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Coronacrisis, neoliberalism, democracy: what’s next

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The coronavirus, instead of becoming a cohesive factor in the fight against a common enemy, turned out to be the opposite, because of absurd ambitions within the neoliberal model, which has not only lost legitimacy, but constitutes one of the greatest threats to both humanity and the planet.

The pandemic called into question many of the political certainties that seemed to have been consolidated over the last four decades, especially in the Western world, those that constituted (constitute) the neoliberal order.

These certainties were the final triumph of capitalism over Soviet socialism; the priority of markets in the regulation of economic and social life (with the privatisation and deregulation of the economy and social policies and the reduction of the role of the state); the globalisation of the economy based on comparative advantages in production and distribution; the brutal flexibilisation of labour relations as a condition for increasing employment and economic growth.

These certainties were annihilated by reality, and the coronacrisis demonstrated above all that it is the state (not the markets) that can protect the lives of citizens.

It also showed that globalisation only benefits transnationals and can endanger the survival of citizens if each country does not produce essential goods; that workers in precarious jobs are the most affected because they have no source of income or social protection, an experience that we in the South have known and suffered from for a long time.

And the harassment of the South does not stop. Twenty years ago, according to intelligence agencies, the greatest terrorist threat to the United States came from far-right Muslims on the other side of the world – in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East – and today it comes from within, from far-right Christian Americans and their allies, who have expressed themselves through violence, even murder, in various parts of the country, and even attempted a coup on 6 January by invading the Capitol to overturn the national electoral process.

Now, the White House and Pentagon have released a series of documents stating that climate change poses a potent threat to their national security, and warning that they will take steps to prevent its consequences.

According to the documents, the US must anticipate that existing problems will worsen and new ones will emerge, which traditional rivals Russia and China will be able to remove them for their own benefit and to the detriment of their interests. One area of particular concern is migration, which they believe will increase due to catastrophes caused by the increasingly uncontrolled fury of nature.

The late historian Howard Zinn pointed out that the US establishment relies heavily on historical amnesia, on the fact that people in the US do not know this history. “Not only do they not know what happened in the late 19th or early 20th century; they don’t know the history of 15 or 20 years ago. That makes it easier for the government to tell the people things that are immediately accepted”, to impose collective imaginaries. Today, memory is the key to a different future.

Even Pope Francis realised this: he assured that the current pandemic crisis cannot be overcome “without evolving towards the peripheries”, and after demanding that the most powerful countries recognise the world’s asymmetries, he called for “opening up and looking towards the future, above all in this end of the pandemic (which) has to be done in a creative way. You don’t come out of a crisis in the same way, you come out of it better or worse. And that end of the pandemic has to be for the better. Otherwise we will go backwards,” he said.

“In the collective imagination there is an idea that we can start again with a reconstruction of things as they were until now, but that is not going to happen. The pandemic is a challenge to change, it is a crisis that leads us to change. If we don’t, we come out worse off, even if we don’t feel it,” he added. Amen.

Humanity has lost control over the gigantic experiment that it itself unleashed and which is leading it irremediably to catastrophe. Contrary to what the vast majority assumes, we are at a time of definitions and decisions that will determine the destiny of a large part of humanity and its creations, thinks Mexican Víctor Toledo.

The Portuguese sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos points out that social democratic and socialist alternatives have returned to the imagination of many, not only because the ecological destruction caused by the infinite expansion of capitalism has reached extreme limits, but also because, after all, the countries that have not privatised or decapitalised their laboratories seem to be the most efficient in the production and fairest in the distribution of vaccines (Russia and China).

Goodbye neoliberalism

Russian President Vladimir Putin – who can hardly be described as a communist – said that the current model of capitalism has been exhausted and that within this system it is impossible to get out of the knot of increasingly complex contradictions that affect everyone in areas ranging from the ecological crisis, environmental degradation, unfair distribution of material goods, to water shortages, lack of electricity or difficulties in receiving adequate medical care.

Far from Moscow, the former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, pointed out during his visit to Mexico the incongruence of the defenders of neoliberalism, who before the pandemic clamoured for more market, market, market, but in the face of the health and economic emergency demanded all the solutions from the same state that they had so weakened and shrunk.

