Proceedings of the Allihies Weekend 2003
"ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE"
Proceedings of the Allihies Weekend 2003
"ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE"
Infrastructure and funding
Ground and surface water
Water borne pathogens
Environmental Constitutional Rights
Climate change - Clean air
Land Use - Access & rights of way
Environmental Crime and Corporate Responsibility
Trade & Globalisation
CAP - WTO Rules our farms
Fish Wild and Caged
Global Sustainable Forest Management
Company Ltd. By Guarantee
Constitution (Irish and EU)
What is it
Setting up a trust
The Role and Effectiveness of the EPA
Agenda 21 [became social partnerships]
Non technical summaries and how to understand them
?ò ONE VOICE AT A TIME
?ò LISTEN TO EACH OTHER
?ò RESPECT (MORE THAN ONE WAY TO PEEL A BANANA!)
?ò SWITCH OFF MOBILES / CLOSE LAPTOPS
?ò TIME TO THINK (MOMENTS OF SILENCE / INTEGRAL TO PROCESS)
?ò TRY TO BE TO THE POINT
ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS - The Beginning of our Journey to a Definition‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶..
WE DO NOT INHERIT THE EARTH FROM OUR PARENTS, WE BORROWED IT FROM OUR CHILDREN.
¬? The environment is for live.
¬? The right not be driven to extinction.
¬? Aware now how to harmonise with tomorrow.
¬? Also the rights of future generations.
¬? To leave this world in a better state than the way we found it
PERSONAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES, INFORMATION, RESPONSIBILITY, PARTICIPATION
¬? Be mindful.
¬? Participation in decision process
¬? Personal environmental rights - right to free expression of concerns to any regulatory body regarding new proposals & enforcement of any cences
¬? Personal environmental rights, Information on any impact on environment, built, natural, media, water, air, noise
¬? Respect from others; Who has the right to pollute my well?
¬? The right to live with dignity and fulfil our potential as sentient beings.
¬? To receive in a sustainable way what we are entitled to without having to organise and fight for
¬? Freedom of understanding, access and interaction
¬? I would like the rights presently reserved for economic development extended to environmental protection
NATURE, RIGHTS OF ANIMALS PLANTS, ALL SPECIES EQUAL, RESPECT
¬? Human rights vs GAIA's rights?
¬? A nation without its mother tongue is only half a nation; a nation without its natural heritage has lost its soul.
¬? Nature has rights.
¬? All species of our natural heritage gets a fair chance.
¬? Environmental rights are not just about human rights. It's about respecting nature, not dominating it.
¬? Not to damage the ozone layer, to keep the trees and bushes and not to harm our animals.
. Not to harm the air and water with pollution. To build environmental houses and buildings.
¬? Earth is much better at surviving than humans.
¬? Sometimes the "rights" of animals and plants to their habitat has to take precedence to the rights of humans, They were here first.
¬? Protection against property rights
¬? Right shouldn't cost money
¬? The right to live in harmony with nature, which over-rides economic interests of minorities enterprises
CONSEQUENCE, BALANCE, GLOBAL / LOCAL, HARMONY, ACCESS, SOCIAL JUSTICE, EQUALITY
¬? Living in a more balanced world.
¬? Clean air, clean water, unpoisoned food
¬? Equal share of & access to earth resources and capacities including human collective knowledge and culture
¬? A safe clean & healthy earth for all equally
¬? The right to a fair access to the earth
¬? Air, water, soil, noise, fauna, flora, movement, work, living, balance
¬? Where I live! What do I want to live in? My rights to clean air, water, etc. and my responsibility to get it.
¬? To give back some good, not to take, take, take!
¬? reconciling the individual need with the globe
¬? Clear and identified source of food. Do imported mangoes cause poverty in the Philippines.
¬? Freedom of choice?
¬? You, we, they see, hear, feel, smell, taste, eat, shit, breathe, walk, think, talk, touch the environment.
