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Earth Island News

Earth Island Project Reports

photo of a flower-covered high mountain meadow, cloudy peaks behindJennifer Castner Residents in the Altai region of Russia seek to reroute a planned gas pipeline.

Ocean Embassy, a company planning to capture and traffic live dolphins in Panama, has closed in the face of widespread public opposition. The Save Japan Dolphins Coalition – consisting of the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute, Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan, In Defense of Animals, and Animal Welfare Institute – has worked to protect dolphins from slaughter and captivity. The Coalition worked with local grassroots Panamanian environmental and animal welfare organizations to protest plans by Ocean Embassy to set up a live capture operation for dolphins in that country. Polling shows 80 percent of the people of Panama opposed the Ocean Embassy dolphinarium and wild dolphin captures.

The California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) is having its 5th Annual Fall Convergence at San Francisco State from October 24 to 26, 2008. The convergence will bring together 400 to 500 young people from all over California to network, share, learn, and grow through captivating keynote speakers and interactive workshops, opportunities to build community, family-style meals, and fun. Contact csscconvergence@gmail.com to find out how you can get involved.

Climb a mountain, get kids outdoors, and take home lots of great outdoor gear! Join Bay Area Wilderness Training and a team of climbers on one of several mountains (Mt. Rainier, Mt. Whitney, or Mt. Shasta) to raise money to get urban youth outdoors. You’ll receive $1,500 worth of amazing outdoor gear to keep after your climb. The 2009 Climbing for Kids event launches October 1st, 2008. For more information and to register, visit www.climbingforkids.org.

Concerned residents in Russia’s mountainous Altai Republic, who have been working for the past two years to reroute a proposed gas pipeline away from a high-altitude protected area, learned recently that China plans to accompany the pipeline with a road and railroad. The Altai Project is helping area organizations campaign against the pipeline and road, which is slated to cross the Ukok Plateau – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and numerous other protected lands. Visit www.altaiproject.org to learn more.

The Borneo Project is assisting three Penan villages in Sarawak, East Malaysia to develop community preschools. For a generation, the Penan people have been at the forefront of Malaysia’s indigenous movement to defend rainforests against predatory logging and reckless conversion to oil palm and industrial timber plantations. The preschools give Penan children a chance to learn basic school skills at home with their families before attending state boarding schools. The Borneo Project is also helping Sarawak communities defend their Native Customary Rights land and forests in the courts by providing small grants to help cover their costs to file and prepare evidence for lawsuits. Over 200 Sarawak communities are pursuing such legal remedies. Learn more about these initiatives at www.borneoproject.org

Biodiversity Conservation of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is the inspiration of three artists who have each donated 25 images to raise awareness about the northern third of Queretaro State. A major exhibition will take place in Queretaro City from October 2008 to January 2009, when a total of 97 giant all-weather prints will be displayed at the Historic Center’s Alameda Hidalgo, one of the last green spaces in that growing city. Visit www.vivasierragorda.org to learn more and learn about related events to benefit Viva Sierra Gorda.

Campaign to Safeguard American Waters (CSAW) filed three notices of intent to sue major cruise lines in Alaska for violating the cruise ship law passed by a statewide vote in 2006. The suits charge that the cruise lines have not provided adequate access to the state’s Ocean Rangers tasked with monitoring pollution treatment practices on the ships; illegally dumped about 20,000 gallons of untreated wastewater into Alaska waters in June; and failed to submit reports describing how they intend to comply with Alaska’s Water Quality Standards by 2010. If Alaskan regulators fail to bring charges, CSAW will sue not only the cruise lines for the violations, but possibly also the state for failing to enforce its own rules.

Inspired by the work of Bay Localize, San Francisco’s Glide Memorial church is transforming its roof into an edible garden. The “Graze the Roof” project is an experiment in sustainable urban food production. It is implementing cutting-edge, lightweight, and cost effective rooftop gardening systems, which will be used to educate the church community and the public about the benefits and techniques of rooftop gardening. The project is being incorporated into Glide’s Summer Youth Program, where homeless and low-income children and youth get hands-on lessons in gardening and sustainability.

   

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