He indicated that societies face two alternatives: control natural resources through state administration or hand them over to the transnationals that act under the slogan of plunder. On the basis of this alternative, Evo criticised the parties that come to power under the acronym of socialism, but once in government keep the privatisation structure intact; a betrayal that he compared to the US political system, where Democrats and Republicans alternate without substantial changes.

We all know that in our capitalist systems, companies and entrepreneurs are more important than people and institutions. As an example, from the last week, the Spanish energy multinational Iberdrola made it a condition that the incessant rise in electricity prices – which reached 500% – be halted if the government of President Pedro Sánchez refrains from charging taxes that he described as harmful.

Rising energy prices in Spain, a European, capitalist country with a socialist party president, have put industry in check and driven families into absurd situations such as washing clothes or vacuuming in the early hours of the morning to avoid peak-hour fees, and have pushed people to seek help from food banks because they can no longer afford to cook at home.

It is another example of how, when given control of a strategic sector such as energy, private initiative turns it into a weapon to blackmail and extort money from the state and Spanish society on the eve of the European winter, when the use of electric or gas heating (also in the hands of private companies) becomes a matter of life and death for a wide swathe of the population.

An editorial in the Mexican daily La Jornada points out that when we have reached the point where the board of directors of a transnational directly threatens millions of people and puts a state in the dilemma of either collecting taxes or facing an outbreak of social unrest, it is clear that the neoliberal model has become indefensible in every respect, and that dismantling it is a matter of survival for the great majorities.

Neoliberalism is also in trouble in the south. The declaration of states of emergency in Chile and Ecuador is the best example of the failure of the so-called liberal democracies. In Ecuador, it comes after the Pandora’s Papers revealed that President Guillermo Lasso has hidden accounts in tax havens and shields military and police officers from prosecution for their actions.

In Chile, President Sebastián Piñera sends soldiers, tanks and helicopter gunships into Mapuche territory to stop the movement’s land reclamation. This is taking place while the Constituent Convention is in session to draft a text that will supersede the charter inherited from the Pinochet regime.

Things that are settled in the middle of the night tend to be undemocratic. Decisions that affect communities are the product of pacts or impositions. If the agreement is broad, we say that it is a democratic arrangement. On the other hand, when the decision is made by a few who can impose it, we speak of autocracy, dictatorship, tyranny or plutocracy.

Plutocracies establish the dominance of the richest class in a country. Is capitalism, therefore, an essentially plutocratic system? If capitalism and democracy are considered as one and the same thing, life will simply not be dignified (or possible) for vast sectors and “social insecurity” will be the keynote of coexistence: the street, social outburst seems to be the only response of the many.

The world is in crisis. Or rather, it is the capitalist model of the world that is in crisis. Despite its distractionist policies such as the misnamed “green revolution”, an escape hatch for the reconversion of a stagnant capitalist system and ultra-concentrated ownership to continue as the dominant model, with the environmental, climatic and nuclear war threats endangering the existence of humanity.

One thing is clear: our Latin American-Caribbean societies will no longer be the same as they were before the pandemic. And then we will have to “invent” a way of thinking appropriate to the new social reality. There will be millions more unemployed, much more hunger, parallel to an unpayable and odious foreign debt and the adjustment policies demanded by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

One of the main challenges facing Latin American critical thought is to critique the legitimising discourses of the colonial order and the vision of the inferior “other”, that is, to analyse the decoloniality of knowledge and the need for a situated knowledge, that is, the geopolitics of knowledge.

As the gaucho Martín Fierro – a poem considered exemplary of the gaucho genre, written by the Argentine poet José Hernández in 1872 – said: Come, miraculous saints, come to my aid, for my tongue is growing stale and my mind is troubled….

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An Empowered World

If Democracy is in Peril, How do we Reverse Course to fix it?

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The Global State of Democracy Report 2021 –  Building Resilience in a Pandemic Era

International IDEA’s “The Global State of Democracy: Building resilience in a pandemic era” report aims to influence the global debate and analyses current trends and challenges to democracy, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. It offers specific policy recommendations to spark new and innovative thinking for policymakers, governments and civil society organizations supporting democracy.

Visit the GSoD website to read and download the 2021 report.

 

The GLOBAL STATE OF DEMOCRACY Events

International IDEA will host a series of global and regional events in November and December about The Global State of Democracy (global and regional) reports. Join the Global Launch beginning 22 November 2021, 15:00-17:00 CET.  Browse this events page for more details about all event agendas involving notable speakers and supporters of democracy.

