El Salvador

Women's Tribunal:  Gender and Climate Justice:  El Salvador

Date:  December 13th, 2011

Location:  San Salvador

Organizers:  Siglo XXIII

Contact:  Marta Benevides - tlaliberatad@gmail.com

Tribunal Report: El Salvador

The Salvadoran Women’s Tribunal was the last tribunal of the year held on December 13, 2011. It had originally been scheduled for mid-October, but devastating storms savaged the tiny country and created a calamitous and deadly situation for Salvadorans. The tribunal had to be postponed, but the tribunal was the least of worries.

The devastation of the storms served to highlight the vulnerability of countries such as El Salvador which already have systemic problems due to increasing poverty, violence and hopelessness. It also highlighted how the country’s  environment disasters exacerbate the climate change issues, such as drought, flooding and desertification. The worse affected were the most vulnerable:  the indigenous peoples and peasants, and children who were already dying of hunger or suffer serious malnutrition.

Tribunal Summary

Salvadoran women from communities affected by climate change gathered at the Women’s Tribunal on Climate Justice – El Salvador: Strengthening Voices, Creating Solution at the cinema theater on December 13, 2011, in San Salvador.  They stressed the plight of environmental vulnerability in El Salvador and Meso-American region, and the way it affects particularly women. 


Definitely, El Salvador is already suffering the effects of climate change, and major negative impacts are projected in the short term and for the future, both for socio-economic sectors, in ecosystems, human health, food and nutritional sovereignty/security.  We recognize that all of the above is due to the inaction and irresponsibility of the Governments of the so-called developed countries which officially, since Copenhagen announced the abandonment of their legally binding commitments to mitigate the causes of climate change and work towards the necessary adaptations to local, national, regional and global levels.

The same situation is experienced by the neighboring sister republics, particularly affecting indigenous peoples and peasants as Guatemala, where a number of childhoods already dying of hunger or suffer serious malnutrition.

Assuming no serious and intentionally, with due urgency and prompt prevention, risk mitigation, and the consequent adaptation, each new year still brings many more floods, droughts, waves of heat, landslide, cave-ins/gully, water pollution, loss of crops, food insecurity, disease, damage and loss material and infrastructure. The result is a loss of lives. These impacts are exacerbated by the social, economic and environmental vulnerability generated by public policies that have prevailed for centuries in the country, now enhanced by the current neoliberal model.

Enriched, highly industrialized countries, mostly colonists, and responsible for historical and current rising emissions of greenhouse gases, are not committed to reduce their emissions in the magnitude and time limit indicated by the scientific knowledge, nor assume its commitments to cover the costs caused by climate change in the countries concerned and those referred to as "developing" countries, such as those in the Central American region. According to the Durban platform, offer only the mobilization of resources for the mitigation of emissions and adaptation to the effects of climate change, which mostly includes:  loans, reorientation of aid for development, insurance and expanded carbon markets.

Climate change is a matter not only of environmental protection, but also economic, political, social and cultural; being a matter relevant to human rights, economic, social and cultural rights of peoples and therefore with the world peace, true security, viability of human societies: we know it all life on the planet as it is today.

Recommendations to the government:

o        It is urgent and necessary that the Ministry of the environment, Ministry of education, Ministry of health, Ministry of agriculture, Ministry of the Interior, Secretary of Social inclusion, Secretariat of vulnerability and Secretary of culture, join economic resources and efforts to promote strategies, plans, programmes and measures at citizenship and administration of Government which we prepare to assume, address and treat appropriately effective and timely manner the challenges imposed by global climate change to our societies
         These policy frameworks, are policies of State and Government that must be defined, implemented and evaluated with the active participation of all relevant social actors, particularly populations more vulnerable, and negatively affected by climate change.
        For true effectiveness, the focus should be especially on women, childhoods, youth, indigenous peoples, and excluded both rural and urban populations.
        These should be adopted urgently at the official level, with full implementation, a law on prevention and risk mitigation that responds to the level of threat and vulnerability of our society and territories. The law must return to commitments and relevant international obligations, such as the agreements adopted in the multilateral process of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
        Food sovereignty is one of the strategic objectives of a new agricultural policy for El Salvador, to ensure food and nutritional security. Also, this policy must focus and use incentive systems, technologies, and sustainable agricultural practices, with the commitment to eliminate the massive and intensive use of fertilizers and chemical pesticides, genetically modified seeds.
        Such measures shall foster the urgent need of rescue, dissemination and adoption of knowledge and traditional and local technologies that facilitate the required adaptation to climate change.
        For the effectiveness of all these measures, it is necessary to the incorporation of the gender approach in the food sovereignty/safety and nutrition policy, as well as food is a right guaranteed by the Constitution politics of El Salvador.
        Due to the situation of desertification, high degree of contamination of the water, and the lack of access to drinking water that suffers large percentage of Salvadoran families, it is necessary and urges approval of the constitutional reform of the human right to water for all citizens, general water bill, and the Bill of water supply and sanitation subsector.
        To the ministries of environment and natural resources (MARN), health (Missal), Ministry of the Interior (MIGOB) and Agriculture (MAG) in conjunction with local governments, open spaces and facilitate the appropriate processes, enabling the skilled and active participation of the actors and sectors of society in the processes of formation of public local and national policies in the field of climate change.
        The Government commitments of Agenda 21, force it to promote social participation in the definition, execution, evaluation and modification of all public policies. Therefore the national climate change Plan and the National Plan of adaptation, the Salvadoran State's legal obligations, should be developed and implemented with the participation of the above actors, as set forth in the decisions taken in Durban as well.
        The above, to enable this education in the service of the creation and implementation of solutions to the most pressing problems of the society, which includes the reduction of the environmental and socio-economic vulnerability the promotion of the culture of peace for the Elimination of violence, and the search for integral sustainability as a nation.
        Our Government is to assume the responsibility and timely manner, the commitments and obligations to deal with the threat and the challenges of climate change in national, regional and international level; on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge, and the needs and priorities of the most vulnerable and affected populations. Always as a premise, honoring the scientific Precautionary Principle.
        To the above-mentioned ministries, proceed immediately to open spaces for the effective participation of women in general and rural in particular, indigenous peoples, and the youth, to ensure the effective solution of the problems raised.
         That these ministries, particularly the MARN, due to the specific commitments deriving from the framework Convention on Climate Change, pay particular attention and establish programmes to deepen the knowledge, and the development of awareness of social media, official and alternative media, private and public, so that the media carries the responsibility of the dissemination of information and educating the Salvadoran population.

Check out the video of the El Salvador Report: 

 Video of El Salvador Tribunal

El Salvador Declaration
English Translation Below


Mujeres de comunidades afectadas por el cambio climático, reunidas en la Audiencia: MUJERES SALVADOREÑAS Y JUSTICIA CLIMÁTICA 2011-2012: FORTALECIENDO VOCES, CREANDO Y SIENDO SOLUCIONES, el 13 DE DICIEMBRE 2011 en el Cine Teatro - UES, en San Salvador.

Declaran que:

Habiendo compartido y escuchado nuestros testimonios, y reflexionado sobre la grave situación de vulnerabilidad medio ambiental en nuestro país y región, y la forma que ésta afecta en particular a las mujeres, por este medio compartimos nuestras conclusiones y recomendaciones.

