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Communities Fight Against Polluters and Miners

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Moderator: Evelyn Zadjenwerg with Paulo Rodriguez and Matheus Mendonca Social Activists in Brazil, Associacao Ayruma, Brazil

THE THREATS OF MINING COMPANIES IN BRAZILIAN TERRITORIES

Live will talk about the accelerated expansion of mining in the state of Minas Gerais (southeastern Brazil). This state is the size of Spain and has been suffering from uninterrupted iron ore extraction for almost a century. The destroyed areas range from territories with great biological and aquifer relevance to traditional Brazilian communities (quilombolas and indigenous tribes). They are part of a mosaic of protected areas with several conservation units, a management model for protected areas that seeks the participation, integration, and involvement of unit managers and the local population in their management.

 

 

Several municipalities are threatened by new mining projects in an unprecedented wave of new iron ore developments. The municipality of Serro is one such example, and the threat comes from the Herculano mining company (the same project that was rejected in 2015, previously submitted by another mining company – Anglo American). This region is part of the splendid Cordillera do Espinhaço (the central mountain range of Brazil). And that, among other things, was declared a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on June 24, 2005, through the Man and the Biosphere (MaB) Programme – Meeting of the Bureau of the International Coordinating Council.

Many other municipalities in Minas Gerais have also been coveted by mining companies, such as Belo Horizonte (state capital), Nova Lima, Brumadinho, Santa Bárbara, Rio Acima, Raposos, Moeda, and many others. A good number of these municipalities are part of the third-largest metropolitan region in Brazil. All of them are notable for their iron ore deposits, 90% of which are exported to the hegemonic countries. During and after the extraction of the ore, primary water, environmental and social impacts occur. The consequences include the irreversible destruction of aquifers that sustain waterfalls, springs, rivers, and lagoons of great environmental importance and rarity. Furthermore, the quality of the rivers is degraded. At the end of the extraction period, gigantic tailings dams are left behind, two of which have already broken, burying hundreds of people alive, with damage to the lives of thousands of people who depended on the destroyed rivers. The social impacts are also enormous because the mining activity destabilizes the local economy, generating a poverty belt around it.

In all the environmental licensing processes underway related to mining, there are irregularities and illegalities. In the case of the municipality of Serro, notable for its scenic beauty and internationally awarded artisanal cheeses, the local public authorities are complicit with the economic interests and are using every subterfuge to authorize the undertakings without complying with the mandatory procedures when providing for the participation of the population. If the first iron mine is licensed in Serro, many others will follow in the same trail of destruction, as is historically known in the state of Minas Gerais.

Our resistance strategy is international visibility.

We need to unite and say NO to this crime that is nothing more than the result of limitless international greed.

 

 

 

Paulo Rodriguez

Paolo is a geologist who is currently 60 years old. He holds a PhD degree in Germany (1991), scientific researcher and professor of a postgraduate program in a research center of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology in the city of Belo Horizonte (state of Minas Gerais – southwest of Brazil), and member of several hydro-environmental defense groups. Involved in geospatial analysis for generation of specialized technical maps in hydrogeology.

 

Matheus Mendonca

Matheus Mendonca holds a Doctorate in Law Theory and Master in Public Law from PUC – Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, where he is a professor in the Law course and coordinates an extension project: The Fight for the Fundamental Rights of Quilombo Communities. He is also a lawyer for the Federation of Quilombola Communities of the State of Minas Gerais – N’Golo and is acting for the federation as a lawyer in the SERRO case.

 

Evelyn Zadjenwerg

Evelyn Post-graduated in Art Therapy at FASE (Paraná’s Vicentina University), Post-graduated in “Teaching and Research in the field of Art and Culture” at Guignard – UEMG ; Graduated in Artistic Education (major in Plastic Arts) at Guignard UEMG and works in socio-environmental and cultural projects. She has several books of her own besides working as an illustrator and audio-visual production.

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The Web of Life

Communities Take a Stand for The Rights of Nature

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Creating Human-Like Civil Rights of Nature Laws in your Community

“Let the River Run: Creating Rights of Nature Laws in your Community”

Featuring Thomas Linzey, Senior Attorney for the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER), former Executive Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).

Humanity stands at the brink of global environmental collapse. Our environmental protection laws more often protect the very corporations that they are supposed to regulate, rather than our rivers, forests, mountains, and other ecosystems.

A global movement is starting to change that. Using indigenous value systems to create legally enforceable rights for nature, cities, towns, and counties across the United States are creating laws which recognize the rights of nature.

This short primer from the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (www.centerforenvironmentalrights.org) describes the philosophy and underpinnings of the rights of nature movement that has emerged in the United States and beyond. This session will include a segment on how to design and adopt “rights of nature” laws in your own community.

But right now, people within the community rights movement aren’t waiting for power brokers to fix the system. They’re beginning to envision a new sustainability constitution by adopting new laws at the local level that are forcing those ideas upward into the state and national ones. In doing so, they are directly challenging the basic operating system of this country—one which currently elevates corporate “rights” above the rights of people, nature, and their communities—and changing it into one which recognizes a right to local, community self-government that cannot be overridden by corporations, or by governments wielded by corporate interests.