Please register to join events online or plan to watch live.

Follow us and engage with us on social media: #GSoD2021, #RenewDemocracy, #GlobalStateofDemocracy

This page is being updated on a daily basis. Please check back often for more information. 

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THE GLOBAL STATE OF DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE

In 2016, International IDEA launched the Global State of Democracy Initiative, to analyze democratic trends and challenges and opportunities impacting on the global democracy landscape. The Global State of Democracy Initiative provides evidence-based and balanced analysis and data on the state and quality of democracy across most countires and all regions of the world. It aims to contribute to the public debate on democracy and inform policy interventions to strengthen democracy.

The Global State of Democracy Initiative is led by the Democracy Assessment team. For contact or queries on the GSoD Initiative or the GSoD Indices, please contact the DA team and GSoD Helpdesk.

 

Event notices: 

  • Individuals noted on any UN sanctions list (United Nations Security Council Consolidated List) or European Union sanctions list are not allowed to participate in any International IDEA events.
  • All events will be recorded.

Event Listing

 

 

Events

 

The global State of Democracy report – global Launch

Date: 22 November 2021, 15:00-17:00 CET

Location: Brussels and online

Opening 

  • H.E. Michael Clauss, Permanent Representative of Germany to the European Union
  •  Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Keynote 

  •  Ms Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships  (pre-recorded message)
  •  Dr Jürgen Zattler, Director-General for  International Development Policy, 2030 Agenda, Climate, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report  

  • Dr Seema Shah, Head of Democracy Assessment Unit, International IDEA
  •  Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Panel Discussion

  • Mr Christophe Deloire, Secretary General,  Reporters Without Borders
  • Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa
  • Ms Mu Sochua, Democracy activist and former Vice-President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party

Moderator: Massimo Tommasoli, Director of Global Programmes, International IDEA

 

State of Democracy in Asia and the Pacific report Launch

Date: 24 November 2021, 16:00-17:30 AEDT,  6:00-7:30 CET

Location: Canberra (Museum of Australian Democracy (MoADand online

Welcome Message and Opening 

  • Daryl Karp AM, Museum Director at Museum of Australian Democracy
  • Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Special Messages (pre-recorded)

  • Hon. Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan

Presentation of the State of Democracy in Asia and the Pacific Report  

  • Leena Rikkila Tamang, Regional Director, Asia and the Pacific, International IDEA

Panel Discussion

  • Edward Aspinall, PhD , Professor, Coral Bell School of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University
  • Imelda Deinla, PhD , Associate Professor, Ateneo School of Government, Philippines
  • Nematullah Bizhan, PhD, Lecturer in Public Policy, Australian National University, former government official of Afghanistan

Moderator:

Mark Evans, PhD ,Professor, Center for Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra

Host: Adhy Aman, Senior Programme Manager, Asia and the Pacific, International IDEA

 

The Global State of Democracy report – stockholm Presentation

Date: 25 November 2021, 15:00-17:00 CET

Location: Stockholm and online

Opening 

  • Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Keynote 

  •  H.E. Ann Linde, Foreign Affairs Minister, Sweden

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report

  • Dr Seema Shah, Head of Democracy Assessment, International IDEA

Panel Discussion

  • Ms Benedicte Berner, Civil Rights Defenders
  • Mr Erik Halkjaer, Reporters Without Borders
  • Ms Birgitta Ohlsson, National Democratic Institute

Moderator:  Dr Miguel Angel Lara Otaola, Senior Democracy Assessment Specialist, International IDEA

 

State of Democracy report in Asia and the Pacific – melanesia

Date: 7 December 2021

Location: Papua New Guinea

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report

  • Leena Rikkila Tamang, Director for Asia and the Pacific, International IDEA

 

State of Democracy report in Europe – Brussels

Date: 7 December 2021

Location: Bussels

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the State of Democracy in Europe Report

 

 

The Global State of Democracy report  – Washington, dc presentation

Date: 7 December 2021, 9:00-10:30 EST, 15:00-16:30 CET

Location: Washington, DC

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report

 