Concluimos que:

Definitivamente El Salvador sufre ya los efectos del cambio climático, y se proyectan mayores impactos negativos a corto plazo y a futuro, tanto para los sectores socioeconómicos, como en los ecosistemas, salud humana, soberanía/seguridad alimentaria y nutricional. Reconocemos que todo lo anterior es debido a la inacción e irresponsabilidad de los gobiernos de los países llamados desarrollados los que oficialmente, desde Copenhague anunciaron el abandono de sus compromisos legalmente vinculantes para mitigar las causas del cambio climático, y trabajar por las adaptaciones necesarias a nivel local, nacional, regional y mundial.

Esta misma situación es vivida por las hermanas repúblicas vecinas, especialmente afectando los pueblos originarios y campesinos/as de Guatemala, donde un buen número de infancias muere ya de hambre o sufre grave desnutrición.

Si no se asume seria e intencionalmente, con la debida urgencia y prontitud la prevención, mitigación de riesgos, y la consiguiente adaptación, cada nuevo año se sufrirán muchas mas inundaciones, sequías, olas de calor, deslaves, hundimientos/cárcavas, contaminación del agua, pérdidas de cosechas, inseguridad alimentaria, enfermedades, daños y pérdidas materiales y de infraestructuras, y peor aun de vidas. Estos impactos se ven exacerbados por la vulnerabilidad social, económica y ambiental, generada por las políticas públicas que han prevalecido por siglos en el país,  actualmente profundizadas por el modelo neoliberal vigente.

Los países enriquecidos, altamente industrializados, en su mayoría colonizadores, y responsables históricos y actuales de las crecientes emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero, no se comprometen a reducir sus emisiones en la magnitud y plazo indicado por el conocimiento científico, ni asumen sus compromisos de cubrir los costos causados por el cambio climático en los países afectados y a los que se hace referencia como países “en desarrollo”, tales como los de la región centroamericana. De acuerdo a la Plataforma de Durban, lo único que ofrecen es la movilización de recursos para la mitigación de las emisiones y la adaptación a los efectos del cambio climático, lo que mayormente incluye: préstamos, reorientación de la ayuda para el desarrollo, seguros y mercados de carbono ampliados.

El cambio climático es un asunto no únicamente de medio ambiente, sino también económico, político, social y cultural; siendo un asunto pertinente a derechos humanos, los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales de los pueblos y por tanto con la paz mundial, la verdadera seguridad, viabilidad de las sociedades humanas: la totalidad de la vida misma en el planeta como hoy la conocemos.

Por lo tanto, urgimos a los ciudadanos, ciudadanas y gobiernos del mundo fijar su atención en nuestras siguientes recomendaciones:

Es urgente y necesario que el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Ministerio de Educación, Ministerio de Salud, Ministerio de Agricultura, Ministerio de Gobernación, Secretaria de Inclusión Social, Secretaría de Vulnerabilidad y Secretaria de Cultura, aúnen recursos económicos y esfuerzos para promover las estrategias, planes, programas y medidas necesarias a nivel de ciudadanía y administración de gobierno que nos preparen para asumir, abordar y tratar de manera adecuada, efectiva y oportuna los retos que impone a nuestras sociedades el cambio climático mundial. Dichos marcos políticos, son políticas de Estado y de gobierno que deberán ser definidas, implementadas, evaluadas y readecuadas con la participación activa de todos los actores sociales relevantes, particularmente las poblaciones más vulnerables, y afectadas negativamente por el cambio climático. Para verdadera efectividad se deberá enfocar especialmente en las mujeres, las infancias, las juventudes, los pueblos originarios, y las poblaciones excluidas tanto rurales como urbanas.

Que se adopte urgentemente a nivel oficial, que tenga aplicación plena, una ley de prevención y mitigación de riesgos que responda al nivel de amenaza y vulnerabilidad de nuestra sociedad y territorios. Dicha ley debe retomar los compromisos y obligaciones internacionales pertinentes, como son los acuerdos adoptados en el proceso multilateral de la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cambio Climático.

Que la soberanía alimentaria sea uno de los objetivos estratégicos de una nueva política agropecuaria para El Salvador, que garantice la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional. Asimismo, dicha política deberá orientarse e incentivar los sistemas, tecnologías y prácticas agropecuarias sustentables, con el compromiso de eliminar el uso masivo e intensivo de fertilizantes y plaguicidas químicos, de semillas transgénicas.  Tales medidas favorecerán la necesidad urgente del rescate, difusión y adopción del conocimiento y tecnologías ancestrales y locales, que faciliten la obligada  adaptación al cambio climático.

Para la efectividad de todas estas medidas, es necesario que se incorpore el enfoque de género en la Política de Soberanía/Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional, así como que la alimentación sea un derecho garantizado por la Constitución Política de El Salvador. Toda institución oficial relevante a los temas aquí mencionados, debe ser coherentes con las medidas aquí planteadas.

Debido a la situación de desertificación, alto grado de contaminación del agua, y la carencia de acceso al agua potable que sufre gran porcentaje de las familias salvadoreñas, es necesario y urge que se apruebe la reforma constitucional del derecho humano al agua para toda la ciudadanía, el anteproyecto de ley general de aguas, y el anteproyecto de ley del subsector de agua potable y saneamiento.

Que los Ministerios de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN), Salud (MISAL), Ministerio de Gobernación (MIGOB) y Agricultura (MAG) en conjunto con los gobiernos locales, abran los espacios y faciliten los procesos apropiados, que permitan la participación calificada y activa de las/los actores y sectores sociales, en los procesos de formación de las políticas públicas locales y nacionales en materia de cambio climático y particularmente de las comunidades vulnerables y más afectadas por el este fenómeno. Los compromisos del gobierno derivados de la Agenda 21, lo obligan a propiciar la participación social en la definición, ejecución, evaluación y modificación de todas las políticas públicas. Por consiguiente, el Plan Nacional de Cambio Climático y el Plan Nacional de Adaptación, obligaciones legales del Estado salvadoreño, deberán elaborarse y ejecutarse con la participación de los actores señalados, tal como se estipula en las decisiones adoptadas en Durban-COP17.

Que el MARN, MAG, MISAL, MINED, Secretaría de Cultura, municipalidades y otras entidades de gobierno pertinentes, trabajen de manera conjunta, en colaboración con la Universidad de El Salvador, y toda entidad de educación superior, para incidir tanto en los programas de todos los niveles educativos, como en los procesos de investigación y proyección social. Lo anterior, a fin de que la educación este al servicio de la creación e implementación de soluciones a los problemas más acuciantes de la sociedad, que incluye la reducción de la vulnerabilidad ambiental y socioeconómica, el fomento de la cultura de paz para la eliminación de la violencia, y la búsqueda de la sustentabilidad integral como nación.

Que nuestro gobierno asuma de manera responsable y oportuna, los compromisos y obligaciones para enfrentar la amenaza y los retos derivados del cambio climático en el ámbito nacional, regional e internacional; sobre la base del mejor conocimiento científico disponible, y de las necesidades y prioridades de las poblaciones más vulnerables y afectadas. Honrando siempre como premisa, el principio científico de la precaución.

