and reduced carbon emissions, it said.

Research from Indonesia showed conflict over land was minimized and investment was encouraged when local communities were involved in designing transportation corridors around proposed mining projects.
Another study from Indonesia showed granting long-term rights over mangrove swamps to indigenous people has better protected the critical coastal ecosystems than in areas where the endangered buffers between land and sea are not locally managed.

Less than a fifth of the world's population has formal land rights, or tenure.

"Granting communal land rights to indigenous inhabitants of tropical forests is among the most underused and effective solutions to reducing deforestation that fuels climate change," said Peter Veit, director of the Washington-based World Resources Institute's land rights initiative.

"Securing rights also has implications for reducing poverty and conflict," he said.

More than 1,500 land rights specialists converged on the U.S capital this week to share their findings.
The use of giant swathes of information such as advanced satellite imagery can identify patterns such as water use in land rights and land management, said Andrew Steer, head of the WRI and a former World Bank Special Envoy for Climate Change.

"We can show water risk, make future projections of population, use crowd sourcing and cloud computing in a way that is transforming how water is used by private companies and indigenous communities," he said.
Many papers highlighted challenges posed to developing nations by big mining and agricultural industries that are using technology to gain access to remote regions.

Nevertheless, researchers said indigenous peoples and campaigners working with them are harnessing technology as well to expose illegal deforestation or land use and seek remedies and justice.

The research is significant to help back up indigenous communities' claims that they are the best custodians of global forests.

 Map illustrating that tropical regions contain 20% of the world's carbon. More
science reveals that these areas must remain natural for the survival of the planet.

Some critics have claimed remote tropical forests looked after by indigenous groups are protected due to a lack of development pressure rather than good management techniques.

An estimated 15 percent of the world's forest cover remains untouched.

Brazil, once a leader in slowing deforestation, has recently been accused of rolling back gains made by providing land rights to rural people in the face of recession and a political crisis.

The World Bank estimates that forest ecosystems cover a fifth of the land in Latin America, representing half of the world's tropical forests.
 

Reporting by Paola Totaro, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org/


Commentary: Indigenous peoples are in great danger globally as their territorial rights are being challenged by corporations and states that want to claim natural resources, often indigenous people are in the way and now for the first time in history there is a chance to perpetually preserve global biodiversity and what remains of our natural world with these spectacular people. Their freedom is our freedom, but theirs is at greater risk while at great disadvantage without empowerment to defend themselves and their rights as human beings.

Read more about forest carbon and indigenous peoples in Toward a Common Baseline of Carbon Storage on Collective Lands and Tropical Forest Carbon in Indigenous Territories; A Global Analysis.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Indigenous Lands: Most Valuable Property on the Planet

Indigenous Peoples Lands Guard 80 Percent of World’s Biodiversity

Baher Kamal - Inter Press Service

They are more than 370 million self-identified peoples in some 70 countries around the world. In Latin America alone there are over 400 groups, each with a distinct language and culture, though the biggest concentration is in Asia and the Pacific– with an estimated 70 per cent. And their traditional lands guard over 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity.

Download Report from the World Bank
They are the indigenous peoples.

They have rich and ancient cultures and view their social, economic, environmental and spiritual systems as interdependent. And they make valuable contributions to the world’s heritage thanks to their traditional knowledge and their understanding of ecosystem management.

“But they are also among the world’s most vulnerable, marginalized and disadvantaged groups. And they have in-depth, varied and locally rooted knowledge of the natural world, “says the Rome-based International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

“Unfortunately, indigenous peoples too often pay a price for being different and far too frequently face discrimination,” the Fund, which hosts on Feb 10 and 13 on Rome the Global Meeting of the Indigenous People Forum in the Italian capital.

During this biennial meeting, the United Nations specialized agency will bring together representatives of Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations from across the world, as well as leaders of partner bodies to engage in a direct dialogue and improve participation of indigenous peoples in the Fund’s country programs.