State of Democracy report in Africa Launch

Date: 10 December 2021, 11:30-13:30 EAT, 09:30-11:30 CET

Location: Ethiopia and online

Welcome and Opening Remarks  

  • Dr Roba Sharamo, Regional Director International IDEA Africa and West Asia
  • Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General, International IDEA

Keynote Speech

  • Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security- African Union Commission

“Continental perspective on the state of democracy and the role of the AU and regional economic bodies”  

Presentations of the State of Democracy Reports 

  • Presentation of the Global Findings: Dr Seema Shah, Head of Democracy Assessments, International IDEA
  • Presentation of Africa Findings, Dr Roba Sharamo, Regional Director International IDEA Africa and West Asia

Panel Discussion

Moderator:  Ms Njeri Kabeberi, Chair, International IDEA Board of Advisors

  • Democratic Recession Amidst a Global Health Pandemic – Re-Emergence of Coups, Extended Presidential Tenures and Infringements of Fundamental Rights –  Dr Andrews Atta Samoah, Programme Head, African Peace and Security Governance – Institute for Security Studies
  • Africa’s youth- Channelling the Opportunities to Address the Challenge of Exclusion –  (TBC)
  • Key Considerations for Addressing Democratic Regression in Africa –   Dr. Khabele Matlosa, Former Director of Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission

 

The Global State of Democracy report  – New York (UN) presentation

Date: 13 December 2021, 13:30-15:00 EST, 19:30-21:00 CET

Location: New York

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report

  • Massimo Tommasoli, Director of Global Programmes, International IDEA

 

 

 

State of Democracy report in the americaS launch

Date: 15 December 2021, 10:00-11:30

Location: Panama City, Panama

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy in the Americas Report

  • Daniel Zovatto, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, International IDEA

 

 

State of Democracy report in THE americaS – santiago presentation

Date: 17 December 2021, 15:00-17:00 CET

Location: Santiago, Chile

More details to come. 

 

 

 

State of Democracy report in europe – the hague presentation

Date: Early 2022

Location: The Hague, Netherlands

More details to come. 

 

 

 

State of Democracy report in THe  americaS – LiMA presentation

Date: Early 2022

Location: Lima, Peru

More details to come. 

 

Source: IDEA International

 

 

 

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Asia

The Love for All Animals

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Love for Living Animals: The Javan Rhinoceros Communicates Through Secretions on its Foot

AN ESSAY

We must safeguard the web of life and care about the other living species that we share this planet with. Pygmy tarsiers eat and host bugs that we’ve seen at home — insects, spiders, lizards, bedbugs, lice, fleas, roundworms, and tapeworms. The vaquitas are preyed upon by large sharks and killer whales, keeping them away from us. But only 10 vaquitas are left and in their absence, the diet of sharks and whales may change. A tiger in the wild indicates that the forest it inhabits is healthy and diverse. As of now, there are 3,900 tigers in the wild globally, and more than twice as many (8,000) in captivity. By protecting the web of life, we build a kinder world for everyone.

The Javan Rhino, only found in Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia, is critically endangered. It’s not just because only 75 of them are alive, but also because the park where they are located is too small for a growing future population.

They are the most threatened of all five rhino species. Their small population may lead to inbreeding, which will cause poor genetic variability. Forthcoming rhinos will be more vulnerable to disease.

Javan Rhinos, the second smallest rhino globally, have the smallest horn of all rhinos, at 10 inches. If its horn is broken, a new one will grow. Only the male Javan rhino has a horn.

The Javan rhino never reproduces in captivity. However, 25 individuals were placed at Ujung Kulon National Park in 1967. Today, they number 75, but the Park is too small for more Javan rhinos, so a new area is being studied to accommodate this growing population. Also, Ujung Kulon is near a volcano that has instigated tsunami waves in the past.

In Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam, the last Javan rhino was killed by poachers, for its horn, making them extinct in the country in 2011. There is an excessive demand for their horns as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for pain and fever, despite studies showing that no medicinal value is in the horn.

A Day in its Life

A Javan rhino spends more than half of the day in mud holes for their body temperature, to prevent sunburn, eliminate skin parasites, and avoid insects. If the mudhole is too small, the Javan rhino will deepen it with its horn and feet, turning puddles into pools. It is believed that Javan rhinos depend on the forest for protection from solar radiation.

After the Javan rhino is done relaxing, it will look for food. It will scrape the sides of its mud hole with its horn for plants. Then it will leave the hole and seek thick vegetation on the ground.