Que los ministerios mencionados, procedan de inmediato a abrir espacios para la participación efectiva de mujeres en general, y rurales en particular, de pueblos originarios, y de las juventudes, para garantizar la solución efectiva de los problemas planteados.

Que dichos ministerios, particularmente el MARN, debido a los compromisos específicos derivados de la Convención Marco sobre Cambio Climático, presten especial atención y establezcan programas orientados a profundizar el conocimiento, y al desarrollo de la conciencia de los medios de comunicación social, oficiales y alternativos, privados y públicos sobre el tema, para que éstos asuman responsablemente el reto ineludible e impostergable de información, sensibilización y educación de la totalidad de la población salvadoreña.

Reconocemos y afirmamos el papel protagónico que en este momento de la vida de nuestra nación y país, debe jugar el MARN con respecto a la calidad de vida de seres humanos y el estado del medio ambiente en nuestro país. El Estado, la administración de gobierno y todos los ministerios y en particular la Secretaría de Cultura, deberán trabajar de manera conjunta y coherente para asegurar que todo aspecto de los procesos oficiales y la educación de la sociedad, desde las infancias hasta adultas/adultos mayores vaya en la dirección de lograr una cultura de paz que tenga de base la convivencia pacifica de humanos y el cuidado del medio ambiente.

Nosotras nos comprometemos a hacer todo lo que este a nuestro alcance desde y con la ciudadanía, para acompañar a la administración de gobierno, para que de manera conjunta, trabajemos y logremos el Mundo y Sociedad de Justicia y Paz que tanto deseamos y necesitamos.

Dado en diciembre 13, 2011 en la Ciudad Universitaria.


La AUDIENCIA se realiza dentro del marco de la campaña del MUNDO QUE QUEREMOS, del LLAMADO GLOBAL PARA LA ACCIÓN ANTE LA POBREZA - GCAP (por sus siglas en inglés), siendo auspiciado por GCAP/FTF, Greenpeace, IPS, Siglo XXIII, UES, Asociación Nueva Vida y G50.


Women from communities affected by climate change, gathered at the hearing: WOMEN AND CLIMATE JUSTICE SALVADORAN 2011-2012: STRENGTHENING VOICES, AND STILL CREATING SOLUTIONS, 13 DECEMBER 2011 at the Cinema Theater - UES, in San Salvador.
They state that:
Having shared our testimonies heard, and reflected on the plight of environmental vulnerability in our country and region, and how it particularly affects women, this means we share our findings and recommendations.
We conclude that:
Definitely El Salvador suffers and the effects of climate change and projected major negative short-term and future, both socio-economic sectors, such as ecosystems, human health, sovereignty / food and nutrition security. We recognize that all this is due to inaction and irresponsibility of governments of developed countries which officially called, from Copenhagen announced the abandonment of legally binding commitments to mitigate the causes of climate change, and work for the necessary adjustments at local, national, regional and global levels.
The same situation is experienced by sisters neighboring republics, particularly affecting indigenous peoples and campesinos / as Guatemala, where a number of childhoods and hunger dies or suffers serious malnutrition.
If not assumed serious and intentionally, with due urgency and promptness prevention, mitigation, and to adapt, each new year will suffer many more floods, droughts, heat waves, landslides, subsidence / gullies, water pollution , crop failures, food insecurity, disease, injury and loss of property and infrastructure, and worse lives. These impacts are exacerbated by social vulnerability, economic and environmental, generated by public policies that have prevailed for centuries in the country, now deepened by the current neoliberal model.
Countries rich, highly industrialized, mostly settlers, and responsible historical and current rising emissions of greenhouse gases not commit to reducing their emissions in the magnitude and time indicated by scientific knowledge, or assume their commitments cover the costs caused by climate change in the affected countries and referred to as "developing", such as the Central American region. According to the Platform for Durban, all they offer is the mobilization of resources for mitigation of emissions and adaptation to climate change effects, which mainly includes loans, reorientation of development assistance, insurance and expanded carbon markets.
Climate change is a matter not only environmental but also economic, political, social and cultural relevance remains a matter of human rights, economic, social and cultural rights of both peoples and world peace, the true security, viability of human societies: the whole of life itself on the planet as we know it today.
Therefore, we urge citizens, citizens and governments of the world focus their attention on our following recommendations:
It is urgent and necessary for the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of the Interior, Secretary for Social Inclusion Vulnerability Secretariat and Ministry of Culture, economic resources and join efforts to promote strategies, plans, programs and measures at the level of citizenship and government administration to prepare us to take, to address and deal properly, effectively and timely the challenges posed to our societies, global climate change. These policy frameworks are policies of state and government to be defined, implemented, evaluated and readecuadas with the active participation of all relevant stakeholders, particularly the most vulnerable and negatively affected by climate change. For true effectiveness should focus especially on women, childhoods, youths, indigenous and excluded populations in both rural and urban areas.
To be taken urgently to the official level, you have full, a law on prevention and risk mitigation that meets the level of threat and vulnerability of our society and territories. This law must return commitments and international obligations, such as the resolutions adopted at the multilateral process of Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
That food sovereignty is one of the strategic objectives of a new agricultural policy for El Salvador, to ensure food security and nutrition.Also, this policy should be directed and encourage systems, technologies and sustainable farming practices, with a commitment to eliminate the massive and intensive use of fertilizers and chemical pesticides, transgenic seeds. Such measures will promote the urgent need of rescue, adoption and diffusion of knowledge and ancestral technologies and local, to provide the necessary adaptation to climate change.
For the effectiveness of these measures, it is necessary to incorporate the gender perspective in the Sovereignty Policy / Food and Nutritional Security, as well as that food is a right guaranteed by the Constitution of El Salvador. All official institution relevant to the issues mentioned here, must be consistent with the measures we have discussed here.
Due to the desertification status, high degree of water pollution, and lack of access to drinking water suffered by a large percentage of Salvadoran families, it is necessary and urgent to approve the constitutional reform of the human right to water for all citizens The overall bill water bill and the subsector of drinking water and sanitation.
The Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), Health (Missal), Ministry of Interior (MIGOB) and Agriculture (MAG) in conjunction with local governments, open spaces and provide appropriate processes that allow the qualified participation and active / social groups and sectors in the processes of formation of local and national public policies on climate change and particularly vulnerable communities most affected by this phenomenon. Government commitments derived from Agenda 21, he is obliged to promote social participation in the design, implementation, evaluation and modification of all public policies. Therefore, the National Climate Change Plan and the National Adaptation Plan, legal obligations of the Salvadoran state, shall be designed and implemented with the participation of these actors, as stipulated in the decisions taken at COP17 Durban.
That the MARN, MAG, MISAL, MOE, Ministry of Culture, municipalities and other relevant government agencies, work together in collaboration with the University of El Salvador, and all higher education institution, to influence both programs all educational levels, as in the processes of research and outreach. This, so that this education in the service of creating and implementing solutions to pressing problems of society, including the reduction of environmental and socioeconomic vulnerability, promoting a culture of peace for the elimination of violence, and the search for integral sustainability as a nation.
That our government takes a responsible and timely commitments and obligations to meet the threat and challenges posed by climate change at national, regional and international levels on the basis of best available scientific knowledge, and the needs and priorities the most vulnerable and affected. Honoring always premised on the scientific principle of precaution.
That the above ministries, provide immediate open spaces for the effective participation of women in general, and rural areas in particular, indigenous peoples, and youth, to ensure the effective resolution of the issues.
That these ministries, particularly the MARN, due to the specific commitments arising from the Framework Convention on Climate Change, give particular attention and established programs to increase knowledge and to develop awareness of social media, official and alternative private and public on the subject, so that they take the challenge responsibly inescapable and urgent information, awareness and education of the entire Salvadoran population.
We recognize and affirm the leading role at this point in the life of our nation and country, should play MARN regarding the quality of life for humans and the state of the environment in our country. The State, the administration of government and all ministries and in particular the Ministry of Culture, should work together and consistently to ensure that every aspect of formal processes and education of society, from the childhood to adult / senior go in the direction of achieving a culture of peace that has a basis of peaceful coexistence of human and environmental care.
We pledge to do everything in our power from and to citizenship, to accompany the administration of government, to jointly work and achieve the World and the Justice and Peace Society that both want and need.
Given at December 13, 2011 in University City.
The hearing is conducted within the framework of the campaign of world we want, the GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION FOR POVERTY - GCAP (for its acronym in English), being sponsored by CGAP / FTF, Greenpeace, IPS, Siglo XXIII, UES, New Life Association and G50.