Over the centuries, the Indigenous peoples “have been dispossessed of their lands, territories and resources and, as a consequence, have often lost control over their own way of life. Worldwide, they account for 5 per cent of the population, but represent 15 per cent of those living in poverty.”

One of the most effective ways to enable indigenous peoples to overcome poverty, it adds, is to support their efforts to shape and direct their own destinies, and to ensure that they are the co-creators and co-managers of development initiatives.

Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly on Sep. 13, 2007, establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples.

The Declaration addresses individual and collective rights; cultural rights and identity; and rights to education, health, employment and language. And it outlaws discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them.

It also ensures their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own priorities in economic, social and cultural development. The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on Aug. 9 every year.
Announcing the Forum, IFAD noted that it has more than 30 years of experience working with indigenous peoples. In fact, since 2003, an average of about 22 per cent of the Fund’s annual lending has supported initiatives for indigenous peoples, mainly in Asia and Latin America.

Since 2007, it has administered the Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF). Through small grants of up to 50,000 dollars, it supports the aspirations of indigenous peoples by funding micro-projects that strengthen their culture, identity, knowledge, natural resources, and intellectual-property and human rights.

To help translate policy commitments into action, it has established an Indigenous Peoples’ Forum that promotes a process of dialogue and consultation among indigenous peoples’ organizations, IFAD staff and member states.

The Fund empowers communities to participate fully in determining strategies for their development and to pursue their own goals and visions by strengthening grass-roots organizations and local governance.

Land is not only crucial to the survival of indigenous peoples, as it is for most poor rural people – it is central to their identities, the Fund reports. “They have a deep spiritual relationship to their ancestral territories. Moreover, when they have secure access to land, they also have a firm base from which to improve their livelihoods.”

According to this international Fund, indigenous peoples and their knowledge systems have a special role to play in the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.

Indigenous Women’s Untapped Potential

Also named “bank of the poorest” as it provides grants and low-interest credits to the poorest rural communities, recognises indigenous women’s untapped potential as stewards of natural resources and biodiversity, as guardians of cultural diversity, and as peace brokers in conflict mitigation.

Nonetheless, it says, indigenous women are often the most disadvantaged members of their communities because of their limited access to education, assets and credit, and their exclusion from decision-making processes.

This ‘bank of the poorest’ is a specialised agency of the United Nations, which was established as an international financial institution in 1977, being one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference, which was organised in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa.

That world conference resolved that “an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries.”

One of the most important insights emerging from the Conference was that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production but structural problems relating to poverty, and to the fact that the majority of the developing world’s poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.

Since its creation, IFAD invested 18.4 billion dollars to help 464 million rural poor people.

Republished from Morung Express

Monday, October 10, 2016

Indigenous American Indians in the United States

Indigenous American Indians: Discrimination, a Pipeline and Columbus Day

Article by Chaker Khazaal, Writer, Reporter, Speaker

“Few have been ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans.” 


Almost exactly one month after mass protests spurred government intervention in the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the United States’ observance of Columbus Day is a timely reminder that there is still much work to be done to preserve and restore Indigenous American Indian culture.

Columbus Day has been observed in the U.S. every October since 1937 to celebrate the day Christopher Columbus “discovered” the new world—except that he was actually quite far from being the first person to settle in North America. And let’s not forget that his “discovery” set off a chain of events that would ultimately lead to the decimation of most of the Indigenous American people, their land and their culture.

I spoke with Western Cherokee medicine man Jason Rios, one of the thousands of Indigenous American Indians who stood in peaceful protest of the pipeline, which they say will disrupt waters and lands sacred to their people. The pipeline protest is perhaps the most significant since a 1970’s protest connected to the Wounded Knee Massacre, where hundreds of their ancestors (mostly unarmed elders, women and children) were shot 'in mass' by U.S. forces on their reservation in South Dakota over a century ago.
Columbus Day is a timely reminder that there is still much work to be done to preserve and restore Indigenous American Indian culture.
Rios, who is also a father of three and a leader of an independent branch of the Oklevueha Native American Church, told me that the pipeline and the observance of Columbus Day are just two of many ways in which the United States government continues to neglect to recognize his people’s culture.