In the absence of a horn, this rhino still has its pointed upper lip to grab food. Its diet is a rich variety of leaves, shoots, twigs, and fruits. In one day it will eat as much food as a healthy person will eat in one year.

Still Much to Learn

Scientists say there is much to learn about the Javan rhino’s biology. They are observing the rhino and studying its dung. Javan rhinos don’t communicate vocally, although they’re capable of making sounds.

Instead, they communicate through, first, a spray of urine, second, a secretion from its foot glands, third, twisted saplings, and fourth, scrapes on the ground made with secretions released from its foot.

An example of a Javan rhino sound can be heard here. They have more aggressive sounds when two males fight over a female, or when a male and female fight before mating.

Scientists use camera traps to better understand this rhinoceros. Some things they have learned:

  1. Unlike humans that have evolved steadily to the way we look today, the Javan Rhino is believed to have remained unchanged for over one million years.

  2. Space. If you keep a silent, respectful distance from a Javan rhino, you will be allowed to observe it and photograph it until it tires and moves away. This was the experience of wildlife photographer Stephen Belcher.

  3. However, you mustn’t approach a javan rhino. Otherwise, they will attack humans by plunging their long sharp lower teeth into your body.

  4. Solitary animals. The Javan rhino lives alone, but may sometimes be with other rhinos in places rich with mud holes for wallowing, or areas where there is a large deposit of mineral salts. The rhinos use these salt licks to get essential nutrients like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and zinc.

  5. Occasionally young Javan rhinos will come together in pairs or small groups.

  6. Javan rhinos also interact during mating season, or when a female is caring for its young. A Javan rhino female is pregnant for 16 to 19 months and gives birth to a single calf every 2 ½ to 5 years. On very rare occasions, she’ll bear two calves. The calf separates from its mother at three years old. The lifespan of a Javan rhino is from 35-40 years in the wild.

  7. Courtship behavior is one of the rare times this animal will vocalize. Sometimes males will use their saber-like sharp incisors to fight each other during mating season for a female. Other times, a male and female Javan rhino will fight and growl loudly, followed by mating. In other cases, a male and female rhino may eat vegetation together. Suddenly, they’ll engage in a 200 meters long chase.

  8. Javan rhinos have poor eyesight, but their smelling and hearing are keen.

  9. Forest: Although the Javan rhino prefers ground vegetation to tree vegetation, they still use the forest for protection from solar radiation. Also, a forest has fewer water supply fluctuations. They also eat saplings from forest trees. The Javan rhino’s habitat requires a mesh of glades, and patches of forest.

Threats to the Javan rhino

At the start of the 20th century, 500,000 Rhinoceroses ran through much of Southeast Asia including Calcutta, India, Borneo, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, the Sumatra, and Java. They lived in tropical rainforests, floodplains, and grasslands.

Now, there are only 29,000 rhinoceroses left in the world. Out of that number, 75 are Javan rhinos with only one habitat, Ujung Kulon National Park. Despite this, there are still some dangers, such as:

  1. The 2018 tsunami, caused by the eruption of the nearby Anak Krakatau volcano, resulted in 10 feet high waves. Four hundred and thirty people died, two park rangers among them. Park buildings and ships were destroyed. This tsunami hit the north coast. If it had hit the south coast, all the Javan rhinos left in the world would have died.

  2. Anak Krakatau volcano is active. In August 1883, Krakatau erupted, resulting in 60 feet high waves. This volcano can wipe out the entire Javan rhino population in one fell swoop.

  3. Arengu palm. This invasive tree has overtaken 60% of Ujung Kulon National Park. It’s a tall tree, and its fronds block sunlight needed for ground vegetation. This results in food reduction and poor nutritional quality of what remains. The WWF is removing the Arenga palm trees, and restoring natural vegetation and food plants for the rhinos.

  4. Disease. In 1981 and 1982, five rhinos died in Ujung Kulon. The Morris Animal Foundation blamed the tabanid flies, horse flies, and deer flies, all of which can spread parasites that result in hemorrhagic septicemia, an acute, highly fatal form of pasteurellosis, causing death. A free vaccination program for livestock by the local government is in progress to address this.