NOV 1, 2011

marta benavides-- SIGLO XXIII- El Salvador

Today and tomorrow is a holy day.. holiday.. it is the time to celebrate and remember the life of those who are no longer with us.. It is the ancestral Day of the Dead. In my country we take flowers and offerings to our departed, and bring food to eat at the tomb at the cemetery, some even dance and bring mariachis.  In Mexico is such a special time, that UNESCO has declared,  an intangible World Cultural Heritage.

This year  at this time we are remembering that only a few days ago, we were living the most destructive experience of our history through floods.  The roads, small and big, rural and urban, small and large bridges, even the Panamerican Highway, that comes from Alaska to Patagonia, had various major bridges collapse, two of them  which connect El Salvador with Guatemala, there are portions of this road,  close to the capital that must be rebuilt completely. There were dozens of commercial trucks in line at each side of the border..this was also true between Guatemala and Mexico, and of El Salvador and Honduras. Trade was impacted. Everything got soaked, roads became rivers that were dangerous to drive on, least for people to walk on. Landslides from mountains almost only ten meters away from each other. Gullies increased by the dozens.  The schools became shelters, homes had to be abandoned, cattle and other animals died, as the crops were destroyed, under the water.  We have had a problem with agriculture, recent previous administrations decided to choose maquilas, the industrial parks for US, Canada, Korea, Japan investment, instead of planting. Food security instead of food sovereignty.  The best most fertile and arable land became these industrial parks.  From colonial times the people were forcibly taken away from their lands, the community lands, by law and repression, changed hands.  Monoculture s for export-- coffee, sugar and cotton,  became the norm.  The original owners of the land were forced to plant in ravines, in very steep hills. Both monocultures and the hill planting adding each day to the deforestation, the desertification and vulnerability.  Hunger and impoverishment resulted from all that. These centuries old practices came to head under the persistent rain, of Tropical Depression E 12, early October 2011.   In ten days we got the rain of a whole year. So the national and regional media here covered well the situation, the thousands that had to be evacuated, the collapse of structures, be it home, bridge, or road, the loss of the crops, a whole town swallowed by the earth, the military trucks stuck in the deep mud and under water, with children, women and soldiers on board, the fathers looking and pushing helplessly by the side. . The very daring rescues.This was not so with foreign media, they did not do their job.  They never reported this.Thus the world did not know that  from Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, we were suffering in such ways that state of calamity was declared by each government as the situation peeked.  But no  one outside us and Latin America new.  The people, most government agencies and NGOs worked hard to save lives and all they could. Political differences were put asside. But the devastation was deep and mean.. . extreme.  And the world did not know. We felt bad for the sisters and brothers of Bangkok, Thailand  who were, and still are under water, for we learned, and still do,  about that regularly in the international and national media at home. We kept mindful and prayerful of them,and of all the brothers and sisters in Tabasco, Mexico, and the whole of the Central America Isthmus. We know, it is Katrina anew, and Philippines, and all of South East Asia. And it is about migrations, and famine, desertification too. 

 This event  was so destructive   that last week the UN declared El Salvador  the most vulnerable country of the world--I think they mean of the planet--, for in this tiny but also most beautiful country we have so many threats: earthquakes, tremors, erupting volcanoes, floods, droughts, desertification, hunger, impoverishment which adds much to this vulnerability. Yesterday October 31, our big discussion at all levels of society, is the controversial UN declaration of  El Salvador  as the most violent country of the world.  This is determined by the number of crimes committed in each 100,000 people. This situation here and elsewhere is very much rooted to the globalization as we live it today. This is a historical centuries old process. In our region, only the few who are "very civilized, western mentality people" do not understand or recognize this.  A well known political and educated man,  has gone as far as to say that it is the way we are and how we choose, for he said, "see Chile, it had the earthquake and in a matter of days, it was  up and running, not Haiti, he said, they kicked the French out, and see what they did after that", "look at Africa", he said, they kicked out the English, and see what they are, they do not choose to develop and do something with their lives.  This is an analysis that disregards the history of imposed repressive military governments or dynasties of dictators, colonial powers that only left in the mid XXth century, having carried, and continued to carry even after "lndependence",  a very intensive pillage of the people's (re) sources.

The "developed",  the "wealthy", who have the veto at the community of nations, have created the major crisis affecting all those alive, and those who will be born, many generations from now.. this is the result of  centuries old, colonial practices, exploitation of natural (re)SOURCES, IFIs, and free trade agreements  which have pressed for damaging policies to the so called Least Industrialized Countries/LICs, Least Developed Counties/LDCs,  which has brought  them  to live  today's vulnerabilities,  of which my country is the best, imagine, the best example. 

So, what has been the answer? to globalize the impoverishment, to the point that NGOs, INGOs, foundations, CSOs talk about how to administer the scarcity, the poverty! and they say that there is donor fatigue, etc., etc. To manage this crisis, the "powerful" yet so vulnerable world economies,  have included the emerging "powerful"economies, to join them to design policies on financial/economic, energy, food, climate change, and for military "missions" for peace: the G20.  We from the so called "underdeveloped", "developing nations", say: Ay Dios mio, (Oh my God) here are the "developed" coming to develop and civilize us again. So now we are to be about green mining, REDD, REDD+, REDD++, green economies, food security instead of food sovereignty, bio fuel.  We, of the South  know  that our misfortune is based in our fortunes: the natural resources that the so called developed need for their national security: food, energy, water, biodiversity,forests, minerals, the terrible cheap labor- most of whom happen to be young women.
This events have come to  deepened the   conditions of what we have historically  faced for centuries. .  We have been forced to live doing doggy paddle, that is, survival, survival, survival.  Just make sure to keep our nose above water, and, tighten our belts.

The way the global power is exercised today makes us much more vulnerable, how?  take El Salvador as an example, not only much of the funding has been cut, and only those NGOs related to major international foundations can continue, but now under this impoverishment and environmental catastrophe, almost half of our population migrates, maquilas have closed, food prices up in the clouds, youth do not have any chance. We are experiencing land grabbing-- to produce vegetables and bio fuel for industrialized nations--,  the various crisis force our government under the free trade agreement to prioritize profit for investors rather than the needs of the people, or the care of nature,or,  we will be taken  to international courts to pay for damages. 