“It reeks of a repeat of Wounded Knee almost 100 years later, and we have the FBI, National Guard, mercenaries and more all out there against peaceful and prayerful water protectors who are only engaging in non-violent direct action,” Rios said. “We still have genocide occurring today, but carried out on paper, as the pen is mightier than the sword with blood quantums.”

Rios went on to mention Leonard Peltier, an Indigenous American activist who many believe was wrongfully imprisoned on murder charges after the Wounded Knee protests over 40 years ago. While the government has yet to budge on releasing Peltier from his life sentence, the DAPL victory is a step in the right direction for Indigenous Americans hoping to use passionate but peaceful protest methods to make their voices heard.

“[The protest] was truly life-changing,” Rios told me. “It solidified, for me, all that I’ve been doing and working towards my entire life. I stood in solidarity with over 200 Indigenous nations against big corporations, big oil, and against an oppressive government.”

While President Obama’s move to block further construction of the pipeline was certainly surprising, it wasn’t the first time he’s made an effort to help rebuild relations with Rios and his people. Along with praising the president for his action regarding the pipeline, Indigenous American Indian leaders also credited him for keeping his promises while meeting at Obama’s final White House Tribal Nations Conference last week.

“Few have been ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans—the first Americans,” Obama was quoted as saying during his 2008 candidacy.

“People talk about the genocide of the Jews—2 million people, mercilessly slaughtered. People talk about Syria and the hundreds of thousands killed there,” Rios said. “And yet nobody wants to talk about the 500 million Indigenous American Indians that were slaughtered in genocide on this land of ours.”

It’s hard to argue Rios’ point, especially if you consider the current state of Indigenous American Indian reservations. According to the Pew Research Center, the poverty rate at some reservations is nearly triple the national average. They also have higher rates of homelessness and high school dropouts.

According to the True Sioux Hope Foundation, the 29,000 Indigenous people on their reservation are living in third-world conditions. Their website states that the average home has nearly 20 people living inside of it, with over 90 percent of the reservation’s residents living unemployed and below the poverty line.

Furthermore, government healthcare provided for Indigenous American Indians has been described by one U.S. Senator as grossly underfunded and “horrifying.” Despite having little money, Rios and his church provide all of the goods and services to their patients free of charge.

“I got very sick in 2008-2009 and with the housing crisis, it resulted in me losing our home, having to file medical bankruptcy, and having my vehicle repossessed,” Rios told me. “Fast-forward to today... I’m homeless in the sense that I don’t have my own place, but we are staying at my mother’s until we get our own. Yet, I choose not to go back into the corporate world and be a slave in their system.”

Instead, Rios opts to devote his time to traveling coast-to-coast with his “elder” Carlo Hawk Walker on behalf of his church to provide free ceremonial and medicinal services to those who need it most.

“Carlo is the 6th Keeper of Sitting Bull’s Pipe,” Rios mentioned. Sitting Bull was an iconic Indigenous American chief and medicine man, so possessing a pipe associated with him carries significant honor and respect. “He is also a Sundancer, Sundance Chief, Peace Maker, and a Medicine Man,” Rios said, adding later that Carlo is also a Vietnam veteran.

Rios and Carlo work with other independent church branches and members to raise goods, as well as utilizing tax-deductible donations to ensure everything is cost-free for their patients. Unfortunately, their work is often impeded by outsiders that are either ignorant of or unwilling to accept native customs and traditions.
[We must] keep the widespread discrimination against Indigenous American culture in the spotlight as we continue to approach the day commemorating the genocide of their people.
As registered native medicine men, Rios and Carlo almost always travel with a sacred medicine bag containing natural herbs, medicines, and various other items used for native religious ceremonies—some of which are not legal for an ‘ordinary citizen’ to carry. While all Indigenous American Indians are legally exempt from laws prohibiting the possession of things like eagle feathers, only registered churches such as Rios’ can utilize the religious exemption from laws banning the transport of plants like peyote or marijuana. Rios must carry nearly 100 documents with him in his healing bag at all times to prove the authenticity of his medicines, his church’s practices, and his various other cultural belongings.