  5. Habitat loss. Ujung Kulon is the last remaining habitat for the critically endangered Javan rhino species. However, another location is being eyed and studied to see if it can accommodate Javan rhinos.

  6. Poaching. In colonial times Javan rhinos were displayed as trophies. Now, they’re hunted for their horns. This continues to threaten the 75 Javan rhinos in Ujung Kulon.

What is Being Done

Many conservationist groups are working to save ecosystems, plants, and other animals by saving the Javan rhino first. Some groups doing this are:

  1. Save The Rhino. This group seeks to produce 2,000 to 2,500 Javan rhinos within the next 150 years. This is the number required for Javan rhinos for possible long-term survival. They do this by:

  • Protecting the Javan rhinos and their habitat.
  • Searching for new habitats to translocate Javan rhinos.
  • Providing ranger kits that include quality shoes, backpacks, and accommodation.
  • Expanding Dog squads to track and apprehend poachers.
  • Detecting illegally smuggled wildlife products.
  • Funding for veterinary interventions.
  • Providing transmitters and radio frequency tags to help track rhinos in the wild.
  1. WWF. The World Wildlife Fund and its partners found a possible habitat area for new Javan rhinos. As a result, they are: Conducting a feasibility study of the habitat.

  • Establishing management structures
  • Enlisting surrounding communities to protect the area. Engaging scientific research to inform conservation and management efforts.
  • Planning to remove all Arenga palm trees in Ujung Kulon
  • Planting suitable vegetation for the rhinos.
  • Patrolling against poachers with community help.
  • Addressing illegal trade through local and international law enforcement to subject traffickers to justice.
  1. The Morris Foundation funds studies focused on saving the Javan rhino.

  2. The International Rhino Foundation and the staff of Ujung Kulon National Park protect the Javan rhino. Javan rhinos are the flagship species of the Western Java Rainforests ecoregion.

Ecological Importance of the Javan Rhino

The Javan rhino does a lot of good for an ecosystem. For example:

  1. Javan rhinos keep an ecosystem healthy and balanced. By consuming so much vegetation, they help shape the landscape and keep plant life populations in check, and permit soil space for new plants to grow. Other animals in the ecosystem also benefit from this.

  2. The Javan is the most adaptable feeder of all rhino species. Biologists have identified 300 species of food that they eat.

  3. Javan rhinos topple vegetation and crush it with their feet and body weight, so it can wallow in the mud. This provides natural plant trimming that strengthens the forest. It also stores CO2 and releases clean air.

  4. Many plants and animals cohabit an area with Javan rhinos. Protecting the rhinos keeps all plants and animals in the ecosystem protected too, such as antelopes, buffalo, elephants, and large carnivores.

  5. Local people depend on natural resources from the rhino’s habitat for food and fuel. Ecotourism can generate income for locals.

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In Chile, A different and courageous alternative with new ideas and proposals for leadership

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“We are a different, courageous alternative with new ideas and proposals”, Susana López

Nicolás Filipic

(Image by Nicolás Filipic)

A good way to describe Susana Lopez is to read her facebook wall where many former students of this young teacher from Ovalle greet her and remember her. “The teacher taught me the values of honesty and nonviolence. “Aunt Susana always had a space for us, to listen to us and give us advice. “Thanks to the teacher I decided to study law to be able to defend the weakest and those who nobody takes into account”.

And so, hundreds of messages of love, affection and respect for the person who is now running for Congress for the first time.

“It was very difficult for me to make up my mind because of the exposure that a candidacy for national deputy demands, and on top of that, on the ballot paper, I am in the centre and first on the list”, says Susana, laughing at this paradox.

President of the Coquimbo region of the Humanist Party, it was the members of Humanismo in the region who decided to proclaim her, “it is important that people know that this candidacy does not arise, like all the others, in an office in Santiago, but that it is the people of the territory who decide”, she says, affirming that she is not part of any political caste where other candidates run again and again and make a career playing with the hopes of the people.

“It is incredible, but there are candidates from the parties that have shared power over the last thirty years who promise what they have never done before, and then the question arises: how long will people allow themselves to be fooled into voting for them again? That’s why this candidacy makes sense, because we want to be a different, brave alternative with new ideas and proposals.

What are these proposals?

The Law of Political Responsibility, presented by our deputy Laura Rodriguez in 1990, and which was never dealt with, proposes the revocation of the mandate of any authority or elected official who does not fulfil his or her campaign promises within a period of one year.

