Archive for the tag “Sustainability”

Badanavalu Satyagraha A Report

Vijay Kundaji, Bangalore Notes

  

Badanavalu is 10 kilometers from Nanjangud along the road to Chamarajnagar in Mysuru (Mysore) District of Karnataka.  In 1927, a Khadi and Gramodyog Center was established here by Dalit women and Gandhian activists, which later grew to enlist many hundred workers, producing close to 50,000 lbs of handspun cotton yarn by 1938.  Hearing about this center, and on the persuasion of his ardent follower, Tagadur Ramachandra Rao, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi visited the center in the years around 1927 (there is some confusion in the sources about whether his first visit to Badanavalu was in 1927 or 1932) thereby putting it on the map of Gandhian pilgrimage and Gandhiana.

The now dilapidated Khadi and Gramodyog center, located on the other side of the tracks from the tiny Narasambudhi station, came back to life in the days leading up to April 19, 2015 for the Badanavalu Satyagraha when several hundreds of sustainable living (susthira baduku) activists, practitioners and enthusiasts converged here to share, hear from others and express solidarity with the growing legions of people, of all persuasions, who have concerns about the unsustainable path of development that India (and indeed the world) is on. Read more…

Sustainable Lifestyles: Pathways and Choices for India and Germany

Harry Lehmann, Sudhir Chella Rajan
Co-authors: Sneha Annavarapu, Claudia Kabel, Christian Löwe, Astrid Matthey
(Indo-German Expert Group on Green and Inclusive Economy)

policy paper
Green Economy has been recognized by the Rio+20 Summit as “one of the important tools available for achieving sustainable development”. It is emphasized that Green Economy should “contribute to eradicating poverty as well as sustained economic growth, enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare and creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems”.

Such a transition towards a green and inclusive economy requires major efforts both on a national and international level, and cooperation and exchange of experiences is key to support the process. India and Germany are major players in this transition. Against this backdrop, an interdisciplinary working group of renowned experts from leading research institutions and political think tanks in India and Germany has been set up in November 2013 to enhance
collaborative learning, contribute to informed decision making in both countries and feed into the international debate on a Green and Inclusive Economy.

Five key topics are:
• Frameworks and challenges for a green and inclusive transformation
• Natural resources and decoupling growth from resource consumption
• Sustainable lifestyles
• Green and inclusive cities
• Transformation of the private sector

This policy paper was elaborated based on discussions in the context of the 3rd expert
group meeting on 12–14 November 2014 in Berlin.
The group is supported by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation,
Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and facilitated by the GIZ Environmental Policy
Programme in Berlin and the Indo-German Environment Partnership in Delhi.

Visit the website of the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability
Download the paper: Sustainable Lifestyles: Pathways and Choices for India and Germany

The International Journal of the Commons (IJC)

International Journal of the Commons (cc) Content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
The International Journal of the Commons (IJC) is an initiative of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC).

As an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed open-access journal, the IJC is dedicated to furthering the understanding of institutions for use and management of resources that are (or could be) enjoyed collectively. These resources may be part of the natural world (e.g. forests, climate systems, or the oceans) or they may emerge from social realities created by humans (e.g. the internet or (scientific) knowledge, for example of the sort that is published in open-access journals).

Using resources collectively is often believed to be problematic. In practice however, many cases can be found of common pool resources that are used in a sustainable way. The editors of the IJC welcome contributions from all scientific disciplines, from practitioners and policy makers. We hope that our interdisciplinary approach will contribute to creating a balanced and nuanced view of how common pool institutions actually emerge, develop and perform.

Visit the International Journal of the Commons website

Event: Badanavalu Satyagraha & National Convention for Sustainable Living

scene from the play Yantra Rakshasa Mardini (Slaying of the Machine ...
Scene from Yantra Rakshasa Mardini (Slaying of the Machine), a play recently held in Bangalore in support of  Badanavalu Satyagraha. Pic courtesy: The New Indian Express

Over the last year and a half, a Handloom Satyagraha has been underway in and around the state of Karnataka. It was conducted by the All India Federation of Handloom Organizations. In December 2013, thousands of handloom weavers from across Karnataka marched several hundred kilometers in a campaign entitled ‘Banashankari Yatre’. In January 2014, an indefinite fast was observed demanding strict implementation of the Handloom Reservation Act. In December 2014, a fast until death campaign was undertaken in order to protest against the manufacture of imitation handloom products through powerlooms.

