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NGOs Raise Alarm About Hydroelectric Dam in Guatemala October 15th, 2014

In August of 2013, the community was attacked and two children were killed in retribution for human rights complaints filed by the community.

In August of 2013, the community was attacked and two children were killed in retribution for human rights complaints filed by the community.

The Missionary Oblate JPIC Office has joined other international organizations in a letter of concern to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples about construction of the Santa Rita Hydroelectric Dam in Guatemala. The dam was registered as a project under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – established under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol – in June 2014. According to the letter, “Numerous violations against the indigenous Q’eqchi´ and Poqomchí communities have been reported prior to and since project approval, most recently in violent incidents from 14 to 16 August 2014 resulting in several injuries and deaths.”

The letter notes that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Rapporteur on indigenous peoples’ rights recognized “that the current licenses for mining and hydroelectric plants were granted without the State having implemented prior, free, and informed consultation with affected indigenous communities, as it is obligated to do under international treaties signed by Guatemala”.

Read the letter…

 


International Monetary Fund Releases Plans to Stop Predatory Hedge Funds October 6th, 2014

vulturemanThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) released new proposals for preventing predatory hedge funds and hold-out investors from blocking debt restructurings. The paper proposes a series of reforms to debt contracts, including strengthened collective action clauses and a modification of the pari passu clause that hold-out hedge funds used to sue Argentina.

“In the wake of debt restructurings in Argentina and Greece, the IMF is incredibly concerned about vulture funds,” stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty coalition, Jubilee USA Network. “The IMF is advocating a market approach, but we also need a statutory approach. We need to change both the contracts and the laws.”

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Biodiversity Preservation Lagging October 6th, 2014

Pipevine Swallowtail and Thistle

Pipevine Swallowtail and Thistle
Photo credit: Fr. Kevin McLaughlin, OMI

The world is severely lagging behind targets set in 2010 to preserve biodiversity, according to a new report issued by the United Nations. The report said in addition to high profile campaigns to save certain animals, preserving biodiversity also means pursuing goals like reducing nutrient pollution in rivers. Much more efficient use of land, water, energy and materials are needed to meet globally-agreed targets by 2020.

“Bold and innovative action is urgently required if governments are to meet the globally-agreed Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Targets by 2020,” the Montreal-based Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) said referring to the 20 biodiversity goals agreed upon in 2010 in the Japanese city of Nagoya in Aichi prefecture.

“The challenge of achievement of many of these targets stem from the reality that based on current trends, pressures on biodiversity will continue to increase at least until 2020 and that the status of biodiversity will continue to decline,” according to this latest progress report by the CBD. The report cautioned “that continuing with ‘business as usual’ in our present patterns of behaviour, consumption, production and economic incentives will not allow us to realize the vision of a world with ecosystems capable of meeting human needs into the future.”

The report, Global Diversity Outlook 4 was released today at the start of the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, known as COP-12, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.

Learn more…

 


La Vista Celebrates Autumn Equinox September 23rd, 2014

B6On Saturday, September 20, thirty people gathered at La Vista to learn about the fall Monarch migration and to celebrate the beginning of autumn.

To introduce themselves, participants told about the last time they spotted a Monarch. Maxine Pohlman, Director of the Oblate Ecological Initiative at Godfrey said, “We learned much about one another, our country or state of origin, and the presence and absence of Monarchs in our areas. Our sharing whetted our appetites for viewing the YouTube video “Plight of the Monarchs”, a twenty minute informative presentation filmed in central Illinois. We became aware of the threats to the endangered phenomenon of the annual Monarch migration, such as habitat loss, use of pesticides, and disappearance of the valuable milkweed plant.”

She added, “Next we headed outside to a patch of milkweed that has been cordoned off and allowed to grow throughout the season. As we stood there listening to a reading about the Monarch, one beautiful butterfly showed up to delight us – right on cue!”

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Oblate Garden Featured in the Washington Post September 23rd, 2014

IMG_1443

Gail Taylor, farmer on the Oblate property in Washington, DC

An article in the Sunday Washington Post featured the garden at the Oblate Headquarters in Washington in a piece on the DC Urban Agriculture bill under consideration by the City Council.

Roberto De Jesus Silva OMI, our visitor from Brazil, is featured in the photo attached to the article and has been a regular volunteer with the Saturday group.

Read the article here.

 


JPIC Report Fall/Winter 2014 Issue Now Available On-Line September 17th, 2014

JPIC-Report-logoThe Fall/Winter 2014 issue of JPIC Report is now available on line as a PDF. It will soon be available in print form.

Please contact Mary O’Herron in the JPIC Office if you want to be added to the mailing list.

You can find all issues of JPIC Report on this website in the Resources section. (Download a PDF of the latest issue)

 

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