A Law of Worker Ownership through which all companies that share profits with their workers can have some kind of tax exemption, since we believe that the capital-labour relationship has to be seen from a new perspective where the most important thing is the Human Being and not money.

The creation of an Environmental Social Tribunal, neighbours working together with the judiciary so that those who pollute go to jail, enough of paying fines to continue ruining our ecosystem.

Popular Water Committee to put an end to the plundering of water in our communities and the business of water trucks which is an abuse for our people, especially the peasantry.

We are going to put pressure on the authorities so that we have an oncology centre of excellence in our region, it cannot be that families have to migrate to be able to have cancer treatments, we need political decision to understand that health is a right for the whole country and not only for those who live in Santiago.

We are concerned about violence against women, every day we know of more cases and nobody does anything. We are going to put pressure on the decision makers to create shelters run by women in the main cities of our region.

As I am a teacher and I experience the problems of education on a daily basis, we are going to propose a Law on Education for Nonviolence, where students, parents and teachers are taught tools for conflict resolution through active nonviolence.

The enthusiasm does not wane in Susana who defines herself as an ordinary person, “my father was a taxi driver to Sotaqui, I have always lived the values of work, honesty and love, also good and decent people have the right to get involved in politics and Humanism has a history of coherence and transparency that make it unique”.

This reference has its roots in the fact that the Humanist Party was the first to be legalised in the midst of the dictatorship (1986).

“When I joined the Humanist Party, 15 years ago, I found a proposal that fitted perfectly with what I needed, the idea of simultaneous social and personal change seemed wonderful to me and resonated with me, with the personal work I could recognise my strength and rely on my virtues to remove the suffering look on the bad things that had happened to me”,

“We Humanists were the only ones who marched together with the people without anyone running us off and we were in the assemblies that took place at the time, and we want this support to be translated into votes to be able to change history”, she says with strength and conviction.

“If Pamela Jiles, being the only humanist deputy, was able to turn the tide and achieve the withdrawal of the AFP and with that put food on the table for hundreds of Chilean families, can you imagine what a humanist bench could achieve”, Susana says and says goodbye, walking calmly through the streets handing out flyers and smiles to those who pass by.

The closeness that people feel with Susana is because she is genuine and shows herself as she is, and as a neighbour told her: “it is time for people like you to represent us”.

Source: Pressenza

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Mobilized TV

Mobilized TV on Free Speech TV  takes a deep look at our world, the consequences of human activity on our planet, and how we can reverse and prevent existing and future crises from occurring. Mobilized reveals life on our planet as a system of systems which all work together for the optimal health of the whole. The show delves into deep conversations with change-makers so people can clearly take concerted actions.

Produced by Steven Jay and hosted by Jeff Van Treese.

Mobilized’s TV series Mobilized TV  premieres on Free Speech TV on Friday, October 15, 2021. All episodes appear:

Fridays 9:30 PM Eastern (USA/Canada)

Saturdays; 6:30 PM (Eastern USA/Canada)

Sundays: 8:30 AM Eastern (USA/Canada)

Nov 26,27,28: Imagination will take you Everywhere: Howard Bloom
Howard Bloom has worn many hats. As an Author, he’s known for “The Global Brain” and “The Lucifer Principle” and many others.  As the head of the Howard Bloom Organization, for many years, he empowered a team of publicists to connect his stable of artists with media, creating successful campaigns for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Amnesty International, The Jacksons Victory Tour, Billy Joel and John Mellencamp. But his real passion is science and discovery, and empowering human soul into the creation of optimal systems that serve all.  Howard claims that “We need a vision for the future that we could reach towards by looking up, the same way JFK encourage us to look into the sky and go to the Moon.”  It is this type of vision that great societies try to attain.”

December 3,4,5: How can we eliminate heart disease featuring Dr. Michael Ozner

How a better understanding of whole system health can bring about more health and well-being. We spend a little quality time with celebrated preventative cardiologist and Author of The Complete Mediterranean Diet, Dr. Michael Ozner.

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Dr. Julie Peller is a professor of chemistry at Valparaiso University, where she studies microplastic solution. On today’s show, Dr. Peller discusses the extent of microplastic pollution in our environment and the risks they pose to human health.

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