In 1988, four friends co-founded Global Exchange to fight a worldview based on greed, domination, and unvarnished worship of power. We envisioned building a robust U.S. movement capable of creating change from the grassroots, powered by people-to-people ties. This year we celebrated our 25th anniversary, and we are proud to honor the dedication of people like you who have sweated and sacrificed to forge a working alternative from the ground up.
This year, the Community Rights Program both challenged the dirty and dangerous practice of fracking in our California backyard and built the movement for the Rights of Nature – locally and globally. Here are few of my favorite 2013 highlights.
One-Man Fracking Ban
We share the big and small victories with all of you, including J. Stephen Cleghorn of Pennsylvania, who became the first private property owner in the United States to use a deed easement recognizing the Rights of Nature to ban all activities that would do systemic harm to the ecosystem both above and deep below the surface of his farm. Thank you Stephen!
Rising Against Fracking
This spring Global Exchange invited Doug Shields, the former Pittsburgh, PA councilman responsible for the first “rights-based” ban on fracking in the nation to join a speaking tour, warning Californians about the perils of fracking and how to stop it coming to communities.
We visited 9 communities, educating thousands from San Francisco to San Diego about the reality and risks of fracking. We’re working with many of those communities to pass local ordinances that ban fracking at the local level, assert community rights, and subordinate drilling companies to local, democratic rule.
A Revolution for the Rights of Nature and Mother Earth
This fall, to promote the Rights of Nature, we worked with communities and allies in the U.S. and around the world to pass laws that recognize the inalienable Rights of Nature to flourish and thrive, protecting the fragile ecosystems our existence depends on.
This October, we held a Summit of international strategists to coordinate Rights of Nature efforts around the globe. Over 50 visionaries, thinkers, and activists met in the Bay Area for Global Exchange’s Rights of Nature & Economics of the Biosphere Summit and was a success and an important moment in the growing Rights of Nature movement at both the international and local level.
On the Farm with Vandana
Global Exchange’s Reality Tour to India this November, spent several days on Navdanya’s Soil Ecology Lab and Bija Vidyapeeth (Earth University) to explore the Rights of Nature with Dr. Vandana Shiva. Coincidentally, an important royal guest also showed up!
A Call for Solidarity with Fundación Pachamama
Last week’s dissolution by the Ecuadorian government of the Fundación Pachamama, an allied organization of Global Exchange and key advocate for the Rights of Nature, has resulted in an outcry of international support from organizations around the world, calling for the immediate reversal of what they agree was an illegal act to repress civil liberties.
More than 100 organizations have committed their support by signing a letter of solidarity on International Human Rights Day. Please join this petition and lend your voice.
We’re proud of what we’ve done together. But to achieve the visions we set out all those years ago, we’re going to need your continued support.
Director, Community Rights Program