ECO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

EcoPeace Middle East is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. Our primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage. In so doing, we seek to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace in our region. EcoPeace has offices in Amman, Bethlehem, and Tel-Aviv.

Big jump in the River Jordan

Big jump in the River Jordan

Eco Peace Middle East – environmentalists for peace in the region

By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi

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How was Eco Peace Middle East founded and with which aims?
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“EcoPeace” was  founded on December 7, 1994 at an historic meeting held in Taba, Egypt.  We came about as environmental non-governmental organizations from the Middle East met with the common goal of furthering sustainable development and peace in their region. For the first time ever, Egyptian, Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian environmentalists agreed to join forces in an effort to promote the integration of environmental considerations into the regional development agenda.
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How do you advocate environmental issues at a political level?
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EcoPeace’s “top-down” (advocacy) programs are based on research, on the publication of policy briefs, and on the holding of events that highlight the national self-interest of each side in advancing our policy recommendations.  Mutual gain is the focus and goal of our advocacy work vis-a-vis decision makers at the regional and international levels.
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What  bottom-up strategies do you undertake?
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Our bottom-up approach is about educating local constituencies to call for, and lead, necessary cross-border solutions to regional water issues. Despite the ongoing conflict, bottom-up programing facilitates the advancement of community interests in cross-border environmental solutions

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How has civil society been responsive so far to your initiatives?
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Yes, very much so, and that is due to our “bottom up” approach, where we work with community members in our “Good Water Neighbors” (GWN) project.  This is what an external evaluator said about this project: “The GWN’s strategy of long-term deep work in the communities, sustaining a cross-border communication network, and insisting on addressing practical tangible results and interests, rather than just peace or cooperation in general, bears fruits.  It changes the discourse of those involved with the project and many have adopted the narrative of environmental peacebuilding / cross-border cooperation that the GWN project advances into their professional and personal lives.”

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Do you cooperate with local authorities and institutions? If yes, how?
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Yes.  Again, local authorities and institutions are all part of our community project “Good Water Neighbors”.  We convene meetings with mayors and municipal representatives from both sides of the border, Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian, to discuss shared environmental challenges and work with them to develop and propose solutions that would benefit them both (all).  Sometimes these meetings are small, if it’s about a more local (but still cross border) problem, but we also have annual regional meetings, much larger, that focus on the larger issue of water in the region.

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Written FOR

GEORGE CARLIN ON SAVING THE PLANET

Be sure to see THIS post first …..

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORK’S GLOBAL CLIMATE MARCH

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1,200 (plus) participants

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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KOSHER Vs MONSANTO ~~ THE CHOICE IS YOURS

Photo © by Bud Korotzer From THIS post

Photo © by Bud Korotzer
From THIS post

Monsanto finally has a rival!

Kudos to Manischewitz for the steps they have taken!!

“We’ve always been using non-GMO products. Now we just have some proof to show for it.”

Manischewitz, a leading name in kosher foods since 1888, has announced that it’s become the first major kosher brand to receive non-GMO certification.

Manischewitz, a leading name in kosher foods since 1888, has announced that it’s become the first major kosher brand to receive non-GMO certification.

Manischewitz and the Non-GMO Project

By Jean Hanks

This certification, which the company received for 12 of its products, comes from the Non-GMO Project, created in 2008 by a group of food retailers who wanted their customers to know exactly what they were eating. Products with the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal have been through a rigorous verification process, so consumers can be sure that these foods contain the least amount of genetically modified organisms possible.

What this means to Manischewitz is that customers now have actual proof that the food they are buying is healthy and safe, said Sara Stromer, assistant brand manager for the company. She stresses that there has not been any alteration to the taste that customers love. “There is no change in the ingredients or how the products are made,” Stromer said. “We’ve always been using non-GMO products. Now we just have some proof to show for it.”

Why the need for this proof? Manischewitz says it is responding to its customers, as well as keeping up with the latest health trends. In addition to taking the steps to become non-GMO certified, the company announced seven newly certified gluten-free Passover products. Stromer hopes that by promoting the importance of selling non-GMO foods, Manischewitz sets an example for other kosher food companies.

WE SHALL NOT BE DE-CLIMATIZED (VIDEO)

Posted by  Dave Lippman

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We marched, and will march again, and then will lie down in front of the liars, and stand up to the climate-killing profiteers. And on we go, learning more about the science and how to drop it, and how to build movements. And here’s the lyric:

Chorus:
We shall not, we shall not be moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

Oil and coal destroy the earth
We shall not be moved
We’re gonna fight for all we’re worth
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

The 1% steals everything
We shall not be moved
Economic justice we will bring
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

They’re fracking here, they’re drilling there
We shall not be moved
To benefit some billionaire
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

Oil war hawks are swarming
We shall not be moved
Bringing global warming
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

Fossil fuel pollution
We shall not be moved
Clean energy solution
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

We shall not, we shall not be moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

PHOTOS OF NEW YORK IN ACTION TO SAVE THE PLANET ~~ ‘THERE IS NO PLANET B’

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets on Sunday in what was billed as a People’s Climate March. Police estimated there were 600,000 marchers present, many more than the 100,000 which was expected.