¬? The world includes the earth and humanity, so better word to use than environment.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
1. Human beings should accept that they are positioned within an ecological system.
2. We interact within an ecological system., We must balance competing interest within that system.
3. Loss of autonomy., Ordinary people feel they have no control. They don't know if they have rights or what they are. - So, where is the control?
4. Conflicts in the community between a very strong lobby for personal property rights
5. How to access our rights, what are the blocks?
¬? The legal route, incorporating limited liability companies representing environmental groups to take legal proceedings
¬? Broader more inclusive discussions before decisions are made
6. Core environmental principles / rights are contained in many international treaties and agreements including European environmental law., We need to enshrine these in a European Constitution.
7. Environmental rights are not contained in the constitution. Do we want European Environmental Directives translated into constitutional principles?
8. Concentrate our energies into influencing the framework for the European Constitution. Opportunity now to do something about this
9. Our environmental and human rights are mediated by civil servants whose reaction to the general public is very dismissive (to have regard to submissions).
CLIMATE CHANGE- CLEAN AIR
PROBLEMS ----- PROPOSALS
1. LACK OF CONNECTIONS -------- EDUCATION FOR PARADIGM CHANGE
Lack of vision / Absence from social partnership / Locking into high energy demand ------- Formal (Input into curriculum) / Informal (Telling it like it is) / FIE EDUCATIONAL LTD. / Cumulative Effects / Time Trap / Consequences / Job Loses / Opportunities
2. KYOTO CONTRADICTIONS ---------- AVIATION ISSUES
Incineration / Transport / Peat Stations ----------- Tax on Fuel / End to national Subsidies / Boat not Air / Rail not Road / PUBLIC TRANSPORT / Public Private Partnerships / Cross Subsidies
3. CONSUMPTION ---------- FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS
Waste / Transport / Globalisation ----------- Zero Waste / Renewable Energy / Public Transport / Architecture / Polluter pays / Engineering / Localisation / Removal of Organic Waste / Deposits on Bottles / Assistance to Recycling
4. SPATIAL PLANNING -------- SPATIAL PLANNING
Housing controlled / Sustainable Villages
LAND USE, ACCESS & RIGHTS OF WAY
¬? LAND LEASES NOT SOLUTION BUT PROBLEM
¬? EDUCATION AND AWARENESS ON LAND NEEDED
¬? LAND OWNERSHIP HAS TO BE REFINED TO BE LESS EXCLUSIVE TO REFLECT RIGHTS OF OTHERS‚Ä¶‚Ä¶..STEWARDSHIP RATHER THAN OWNERSHIP
¬? LAND OWNS US
o 8 MILLION CATTLE
o 6 MILLION SHEEP
o 1 MILLION PIGS
o 66 MILLION PEOPLE
o --------- POLLUTION !!!!! ------------
¬? SITE VALUE TAX TO EVEN THE SCORE GIVES BETTER SPATIAL LAYOUT
¬? PENALTIES FOR ABUSE OF LAND
¬? ELIMINATE PERVERSE SUBSIDIES
¬? REDIRECT TO QUALITY FOOD, ENVIRONMENT + SOCIAL RESULTS
¬? SHARE TOURISM + VISITORS INCOME WITH LANDOWNERS
¬? PAY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE WITH BETTERMENT LEVY
ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME & CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
1. NATURE OF THE LAW
District Court ~ Fines too low, companies falling under different charters (e. g. Deleware, USA), corporations seek max. return to shareholder not environmental concerns
?ò separate board with consumers & public representatives
so boards aren't entirely comprised of shareholders
?ò use law to prevent environmental problems instead of using it to penalize companies after the fact
2. AGENDA 21 & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
?ò Corporations using education of 3rd World as tool/opportunity for PRIVATISATION
?ò Environmental Impact Assessment supposes to be impartial‚Ä¶on us on community as of now
?ò EIA (as tool) vs. more power to individual for action
?ò subsidize public to take on lawful action
(but what about lack of participation of public?)
