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IslandWire: September 19, 2019

Frontline Indigenous Voices Featured at the UN Climate Summit

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Seeding Sovereignty is excited to be working with Amazon Frontlines and the Waorani as they travel from Ecuador to arrive for the September 20th Climate March and Climate Week in New York, ahead of the UN Climate Summit. The Earth Island Project is also gearing up as the US outreach coordinator for the new documentary film The Condor and the Eagle featuring its advisory board member Melina Laboucan Massimo. Seeding Sovereignty Director Janet MacGillivray will join the film’s co-director Clement Guerra at the documentary’s world premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival in New York on October 4 to share more about the leadership of Indigenous communities on the frontlines of climate change.

Protecting the Heart of Mexico in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere


Earth Island project Viva Sierra Gorda is a pioneer in conservation financing for small landholders of high biodiversity areas in Mexico, focusing on sub-national public policy strategy. Viva Sierra Gorda seeks to break the inertia of global protocols, and to build up collaborative partnerships with civil society partners, governments, and the international community. The Project will be screening their short film Protecting the Heart of Mexico about their work in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. The public is invited to three showings during the UN Climate week in New York City — at the Forest Day Natures Hub on Sept 22, at The Explorer´s Club on Sept 24, and at Natures Hub in Central Park Zoo on Sept 25.

Don't Miss SF Green Film Festival

Earth Island Journal invites you to the 9th edition of the San Francisco Green Film Festival, September 24 to -29, at the Castro Theatre, Roxie, Exploratorium, Swissnex, and more! The festival will be showing incredible new environmental films and sparking conversations on critical issues such as affordable housing, migration, habitat loss, and more. From the streets of San Francisco’s mid-Market to Earth’s outer reaches on the International Space Station, this year’s festival theme explores many different perspectives of home. Check out the festival program and get your tickets today!

For World Cleanup Day, Join a Brand Audit

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International Coastal Cleanup Day is September 21 and Earth Island projects Plastic Pollution Coalition and Break Free From Plastic encourage individuals and groups to sign up to join or host a cleanup and brand audit near you. For more information on how to join and how to make your cleanup plastic free, read more.

For All That Divides Us, Food and Story Connect Us

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Join Real Food Real Stories this fall for a season of storytelling on stewardship in partnership with Whole Foods Market. These free gatherings will take place on October 10 with Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery, and on November 14 with Dru Rivers of Full Belly Farm. Register here.

Screening of A Concerned Citizen with Film Subject Dr. Riki Ott

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Earth Island will be screening A Concerned Citizen: Civics in Action, a documentary about the lifework and legacy of Ultimate Civics Founder Dr. Riki Ott. The 41-minute film is designed for classrooms and community workshops as it inspires people to take action, showing by example how one person can make a difference. Ultimate Civics instructional videos are now part of the Activating My Democracy civics curriculum for middle and high school students available online. The videos serve as a refresher for all ages in understanding the underlying power dynamic that drives our democracy and society throughout our nation’s 230-year democracy journey. oin Riki Ott in Berkeley on October 21, 12:00-2:00 p.m, for a screening and talk at the Earth Island headquarters. Check here for other screenings.

Alaska DEC Remands Mine Permit

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Alaska Clean Water Advocacy, which has been fighting to protect the Clean Water Act in Alaska for decades, recently won a small victory in its ongoing efforts against a proposed copper/zinc mine upstream from the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in southeast Alaska. In July, the Earth Island project managed to convince Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to remand a permit to the controversial Palmer Project, The preserve was created to protect the world's largest concentration of bald eagles and their critical habitat, including natural salmon runs in the Chilkat River. The DEC initially issued a discharge to groundwater permit instead of a surface water discharge permit, which would require more background information, stricter limits, and a federal review process. The company behind the proposed Palmer mine, Constantine Mineral Resources, asked for the weaker permit, hoping it would go unnoticed. If and when the permit is finally revoked, the permitting process will start over, setting the development back a year or more. ACWA hopes that after losing almost the entire 2019 building season, investors may be getting nervous and thinking twice about the project.

