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El Salvador: Climate Action

As activists prepare for one of the largest climate days in history - some 250,000 people are expected to march in New York on Sunday 21 September - a broad alliance of organisations and GCAP constituents including youth and indigenous people are holding a Celebration of Sustainability in El Salvador's second largest city, Santa Ana.

This festival of solidarity will focus on creativity, invention and innovation in the areas of food sovereignty, natural medicine, folk arts and ecological tools like energy-saving stoves and solar energy.

Climate Change, Dams and Deforestation: The Bolivian Tragedy

By Carmen Capriles

I must share with you a little of the grief that we are suffering here in Bolivia over the past month.

Bolivia has endured the worst wet season in years, despite the fact that this has been caused by neither an El Nino or La Nina weather pattern.

58,000 families have already been affected, including 80% of the indigenous people living in the lowlands of the Amazonian forest.  At least 56 people have been killed.

Let's be clear. This is not just an act of Mother Nature. There are three major causes:

  • Climate Change
  • The Dams in Brazil
  • Deforestation

  

 

 

The Uruguayan Experience - A Letter to Civil Society and the UN

At a time when inequality is growing across the globe, Uruguay has managed to dramatically reduce poverty and inequality over the past decade.  It now has the most equal income distribution in Latin America.

The country is also working to generate 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020.

Social Watch coordinator Roberto Bissio writes that the Uruguayan experience shows that "there are, indeed, viable alternatives to the classical neoliberal formulas" which can be models for the Post-2015 agenda.

Following the 2002 economic crisis, Uruguay chose not to follow the austerity path recommended by multilateral institutions and instead promoted decent work and a social safety net through

  • emergency cash transfers
  • active state participation in the economy to promote growth
  • collective bargaining that led to salary increases and
  • enforcing labour rights for rural and domestic workers.

Instead of repelling investors, Uruguay's Labour Minister told a recent global gathering of civil society activists in Montevideo that the policies boosted economic growth and coincided with a peak in foreign greenfield investment.

A View from Bolivia: The UN Calls for Universal Health Care

In a resolution adopted by consensus, the UN General Assembly urged member countries last December to implement affordable health care systems that cover all citizens. The resolution calls on member states to develop national health systems that “pool risks among the population” to avoid “the impoverishment of individuals as a result of seeking the care (that they need),” particularly in the case of catastrophic illnesses. 

While this is a step in the right direction, citizens must take action to ensure that their rights are protected, writes Oscar Lanza.  Universal health care on its own does not ensure fairness.  

 

Respect the Right to Health! ~ GCAP Bolivia

"The challenge for all is to end poverty, not just reduce it," writes Oscar Lanza of GCAP Bolivia in a report entitled "Justica, Salud & Desarrollo" or "Justice, Health and Development" . 

Citizens need to work together to build a more just, more equitable and less commercial world, argues the anti-poverty activist.  And as we put forward a new development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, it's essential that people's health be front and centre.

"Let's worry more about the health of people than the health of the economy," adds Oscar.

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