World Rainforest Movement

The message is getting louder and clearer: another world IS possible

The World Social Forum is not a space for dreaming, but a place for sharing ideas on how to make a common aspiration come true. The message is clear: another world IS possible. What world? A world where social justice prevails, where peace is a reality, where nature is respected, where people interact as equals.

How do we get there? That’s another question, whose answer we -all of us together- are trying to find. However, there are already a number of concrete ideas in specific areas, at least regarding the direction in which we should be moving forward. All those ideas have something in common: they depend on people becoming aware about the problems, agreeing on the solutions, and organizing themselves to push for change.

However, as soon as we begin moving forward in one area we realize that we need to broaden our scope because of the globalized nature of the world we are confronting. This implies establishing links and alliances with a broad range of people and organizations also aiming at positive change within their own agendas.

In the specific case of forests, a number of participants in Mumbai and Porto Alegre, came up with the idea of creating a global movement to support forest communities’ rights over forests as the major solution to the forest crisis (see article below). The idea is simple: forest communities need to conserve forests, are willing to do so and have the necessary knowledge to be capable of doing it.

It is therefore possible to imagine another world where Forest Services are AT the service of communities governing their forests, where governments generate an enabling environment for that to happen, where civil society organizations support those communities when asked to, where destructive outside agents are kept outside. Nothing utopian in that; something perfectly possible.

However, there are further complications that need to be taken into account. For instance, global climate change can wipe out the best managed forest ecosystems through an increase in temperature to which many plants and animals cannot adapt. It concludes therefore that struggles for forest conservation need to establish close links with those working on climate.

In that respect, a number of people of the “Durban Group” (see article below) carried out a number of activities in Porto Alegre and extended their message of “bringing climate back to the people”. The reason is simple: governments are not doing what they should and the world is facing a looming climatic disaster. People -all of us- therefore need to intervene and force the necessary change.

Neither is it utopian to visualize a world where climate change is under control, where energy is produced from sources other than those resulting in the greenhouse effect (oil, coal, gas), energy which is produced in a decentralized manner from small scale utilities based on available local resources, which is distributed in an equitable manner and where energy conservation is mainstreamed in all human activities.

The above are only two examples to illustrate the case that another world IS possible and to show the need of reaching out to other people working on related issues -and most issues are related. Forests will not be saved by forest communities alone nor will climate change be stopped by climate campaigners on their own.

That’s what the World Social Forum is centrally about: bringing together an enormous diversity of people and issues seeking to create the type of world that most people wish and need. The message is getting louder and clearer: another world IS possible.

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