In this dear country of mine, that is still looks bello, luminous,  luscious, delicious to me, it is the large majorities who are un employed,  the young people, especially young women.  Impoverishment has and is increasing, and people have to make do. We are experts at that. So, what are we offered to solve the calamities we face?  The IFIs offer to our government loans, loans offer the international(local) banks, which need to place and move the money they can not lend to us because we the people, do not qualify, for we can not pay. thus we accrue a much more dangerous official indebtedness.

Just see how things work today: a major country, one of the G5 which is our main ally, under this October 2011 flooding, the worst and most devastating in our whole history, has donated to  us $50,000 (fifty thousand USD) humanitarian aid to face the calamity.  We need about 1,500 USD million to rehabilitate and rebuild, now making sure to abive by environmental standards.  In the 80's during the armed conflict, it was a million a day they gave to the armed forces.  Today, under the violence created by the drug and arm trafficking, we pay $40 USD for each $1.00 that the US pays for security... analyze this and that!

So , we must understand:

The urgency to abide by the rights of Mother Earth as a major aspect of our work, and the rights of young people, and gender equality are key to our effectiveness in social transformation.

That the sovereign debt crisis in the US and the Eurozone  threaten all of us, specially LICs, and LDCs.. imagine the situation of Haiti. That the  illegitimate and un payable foreign debt, must be cancelled.

 that the dominant models of development  increase the inequalities in the world, and that the G20 and the IFIs must be held accountable, and be under the rule of the G193

that the imposed “Solutions” have not and are not working, thus we must work for clarity of the World We Want and urgently need, therefore  we need to work at home, nation, regionally  and globally for a  new economic model, a new financial architecture, that is appropriate to the peoples' needs.  Solidarious Economy model and practices are a way. This is a new era, it is being forged as we live it, we must do it consciously, for the sake of health of the planet, for peace, for a life of plenitude and meaning of present and future generations.

Do we know what development are we working for as we discern it, and we live it? The reform of the international monetary and financial system and its implications for development must be very clear, we need to shift paradigm if we are to meet the MDG in their depth.

The South must be our North, we must work on this now

 Be mindful that the multiple crises are reinforcing one another, thus we must understand how this is manifested, as not to strengthen this

Thus, today under the "leaderhip of the        G20, we must know that this  is self-appointed group, that  it distorts the development agenda
and is unable to be an instrument of justice and peace. All nations must commit to the community of nations, to discern all aspects of the life of poeples' and planet, in the circle of the G193.

Submitted by Marta Benavides-- GCAP Global Co Chair, and Siglo XXIII, El Salvador. October 31, 2011

 For more information the floods discernment:
-- on sustainable societies for Global responsibility please contact  moema viezzer  at <mv@moemaviezzer.com.br>, "Monica Osorio Simons" <ceag@terra.com.br>
--Regarding Voices on the Border/Oxfam  the recently Voices on the Border posted an article called:  Climate Change Blamed for Historic Flooding in El Salvador
--Also for pictures they have a link under  Flood Update – Photos from Salinas del Potrero and Nueva Esperanza
--Also for video Al Jazeera has one on their website: http://english.aljazeera.net/video/americas/2011/10/2011102182515215413.html

ck our work at web sites..***web del MUSEO AJA LINK: http://www.museoaja.org
The wikipedia page for SIGLO XXIII is up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siglo_XXIII,
 The museo aha is already on Wikipedia as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Museo_Aja, in spanish: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museo_Aja
ON OUR CULTURE OF PEACE   http://nopppculturadepaz.blogspot.com

marta benavides-- SIGLO XXIII   EL SALVADOR -- TEL 503-7904-9886

October 20, 2011

FTF/GCAP is in solidarity with the citizens of El Salvador as they deal with devastating floods that are ruining communities throughout the country. The flooding themselves are difficult, but the catastrophic effects the flooding are having on the country is the result of years of exploitation from the global north and systemic injustices. Decades of neglect from the global community, national debts and oppressive developmental policy have resulted in a weak infrastructure and a lack of resources to prepare for natural disasters.

The US government has agreed to offer $50,000 to assist in recovery efforts in El Salvador. This article documents the “emergency disaster assistance” that the US government is providing EL Salvador: http://sansalvador.usembassy.gov/news/2011/10/17.html.  

Devastating Flood in El Salvador Update
October 19th, 2011



DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR US, but please, be about the seeing and the listening.. commit to accompany us, not with relief, but by transformation of the structures that demand all of us to be about constant relief

Dear sisters and brothers, thank you for your concern and love.. today as I write the cold is deep.. a new cold front with lots of rain is here, one more tornado we call it.  The people are stranded, thousands of them in chest deep coastal areas. The four major dams, which provide electricity to those who can afford it, and which are mostly the industries-- oh God, the story of electricity and the dams is such a terrible colonial expression--   are so full, that they are allowing the water to be released..I have seen the reports.. the army trucks, with people mostly kids and women and the soldiers, stranded, the water raising .. woman are holding the little one, on containers, above the water.. I have sent the worry and anxiety in the tarful eyes of the people.. the men saying good bye to the families.. even as the families are stranded right before their eyes.. and this is not because the people are dumb.. the system of development is dumb.. it has been dumb from the being, and we all have known it.. we died knowing , we starve knowing,we might not know the names, land grab, food security, green economies.. blah blah, blah, but we know, just as the native American people and the African Descendants' in the USA have always known why, by whom and for whom is their exploitation and their suffering.  

I am so sad that the world of the so called developed civilized is such, that they can not see that we are not talking about help, we are talking about the need to shift their paradigm, for they are eating us alive.. we live for their excesses, for their gumptions to be fed.  

Yesterday we buried the 16 year old boy, that was a complete odyssey.. from office to office, begging for help..in this conditions, very little help..my sister driving the pick up truck in the rain in the mud,  so  we were given the body, and  the two older brothers and myself, carrying the body, my sister and I cleaning  it, dressing it, placing it in the casket, doing all needed to comfort the family, holding the viewing.. and we remembering those stranded, those in the costal areas, who have to deal with the rains , the floods coming from the dams, and we all knowing why.. and asking of the Global North why.. for even our corrupt governments and dictators are the Global North. 

I do not write this in anger, or resentment, but so sorry, that we are not remember the spiritual call, to have eyes to see, to have ears to hear.. and we all must.. do not feel sorry for us, for we do not have anything else but face the calmality ..look at your role.. CHANGE IT. BE ABOUT THE NEW WINE, THE NEW CONTAINERS, WEARE ALL IN THE NEW ERA, LET US NOT BE SHAPED BY IT.  


But please, be about the seeing and the listening.. commit to accompany us, not with relief, but by transformation of the structures that demand all of us to be about consant relief. 

much love..marta

Update on Devastating Floods in El Salvador
October 17, 2011

Message from Marta Benavides in El Salvador:

dear ones,

sending info PLEASE FIND IT BELOW on the situation in el salvador.  raining hard, thanks for cesar artiga for the pictures..PLS DO SHARE IT WITH YOUR NETWORKS..

