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Urgent News from Haiti

13 January 2010

We have received word about some of our members located in Haiti and want to update you on their condition.

Failure of UN Conference on Climate Change

1 January 2010

Over and over again the Africa group negotiating at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, repeated the statement: “Africa is very disappointed in what’s on the table in Copenhagen.” They told the negotiators and the observers in the plenary assemblies and in their press conferences. What is being promised cannot even ensure that the increase in global warming will not reach a cap of 2 degrees Celsius. We need a cap of no more than 1.5 degrees or the science estimates Africa’s temperatures will increase by 3.5-4 degrees. Our continent will become a furnace. Our water will dry up and our agriculture will fail.

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Brazil visit

1 January 2010

Catherine will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 18-26 January, 2010. She will be working with the SNJM from their Mission Sector and will share with them some of the outcomes of the UN Convention on Climate Change.

Mining and Water

1 January 2010

Mary shares the UNANIMA International office and also represents both the CNDs and UNANIMA on several of the NGO Committees at the UN in New York.

I don’t think Gregoria (who cannot give her full name for legal reasons), from the mountainous region of Guatemala, ever imagined she would be in London, England in October  2009.  She most certainly was not there as a tourist but, together with women from Ecuador and Peru, for a meeting organized by LAMMP (Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme). There, these rural and indigenous women, living in communities affected by mining developments, raised awareness of gender issues related to the severe impacts of mining on their communities: loss of natural resources, including contamination or loss of water; health problems related to the presence of heavy metals and dust released into the environment by mining processes;  the impact of mining on the social structure of such communities, including violence against women, prostitution and trafficking that can be part of the spiral of impoverishment from loss of land and access to natural resources;  and the criminalization of the women if they legitimately resist what is being taken from them when a mine comes into their communities without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

A huge thanks to Louise Cleary, CSB

1 January 2010

As most of you know Louise has been acting coordinator for the last six months while Catherine was on sabbatical. She has now returned to Australia. We wish her all the best and are in her debt for the fine work she has done in the last six months.

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