?ò need more resources to be able to participate
3. DEVELOPER CHOOSES THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTATION
?ò suppose to be in best interest of environment BUT business squeezes out those who are ethical
?ò tri-partnership: public / private / people
?ò would commission E.I.S. and therefore be more ethical
?ò internalize community & environment within a company (but keep in mind the strength of the corporations, not always concerned with environment if hurts profit
4. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
grant license & put in conditions
?ò rarely reject and therefore fundamental change in, e. g. farm industry, is more difficult this route
5. EQUALITY OF LIVE
Rights & freedoms of ALL (public / private)
e. g. water extraction INTEL (Dublin-West), affects water supply
?ò costs, impacts on a cost (need financial figure to estimate value)
to people with compensation to community
?ò INTEL, take water downstream & put H¬?O back clean;
recycle water (not just creating steam)
charge for water €
?ò create more awareness: with employees of INTEL, public to put pressure on the companies
6. BLIND TRUST OF "REGULATORS", "OFFICIALS"
?ò how do we get more direct participation & representation
e. g. to check that incidents of cancer NOT related to pollutants
?ò don't like env'talist pov. that the JOBS AREN'T WORTH IT
?ò get more representation at the top, be a part of change
7. ENVIRONMENTALISTS ARE "THE ENEMY"/"PESTS"
?ò change this paradigm
?ò use voting power
?ò financial support (so can be heard)
?ò be a part of the actual structure, AQUIRE ECONOMIC POWER
?ò translation of legal & technical "jargon" so we all are working from equal level of knowledge / info
8. LACK OF PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE OF ISSUES‚Ä¶..
Environmentalists (in few) are single voices here & there -- not strong
?ò if community is economically inclined, won't be as motivated to aid with environmental threats
?ò gov't / corporate vs. public (inactive) & environmentalists
?ò € & tax incentives
9. POWER STRUGGLES --- how do we fight them get support
?ò More people pwr ---- Make ppl. care
?ò better communication system
?ò Make objectives clear
TRADE AND GLOBALISATION
Economic growth as the driver
National economies addicted to growth
Driven by cheap fuel
Needs to be within planets capacity
Fair trade not free trade
Corporate accountability / responsibility
One solution, will become a necessity
True costs need to be factored
Less unsustainable trade
Communities providing more of their food, energy, etc.
Reform/disband WTO, World Bank, Information systems
Fiscal; reform to replace unsustainable systems
Consequences of our actions, responsibility
Creative ways to transmit new ideas
How could technology help
Open Source software
Facilitating the sharing of ideas. Cooperation
Philosophical shift, paradigm shift
Hope ----- Rise of global justice movement ----- Social reform
CAP, WTO RULES OUR FARMS
TAX FREE NOT ON ! -------- Subsidy
?ò Horse Industry
?ò Equine performance
?ò Health + Behaviour
?ò Anatomy + Physiology
?ò Health + Disease
?ò Soil science
?ò Marketing (Business)
?ò Business Information
?ò Personnel Management
1. Survival of the Family Farmer
Environmental Interests vs. Corporate Farming ---- GM Food --- Clean Water --- Hormones
?ò Focused on large Farms
?ò Vested Interests
?ò Not for the Family Farmers
?ò 40% grants to 3% of the Farmers
3. Non subsidy corporate farming is in trouble requiring subsidy & not sustainable.
4. WTO is not an inclusive organisation, i.e. does not take into consideration human rights & social justice.
5. Animal Welfare
6. Indigenous cattle (Protection of)
FISH WILD AND CAGED
1. FISH IS OUR NATURAL RESOURCE, BECAUSE WE ARE AN ISLAND.
2. FISHING IS A TRADITIONAL INDUSTRY.
3. SUSTAINABLE FISHING POLICY + PROTECTION FOR THE "IRISH BOX"
4. REVIEW OF FISH FARM SUBSIDIES
5. WHY ARE THE IRISH GOVERNMENT NOT SUPPORTING FISHING?
6. CONCERNS OVER GENERAL POLLUTION + SELLAFIELD
GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
The Allihies Weekend held by Friends of the Irish Environment had 42 registered participants from all corners of Ireland. Amongst the many workshops chosen by the participants for the second day was 'Global Forestry.'
