Background: The Greening of Global Citizen Journey
When you think about it, there’s hardly an issue more global or interconnected than climate change. The green house gases we each emit disperse around the globe, and the effects of climate change leave no community untouched. GCJ has at its heart many issues—pollution, oil and resource use, human rights, economic development, global justice—which are also fundamental issues of climate change. As global citizens, we realize that we need to view our actions in relation to how they affect our world’s climate, and so we are committed to interweave the “Green Team” into everything we do. The Green Team is just at the beginning stages of discovering how to incorporate carbon offsetting into GCJ, beginning with our travel and our journey projects. We intend to offset the carbon emissions from our air travel by investing money and sweat time directly into climate-smart projects in communities where we build relationships. We have far larger aspirations, too. We’d like climate thoughtfulness to become part of who we are and what we do at all levels, from the hands-on aspects of our Journey projects to our cross-cultural dialogue when abroad to our messaging and activity here at home. The newly formed Green Team is working on several approaches to this:
- Develop our ecological responsibility and sensitivity by minimizing our carbon footprint. beginning with the travel we engage in for our Journeys.
- Identify ways to ensure that the projects we build are as green as possible.
- Begin exploring how to set up a carbon offset program that is relationship based, where we invest carbon offset funds in the local community where we are working (for example, the Niger Delta, Burundi and Ghana).
- Develop educational materials for our website and offer training and resources for other individuals and organizations who are interested in becoming greener.
If you have technical expertise in renewable energy or the carbon cycle, green ideas from past journeys or simply a passion about the environment, think about joining the Green Team and helping us bring ideas to life. Email Morgan Ahouse, our Green Team leader: Morgan (at) globalcitizenjourney.org
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society for the 21st century. It was created by global civil society, endorsed by thousands of organizations and institutions, and serves as a call to action and a motivating force inspiring change the world over. GCJ is committed to the values and principles it expresses for a sustainable future. Learn more about the Earth Charter.
Agricultural Developments in Africa: AGRA WATCH
Acknowledging the serious problems created by the ‘first’ wave of Green Revolutions which industrialized agriculture, brought expensive fertilizers, debt, terminators seeds and loss of small farmers to India, Asia and the United States back in the 70’s and beyond, GCJ and other Seattle nonprofits have been concerned to hear of plans to bring a Green Revolution to Africa. Since we are located in the same community as the Gates Foundation, which is funding AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), along with Rockefeller, we have felt called to engage as global citizens. We tried to create a dialogue between the Gates Foundation and an ad hoc group formed by the Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ) to monitor AGRA and were disappointed to find the lack of openness or sustained interest in dialogue from the Gates Foundation. We share growing concern about their ties to the biotech/chemical industry and their lack of listening to the grassroots and voices of Africa. Learn more about AGRA.