“When I travel, I travel as a medicine man at large, and through our organizations, I should be considered an Ambassador,” he explained. “Even outside of U.S. Law, there are international laws for Indigenous People. So in dealing with me, all agencies have a different set of rules that they have to abide by.”

It seems clear that all parties would benefit from a universal standard for safe travel of Indigenous religious leaders, or a pre-screening program such as NEXUS to expedite the travel of Indigenous American holy men and cultural practitioners. Without this, Rios and other native holy representatives are often held up, subjected to lengthy and humiliating searches, or denied access completely—even when they have the appropriate paperwork.

Rios recalls a recent instance when a member of their church asked him and his associate Aleka Bassett to visit and treat the church member’s wife at an ICU in Michigan.

Rios said that he and Bassett made the trip to Michigan to treat a fellow church member’s wife, who they were told might not have much time left. After arriving in their patient’s room and confirming with its shared occupant that she was comfortable with them practicing their medicines (there is no smoke, drugs or singing involved) and rituals, they began to go to work healing their patient. Before long, however, their work was disrupted by hospital staff unsure of what was taking place.

“We were ultimately escorted out of the hospital by the acting director and a three-team security detail,” Rios said. “They were on the phone with their legal department and still trying to figure everything out. The patient’s husband had to leave, too.”

“If it were a Christian patient in the hospital bed, the hospital would not only have welcomed but encouraged a priest to come in,” Rios continued. “But as Indigenous People, our spiritual leaders are kicked out with three-team security details.”

Rios’ experience is not an isolated one. Another medicine man, Chief Arlen Dumas, recently filed a formal complaint against an aggressive security guard who harassed and accused him of smuggling drugs through an airport earlier this year. Dumas had been traveling home with his 16-year-old son who was born with cystic fibrosis and was on his way to receive a medical check up for a recent double-lung transplant.

It’s important that we keep the widespread discrimination against Indigenous American culture in the spotlight as we continue to approach the day commemorating the genocide of their people. Rios and other activists know they must continue to fight for change. The Hill reported on Monday that five of the biggest labor unions in the country representing over 3 million workers are asking the government to once again allow construction on the DAPL to resume.

“I can go on forever about what is transpiring and how deep this goes,” Rios said of the pipeline. “It’s a shame.”

“But there is no greater cause nor any greater honor than to make this stand, as it is for all life and all future generations to come. It is for the preservation of our way of life, culture, heritage, as well as for our ancestors.”


This article is a "re-post" from the Huffington Post, written by Chaker Khazaal the views and content presented are based on the author's original research and are not necessarily those of Globcal International.

Editors Commentary: 

When people defy "common knowledge and understanding" with ignorance in the light of the truth they are considered either rebels, corrupt or perhaps are just downright uneducated! This may be the case when it comes to a majority of the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate and the President of the United States, Barack Obama through their continued recognition of Columbus Day during our contemporary era of human rights and social justice.

Leaders are supposed to serve the population democratically through the representation of the people's collective will and majority vote, anytime this balance gets out of line through state-sponsored propaganda by considering the will of one group that is lesser than another corruption is taking place, it is plain and simple.

They believe they are somehow excused from perpetuating falsehoods because they see 'good works' funding (100s of millions of dollars) from some of the oldest and most respected religious organizations in the United States to ignore the academic reality of history, even notable historians and the same people's social justice movement they instigated. It is a total sham and a huge embarrassment to be involved or support their so-called misguided innocence which is translated to justified ignorance considering the preponderance of information to the contrary from the most respected universities and institutions in the world.

If we dig deeper we discover that some of the universities themselves are being quiet as well because they also receive charitable funding to keep quiet about Christopher Columbus and his genocidal campaign against the Indigenous peoples almost 525 years ago when he actually fed his dogs 'live' indigenous people. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Meet the Women in Charge of Change

When we are talking about votes the following female leaders of Globcal International often have the final word or the morale of the organization could become unbalanced as a civil society; so when we develop programs we need to ensure their best interests are at heart ethically, morally and aesthetically. This is one aspect of our organization that makes it more attractive to a cooperative audience, the ladies!