Women Breaking Barriers in the Wildlife Tourism Industry

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Women around the world are forging new paths of leadership across many industries, bringing fresh perspectives and giving voice to key conservation issues. In the travel industry, wildlife guiding across Africa has historically been a male-dominated field. Today, the wildlife guiding sector is attracting more women who are courageously breaking the cultural norm and creating a movement across local communities. Founder of Earth Island’s Women for Wildlife, Jennifer Palmer, recently spent time at EcoTraining bush camps across South Africa and Botswana to interview these women in order to present to the travel industry the importance of supporting women leaders in conservation and travel.To learn more, listen to the podcast interview and watch the video!

Largest Convening of Leaders of Color in the Environmental and Outdoor Movement

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People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature and Environment (PGM ONE), an Earth Island project, convenes emerging and established professionals of color/the global majority who work in the environmental and outdoor movement in an annual Summit. PGM ONE hosted its 4th annual Summit in Philadelphia last May bringing over 350 attendees to hear keynote speakers adrienne maree brown of Emergent Strategies and Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The goal of the summit is for attendees to share, learn, collaborate, heal, celebrate, build community, find support, and sharpen their analysis of racial equity in their fields. Read more about the Summit in their 2019 PGM ONE Summit Report and listen to the Voices from PGM ONE episode on the SheExplore’s podcast. Sign up for announcements to learn about the dates and location for the upcoming 2020 Summit. Contact to learn more about how to get involved or support the summit.

Wins for Wildlife

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September was a historic month for wildlife. California became the first state in the nation to ban commercial and recreational fur trapping, which will spare countless foxes, coyotes, and other animals from the cruel and senseless fur trade. The California State Legislature also passed two more bills that would abolish the trophy hunting of bobcats and the sale and trade of fur (Californians, urge Gov. Newsom to sign the legislation into law!). Also this month, Arizona outlawed wildlife killing contests for bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and other species, ending the barbaric events during which participants compete to kill animals for prizes and entertainment. A team from Earth Island’s Project Coyote, with help from the organization’s volunteers, actively helped pass these precedent-setting laws.

Save those Shucks!

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Recently Bay Nature Magazine featured Earth Island’s Wild Oyster Project’s efforts to restore  native oyster species, the diminutive Olympia, to its native habitat, the San Francisco Bay. With the help of oyster shells discarded by diners, the Wild Oyster Project has amassed about 8,000 pounds of shell and hopes to collect 5,000 more pounds by the end of 2019. Once cured, the shells can be loaded into containers or crushed and mixed with concrete into heavier, more stable “reef balls,” and deployed in the muddy shallows of the intertidal zone. One oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, making them nature’s best water purifiers. Visit the Wild Oyster Project's website to learn more about the oyster shell recycling program or contact Project Director Linda Hunter at

Blue Watershed Classrooms

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KIDS for the BAY is growing a network of Blue Watershed Classrooms throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with a new teacher follow-up program. This program is designed to inspire and support classroom teachers who have previously participated in a KIDS for the BAY program in developing a watershed-friendly, Zero-Waste classroom community. Teachers, students, and families will increase their knowledge of their watershed environment and how it connects to local creeks, the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The goals of the program are to foster connections with nature and the environment and reduce trash and waste in the classroom.Learn more about the Blue Watershed Classroom go to

Introducing This Year's Brower Youth Award Winners!


Every year, six young people are selected for their outstanding work in environmental and social justice activism and campaigns and for their role in organizing and leading the environmental movement. This year’s winners are exceptional, as they represent the entire spectrum of environmental issues - from fighting oil refineries and coal plant pollution in low income neighborhoods, to banning pesticides at schools, investigating the role of chemicals in cancer clusters, to organizers of the youth climate strikes.

The award ceremony takes place at the War Memorial Herbst Theatre in San Francisco on October 15 and is free to attend and meet the winners. Learn more about the winners and RSVP for the Awards Ceremony.

The Best of Earth Island Journal

Get the latest environmental news from Earth Island Journal. Here are our favorite stories from the last two weeks:

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Most Popular: Roadkill of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Jim Thomas is co-executive director of the ETC Group, writes about unintended and unforeseen consequences of the emerging canon of disruptive tech that’s supposed to save the world.

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Editors' Pick: God in the Machine. Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas shares her thoughts on how, in certain moments, under certain circumstances, technology can offer just what we need.

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