Today we also learn of the brother of one of the young men we sponsor who has died and we need to arrange for his funeral. love..marta


This is a very difficult time in so many ways.. . it is so hard to be a witness,as I am one that has not been able to get out of my community, , because of the flooding s, for I live outside the city, and far from the capital. I have been able to provide assistance by phone, as imagine, modernity, this service we have had most of the time where I am, though at times internet has been difficult.

Today, I will go the long way around to the capital to put our heads together to move from tragedy not only to hope but to trust and opportunity, to possibility..

People have needed a lot of moral support, and as I have been monitoring and accompanying the whole situation, I have been a witness to the heroic efforts of so many of our people, and for the first time since the Peace Accords, the efforts of the armed forces and the civil police, the various government entities/institutions, with very few exceptions has been seen, in a much more effective role. The youth, the peasants, who are not really part of the priority of the nation, no matter how much we officially say it, has been admirable. Much of civil society in general is responding to the emergency in great solidarity.

Only in this way we have been able to face this situation-- even if not meeting all that is needed--, up to now, but the rains continue, and will go on for days to come, and there are so many roads closed, destroyed, landslides, bridges fallen, thousands of homes lost, so many people in shelters, the crops all gone...and the flooding continues especially in the areas where even due to the desertification process, rivers had been dry. The low lands, toward the coast,are under such amounts of water, that people are in dangerous isolation, hanging from trees, on top of roofs of mud houses, both of which then are taken by the so strong currents. There, army trucks that are heavy and high are completely stranded with the military and the dozens of people they were trying to bring out. Is Katrina, Mitch, Agatha all over again!

I have seen the people, adults walking with the water over their waste, carrying babies that were only born five days ago. My people... I can not even cry anymore...

We have to put a stop to this. It is the result of hundreds of years of colonial mentalities, where we, are forced to live for the so called civilized nations, now so wrongly called "developed" while those of us who have suffered extracting and exploiting colonial practices, and continue to suffer the modern day pillages of land grabs, of free trade agreements, of green mining, of "sustainable development", of green economies... and on an on, are so wrongly called "Developing Nations", Ünderdeveloped nations", "Least Developed Countries -LDCs", "Least Industrialized Countries-LICs". There is a lot of creativity to name us, and our forced conditions...and lots of creativity to create new ways, gimmicks to maintain the ways of colonialism.

It is time to be and act awake, not just to wake up.

This is a moral imperative. We need to be about being the new wine, as we create the new containers. We need to accompany those who are about not just for MORE JUST SOCIETIES, but for JUST SOCIETIES.

We are called to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth, and for this we need to learn to read the signs of the times. We need to make sense out of this mess

Brothers and sisters, how do make sense of this? how do we do the JUSTICE things that will put an end to poverty? how do we stop the machinery of impoverishment so we can have the promised land, heaven here on earth?

This is our call, and we can not evade it.. we can not say we do not have the funds, the denominations, the foundations can not help, there is donor fatigue. We can not say this as in the USA, and around the world, the 1% is so, so enriched, that they do not know even how to invest to make more, and more, while the 99% , suffer all kinds of calamities, mostly the result of how the 1% have enriched themselves. This is not only about INDIGNITY.. THIS IS INJUSTICE AT ITS MOST.

We have been told we can move mountains, but we must affirm we can, and commit to figure out how to go about it. This is not about relief, this is about the abundant life we are called to live.

We need to put ourselves to work on this, how to transform all that is needed, bring together all who are willing to be about this. We must do it in, and at all levels.

I am willing, and I must tell:

the well being of my people, of my nation, can not happen if in our case, we do not work for the well being of Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, the whole of Central America and the Caribbean. It can not happen if we do not work for the well being of the people of the USA, of the people of the Philippines, of Thailand, of Somalia, of Afghanistan, of Pakistan, of Haiti, of Greece and Iceland, of Italy, of Spain...let us remember that WE are only ONE.

We need to work at the local level for the legislature to pass those laws and their implementation on risks prevention and mitigation, but then also at the national and regional levels, and we need those peoples of the G5, G8, G20, to govern their governments to sign and implement the protocols and agreements that are and have been needed. We need to create the consciousness of the citizens of those nations, so they know that the so long lines must be made not so much for the new Apple smart phone, but to press their governments to pass and implement the right kind of financial/economic, energy, climate and food sovereignty policies and action.

We need to work this now, so we must come together to bring this about, for the signs of the times tell us that THIS IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL, and this has been so for a good while now.

You can count with me, but we must do it together.

We are blessed and we are blessings.

Love, marta

c/o Dr Cheryl Desmond
1518 Marietta Ave.
Lancaster, PA 17603

For more information contact serrnetwork@gmail.com

Marta Benavides lives in El Salvador where she works with SigloXVIII, S.E.R.R., Aja! Museum, among other initiatives. She is also a member of the Feminist Task Force and a co-chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP). She is the lead organizer of a Gender and Climate Justice Tribunal in El Salvador which was postponed indefinitely due to the devastation of Hurrican Jova, subsequent storms.

Devastating Floods in El Salvador
October 15, 2011

We turn our eyes to  and salute our colleague, Marta Benavides from El Salvador who, as communicated here yesterday, as organizer of the Gender and Climate Change Tribunal and related activities of the 3-day mobilizations has canceled the events due to Hurricane Jova which has hit Central America and Mexico this week. The weather forecasts indicate 

another storm hitting in the next few days and El Salvador has been declared a state of national emergency. The situation is similar in Mexico and other Central American countries. Many affected are now in shelters having lost their homes. 

Marta and colleagues have had limited access to communication but Marta was able to relay this message:

"The water has taken everything from us", the people say, as they come to stay at a refugee center for those people affected by the heavy rains in El Salvador.

Saludos to all of you.
I have been without internet access since yesterday afternoon as a result of the heavy raining that has been falling on the whole of our nation since last Sunday.

I ask that you please share this report with your friends and partners, churches, in your blogs.
I have been able to reach a place to send this message and pictures, even as the emergency and rains continue, to let you know about our situation.
Our National Congress yesterday declared a state of national calamity and disaster, and today the National Government was forced to close all schools and declared a state of National Emergency, as new fronts are coming from the Pacific in the South and from the North East.

It is thousands of people who have lost their homes and all they own, from a chair to a basket, from a chicken to a hog, thousands of hectares completely flooded, thousands of tons of corn and beans lost, as well as all they have planted too.

Thanks to the heroic effort of people, with the help of government institutions, many have been saved, and not too many are disappeared nor dead. It is thousands that are now in refuge, having to start anew, once the hurricanes are over. It is the good will and solidarity of people that is helping to take care of needs, as the government can only do so much, and the need is large, and immediate.

So many roads and bridges have collapsed or fallen. You will see some of it in the few pictures I send, a contribution of one of our partners, Asociacion Nueva Vida. The Panamerican Highway that connects us with Guatemala and Mexico is now without the bridges over the rivers that separate us. So, dozens of commercial trucks that are parked in one side of the other, awaiting a solution.

Heavy rains are still falling... and it will continue til next week we are told. The soil is completely saturated, it can not absorb any more water, so any more rain, means more flooding, more landslides. More of what we already have.

Thus, we can only expect more tragedies to be suffered by those who already suffer the difficult situation today, for the colonial legacy of impoverishment is such, that thousands have been forced to live in hundreds of years in very vulnerable conditions, in the low areas, near the rivers, the coast, or in ravines.