Role Models for Change

Ambassadors Deborah Levine, Dame Karen Cantrell, Maria Veneke Ylikomi, Dr. Sonia Ceballos and Ricki Landers all serve the organization as founders and commissioners and have all been involved since 2009. While we were full of growing pains, the Most Venerable Meena Persad joined us to help develop an embassy in Guyana and create funding sources for an orphanage she is developing there. Then just last month the Honorable Ricki Landers of Tennessee joined us to offer technical and expert support involving the social media.

Deborah Levine

Deborah Levine is a cross-cultural communication expert, an award-winning author and a writing coach, passionate about cultural diversity in this world. Her great interest for cultural diversity work started to grow already in childhood as she grew up in one of few Jewish families in British Bermuda.

Deborah is an entrepreneur and innovator of multiple projects that share and teach cultural diversity. The American Diversity Report (americandiversityreport.com) received the 2013 Champion of Diversity Award from diversitybusiness.com. The Women’s Council on Diversity (womengroundbreakers.com) received the Excellence Award from the Tennessee Economic Council on Women.With degrees in cultural anthropology and urban planning, Deborah is a cross-cultural trainer whose clients include government, corporations, education organizations, and healthcare institutions. Her creative cross-cultural teaching strategies are outlined in her textbook, "Matrix Model Management System: Guide to Cross-Cultural Wisdom".


Karen Cantrell

Karen Cantrell is a successful entrepreneur and founder of Lady Golf. When it comes to empowering women in different parts of the world, Karen is very enthusiastic. She is among a great deal of other things involved in empowering women in for example India, Brazil, Africa, UK, European Union and Venezuela. Karen Cantrell is the International Vice President of several different organizations that are making great efforts for the empowering of women.

Karen Cantrell's educational background is of such, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Becket Theological Institute in Canterbury, England, for her great service to create peace, harmony, fraternity, understanding and tolerance. She is truly committed to seeing that those in need receive the best possible help available. Karen has voluntarily offered her services to humankind her entire life. Her actions speak for themselves. Karen's dedication, compassion, and generosity have made an incredible and positive difference in the lives of both people and animals.


Maria Veneke Ylikomi


Maria Veneke Ylikomi works as a language consultant. She enjoys writing and has among other things written a book about the four felines jaguar, tiger, lion and leopard in cooperation with the wildlife photographer Jan Fleischmann. Maria has studied at Lund University in Sweden, mainly within humanities and languages. Maria is administrator of International Observances and registrar for the Global Citizenship Registry. In 2014 Maria was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel.

Maria's great interest in traveling and curiosity about other cultures has brought her to more than 30 different countries (in Asia, Africa, North America and Europe). Her time spent as a volunteer at an orphanage in war-torn Cambodia is one of the circumstances that has led Maria to dedicate a part of her time to the non-profit organization Globcal International. As a Goodwill Ambassador, Maria is able to collaborate with other professional colleagues to promote humanitarian issues, environmental issues, human rights and peace.


Sonia Ceballos

Sonia Ceballos was born in Caracas, Venezuela and came by destiny into traveling and dealing with people around the world, She has studied psychology at the Central University of Venezuela and is always concerned about social issues, She first became involved in social work with youth at risk in the Caracas slums, and then she started to help minorities, such as indigenous peoples of Venezuela, with ecological and social protection and education. She is a great and warmhearted defender of human rights.

Dr. Sonia Ceballos currently works as the manager of Fundo Ekobius, which is a real functional and self-sustainable cooperative. It is an organization that has a clear focus on naturalism, ecology, indigenous knowledge and environmental enhancement. Sonia is collaborating in the area of psychology in various philanthropic projects through Globcal International. She is interested in personal development. Without political bias Sonia is a loyal fan of the trade union, and opportunities for all.


