Earth Island News
Earth Island project reports
EcoVillage Farm Learning Center hosted the 14th Annual Middle College High School Consortium Student Leadership Conference on Saturday, April 29, 2006. The theme of “Corporate Responsibility to the Environment” was selected by the students at Middle College High School in Richmond, California. Over 300 students and community leaders attended a full day of participator learning, with workshops such as “Beyond Organics” and “Challenging the Myth of Industrial Agriculture.”
Registrations for the 2007 Climbing for Kids will start in October. This annual climb supports Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT), a project designed to help Northern California youth experience the wilderness for the first time. Sign up for a guided climb up either Mt. Shasta, Mt. Rainer, or Mt. Whitney. All Climbing for Kids participants receive $1,500 in climbing gear from BAWT’s corporate sponsors. For more information, visit www.climbingforkids.org.
Several workshops have recently taken place in the Sierra Gorda Earth Center, a project of Viva Sierra Gorda and the Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda in the state of Queretaro, Mexico. This educational facility represents an innovative initiative in environmental training and sustainable development.
Upcoming events include the continuation of an academic course using UNESCO’s “Teaching and Learning Strategies for a Sustainable Future” teacher-training curriculum, and a workshop co-produced by the Earth Center and the United States Forest Service focusing on ways to minimize environmental impact of rural roads.
The third microhydro electricity project in Borneo is complete! The Murut community of Bantul, Sabah, on the border with
Kalimantan, Indonesia, has installed a six-kilowatt system, with facilitation from Partners of Community Organizations. The electricity illuminates their longhouse and church, powers a mill for rice and tapioca, and will run a refrigerator-freezer for vegetables, fruit, meat, and medicines. The forests upstream from the turbine are now protected by the community, so the large watershed supplying the microhydro system will remain undamaged. Borneo Project volunteers, local organizations and government officials were in Bantul for the launch ceremony on May 25, 2006.
Earth Island Institute welcomes two new projects. The Fiji Organic Project will promote sustainable agriculture, particularly in the sugar cane industry, to strengthen the Fiji economy and preserve the country’s unique natural environment and ensure the health of its people. Project directors are Molly Rockamann and Makelesi B. Tavaiqia. The Democracy Initiative’s mission is to help protect the planet and communities by establishing a true democracy in America. Their goal is to build a democracy movement in Alaska, in conjunction with similar efforts already begun in Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, by reframing individual issues related to protecting the environment and communities in a way that will codify inalienable human rights and powers into the State Constitution. Project directors are Ricki Ott and Gershon Cohen.