Archive for May, 2010

Evo Morales: We must unite on climate

May 16, 2010

The following is an abridged speech by Bolivian President Evo Morales to a meeting of the G77 and China, which brings together 130 developing countries, at the United Nations on May 7. The World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth was held in Cochabamba, Bolivia over April 19-22. For more information on the conference, and for the full resolutions adopted, visit PWCCC.org.

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I have come here to share the conclusions of the First World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. I convened this conference because at the Copenhagen UN climate summit in December, the voice of the world’s peoples was not listened to, nor were established procedures respected by all states.

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Bolivia summit inspires NSW audiences

May 16, 2010

By Simon Butler & Zane Alcorn

Melbourne-based climate activist Ben Courtice toured Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong from May 10 to 12 to report back from the World People’s Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which took place in Bolivia in April.

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After 12,000-mile flight to green meeting, there’s MUTINY in the Climate Camp

May 16, 2010

By Jason Lewis

climate camp

Climate Camp protesters gather at Waterloo bridge. The group’s leadership has been accused of hypocrisy after they sent two members on a £1,200 round-trip to Bolivia

A decision by a climate-change group to fly leading activists 12,000 miles to a conference threatens to tear the movement apart.

The leadership of Climate Camp – which is opposed to flying and airport expansion – have been accused of hypocrisy after they sent two members on a £1,200 round-trip to Bolivia.

The leaders argued it was necessary to attend the ‘transnational protest’ – even though the flights generated eight tons of carbon dioxide greenhouse gases

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Development Policy Delays Improved Bolivian-U.S. Relations

May 16, 2010

Foreign Minister, David Choquehuanca, announced on May 11 that the Bolivian government still wishes to change the course of its relationship with the United States, but that this may take up to five years. “We want improved relations, but with respect; we’re not desperate.” He affirmed that the Bolivian government does not want to allow economic assistance to come into the country if they don’t know how it is being managed.

“We want economic cooperation to be [determined jointly] by the two states. This is one area [of bilateral negotiations] we have not been able to agree on. We don’t want the U.S. to keep administering their economic aid themselves, without Bolivia having the right to obtain information about how these funds are spent.”

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Bolivian Government Negotiates Internal Conflicts

May 16, 2010

Written by Erin Hatheway, The Andean Information Network

New Human Rights Ombudsman finally sworn in

Congress swore in the new Human Rights Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo), emeritus Methodist Bishop Rolando Villena, on May 13. According to the 2009 Constitution, Villena will serve a six year term, without the possibility of reelection. Congress chose Villena amidst debate and unfounded accusations of legal violations from the previous Defensor and opposition leaders. Vice President Garcia Linera, presiding as head of the Senate, urged Villena to “defend, watch over and protect the integrity of Bolivian society’s individual and collective human rights.” Booing and insults exchanged between different parties led to the session’s premature conclusion. As a result, Villena gave his acceptance speech outside the legislature. He affirmed, “I am a servant to the people and we will provide an unfaltering defense of human rights from different scenarios so that the exercise of authority will dignify relations between the state and the community.”

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Bolivia encashed $18-m guarantee, says Jindal Steel

May 16, 2010

New Delhi: Jindal Steel & Power on Friday said the Bolivian government had encashed its entire $18 million bank guarantee for the El Mutun project, and the company was negotiating with the government to resolve the dispute.

“We wrote to them (the Bolivia government) that this encashment is wrong,” director Sushil K Maroo told Reuters in an interview.

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Bolivia takes visitors to new heights

May 16, 2010

By BILL BRUBAKER, Washington Post

Our guide reached into the glove compartment of his Toyota Land Cruiser and pulled out a green plastic bag. Having traveled in the Bolivian Andes before, I had a good hunch what Faustino was reaching for.

“We’ll be going higher,” he said, no pun intended, as he grabbed a fistful of leaves from the bag and stuffed them into his mouth. “These coca leaves will help me with the higher altitude, and they’ll keep me awake.”

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Nigerian activist: People’s climate summit ‘a turning point’

May 16, 2010

By Federico Fuentes

Bolivian participants at the Cochabamba climate summit.

“There are two ways forward: Either save capitalism, or save Mother Earth”, Bolivian President Evo Morales said, stressing that this was the choice facing governments at a May 7 press conference in New York. There, he discussed the outcomes of the 35,000-strong World People’s Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

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Bolivia: Between development and Mother Earth

May 16, 2010

By Federico Fuentes

Bolivia’s silver mines in Potosi helped make Europe rich.

The tremendous success of the April 19-22 World Peoples Summit on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, has confirmed the well-deserved role of its initiator — Bolivian President Evo Morales — as one of the world’s leading environmental advocates.

Since being elected the country’s first indigenous president in 2005, Morales has continuously denounced the threat posed by the climate crisis and environmental destruction.

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Bolivia’s mining dilemmas

May 16, 2010

By Federico Fuentes

Bolivian miners

Perhaps no other sector better exemplifies the challenge the Bolivian government faces in lifting the country out of the poverty and dependency afflicting South America’s poorest nation than its all-important mining industry.

Mining minister and former miners’ union leader Jose Pimentel told Green Left Weekly: “Bolivia has been a mining country for more than 500 years, ever since the Spanish came and discovered the legendary wealth [of the silver mines] of Potosi.”

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