Meena Persad

Meena Persad is an Ambassador for Globcal International and Goodwill Ambassadors of the World representative for Guyana in New York City. She is a mother of four children, and have two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Business, and a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management and Finance.

Meena Persad has always had a passion for writing and has written the book ”Classic Bible Stories for Children”. She hopes that the book can help children to live with a sense of morality, and that it will touch their hearts so they can live with dignity. "If children live with honesty, love, and respect for themselves and others, it will make a big difference in our society today", says Meena. She is passionate about helping children in need especially in Guyana, where she has an orphanage. She loves to help the children to reach their highest potential. Meena would be delighted to be able to donate books to children in orphanages around the world, so that children can have a chance to educate themselves.



Ricki Landers

Ricki Landers joined Globcal International last month. She is a web designer, graphic designer, and Search Engine Optimization expert. She is a mother of three children and a wife of 26 years. Ricki has a vast educational background; she has a Master of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science and an Associate of Science in Digital Design and Web Development.

Ricki Landers has owned several successful businesses and she has been a public speaker, and a professional radio and TV broadcaster. She is an author and a travel writer with a focus on sustainable tourism. She does most of her work in marketing and online marketing is her great specialty. She is a dedicated human rights advocate and has led many international campaigns using social media. Ricki freelances for companies who are seeking to increase their revenue and brand awareness. She is now working on several projects that will work to bring sustainable and environmentally friendly food and housing to areas that are in desperate need of both.

Other Members

We also have several women who work with us as volunteer ambassadors who have helped periodically to promote events with us online: Astrid, Irmgard, Lakshmi, Hira, Sahro, Maya-Lis, and Nikija, We will present them all soon in an upcoming article in January about our volunteerism program.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

World's Indigenous become part of the Post-2015 Agenda

Making the World’s Indigenous Visible in the SDGs

The First Globcal Citizens




UNITED NATIONS, Aug 6 2015 (IPS) 
- As the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples approaches on Sunday, Aug. 9, concerns are growing that they will not fully benefit from the newly drafted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In a policy brief on the SDGs and the Post-2015 Agenda, the Indigenous Peoples Major Group said that there was a failure to recognise indigenous peoples as distinct groups under the expiring Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which resulted in the absence of targeted measures to address their specific situations related to poverty and severely limited favorable outcomes.
"Disadvantages faced by indigenous peoples are related to dispossession and exacerbated by powerlessness and poverty." -- Roberto Mukaro Borrero
They added that there was also culturally-blind implementation of the MDGs resulting in “inappropriate development programmes for indigenous peoples including discriminatory actions related to education, health and basic services.”
Any project not including the participation of Indigenous Peoples is making their needs invisible. The lack of dialogue with Indigenous Peoples and their participation in any process constitutes the main barrier,” Sandra del Pino, Regional Advisor on Cultural Diversity at the World Health Organization (WHO) for The Americas, told IPS.
There are an estimated 370 million indigenous peoples living in more than 70 countries. They continue to be among the world’s most marginalised population groups, according to the WHO. The need for more participation and inclusion of Indigenous communities and their perspectives is one of the main purposes of the international day.
The health status of indigenous communities varies significantly from that of non-indigenous population groups in countries all over the world, which is one reason why health is the main theme of this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
“The focus of this international day is to analyse how indigenous people have access to health services, what are the causes of exclusion, and how we can contribute to reduce those gaps existing in child and maternal health, nutrition, communicable diseases, etc.,” says del Pino.
“Children born into indigenous families often live in remote areas where governments do not invest in basic social services such as health care, quality education, justice and participation, and indigenous peoples are at particular risk of not being registered at birth and of being denied identity documents.”
Health is defined in WHO’s Constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, which is similar to the values behind traditional healing systems in Indigenous communities. According to WHO estimates, at least 80 percent of the population in developing countries relies on these traditional healing systems as their primary source of care.
“Many factors have an impact on indigenous populations’ health, including geographic barriers, language, and lack of education,” Del Pino told IPS.
“However, of all the barriers faced by indigenous peoples, it is perhaps the cultural barriers that present the most complicated challenge. This is because there is little understanding of the social and cultural factors deriving from the knowledge, attitudes, and practices in health of the indigenous peoples.”
Roberto Mukaro Borrero, an indigenous Taino leader and representative of the International Indian Treaty Council and the United Confederation of Taino People, told IPS that in order  to create more understanding, there needs to be an increased focus on cooperative and informed partnership building among traditional healers, non-traditional health professionals, health service agencies, organisations, and communities. 
“These partnerships should recognise the clear relationship between the social disadvantages experienced by Indigenous Peoples and their current status of health,” Borrero said. “Disadvantages faced by indigenous peoples are related to dispossession and exacerbated by powerlessness and poverty.”
“Governments must implement the commitments made to indigenous peoples within international agreements such as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, among others,” said Borrero.
“These agreements were developed to improve the well-being of indigenous peoples around the world; however, political will including adequate resource allocation is a pre-requisite to success.”
Climate change and environmental hazards also have a disproportionate impact on the health of indigenous peoples.
“In many cases indigenous communities are more exposed to these disasters because they live in most vulnerable and isolated areas,” Del Pino said.
“Another cause of Indigenous peoples being among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change is their dependence upon and close relationship with the environment and its resources. For example, in the Amazon, the effects of climate change include deforestation and forest fragmentation, and consequently, more carbon released into the atmosphere, exacerbating and creating further changes.”
She added, “Droughts in 2005 resulted in fires in the western Amazon region. This is likely to occur again as rainforest is replaced by savannas, thus having a huge effect on the livelihoods of the Indigenous peoples in the region. Climate change exacerbates the difficulties already faced by vulnerable indigenous communities.”
“The inclusion of target 17.18 of the SDGs –  to improve the quality, coverage and availability of disaggregated data –  is in response to one of the lessons commonly drawn from the MDGs: the need for the SDGs to make visible the most vulnerable populations,” Del Pino said.
It is an essential component to meet the objective of “no one should be left behind” and “no target should be met, unless met for all groups” in the new post-2015 agenda, she said.
Edited by Kitty Stapp

