A Bronze Statue of My Ancestor: Reflections on Reparations

Twilight of the Idols In the town square of Salem Massachusetts stands a bronze statue of my ancestor, Roger Conant. An imposing, imperious white man – what statue in a Massachusetts town common is not of a white man? – Conant looks grimly out from beneath his tall pilgrim hat and his windblown cape. TheContinue reading “A Bronze Statue of My Ancestor: Reflections on Reparations”

We need our tropical forests more than ever

by Jeff Conant, senior international forests program manager Mar 31, 2020 · Reposted from Medium ·  6 min read “When we try to pick out something by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” — John Muir The rapid worldwide spread of coronavirus is proving to be a massive shock to everything we know,Continue reading “We need our tropical forests more than ever”

Momentum is growing for demand-side regulations on deforestation – here’s why regulation is an imperative

By Jeff Conant 21 March, 2020 :: Published on the Platform of the New York Declaration on Forests The 2019 assessment of progress five years after the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) was created is discouraging to say the least. Global tree cover loss has increased by 43 percent since the declaration was made, and monthsContinue reading “Momentum is growing for demand-side regulations on deforestation – here’s why regulation is an imperative”

Gender justice, climate justice and the abuses of the industrial plantation model in Africa

An interview with Rita Uwaka, Friends of the Earth Nigeria By Jeff Conant, Senior International Forest Program Manager, Friends of the Earth U.S. Rita Uwaka is an environmental, social and gender justice activist with Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Coordinator of the Forest & Biodiversity program at Friends of the Earth Africa.Continue reading “Gender justice, climate justice and the abuses of the industrial plantation model in Africa”

I do not want this “development”

Julio Monsalvo is an Argentine doctor and people’s health activist I’ve met along the way, a wild bearded Diogenes on a Guevara-esque crusade to serve the poor in wealth by elevating the riches of the spirit. He coined the Spanish medical term “alta alegremia,” meaning “the level of happiness in the blood” — an important diagnostic.Continue reading “I do not want this “development””

Their opulence is our destruction: the meaning of living well for the Tseltal and Tsotsil Mayans of Chiapas

A dialogue with Pedro Hernández Luna and Miguel Sanchez Alvarez concerning el lekil kuxlejal, June 29, 2013 By Jeff Conant In Chiapas, Mexico there is a joke that goes, “How many people are there in a Tsotsil family (Tsotsil being one of the region’s twelve indigenous ethnicities)? The answer is, the mother, the father, theContinue reading “Their opulence is our destruction: the meaning of living well for the Tseltal and Tsotsil Mayans of Chiapas”

Life and Dreams of the Perla River Valley: A River that Runs through History

In April, 1998 after most of three years in Chiapas, Mexico, installing drinking water systems in villages supporting the Zapatista struggle, the village I was in, called Taniperla, was invaded and occupied by Mexican military. It happened that, in Taniperla, an artist named Sergio Valdez Ruvalcaba had guided the painting of a mural celebrating villageContinue reading “Life and Dreams of the Perla River Valley: A River that Runs through History”

Planning for Climate Disaster: Resilient Communities Respond

From the latest issue of Race, Poverty & the Environment By Jeff Conant After months of silence on the presidential campaign—preceded by years of denial by big industry—climate change was forced back into the national political conversation last October by Hurricane Sandy, which swept across the northeastern U.S. A New York Times opinion piece entitled,Continue reading “Planning for Climate Disaster: Resilient Communities Respond”

The Dark Side of the “Green Economy”

  By Jeff Conant Photo by Ben Powless. YES! Magazine, August, 2012 — Everywhere you look these days, things are turning green. In Chiapas, Mexico, indigenous farmers are being paid to protect the last vast stretch of rainforest in Mesoamerica. In the Brazilian Amazon, peasant families are given a monthly “green basket” of basic foodContinue reading “The Dark Side of the “Green Economy””