The federation has now decided to broad base the Satyagraha and include all organizations working towards sustainability into this campaign. Sustainability in agriculture, environment, labour, gender, language, folklore, culture and education, along with Khadhi and handlooms, is our motto. Badanavalu Satyagraha has now become a joint campaign of all consumers and producers of a sustainable production range. It is a joint campaign of the city people and the village poor. Read more…

Event: Badanavalu Satyagraha National Convention for Sustainable Living

scene from the play Yantra Rakshasa Mardini (Slaying of the Machine ...
Scene from Yantra Rakshasa Mardini (Slaying of the Machine), a play recently held in Bangalore in support of  Badanavalu Satyagraha. Pic courtesy: The New Indian Express

Over the last year and a half, a Handloom Satyagraha has been underway in and around the state of Karnataka. It was conducted by the All India Federation of Handloom Organizations. In December 2013, thousands of handloom weavers from across Karnataka marched several hundred kilometers in a campaign entitled ‘Banashankari Yatre’. In January 2014, an indefinite fast was observed demanding strict implementation of the Handloom Reservation Act. In December 2014, a fast until death campaign was undertaken in order to protest against the manufacture of imitation handloom products through powerlooms.

The federation has now decided to broad base the Satyagraha and include all organizations working towards sustainability into this campaign. Sustainability in agriculture, environment, labour, gender, language, folklore, culture and education, along with Khadhi and handlooms, is our motto. Badanavalu Satyagraha has now become a joint campaign of all consumers and producers of a sustainable production range. It is a joint campaign of the city people and the village poor. Read more…

Video: Lord Man Parable

This video uses images and text from the book Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot which speaks to how man once lived peacefully with all of the Earths beauty but has quickly taken-for-granted all the resources and animals causing great environmental and sustainability issues.

Hieronymus Bosch’s ghastly depictions of hell meet their match in many of the real-life images collected in this sobering new book edited by conservationist Tom Butler and published by San Francisco’s Goff Books in collaboration with the Population Media Center and the Population Institute, the book showcases more than 200 photographs that are as bleak as they are beautiful, highlighting the alarming consequences of growth and consumption around the world.

The book’s photographs, writes William Ryerson in the introduction, are “emotionally jarring. The thoughts expressed herein are not reassuring; they are deeply provocative. But that is the nature of wake-up calls. The way that human numbers and behavior are transforming the Earth, undermining its ability to support the human family and the rest of life, is apparent for all to see. The reality of this urgent moment calls us to think, to care, and to act.”

Read William Ryersons introduction to Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

Report: A New Alignment of Movements?

New Report Explores The Commons as a Paradigm to Align Movements

David Bollier, Shareable.net

The proliferation of activist initiatives calling for systemic change around the world has never been more impressive. Yet collaborations among like-minded organizations, projects and movements have been disappointingly modest. As neoliberal economics and policies tighten their grip on American society—notwithstanding the dismal misbehavior of financial institutions, corporations and the two political parties—can leading alt-economic and social movements find ways to work more closely together?

In an attempt to explore this challenge, two dozen internationally minded activists from leading economic and social movements met in September 2014. While Margaret Thatcher had once insisted “There Is No Alternative” to her neoliberal agenda—inspiring the acronym TINA—the takeaway from this conclave of activists was quite the opposite: “There Are Plenty of Alternatives,” or TAPAS.

The three days of discussion detailed the many exciting initiatives that progressive activists are pursuing: innovative forms of co-operatives, community-based finance systems, alternative currencies that benefit participating members, and commons-based models like community land trusts, participatory budgeting and municipal/commons partnerships. There are timebanks, local food systems, hackerspaces and FabLabs, software platforms for democratic deliberation, and open design and manufacturing communities for cars, furniture and farm equipment.

A report summarizing the key points of discussion was recently released by the Commons Strategies Group(CSG), the organization which had convened the twenty-five activists in Meissen, Germany. The report, A New Alignment of Movements? [pdf] was written by myself, as CSG cofounder, and Pat Conaty, a Fellow of the New Economics Foundation and Research Associate at Co-operatives UK. Support for the workshop came from the Heinrich Böll Foundation (Germany) and the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation (France and Switzerland).

Continue reading         Download report

Book: Ecological Agriculture in India

Ecological Agriculture in India Scientific Evidence on Positive Impacts and Successes
Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA)

Note on the book by by Kavitha Kuruganti of ASHA:

Very often, when ecological agriculture (whether it goes by the name of organic farming or natural farming or bio-dynamic farming) approaches are advocated for large scale replication in the country especially in response to the severe agrarian distress in the country, the environmental degradation emerging with natural resources related to farming, the environmental health problems that are cropping up, the economic viability of farming getting eroded and in the context of climate change – there are many questions asked around the viability/profitability of organic farming, the productivity of organic farming, the scientific validation of many practices adopted by organic farmers, the environmental implications of adoption of organic farming, the socio-economic impacts related to organic farming (farm suicides, for example) and so on.