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Developing Enhanced Ecosystem Services and Alleviating Poverty

New Zealand carbon-credit investment that enhances the ecosystem. 
Beginning within the next few years all people (that's everyone with an ID) will become responsible for offsetting their carbon footprint based on their use of natural resources, creation of greenhouse gases, their environmental impact, and their general consumption through active and transparent taxation on fuel, electricity, food, housing, travel and more. As easily there are personal actions that individuals can take as volunteers, by planting trees, using energy efficient transportation, and managing their own rural ecosystems responsibly on the behalf of the public and common good to offset or reduce your carbon footprint.

There are also credits people (high impact individuals) can buy to offset their carbon footprint activity, those credits are represented based on the removal of atmospheric carbon by trees, plants, and other natural processes. The current denominator for calculating how many offset credit certificates to need to compensate for your consumption is by ton of carbon produced through an activity (a plane flight for example), it is offset by the number of trees present on a particular acre that is subsidized to provide carbon sequestration.

There are other ways to create credits and develop projects for the environment including projects like the native tree nursery example in the photo from New Zealand.

Do I have to pay Carbon Tax?


The system (which is quite fair if you are eco-conscious and understand the reality) is based on how much you use, its based on your impact on the planet, its also a system that is being applied internationally and universally. The taxes that you are already transparently paying (in the cost of goods) to manufacturers and retailers is divided up and credited through tax collectors and on to those who provide ecosystem services. With autos it the charges are levied through fines, plates and/or annual registration fees all for the greater good with air travel it is paid by the airlines and built in to the cost of the ticket. 

Today polls show that less than 25% of the general population trust government and part of the problem is that people think that the government is running the carbon credit system, this is not true. The system is being put in place by the United Nations, entrepreneurs, corporations, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations to protect and nurture the ecosystem. Many governments are fighting details of these new politics and unwilling to allow the planned change, but as signatories of treaties like Kyoto Protocol and other conventions they are compelled to adapt.