Related report below

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Related Report FROM

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Climate March Shatters Record

By Andrew Restuccia

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l Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined a larger-than-expected throng of activists, scientists, students and elected officials who took to New York City’s streets Sunday for a massive march meant to sound the alarm about climate change.

Organizers initially estimated that the march had drawn 310,000 people, then raised that estimate to nearly 400,000 — far exceeding their projections of 100,000 attendees and making the procession through midtown Manhattan by far the largest climate-related protest in history. New York police did not offer their own crowd count.

Participants waved flags, pounded on drums and carried signs that said “No More Climate Change” and “Climate Action Now,” while police blocked traffic along Central Park West from 59th Street to 86th Street.

The scene turned a bit chaotic when Gore, Moon, scientist Jane Goodall and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the march around 12:45 p.m., with police, security officers and arms-linked volunteers holding back the crowd while photographers clicked away. After a moment of silence, the crowd erupted in cheers.

Others taking part in Sunday’s protest included Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) as well as former Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

Participants said they were trying to send a message to elected officials that tackling climate change, an issue that has often taken a back seat in Washington, should be a top priority.

“It shows we have power,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “It’s a diverse coalition. It’s broad and it’s growing in strength and it’s growing in diversity. And it’s increasingly impatient at the rate of progress.”

But it wasn’t making an immediate splash on national TV — “Meet the Press” didn’t mention the march, while CNN, Fox and MSNBC were focusing on issues like the NFL, the fight against ISIL, Friday’s White House intruder and the November elections.

The march comes just two days before more than 120 world leaders and other high-ranking officials, including President Barack Obama, are slated to descend on New York City for a United Nations climate change summit. Countries are working toward reaching an international climate change accord at the end of 2015 that would go into effect in 2020.

De Blasio said he hoped this week’s events would mark a “turning point moment” for the climate cause, but conceded that that’s far from certain.

“Summits sometimes spark great change — rallies, protests sometimes spark great change. Sometimes they don’t,” de Blasio said. He added, “My sense is that the energy you’re seeing on the streets, the numbers that have amassed here and in other cities around the world suggest something bigger is going on.”

The march was organized by more than 1,500 groups and spearheaded by 350.org, the same upstart climate activist group that has turned the proposed Keystone XL pipeline into a political quagmire for President Barack Obama. Activists mounted a massive effort to spread the word and attract the public, distributed more than 1 million flyers around New York City and chartered nearly 500 buses to bring people from around the country.

Organizers said they held more than 2,000 climate-focused events in 162 countries, and Twitter’s feeds on Sunday included photos from marches in cities like London, Berlin, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Melbourne, Australia. The Associated Press said 40,000 people attended the London protest, including musician Peter Gabriel and actress Emma Thompson.

But the New York City march was the centerpiece.

Mary Francis, carrying a sign proclaiming herself an “angry granny,” said she came to the march from Oklahoma.

“This is a problem that my generation has created,” said Francis, 72. “My parents didn’t know about this problem. But my generation knows and we have to do what we can to fix what we can.”

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer called the protest “a message to our dysfunctional federal government that we’re not going to be pushed out of our planet.”

While several polls have painted climate change as a marginal priority for most voters, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer predicted Sunday that the mass demonstration will show that it’s “a first-tier political issue, that the ability to sweep this under the rug is over.”

And Obama is one person surely paying attention, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said before the march kicked off.

“You don’t get to be president of the United States by ignoring huge outpourings of public sentiment,” McKibben said.

 

#FloodWallStreet … SAVE THE WORLD!

(Image Courtesy of Flood Wall Street)

(Image Courtesy of Flood Wall Street)

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What does climate change have to do with capitalism? According to “Flood Wall Street” organizers, who are part of a mass people’s response to the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, the answer is simple: Everything.

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Aiming at Roots of Climate Chaos,

‘Flood Wall Street’ Targets Capitalism

Itself

Ahead of UN summit, organizers of direct action say the planetary crisis of global warming ‘is a result of an economic system that is based on endless extraction, endless growth, and ceaseless exploitation of the earth and people.’

by Sarah Lazare, staff writer for
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What does climate change have to do with capitalism? According to “Flood Wall Street” organizers, who are part of a mass people’s response to the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, the answer is simple: Everything.

To illustrate this, thousands of people on Monday, September 22 will bring the climate crisis to the doorsteps of the financial institutions underpinning the capitalist economic system by “flooding” New York’s Wall Street district with a mass sit-in of people donning blue and bearing a 300-foot banner that reads “Capitalism = Climate Chaos. Flood Wall Street.”

Organizers of the protest told Common Dreams that 400 people from across the country have already committed to risking arrest in the direct action and they expect that number to grow. Many more, they say, will attend the protest as supporters of the civil disobedience. “It’s going to be a sea of blue evocative of Hurricane Sandy that’s going to flood the financial district,” organizer Michael Premo told Common Dreams.

