Welcome to the September 30, 2009 issue of this Peace&Justice action email!
In this issue Shell Oil is pressed to clean up its act in the Niger Delta, and the push for peace for Darfur is continued. It also contains a surprising change in Kimberly Clark’s forestry practices. And this issue calls for pressure to capture the LRA’s notorious Joseph Kony.
However before proceeding, I must note how this has been a particularly bad week in need of disaster aid, from the floods in the Philippines to the tsunami in the South Pacific. Normally this newsletter doesn’t focus on such disasters, since they generally receive good coverage. But on occasion I like to raise the need to donate to a reputable charity, since such disasters can cause terrible harm, grief and dislocation.
TELL SHELL TO CLEANUP NIGER DELTA
The new CEO of Shell, Mr. Peter Voser, started in July 2009. Amnesty International is calling on the new CEO and the government of Nigeria to come clean on the human and environmental impacts of the oil industry in the region. It has long been a source of conflict and violence, as noted in the background articles.
Specifically they are asking Shell’s new Chief Executive to disclose information on the impact of Shell’s operations in Nigeria and to make a public commitment to cleaning up Shell’s operations in the Niger Delta. You can sign the petition below to support this action.
GOOD NEWS: KIMBERLY-CLARK AND BOREAL FORESTS
For several years this email has targeted Kimberly-Clark (makers of Kleenex tissue, etc.) as one of the more recalcitrant companies in its disregard of forestry practices, particularly their terrible management of the boreal (northern belt) forests. While the Amazon jungle is often considered the “lungs of the earth”, more recent analysis has recognized the value of the world’s boreal forests.
Recently, in a tremendous victory for ancient forests, including the North American Boreal Forest, Kimberly-Clark has announced a new policy that protects endangered forests. It has set a goal of obtaining 100 percent of the wood fiber for its products including its flagship brand, Kleenex from environmentally responsible sources.
As I have mentioned several times, one never knows when a tipping point might occur. And when it does, it should be acknowledged. So please consider thanking Kimberly-Clark for its policy of protecting ancient forests! . . . and also as a reminder that we will be watching!
DARFUR: STILL WAITING U.S. POLICY REVIEW
The Obama administration had indicated, prior to coming into office that Darfur was a priority for them. Once in office they called for a review of their Sudan policy, which at the time was a welcome step. However the review is long, long overdue; its latest date was this past week. With so many Darfurians desperately stuck in camps where violence and meager supplies exist, and where Sudan’s North-South agreement continues to fray – both rhetoric and violence have increased – time is of the essence.
The Enough Project has created the action below, to urge implementation of an effective peace process for Darfur and to ensure there are appropriate “carrots and sticks” in their overall Sudan policy. If you agree, please consider taking the following action (note that these are not the usual web-based actions, but phone calls with sample scripts; plus you can try “Tweeting” the State Dept).
Take Action (US citizens only):
CARL WILKENS INTERSHIPS ON GENOCIDE PREVENTION
This program is named in honour of Carl Wilkens, the only American who chose to remain in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide and is credited with saving hundreds of lives. Mr. Wilkens is emblematic of the program's theme: ordinary individuals can make an extraordinary difference when they choose to engage.
The Carl Wilkens Fellowship is a selective, 12-month program that provides a diverse set of emerging citizen leaders with the tools and training to build sustained political will to end genocide. So if you might be interest in this program or know someone who might be, please see the link below. Deadline is November 1.
Information and Application:
SIGN CITIZEN ARREST FOR LRA’S JOSEPH KONY
Jospeh Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is responsible for some of humanity’s most repugnant acts of brutality, and in particular for his force’s abduction of children. Originally based in Uganda, they have terrorized communities also in the Congo. Central African Republic, and southern Sudan, where I recently read he is now. If you are a U.S. citizen, you can sign the petition and tell your representative to sponsor the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Bill. It deals with mobilizing the international community to act, and to help in the recovery and rehabilitation of those affected.
=== ARTICLES OF INTEREST ===
Innovative Way to Stop Bottom Trawling
Greenpeace has performed its second project to try to stop the terribly destructive practice of ocean bottom trawling. Quite simply they drop massive boulders to prevent bottom trawling. You can watch the BBC video & article:
Congo and Blood Diamonds – Video Winner
In recent emails, I indicated a media contest about the blood diamond industry. The winner has been selected and you can watch the video here:
Karen Armstrong announces Charter of Compassion
Karen Armstrong, widely esteemed author (example, A History of God) has just announced a project, The Charter of Compassion. The web site contains many good starting points. The actual charter will be announced November 12.
Humanity pushing toward / beyond 9 key global boundaries
While controversial, it is interesting to consider what global boundaries we may be facing, that have critical thresholds:
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