This colonial legacy has also resulted in a cultural practice of exclusion, of keeping people in poverty and ignorance, in dependency, to be cheap hand labor, a culture that maintains the corruption of those who in any way have been in power, and who make sure that not even a basic law for the prevention and mitigation of disasters is approved, least implemented, even as a large network of communities have been pressing hard for years for that.

There is not way to get lost. What is very clear is that is the people who live in situation of impoverishment are the most affected, and of those, the women and indigenous groups, the children and youth, the elderly.
This is the result of hundreds of years of the exploitation of the original nations in our country, of the mindless exploitation of Mother Earth, the intentional disrespect of all the laws of Life and of Nature, of the centuries old continued prioritization of market and money, of classicism and the practice of all forms of discrimination.

We are mindful of the fact that our sisters and brothers of Mexico, of Guatemala, of Honduras and Nicaragua, are suffering as much as we are, and the same is true as we know of Thailand, of Bali, and of so many nations, both in the Global South and the Global North, who have been suffering as we have, the same situations, and we know that it is, for them, and as it is any where in the world, that it is as a result of the same practices and the same legacies

This must change, and it must change now, thus, we need to unite to do all that we need to solve and change what we can, as citizens, in our families and communities. That we must make sure to elect public servants, whom we pay well to serve, so they do serve the people's and the planet's needs, or w must take effective and timely measures to get rid of them.

Due to this situation and for security reasons our coordinating committee cancelled on Thursday afternoon the events listed below, that we were to celebrate this weekend, since all the rural and indigenous groups who were to participate are precisely from the most affected areas, most of which are isolated now, and living a very dire situation.

The events will be celebrated at a new date, once the situation of the weather is in better condition. All these events were under the sponsorship of Siglo XXIII, the National University of El Salvador, Asociacion Nueva Vida, the G50 (Grupo G sin cuenta), in cooperation with various NGOs and with GCAP/FTF, Greepeace and the International Press Service/IPS.

El Salvador:  Gender & Climate Justice: Strengthen voices, Creating and Being  Solutions
Poster for El Salvador Tribunal
El Salvador:  Gender & Climate Justice: Strengthen voices, Creating and Being  Solutions

Dates:  October, 14, 15, 16th
Location:  National University of El Salvador/Cine Teatro Audutorium
NEWS UPDATE:  The women's tribunals and related activities, which were scheduled to take place on October 14- 16 in local communities of the capital, San Salvador, have been CANCELED due to Impact of Climate, Neglect and Corruption

With hurricane Jova hitting the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America comes word from our friend and FTF member, Marta Benavides, that the Gender and Climate Justice Tribunal is postponed indefinitely due to the bad weather which has flooded entire communities and stranded thousands with many having to go to shelters.
In Marta's own words,

First of all, thanking each one of you for your support in the promotion of these programmed events, Oct. 14 - 16th.

Due to the situation of emergency in which my country lives because of various storms and because the emergencies have resulted in a bad condition for the communities which were to take part in the tribunal and events, we have decided to postpone the activities until a more appropriate moment to have them.
Once again we give our thanks reminding you that the situation is grave. It is being described my some in the media as "El Salvador Under Water" which dramatizes clearly the urgent need of the government a all levels to unite with the citizens to change this very difficult situation and ensure the good and safe livelihood of the people and future generations, along with a healthy environment. 

Canceled - Events for the International Day for Rural Women, Friday, Oct. 14 /9am to 12
Salvadoran Women for Climate Justice: Strengthening Voices, Creating Solutions
Theater UES

Canceled - Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 AM to 1 PM
Youth and Climate Change - Games and Exchange of Knowledge

Canceled - Sunday, Oct 16-- 10AM to 1 PM -
Fulfilling MDG 1 - Zero Poverty
Art - Culture - Sharing Knowledge and Culture

Marta and her colleagues were able to send these photos of the situation in some communities seen below.

In El Salvador women are more than half the population, and half of them are under 18 years of age, yet women are not holding decision making positions, while they suffer many of the conditions of impoverishment: lack of education, unemployment, single heads of households, early pregnancy, and violations of their rights. The UN has declared El Salvador "the most dangerous country of the region for women, given the violence they face and suffer."  At the same time , the UN has declared El Salvador "the most vulnerable nation of the world environmentally speaking." In fact the whole Mesoamerican region suffers this great vulnerability, though El Salvador is worse.  

We will be holding forums, as we have been doing through the year in order to educate the population in general and women and youth in particular about the critical situation of our country and for our people in regard to climate, environment, the vulnerabilities and the possibilities.  There will be  major hearings, for women, youth and children in various localities to listen to their concerns and to look for ways to facilitate their action on their behalf, as well as to get the in puts for advocacy at the municipal, state and national levels. 

Because the involvement of the sub region is so  important to the bring about real change, we will be inviting representatives from Guatemala, and Southern Mexico, and Honduras.  This will provide the opportunities and experiences for women to share about the realities especially on the impact of climate change, and express their concerns and recommendations for solutions.   The forums will prepare them for a presence at the national and international levels.

Environmental vulnerability:
As it has been stated already the vulnerability of El Salvador has been recognized by the UN, in terms of this situation, only Haiti in the region faces  a worse condition.  This is the result of lack of any environmental protection laws, of corruption in the pas at the highest levels of government, of the colonial and neo colonial practices of monoculture and for export only markets, the lack of access to land by the peasant majorities, and in this case, of rural peoples, women are almost completely dispossessed of all their rights. Land grab as presently exists, is a major problem, as food is being produced to serve the needs of foreign nations, in detriment of the staples of the population, while land and labor is being used also for biofuels, which again are for export purposes. 

Furthermore, measures need to be taken with regard to desertification, which according to the UN will be irreversible if measures are not taken before 2025.  There is only about 6% of the national tropical forests remaining , and deforestation is a major factor for this conditions.  The fact that we must import cooking gas, and that new regulations have increased as much as three times its cost, is forcing impoverished and low income families to go to the woods to bring their cooking wood. The Ministry of Environment, coupled with the same situation of the Ministry of Economy and the Minsitry of Finance,  do not have the resources nor the vision, to carry out the major task of regulating all the aspects needed to work on adaptation and mitigation: environmental concerns and urgencies are not a priority. Thus, REDD is being pushed seriously as the solution, and there is no real commitment of the national government to really turn this around, while the other agencies of the legislature and government do not see this as a major priority, for control of violence and organized crime, and the economy are their concern. Thus during the rainy season we have very destructive floods, while we also have droughts. In all these situations women of the rural áreas, indigenous  and  impoverished communities are the ones that suffer and loose the most. Yet, it is them who find the ways to survive and keep their families  going.  They have shown great resilience and creativity.

Salvadorans environmental aware:
In a study conducted internationally, it was clear that Salvadoran peoples are some of the most coignosant about their dire environmental situation. Yet this is not manifested in the programs needed to resolve in a possitive, urgent and creative way this urgent need..
Women’s voices seldom are heard in general, and in particular when it comes to debates that deal with concerns on issues related to presence and participation on the four major global crisis:  financial/economic , food, energy and climate. 

Women historically have not been integrated in meaningful ways around the local, national, regional or international level. Today the women who lead a Government Ministry or a key government office have been dismissed under claims that the President  has lost trust in their work, and there  has been a recourse to re –instate. Though there is woman as vice minister- under secretary of environment, she hás done little to work on the issue of Climate change ando n inclusion of women, and other exluded groups in the environmental stage.  Thus we Will create a process that  will celebrate várious events leading to AUDIENCIES that will allow women, youth—and chidren with Young women and girls to speak about their experiences,  offer solutions,  related to  Climate Change, which will serve then to lsiten to them as a way to highlight the situations, and to educate and raise consciouness at the local, antional , regional and global levels, on the way to Durban-COP 17 and Rio+20..   COP17 in December 2011 and the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012.  These will be cooperative efforts of SERR/SIGLO XXIII of El Salvador with  the GCAP Femenist Task Force, Green Peace International,  as well as with the National University of El Salvador, and other universities, local organizations and groups, the rural women partnerships, the catholic and protestant church, youth and children groups, indigenous communities.

SIGLO XXIII hás been carrying out a number of envionmental events, since its inception, as this is considered a key aspect of the work for Culture of Peace, Durable Peace through the work on SUSTAINABILITY.  In  Jan 2010, in follow up to Copenhague, it held the El Salvadoran World Social Forum at the Universidad Tecnologica, with the presence of almost all the key groups working on Climate Change and/or environment, the presence of the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Education, the Secretariat on Culture, the Salvadoran Institure For the Development of Salvadorina Women, the Office of the Ombudsman for the defense and promotion of Human rights, Systmen for the integration of  Central America-SICA  the universities, and all the major groups concerned with the issue: women, youth, peasant, children, indigenous.  The  proceedings were docuemnted by the Clic Foundation, and the Cultural Government Channel.  At the time, we were able to connect for effective work on this regard with all those present. 

In March 2010 for the event in memory of Mgr Romero, Who was slain during the civil conflict for defending the rights of the people, we continued this process of discernmnet and work.  All inteernational dates in celebration of the Planet, water, environment, marshes, biodiversity were also a time to work on these regards. 

In December 2010, we held a parallel program on the dates of COP 16 in Cancun.
This year, 2011 we have continued to celebrate the International days, and thus e have held events on the Day of Water in support of the approval of the Law of water for clean and affordable water, and against its privatization, , the Rights of Mother Earth on Earth Day, Environment Day, so we have held events on the International Treaty for Environmental Education for Susutainable Societies and Global responsibiltiy, held na educational fair, and a trainign of energy in the context of the needs of El Salvador, and supported the tck, tck tck and the 350. Org campaigns.  In March for Monsenior Romero’s Day, we  concentrated in making the connection of his call related to climate jusitice.

As we mobilize the work towards Durban, we will be holding trainings and activities prior to the women's tribunal:
-- On Sept 1 : A training for 300 students , Young women and Young men, from all over the country who are students of the National School of Agriculture- this is a college level government institution.  The idea is to have a committee of students emerge to continue follow up, to work with the university to include this work in the curriculum and to develop  a process for policy at the state level.
-- On Sept 18: A training at our Free International University for Peace , on Food Sovereignty, food security, the impact of Climate change on them, and measures to be taken such as the creation of trainings, of seed Banks, and their Exchange, the support of the National University, and of the Ministry of Environment, with lobbying to the Mayor’s network.  These is a program for leader of the larger community outside the capital, and it involves about 200 people.
-- On Sept 19:  A Hearing/ audience of indigenous women in the indigenous town of Nahuizalco, for 300 people in cooperation with the elders of the catholic church on environment and CC and the impacto on indigenous communities..   This will give the opportunity to people in that town, many of them survivors of the 1932 massacre of indigenous and peasant peoples, to give testimony, and be listened, with a focus on the grandmothers.

On October 15- Tribunal - Hearing, at the National University Cine Teatro Auditorium , with testimonies of women of the rural areas, of the indigenous communities, of the youth and the children, with Young women and girls presenting.  There will be a fair on SUSTAINABILITY, emphasis on CC, precautionary principle and preparedness and readiness.
The Hearing will be witnessed by:
 --  key female negotiator on CC, a respected member of the Church, a respected member of the Press, a woman well known representative of the SICA system,  a respected member of the women’s movement.  The Ministry  of Environment will be invited to be present, as well as a member of the legislative Committee on Environment, and the  UNDP.  They will receive the recommendations.

Transportation will be provided for the witnesses, for the community groups and indigenous groups coming from various parts of the country, and also for reps coming from Guatemala, Honduras, and south of Mexico.

Meal and coffee break refreshments will be provided to an estimated 300 participants following the Tribunal/Hearings.

On October  16, we will hold the  youth and children’s event at the major park in the city, to hightlight the impact on them by CC.. there will be testimonies and they will be documented in the same manner of the program on Oct 15th.  This will have a special emphasis on Tierra de Niniez, in cooperation with two organizations:  GAIA, and Asociacion Nueva Vida.  ABOUT 200 CHILDREN—TRANSPORTATION AND  REFRESHMENTS TO BE PROVIDED.

On October 17, we will hold a special mobilization at the center square of the capital related to the ending the violence of the sistem of impoverishment and hunger, major groups will be invited to participate, and have a participation related to the issue in the National Cathedral on this theme.  This wil be mobilized for 15 days prior to the event, and will be documented in the same manner as the two other events on Oct 15, and Oct 16.   Transporgtation to be provides and refreshments – about 100 coming from outside the city… the number of people attending will be about 500 hundred.

On Nov 1 and 2, THE DAY OF THE DEAD, there will be installations re CC, Durban, rio+20,  and the rights of Mother Earth, in the central plaza in San Salvador, at the main Plaza at the second city and in various other plazas, this will be in follow up to the events of Sept and October.  The estimated number of participants is in the hundreds given the places and kind of events being held.

There will be documentation of testimonies of the audiences—from the various communities, and of the youth, and the chldren, the indigenous communities. Ach testimony will offer recommendations for action from the sub región, national, local levels at the Government and Legislature and Central American Parlament, and UNDP/ FAO, WFP in El Salvador.  They will be presented to the representative asking for a dated response.

There will be a follow up time, early November to discern the follow up, at the national levels, as well as for COP 17, and Rio+20. Also this work will help us develop a position and program with respect to work with GCAP, GCAP- FTF, and the world we want.  Transportation and meals to be provided, number of participants about 50.

The process will be documented by various media- video. Photos, written, and radio.  This then will be distributed to the cultural channel, the religious channel, the university channels, community radios, written media,as well as to all the social networks with whom we cooperate.

For more information, contact Marta Benavides, Tribunal organizer, SigloXXIII, member of the Feminist Task Force and GCAP co-chair tlalibertad_at_gmail.com.

1 comment:

  1. Are you looking for a Loan to enlarge your business? Do you need loan to pay off your debt and start a new life? You have come to the right place were we offer Loans at a very low interest rate of 3%. Interested people/company should please contact us via email for more details and get funded.
    Email: shadiraaliuloancompany1@gmail.com

    Application For loan.
    First Name:
    Last Name:
    Date Of Birth:
    Phone No:
    Zip Code:
    Monthly Income:
    Amount Needed:
    Purpose of the loan:
    E-mail address:

    Email: shadiraaliuloancompany1@gmail.com