This compilation is on the scientific evidence readily available in India on the various benefits from organic farming, including on productivity and farm economics, on environmental impacts (soil, biodiversity etc.), on validation of various practices as well as on challenges facing organic farming. I chose not to bring in literature from outside India, just to point to the enormous evidence available right here. In this compilation, I also did not include a vast body of evidence on organic agronomic practices for System of Root Intensification (SRI). Similarly, evidence related to non-chemical IPM or NPM is also available as a large body of scientific literature.This is not an exhaustive compilation of all the studies that exist on the subject. As an area of emerging interest, it is seen that many doctoral theses are present in the NARS on the themes listed above, pertaining to Organic Farming. However, I was not able to tap into all such literature. Similarly, while searching for scientific evidence as part of this effort, I came across the abstracts and presentations made in two national seminars related to organic farming within the NARS in 2014 (Navsari and Palampur). However, it is seen that the soft copies of the hundreds of papers available therein are not readily available on the websites of the organizers. In fact it is this lack of ready reference material that this booklet seeks to address.This booklet is a preliminary effort which will be revised and structured better in future, and should be seen as work in progress. This compilation provides ample evidence on the scientific basis that underpins the practice of organic farming in the country. What is missing however is committed extension that takes the message to farmers. This booklet also shows that organic farming is not to be equated with only traditional farming as is often done, but is a scientific approach that effectively uses nature’s processes and products for sustainable management of productive resources for viability and profitability.

The papers that were included in the Challenges and Way Forward section also bring up an argument that organic farming needs a different appraisal and analysis framework, with different criteria and parameters to justify its impact on society and ecology. In the Indian agricultural research scenario too, this re-orientation is much-required. Papers that compared organic with chemical agriculture were put into the Yields/Productivity section while comparisons between various organic farming practices were categorized under the Scientific Validation section. It is seen that most research efforts are going into INM and very little into organic farming research.

I hope this compilation will be made use of, by various stakeholders, to ensure that ecological farming is promoted and practised on a large scale. Ananthoo of ASHA helped in collecting various papers and sorting them. Shamika Mone of Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI) also pitched in with some studies. I would like to acknowledge with sincere gratitude the support obtained from the Regional Centre for Organic Farming in the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore (Dr N Devakumar in particular) and Prakash Selvaraj, Coimbatore. Parthasarathy VM created the Index painstakingly, crop-wise, practice-wise and location-wise.

Download a pdf copy of the book 

Workshop: Conservation, Environmental Protection and Equity (Vizag, 28-29 March)

Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, 28-29 March 2015

A one and a half day workshop titled Ecological Resources Conservation, Environmental Protection and Equity Movements will be held on 2829 March as part of the XXXVIII Indian Social Science Congress to be held in Andhra University, Visakhapatnam between 29 March and 2 April 2015. The focal theme of the congress is Knowledge systems, scientific temper and the Indian people.

Objectives
The object of this workshop is to explore the possibility of finding common ground for the three types of people’s movements to dialogue and work together and to understand the practical linkages between local issues on which movements take place and their global causes.

Participants
The workshop is largely for activists from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and will be conducted in Telugu. The activists should have participated in struggles against inequality or destructive development projects, or participated in conservation movements. Interested activists from other states may attend. The organizers will assist them to have whisper translation done. Read more…

Bangalore meeting with Naresh of Transition Town Totnes

totnesTransition Towns is a world wide living experiment in how to shift our current system of unequal, growth based consumption, to one where all are living well in times of change and within our planetary boundaries. The transition movement now has many examples of how local, small scale change can influence social and political systems.

Naresh Giangrande, co founder of the first Transition Town Totnes in the UK is touring India over February and March 2015. Naresh is happy to share the learning the Transition Movement has developed. He is also excited by how India is tackling problems of sustainability and how that learning can be used in other countries and in other contexts.

Date: 26th February, 2015
Venue: Ashirwad, St. Mark’s Road, Bangalore
Time: 6 pm – 9 pm
Contact person: Stanley Ravi (Mob: 9886705452, Email: rnlmlc)

for talks, donations would be welcome but are not essential.
for trainings some sort of exchange is welcome.

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For more information, visit the Transition Network website, or visit their Facebook page or YouTube channel.

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