SDIA attendance at the Earth Summit
We’re sending a delegation to Rio +20!
Between 20 and 22 June 20 2012, the city of Rio de Janeiro will host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)—also known as the Earth Summit or “Rio+20”.
According to the Conference website…
The objective of the Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.
The Conference will focus on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.
Strip mining for coal in Montana, USA. This kind of extractive mining of fossil fuels for energy contributes heavily to global warming and destroys vast areas of the natural environment. Exploitation of the environment on this scale is not sustainable.
The Rio+20 conference is guided by a United Nations General Assembly resolution from 2009, which set the following goals:
- ensure a renewed political commitment to sustainable development,
- assess the progress made to date and the gaps that still exist in implementing the outcomes of key meetings on sustainable development and
- address new and emerging challenges.
The document resulting from the Summit should present a roadmap for the transition to a new economic model that leads to a fairer, more prosperous and sustainable society, properly directed and controlled by an institutional framework.
Biogas tank with a pipe leading to the kitchen at Anisha. The gas for this system is produced entirely from farm waste.
Civil society players are mobilizing to influence the outcome of the official conference and the public opinion, so that their own goals, causes, and points of view are also considered. The discussions within the UN and governments relate to key issues for society, such as social justice, human rights, the use and governance of the common goods, access to information and technology and its use, democratic participation and cities, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, among others.
As the issues under discussion at this important meeting are closely relevant to the work of many SD members, SDIA has decided to send a small delegation. The idea is to enhance the network’s understanding of effective development practices in the field of Sustainable Development primarily through learning, sharing and interacting with other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) both during and after the event.
The delegation will be made up of two people with experience in this field: Sharifin Gardiner, a former SDIA Director and Chairman who spent his working life in the fields of agriculture, international development and the environment, and is thus knowledgeable both of the issues involved and of the SD network; and Illène Pevec, the leader of the SDIA network member A Child’s Garden of Peace in Brazil. This project works with a community in Santo Angelo, Brazil, in sustainable income-generation and environmental awareness. Illène therefore brings a grassroots vision as well as a global outlook to our Conference participation.
A generous grant from the Guerrand Hermès Foundation for Peace (GHFP) is enabling Sharifin to attend. Thank you GHFP!
The SD Network and Sustainability
|Teacher:||Why did the landslide happen?|
|Students:||Our trees were cut down!|
|Teacher:||Who cut down these trees?|
|Students:||Our parents, our elder brothers and sisters, everyone in the community cut them down!|
|Teacher:||What do we have to do?|
|Students:||Stop cutting down trees!|
|Photo||Photo: Usaha Mulia Abadi reforestation program.|
|Quote:||United Nations Development Programme, Thailand|
SDIA has identified nine projects whose work is most closely linked with Sustainable Development and the Environment, and intends to involve them closely in the run-up and follow-up to the Summit.
These projects are:
- A Child's Garden of Peace in Brazil—environmental education programme and an organic community garden run by children in Santo Angelo, generating income and producing food for the families.
- CEDERI Madimba in DRC—reforestation and the maintenance of 10 drinking water supply points.
- Anisha Rural in India—creation of seed banks to conserve traditional varieties and provide employment opportunities; introduction of new organic agricultural practices and strengthening of existing practices.
- Centre for Culture and Development in India—introduction of new organic agricultural practices and strengthening of existing practices; promotion of multiple livelihood practices by supporting on-farm and non-farm based income generation activities.
- Fundación Trópico in Colombia—campaigns for environmental protection, equitable sustainable development, the conservation of biodiversity and organic agricultural production.
- SRADHA in India—education of villagers in permaculture practices.
- YUM in Indonesia—sustainable organic farm enterprise and training facility; clean water projects; Community-Led Total Sanitation project (CLTS).
- YTS in Indonesia—assistance with village level analysis of environmental issues and country policy development in Natural Resources Management—reduce illegal mining and logging, and mercury contamination in the environment, promote sustainable agriculture and clean water.
- Usaha Mulia Abadi in Mexico—awareness-raising about and prevention of deforestation.
Volunteers at the Human Force Work Camp 2010 work on reforestation at Usaha Mulia Abadi, Mexico.
Achieving our Goals
In order to make attendance at this event effective, SDIA has set itself some goals to achieve during the Summit and following it. These include:
- to learn about Sustainable Development best practices at the implementation level;
- to forge and reinforce alliances and partnerships with other NGOs and coalitions;
- to share SDIA members' experiences of best practice, challenges and lessons learned.
So apart from reports and presentations and discussions which Illène and Sharifin will lead at Subud events such as the Americas Gathering in Vancouver (June) and the SDIA members’ meetings at the Subud Britain Congress (August), our delegates will also conduct a survey among the projects identified above, both before and after the Summit. The survey will seek to find out what environmental problems the projects are trying to address, what their activities are in this area, what challenges they face and how effective they are being. A post-conference survey will determine what difference the awareness-raising activities of the delegates and SDIA team have made to their practice.
We will have more information about this event in the UN section of later issues of the eNews. Watch this space!
A carp pond at YUM's Cipanas project in Java, Indonesia. Fish such as carp, which eat low on the food chain, provide a sustainable and efficient source of much needed protein.
News from the Network
Anisha wins German government grant
Valliammal Krishnaswamy (Valli), the founder of Anisha.
Good news from Susila Dharma Germany (SDG). BMZ, the German government’s development agency, has granted funding for Phase II of a Sustainable Rural Development project run by SD network member Anisha in the Indian state of Karnataka.