The Workshop first addressed the social justice aspects, focusing on the issue of the effects of broadleaf imports to Ireland on the source country.
They suggested that Ireland through its imports of hardwood was 'living off the backs of the third world'.
As far as Ireland itself was concerned, the national forest policy had produced 'desertification', the abandonment of the countryside. The failure to regenerate local communities through multi functional forestry and the impossibility of access in conifer plantation forestry were both raised as social downsides.
The Workshop suggested that there was a link between the use of toxic glues and chemicals in the processing of Irish wood, an environmental issue, with the unhealthy working conditions and the use of emigrants as labour, social issues.
The degradation of the soil by conifers as opposed to broadleaves was raised as an environmental issue. The loss of heritage and visual intrusion were both environmental and social issues.
It was suggested that any defence of forestry through Dobray's 1993 'State of the Environment' promotion of forestry for carbon sequestration was no longer a surety and had been seriously undermined by recent research. The Workshop urged that attention be given to breaking this connection, which now seems to be a predominant justification for conifer plantations in Ireland.
The Way Forward: the Workshop concluded that the conifer, broadleaf balance had to be radically revised to provide Ireland with the hardwood timber it is currently importing from global deforestation. Unless there are urgent changes, there will be a 'gap' in the supply of broadleaf timber when supplies from underdeveloped countries are curtailed and Irish broadleaf planting has not yet come on stream.
Change relied on a revaluation of the 1996 National Forestry Strategy. Restrictions on imports should be urgently sought; CAP should fund only multi-purpose forestry. FSC should be bashed internationally to further limit deforestation and used nationally to seek sustainable forestry.
The final message of the work shops was, education, especially telling the farmers, many of whom did not know that the law requires they replant their crop at the end of the first rotation, with no grant.
LOOK AT CURRENT DRAFTTEXT AT www.ireland.com ------ special reports
¬? ENVIRONMENTAL CONTENT
€€€ to outside countries should not be spent in environmentally damaging ways.
o Hg soap for Africa man made with govt €€
o BP role in Nigeria might lead to sanctions within EU on co.
What must be in?
o How does an individual for an ENGO
-- make impact?
-- work with partner NGOs in other EU states / jointly in Ireland?
o Method of enforcing unimplemented Commission Directives
[Need to have CLG, company
?ò limited by guarantee which can then claim damages if complaint to commission upheld]
o Company has clear wide purpose.
o Legal action at lower risk and parallel but independent direct action.
Not reinvent the wheel
Types of school
Systemic problems, the whole paradigm, integrated not compartmentalised
No school visits, transition year only opportunity
Ecological, not environmental
Changing perceptions (integrated not compartmentalised)
Education is life long, adult education
Needs creative presentation
o Outdoor workshops
o Local places
Making information available as a stepping board
Use the multiplier effect, 'GAP', agents of change
Possible FIE Educational trust
Use the NGO Secretariat to network with existing groups and find out what is going on
o Women's groups
o Nimby developments
o ENGO contacts
o Links for workshops
Long run up
Training for trainers
Maintaining the core people
o Ensuring continuity of expertise
o Capacity building
o Take over FIE website
'Promote integrated ecological approach to environmental education.'
NEXT STEP: CONVERGANCE MAY 21 CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION
?ò spread the information, don't just wait for someone to ask
?ò local, national & complaints sections
3. Companies more accountable to community
(not just shareholders)
4. Make information more accessible ~ give people the "facts", show them way to acquire information
5. Independent Monitoring
?ò local residents group
?ò with funding for public participation
?ò € from developer
Make information, documentation available