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Flash

January 25, 2007

Headlines

  1. Manitobans Go Fair Trade for 30 Days - Fair Trade Manitoba will be holding its second annual One-Month Challenge to promote use of fair trade products, starting February 14, 2008. Participants pledge to drink fair trade coffee/tea and eat fair trade chocolate for 30 days, and respond to surveys on their consumption habits and related issues. Three hundred individuals participated in the 2007 event, and the organizers anticipate that several thousand will take part in 2008. Fair Trade Manitoba is a program of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation. For more information or to register for the One-Month Challenge, visit www.fairtrademanitoba.ca, ph. 204-987-6420 .

  2. World Bank Promises to Save Trees, Then Helps Cut Down the Amazon Rainforest: The World Bank has become a major backer of cattle ranching in the Amazon, which new research identifies as the greatest threat to survival of the rainforest. The Bank is financing industrial slaughterhouses in the Amazon basin. The new slaughterhouses have encouraged a 50% increase in ranching in the past 3 years. A report from Friends of the Earth Brazil, called The Cattle Realm, says there are now more than 74 million cattle being reared in the Amazon, more cattle than in all 25 EU countries combined. The report comes shortly after deforestation has been named the second leading cause of carbon emissions worldwide. The new report estimates that the internationally funded expansion of Brazil's beef industry has been responsible for up to 12 billion tons of CO2 emissions over the past decade, an amount equal to two years of emissions in the U.S. For the full report visit: www.amazonia.org.br/arquivos/259673.pdf

  3. Video Recording of CCIC Bilingual Public Engagement Forum - 3D Public Engagement: Width, Depth and Height For Impact Now Available - On October 12-13, CCIC hosted the 3D Forum in collaboration with the Global Education Network and the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation. Fifty participants in Ottawa were linked with 20 participants in Edmonton via video-conference. They discussed the current social and political context for public engagement work in Canada; explored trends and innovations in the sector; and attempted to profile and debate good practices in campaigning, policy dialogue, and public engagement with a particular emphasis on impact. Go to http://portal.videoarch.com/ccic/vidlib/en/index.asp and click on the various chapters of the video to view parts of greatest interest to you. For more information or to register contact Michael Stephens at mstephens@ccic.ca or (613) 241-7007 ext. 332.

  4. Information Technologies (IT) and Youth Engagement - Call for Contributions - CCIC is currently researching the uses of IT to engage youth actively in the work of civil society organizations. A section of the project consists in documenting innovative practices to be shared with CCIC members and possibly beyond. Members interested in sharing one of their IT initiatives, or in suggesting a project to include in the study, may contact Karine Girard at kgirard@ccic.ca or at (613) 241-7007, extension 339.

  5. World Social Forum 2008 Call for Days of Action and Mobilization, January 26 - The WSF describes itself as a "process" and a "movement of movements" - a space where movements meet and build alliances. It is calling on activists around the world opposed to "neo-liberalism, war, colonialism, racism and patriarchy, which produce violence, exploitation, exclusion, poverty, hunger and ecological disaster and deprive people of human rights", to observe the week of January 26th as a week of actions in solidarity with one another. Each self-organized group of networks, movements, organizations decides independently how to organize their own public initiative, what form it will take and around which issues. The WSF is considering making the Global Day of Action an annual event analogous to Women's Day or May 1st. The 26th of January coincides with the period of the Davos summit, "to maintain the confrontation with this important neo-liberal gathering of the elites and let live the spirit of WSF" the WSF site states. For more information visit: http://wsf2008.net/

  6. UN to Push for Economic and Social Rights, Including Responsibilities of Corporations to mark 60th Anniversary of Declaration of Human Rights - Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says the debate over economic and cultural rights has been on hold as the human rights community has had to defend civil liberties from erosion by counter-terrorism measures in the wake of 9/11. The planned campaign will lead up to the UNDHR anniversary in December and will emphasize the "indivisibility" and "universality" of human rights - making no distinction between civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights. Arbour holds out the prospect eventually of binding international rules for corporations. "Any work that can be done on all fronts to advance human rights protection in an environment where multinational corporations are the dominant actors should be welcomed," she told the Financial Times. You can find the High Commission's 60th anniversary newsletter at www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/60UDHR/newsletter_60th_n5_en.pdf

  7. International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Papers Link Trade and Climate Change - At last month's climate change meetings in Bali, trade ministers convened for an unprecedented discussion of how trade policy might help achieve climate change objectives. IISD produced the background papers for this meeting. The first, surveys the broad spectrum of linkages that bind trade and climate change, and the second explores a few key areas in which trade policy might be harnessed to serve climate objectives. Both papers are available for download at www.iisd.org/climate/markets/trade.asp. Also of note: IISD has just released Boom or bust: how commodity price volatility impedes poverty reduction, and what to do about it. Commodity price volatility is a serious issue, but not a hopeless one. The basic economic tools necessary to help commodity producers get more predictable incomes are well-known and better understood than ever before. This publication synthesizes a sizeable body of work to investigate the experience, problems and promise of five different types of economic tools: supply management, national revenue management, market-based price risk management, compensatory finance and alternative trade initiatives. This document (soon available in French and Spanish) can be downloaded at www.iisd.org/publications/pub.aspx?pno=930
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