Anisha has been working since 2006 in a very poor rural district about 180 km south of Bangalore to improve the living conditions of marginalised farmers. The BMZ-funded project began in 2008 with the aim of improving the living conditions and the food security of the target group. Phase II, which is just beginning, aims to consolidate the results of the previous project by helping to increase crop yields and the income of the farmers, and by building up market outlets for organic produce and providing seed capital for income-generating activities for the landless, among other things.
The project has a total budget of € 106,461, of which a quarter is being provided by members of the Susila Dharma Network (SDs Germany, Norway, Netherlands and Anisha itself) to fullfil the requirements to receive BMZ funds. Many congratulations to all concerned!
For more information on Anisha’s history and present situation, you can read an article by Subud member Stephen Solat who visited the project recently. You can also read a report on the summer camp Anisha held for local schoolchildren last year.
YUM Global Giving Success
Last year Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) in Indonesia applied to Global Giving to become one of the NGOs receiving donations through their website. GlobalGiving is a charity fundraising website that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits around the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities.
YUM was accepted by the organisation and its fundraising has met with great success. YUM’s chairperson Olvia Reksodipoetro writes:
“...we had posted Inspire a Love of Reading for Indonesian Children (7865) to raise funding for our children's library in Cipanas. We were hoping to raise a total of $9,435 and have now reached $9,296.
A week ago, we posted a new project Provide Skills for Indonesian Unemployed Youth (9812) to raise funding for our Vocational Training Centre, also in Cipanas, and the first donation has just been received!
At the time we posted the first project, we had contacted all our friends in the hope of attracting sufficient funding to be accepted by GlobalGiving as one of the NGOs that could advertise projects on their website. Then, friends told their friends, and funding has kept coming every few days in small donations of $10, $25, or $50 dollars from people we do not know, some of them remaining anonymous!
This has proved a great way to expand our donor networks.”
Tsunami relief report from SD Japan
Though the earthquake and tsunami have passed, Japan still copes with the aftermath.
It has now been almost a year since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March last year. SDIA sent $5,000 to SD Japan to help them with their relief effort. Ichiro Nakamura from SD Japan has sent us this report on what life has been like for Japanese people, and in particular Subud members, in the six months following the disaster.
New websites and newsletters
A participant learns about “puppet therapy” during a PWB workshop at a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta (YTS) in Indonesia has published a new edition of their newsletter, Kabar Itah;
Americas Gathering update
As mentioned in January’s eNews, between June 26 and July 3, Vancouver Canada will host the Americas Gathering: Vivir Ensemble with a focus on activities in North and South America. We invite you all of course!
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
In addition to all the culture, dancing, fun and games, there will be a good Susila Dharma presence with events like...
- Kumari Beck's report on SDIA to the World Subud Council and the Gathering
- Joint wing sessions
- SD Canada and SD USA discussions and presentations
- Presentation on the recent Earth Summit in Brazil by Illène Pevec
- Project Presentations from Usaha Mulia Abadi (Mexico), Asociación Vivir (Ecuador), USA based projects like Bright Futures Scholarship Program plus Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta (YTS) and Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) from Indonesia.
- Capacity building workshops on Board Orientation and Enterprising Non-Profits, to help us create sustainability in our non-profit organization.
- And much more to be confirmed!
Please join us! Register and read about it here.
SD Germany interviews their Ecuadorian Ambassador
Jorge Jurado, Ecuadoran Ambassador to Germany
In the latest issue of its bi-annual magazine “Umschau”, Susila Dharma Germany published an interview with the Ecuadorian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Jorge Jurado. Among other things, they discussed the importance of cooperation between Germany and Ecuador and the possibility of deepening the Embassy’s relationship with SD Germany in order to share experiences.
When SDG sent the article to Mr. Jurado, he was so enthusiastic about it that he asked for permission to publish the piece on the Embassy’s website. You can read an English translation of the article and the original on the Ecuadorian Embassy’s website.
Volunteer recruitment ongoing!
Just a reminder that applications are welcome for two exciting volunteering events which will take place later this year.
English Language Summer School
Hands-on learning at the English Language Summer School 2011, Budesti, Moldova.
From 1 to 14 July, the second English Language Summer School will be held in Budesti, Moldova. Please contact the project organiser Anna Hiora firstname.lastname@example.org, or Solen at getinvolved! email@example.com if you are interested in joining this challenging and fun project. Read the new Summer School flyer.
Human Force Volunteer Camp for Social Change
The fourth Human Force Volunteer Camp for Social Change will take place at Anisha in India between 8 and 22 July. Enthusiastic volunteers of all ages are invited to apply. Read more about the camp and contact us for an application form firstname.lastname@example.org if you think two weeks of sharing, working, learning and having fun with like-minded volunteers is for you!
From the Office
New baby leads to office reshuffle
Many congratulations to Virginia Hamida Thomas and her family on the birth of her baby girl, Emmali, on 27 January!
Virginia, SDIA Executive Director since 2007, is temporarily stepping down from her role as ED in order to concentrate on her new priority. Rosanna Hille, who has headed SDIA in the past and more recently has been responsible for Communications within the Office Team, has stepped into the breach and is now Interim Executive Director.
Meanwhile the role of Publications Editor has been taken over by Solen Lees, who also remains responsible for translations, volunteering and UN activities. Cassidy Sterling is our web master, in charge of maintaining and updating SDIA’s website, as well as contributing to its other publications and administration tasks, while Hillel Natanson is the SDIA Facebook manager. In 2012-2013 he will work on a project to document the activities of SDIA members around the world. Samuel Chapleau remains on the team as bookkeeper.
Virginia will continue to lead the DR Congo project management team and work closely with Dianteza Dimpioka, chairman of SD DR Congo who is the liaison to all projects in the D.R. Congo. There are exciting developments happening with SD DR Congo, new Congolese projects being developed and new partnerships being forged.
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