Thomas Linzey serves as Senior Counsel for the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER), an organization committed to globally advancing environmental rights. He is the co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), and is widely recognized as the founder of the contemporary “community rights” movement which has resulted in the adoption of several hundred municipal laws across the United States. He also sits on the Board of Advisors of the New Earth Foundation.

Linzey is a cum laude graduate of Widener Law School and a three-time recipient of the law school’s public interest law award. He has been a finalist for the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award, and is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Farmers Union’s Golden Triangle Legislative Award. He is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, and he is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the Third, Fourth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. District Court for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania.

He is a co-founder of the Daniel Pennock Democracy School – which has been taught in twenty-four states across the country and which has graduated over 5,000 lawyers, activists, and municipal officials – which assists groups to create new community campaigns which elevate the rights of those communities over rights claimed by corporations. Linzey is the author of Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community (Gibbs-Smith 2009), the author of On Community Civil Disobedience in the Name of Sustainability (PM Press 2016), the co-author of We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States (PM Press 2016), has served as a co-host of Democracy Matters, a public affairs radio show broadcast from KYRS in Spokane, Washington and syndicated on ten other stations, was featured in Leonardo DiCaprio and Tree Media’s film 11th Hour and We the People 2.0 (Official Selection of the Seattle International Film Festival), assisted the Ecuadorian constitutional assembly in 2008 to adopt the world’s first constitution recognizing the independently enforceable rights of ecosystems, and is a frequent lecturer at conferences across the country.

His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, the Nation magazine, he was named, in 2007, as one of Forbes’ magazines’ “Top Ten Revolutionaries,” and, in 2018, Linzey was named as one of the top 400 environmentalists of the last 200 years in the two volume encyclopedia, American Environmental Leaders (3rd Ed. Grey House Publishing 2018). He is currently working on a new book, “Modern American Democracy (and other fairy tales)” (forthcoming Spring, 2021). Linzey currently resides in Spokane, Washington.

 

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The Web of Life

Excuse Me, But What is in that “Food” I’m Eating?

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How to survive the Industrial Food System

Surviving the Industrial Food System: How to Take back Your Health: Kristin Lawless, Author “Formerly Known as Food”

If you think buying organic is protecting you, you’re wrong. Our food―even what we’re told is good for us―has changed for the worse in the past 100 years, its nutritional content deteriorating due to industrial farming and its composition altered due to the addition of thousands of chemicals from pesticides to packaging. We simply no longer know what we’re eating.

In Formerly Known as Food, Kristin Lawless argues that, because of the degradation of our diet, our bodies are literally changing from the inside out. The billion-dollar food industry is reshaping our food preferences, altering our brains, changing the composition of our microbiota, and even affecting the expression of our genes. Lawless chronicles how this is happening and what it means for our bodies, health, and survival.

An independent journalist and nutrition expert, Lawless is emerging as the voice of a new generation of food thinkers. After years of “eat this, not that” advice from doctors, journalists, and food

 

faddists, she offers something completely different. Lawless presents a comprehensive explanation of the problem―going beyond nutrition to issues of food choice, class, race, and gender―and provides a sound and simple philosophy of eating, which she calls “The Whole Egg Theory.”

Kristin’s Instagram

Kristin Lawless

KRISTIN LAWLESS is the author of Formerly Known As Food: How the Industrial Food System Is Changing Our Minds, Bodies, and Culture, which won the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature in 2019. Her journalism and columns have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and VICE. Lawless is also a Certified Nutrition Educator and lives with her husband and son in California.

 

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The Web of Life

Healthy Soil for Healthy, Nutritious Food and Healthy Climate

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Did you know that most of the food that we eat is not coming from healthy soil? Healthy soil and healthy elements creates healthy food with healthy nutrients.

Big big chemical corporations, in collusion with big media, politicians and other decision makers, have created the illusion that we can pour chemicals and pesticides on our lands and lawns and think that it’s good for us.

This illusion of a beautiful world through chemistry has led to the destruction of most of our lands, our seas, climate change (actually, it’s climate catastrophe) and yet, there is a way out.

This conversation clearly reveals what we can all do to make the difference to reverse course and reclaim both planetary and personal health. About Dr. Elaine Ingham

Dr. Ingham discovered the soil food web nearly 4 decades ago and has been pioneering research ever since. Widely recognized as the world’s foremost soil biologist, she’s passionate about empowering ordinary people to bring the soils in their community back to life.

Dr. Elaine’s™ Soil Food Web Approach has been used to successfully restore the ecological functions of soils on six continents. The courses offered by Dr. Elaine’s™ Soil Food Web School have been designed for people with no relevant experience – making them accessible to individuals who wish to retrain and to begin a meaningful and impactful career in an area that will help to secure the survival of humans and other species.

B.A., Biology and Chemistry, St. Olaf College
M.S., Microbiology, Texas A&M University
Ph.D., Microbiology, Colorado State University

 

 

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