The beauty of the carbon footprint taxation system and the balance it generates, is that for now it is voluntary and universally transparent because its built into the price of goods, products, utility bills, and other services. We already have great achievement and development in this new perspective of a resource based world and is balancing itself.

As with any voluntary program the corporations and the people who support it are entitled through government to special benefits, privileges and entitlements. Its also one of those things that if you do not know about it, or pay into it then you will never know its there and never know the benefits!

Even more beautiful is that the governments (as the public trustee) will give you refunds, discounts and credits to be socially responsible by offsetting your carbon footprint (being a good citizen). There are also open (public) markets where you can trade or buy offset credits in biodiversity, forestry, water, carbon sequestration, and more at a discount; so there is also an income opportunity for the astute entrepreneurs. Check out ecosystemmarketplace.com

Benefits of the Carbon Credit System


If you own interests and credits in Ecosystem services then you can deduct these credits as entitlements in their appropriate category when you pay income tax. If you do not own offsets then you cannot apply for the credits or make deductions except when you make major purchases like cars.

Don't let anyone fool you either, you do not receive credits by making donations to non-profit environmental groups. Donations are deducted as charitable contributions, offsets for ecosystem services are categorically different and separate. Offsets are like legal tender and they can be traded just like a bond or share of stock.

Helping others with Carbon Credits


Globcal International's project will take this one step further by cutting out the government and private industry to deliver a high-value credit directly to indigenous and remote rural communities that specialize in ecosystem service delivery. If land owners in California and Colorado can sell credits, its only fair that native peoples be capable of selling theirs.

This alone will provide sustainable incomes and employment for around 70% of all the indigenous people living in poverty today.

One of the problems we discovered is that the state in many cases are taking advantage of the carbon financing scheme to generate capital based on natural resources within their countries and not passing those funds out to the indigenous people or applying those resources to the lands in question. They actually keep the public ignorant and go so far as to view the indigenous owners of these lands as part of the biodiversity (animals).

Globcal discovered however that the indigenous people on many (not all) of these lands (which account for 60% of the planets remaining natural ecosystem services) are legally eligible under international law to collect these credits themselves, that is if they were knowledgeable of the opportunity.

Our project is being developed to train and educate these indigenous communities about their options, opportunities and the rewards for becoming knowledgeable and proactive as ecosystem service providers, stewards, guardians, engineers and developers. Our effort will develop a higher value offset that is fair-trade certified and direct between the purchaser and the provider. We have competition but are sure that the indigenous people will adopt our direct method because it puts them in control democratically over their own resource bases.

Currently depending on whether in Europe, the US, or Australia you can claim a return of up to 7% or more of your total annual income through offsetting your carbon footprint through Globcal's ecosystem bonds include carbon credit offsets as well as investment in appreciated biodiversity, ecotourism, water, and ecosystem enhancement. Through our system with enhancement offset values increase and appreciate!

By David Wright, Commissioner at Globcal International

About Ekobius: Beginning this October 2014, Ekobius will become the subject trustee in an experimental pilot project involving 5000 acres (initially) with Globcal on Indiegogo to manage and enhance ecosystem services in a sector of Venezuela's Amazon with the Piaroa tribe. Once implemented the program will be extended to the other 16 indigenous groups present in the forested region of 160 million acres. 


The average consumption by trees in the region of atmospheric carbon sequestration is 3.8 tons per acre per year which is valued at about $75 per year for the acre-man "akerman" to collect in addition to the by-products derived through agroecology and additional ecosystem services in a collective production community.

Unlike many crowdfunding projects this one will involve equitable shares in the project because it will issue cooperative bonds that will directly be invested in the ecosystem and training of its inhabitants to become sustainable ecologically and socioeconomically.

The training and preparation for this project will take place in Belize where the ambassadors, teachers, students and other participants will gather to experience first-hand well-developed and functional best practice models in place under competent government administration. Follow the details through Globcal International on Facebook for the most recent updates.