This action is targeting capitalism itself because “the climate crisis fundamentally is a result of an economic system that is based on endless extraction, endless growth, and ceaseless exploitation of the earth and people,” explained Premo. “A lot of the small incremental changes that have been touted over the last decade as addressing the situation are just band-aids. If there is any hope of building  a more ecologically sustainable and socially equitable economy, we have to start at the root.”

Monday’s direct action will kick off with a 9:00 am demonstration in Battery Park, which will include music from New York City radical marching band the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, to be followed by speakers including Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and leaders from the Climate Justice Alliance. Protesters will then march to the New York Stock Exchange, where the direct action will take place at noon. The organizers of the protest do not hail from a single group but constitute a network of “Occupy Wall Street veterans, student divestment activists, housing activists, artists and more,” according to a press statement.

The protest is a response to a recent call to action from Climate Justice Alliance, a global coalition of indigenous peoples, people of color, and poor and working class communities bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. “From Mesa to Mountaintop, from Hood to Holler—join us as we meet the scale and urgency of the crisis by standing in solidarity with all frontlines of resistance and resilience around the world, and taking non-violent direct action against the corporations driving the extractive economy,” reads the statement from the group.

“We are flooding Wall Street to stop its financing of planetary destruction, and make way for living economies that benefit people and planet,” said Michael Leon Guerrero of the Climate Justice Alliance. “Communities that are first and most impacted by storms, floods and droughts are also on the frontlines of fighting the dig, burn, dump economy causing climate change.”

But these communities are not invited to the UN summit of government representatives, corporations, financial institutions, and select civil society organizations that will take place at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 23rd. Last week a global coalition of social movement organizations, including La Via Campesina and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, slammed the “corporate takeover” and “false promises” of the meeting.

Grassroots creative actions and events will take place outside UN meeting’s closed doors. Flood Wall Street will come the day after the People’s Climate March, which is expected to bring out historic numbers. A People’s Climate Justice Summit is one of many activities planned as part of a week of action in New York. While a multitude of organizations, bringing a vast array of political visions, will participate in the week of actions, Flood Wall Street organizers say groups and people among them are seeking to push the conversation towards a critique of capitalism. Meanwhile, people across the world, from Mexico to Egypt to South Africa, plan simultaneous demonstrations and actions.

“The world is at stake,” said Vida James, a social worker and one of the many organizers behind Flood Wall Street, in an interview with Common Dreams. “This action is part of a larger global community that is taking direct action against climate change. We are part of a tapestry of communities all over the world fighting for change, risking arrest and security.”

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Take the Pledge (Click HERE)

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Pledge to #FloodWallStreet

Join the flood on September 22 starting at 9 am. The economy of the 1% is destroying the planet, flooding our homes, and wrecking our communities. After the People’s Climate March, wearing blue, we will bring the crisis to its cause with a mass sit-in at the heart of capital.

Yes! I will #FloodWallStreet

I will join the sea of bodies disrupting business as usual (and risk arrest).
I will support those participating in the sit-in.

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ TO LOVE HUMANITY IS TO SAFEGUARD THE ENVIRONMENT

global-march-against-monsanto.si

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And the food we eat!

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Large protest at New York’s Union Square against Monsanto and GMO

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Related Report of other demos … FROM

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Global anti-GMO action: People unite against Monsanto dominance

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Over 400 cities worldwide will see millions marching against the US chemical and agricultural company Monsanto in an effort to boycott the use of Genetically Modified Organizms in food production.

Marches are planned in 52 countries in addition to some 47 US states that are jointing in the protest.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on March Against Monsanto

“MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides,” said Tami Monroe Canal, founder of March Against Monsanto (MAM) in a press release ahead of the global event.

The movement was formed after the 2012 California Proposition 37 on mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food initiative failed, prompting activists to demand a boycott of the GMO in food production.

“Monsanto’s predatory business and corporate agriculture practices threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity,” Canal said.

The main aim of the activism is to organize global awareness for the need to protect food supply, local farms and environment. It seeks to promote organic solutions, while “exposing cronyism between big business and the government.”

Activists claim that Monsanto spent hundreds of millions of dollars to “obstruct all labeling attempts”while suppressing all “research containing results not in their favor.”

Birth defects, organ damage, infant mortality, sterility and increased cancer risks are just some of the side-effects GMO is believed to cause.

“That is what the scientists have learned about, that the genetically modified foods will increase allergies that they are going to be less nutritious and that they can possibly or very contain toxins that can make us ill,” Organic Consumers Association’s political director Alexis Baden-Mayer told RT.

GMOs have been partially banned in a number of countries, including Germany, Japan, and Russia but yet in most countries across the globe still feed GMOs to their animals.

Citing the US example, Baden-Mayer told RT that “it is hard to distinguish the company Monsanto from the players in the US government.”

“Most of the genetically modified crops grown in the US, almost all of them end up in factory farms, concentrated in animal feeding operations,” stating that US has enough grassland to pasture and raise“100 percent grass-fed beef” and produce even more grass fed beef than is raised on “modified corn and soy.”

One year ago over 2 million people in 436 cities in 52 countries worldwide marched against the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds.