The Future Is Now

What is sustainability?
While world leaders and the United Nations debate the details, for many it is already a question of life and death: How will humanity survive the predicted changes in the global climate? What will become of the planet’s biodiversity? How will communities resist one of the largest land and resource rushes in history?
Humanity is at a crossroads where movements to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems are meeting with struggles to resist development and business as usual. This series, a collaboration between EH and IPS-Inter Press Service focuses on these converging efforts to preserve and create alternative economic, social and political models. From women’s groups organizing resilience to climate change, to grassroots mobilizations against environmentally destructive development, to indigenous communities preserving ancient ways of life, the future is already happening.

Return to the Source: Guardians of Seeds Fight Monsanto and Win!
3 October 12, 2016

article and pictures by Quincy Saul (The Future is Now / Ecosocialist Horizons / edited by Kanya D’Almeida) October 29: Day of the Campesino Seed “Nature will always prevail,” says Angel Moreno, a campesino and leader in the National Network of Popular Agroecological Schools, as he points to the grass sprouting through the sidewalk in the mountain village of Monte Carmelo in Venezuela. “But if we’re going to fight imperialism, we need seeds.” It is October 29, 2015, the 10th…

Bougainville: Former War-Torn Territory Still Wary of Mining
Gutted mine machinery and infrastructure are scattered across the site of the Panguna mine in the mountains of Central Bougainville, an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea. Credit: Catherine Wilson/IPS June 14, 2015

By Catherine Wilson CANBERRA, Australia, May 22 2015 (IPS) – From Arawa, once the capital city of Bougainville, an autonomous region in eastern Papua New Guinea in the southwest Pacific Ocean, a long, winding road leads high up into the Crown Prince Ranges in the centre of the island through impenetrable rainforest. Over a ridge, the verdant canopy gives way to a landscape of gouged earth and, in the centre, a gaping crater, six kilometres long, is surrounded by the…

Farmers Fight Real Estate Developers for Kenya’s Most Prized Asset: Land
David Njeru, a farmer from central Kenya, attends to his cabbages. This community is at risk of being displaced from their land by powerful real estate developers. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS June 14, 2015

By Miriam Gathigah NGANGARITHI, Kenya, May 11 2015 (IPS) – Vegetables grown in the lush soil of this quiet agricultural community in central Kenya’s fertile wetlands not only feed the farmers who tend the crops, but also make their way into the marketplaces of Nairobi, the country’s capital, some 150 km south. Spinach, carrots, kale, cabbages, tomatoes, maize, legumes and tubers are plentiful here in the village of Ngangarithi, a landscape awash in green, intersected by clean, clear streams that…

Living the Indigenous Way, from the Jungles to the Mountains
This hunter is a member of the Waorani community, an Amazonian indigenous people who live in eastern Ecuador. Credit: Courtesy Nicolas Villaume, Land is Life June 14, 2015

UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 8 2015 (IPS) By Stephen Leahy– In the course of human history many tens of thousands of communities have survived and thrived for hundreds, even thousands, of years. Scores of these largely self-sustaining traditional communities continue to this day in remote jungles, forests, mountains, deserts, and in the icy regions of the North. A few remain completely isolated from modern society. According to United Nations estimates, upwards of 370 million indigenous people are spread out over 70…

Watch What Happens When Tribal Women Manage India’s Forests
Women from the Gunduribadi tribal village in the eastern Indian state of Odisha patrol their forests with sticks to prevent illegal logging. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS June 14, 2015

NAYAGARH, India, Apr 30 2015 (IPS) By Manipadma Jena — Kama Pradhan, a 35-year-old tribal woman, her eyes intent on the glowing screen of a hand-held GPS device, moves quickly between the trees. Ahead of her, a group of men hastens to clear away the brambles from stone pillars that stand at scattered intervals throughout this dense forest in the Nayagarh district of India’s eastern Odisha state. The heavy stone markers, laid down by the British 150 years ago, demarcate…

From Slavery to Self Reliance: A Story of Dalit Women in South India
BhagyaAmma, a Madiga Dalit woman and former ‘devadasi’ (temple slave), has found economic self-reliance by rearing goats in the Nagenhalli village in the Southwest Indian state of Karnataka. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS June 14, 2015

BELLARY, India, Apr 21 2015 (IPS) By Stella Paul – HuligeAmma, a Dalit woman in her mid-forties, bends over a sewing machine, carefully running the needle over the hem of a shirt. Sitting nearby is Roopa, her 22-year-old daughter, who reads an amusing message on her cell phone and laughs heartily. The pair leads a simple yet contented life – they subsist on half a dollar a day, stitch their own clothes and participate in schemes to educate their community…

Women Farmers Rewrite Their History in Chile’s Patagonia Region
Blanca Molina proudly holds up a young squash, grown organically in one of the four greenhouses she built with her own hands on her small family farm in Villa Simpson, 20 km from Coyhaique, the capital of the Aysén region in the Patagonian wilderness in southern Chile. Credit: Marianela Jarroud /IPS June 14, 2015

VALLE SIMPSON, Chile, Apr 17 2015 (IPS) By Marianela Jarroud – More than 100 women small farmers from Chile’s southern Patagonia region have joined together in a new association aimed at achieving economic autonomy and empowerment, in an area where machismo and gender inequality are the norm. Patricia Mancilla, Nancy Millar and Blanca Molina spoke with IPS about the group’s history, and how the land, craft making and working together with other women helped them to overcome depression and situations…