New Water Justice Guides

Water & Sanitation: A People’s Guide to SDG 6

We work with the Mining Working Group, which has published the Water Justice Guide, available online and now in hardcopy, as a People’s Guide to SDG 6. The SDGs can support advocacy of citizens and communities in pushing their governments towards human rights a human rights approach. The guide unpacks the issues in SDG 6 and concludes with ways to use the UN system, including engaging the human rights system, connecting with Special Rapporteurs, using reports to review a government’s efforts to date, and making statements in the Universal Periodic Review process.  Local communities as well as international NGOs all have roles in holding governments accountable to their people and their international agreements. 

https://miningwg.com/resources-2/water-justice-guide/

 

Water for Sale

The MWG is sharing a new report by Maude Barlow released by the Council of Canadians about the impacts of free trade on water. “The report highlights the impacts decades of trade agreements have had on global freshwater supplies and on the human rights  to water and sanitation. It warns of the dire consequences of a new generation of trade agreements and calls for a drastically different trade regime that would protect people and the environment.”

https://canadians.org/sites/default/files/publications/waterforsale.pdf

 

 

The Invisible Crisis: Water Unaffordability in the United States

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee has released a new report by Patricia A. Jones and Amber Moulton. “This report seeks to describe the real human impacts caused by the lack of universal access to safe, affordable water and sanitation in the United States and documents the responses to this challenge by activists from affected communities, civil society, governments, and service providers. It argues for a concerted effort at the national, state, local, and municipal level to study and remedy the crisis of unaffordable water in the United States.”

http://www.uusc.org/sites/default/files/the_invisible_crisis_web.pdf

New Human Right to Water Guide

The Temple of Understanding is part of the UN Mining Working Group, the sponsor of this important new guide to water justice.

“Safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are not only essential human rights, but are integrally linked to broader efforts to provide well-being and dignity to all people. I commend Member States for recognizing the right to water and to sanitation in the 2030 Agenda, and for adopting Sustainable Development Goal 6 to realize it.” –Jan Eliasson, Deputy UN Secretary General

Click to read Water & Sanitation: A People’s Guide to SDG 6 >>

 

 

 

 

#NoDAPL – Comfort and Action as Construction Resumes

Via the Mining Working Group at the UN:

As I am sure many of you have heard, the easement has been granted for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While I am deeply heartbroken, I think it’s crucial to stay involved and aware of all coming updates and opportunities to unite.
 
 
 
We also recommend the Viceland series on Standing Rock, one of the best collections of footage of the demonstrations.
 
 

Dakota Pipeline Halted — Take Action to Stop the Construction for Good #StandingRock #NoDAPL

On December 4, the department of the Army announced that it will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes…”

Read the complete statement at StandWithStandingRock.net >>

 

Take Action

But the fight is not over! So long as the project is still being funded, it may move forward at a later date. Please take action to cut off the Dakota Pipeline’s funding.

“While the US Army Corps continues its consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the river crossing, the Dakota Access pipeline project is in financial jeopardy.  It is likely impossible for the company to meet its January 1 deadline, and if it does not, producers and shippers who two years ago committed to use the pipeline will have the option to renegotiate or even terminate their contracts… In August, a group of banks agreed to lend $2.5 billion to Dakota Access. But $1.4 billion of this loan is still on hold until the Army Corps grants the final permits for the pipeline. This means that there is still time for the banks involved in this loan to cut their line of credit.”

Target the 17 banks funding the pipeline and demand they divest from the project — read more on HonorEarth.org >>

You can also join MoveOn.org in thanking the Standing Rock Sioux community and/or contributing financially to the tribe.

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TOU Stands with Standing Rock #StandingRock #NoDAPL

Standing with Standing Rock

The Temple of Understanding stands with Standing Rock! Grove Harris, our Main Representative to the United Nations, is pictured (third from the right) with interns from Peace Boat US, which does peace missions around the world. This shot was taken on Nov. 15 on the way to a rally in support of Standing Rock protesters.

Demand that your bank stop financially supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline

Via SumOfUs.org:

Over 100 water protectors were brutally arrested by Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) security forces — some locked in dog kennels and shot at with rubber bullets and pepper spray — just for standing up for their ancestral lands and our most precious resource, water.

Thousands have peacefully gathered in person and in solidarity to stop this 570,000 barrel-per-day pipeline that would endanger the water and ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux. People around the world have donated, showed up in person, and millions used Facebook’s ‘check in’ function in solidarity just this week.

And while this inspiring work is going on, the banks that we use every day are backing the project with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and investment each.

Demand that your bank stop financially supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline and associated projects such as Energy Transfer now. >>

Big News! Norway-based Bank DNB just announced it is reconsidering its financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline project. This is thanks your support and the brave water defenders who have been on the front lines standing up for the ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux and our water.

 

Please add your name to the petition!

Parliament of the World’s Religions Statement on Standing Rock #NoDAPL #StandingRock

Parliament Standing Rock

[Reprinted from the Parliament newsletter]

Today, representatives of the Parliament of the World’s Religions leadership have arrived in North Dakota to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Parliament Vice-Chair Andras Corban-Arthen leads the delegation meeting with the camp organizers. He will present a Parliament statement (follows below) supporting the protest of the DAPL and upholding the dignity, rights and freedoms of our Indigenous siblings by sharing our commitments around the camp’s Sacred Fire. This statement conveys our collective support as a global interfaith community and is co-signed by:

  • Chair of the Board of Trustees Dr. Robert Sellers
  • Executive Director Dr. Larry Greenfield
  • Vice-Chair Dr. Kusumita Petersen
  • Chair of the Indigenous Task Force Lewis Cardinal
  • Parliament of the World’s Religions Special Ambassador on Climate Change Ms. Karenna Gore

If you wish to act with us, below are a few critical points on how you can best support the Standing Rock Sioux. This information comes to us through our contacts on-site:

  • The most important thing is to come to the camp and stand with the Water Protectors as a physical presence.
  • Apply pressure to political leaders. It is critical that we move quickly in our actions before U.S. President Obama leaves office in January.
  • Visit www.standwithstandingrock.net for information and oppportunities to offer financial support. Of the 1.5 million dollars that has come in support of the Water Protectors, more than half has gone to legal fees. No money has been allocated to the 400 people who have been arrested, including 14 clergy members arrested in Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • For those who can physically come to the camp, extra supplies are needed. In addition to your own supply, please try to bring food and water cold weather clothing (mitts, jackets, scarves, and hats) for other Water Protectors.
  • nativechildrenssurvival.org is another good resource for information.

For those able and interested to travel to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, please contact the Parliament for direct information of our on-site contacts, and to offer your own aid in coordinating additional efforts.

Thank you for your support.

Your Friends at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

A Statement on Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

from the Parliament of the World’s Religions


At the 2015 Parliament in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Parliament of the World’s Religions adopted several statements including an Indigenous People’s Declaration for Action and An Interfaith Call to Action on Climate Change. We encourage everyone to sign these declarations. The people confronting the ongoing crisis in North Dakota are representative of the action these declarations call for. The following is an excerpt from the Indigenous Declaration.

An End to the Desecration of Sacred Sites

“We hold the Ancestors, the Mother Earth, Forces of Nature, mountains, rivers, oceans, streams, trees, winds, storms, and all living beings as sacred and worthy of reverence. This worldview is the key to reversing the path of disaster on which all inhabitants of our sacred Mother Earth tread. We invite all Brothers and Sisters of the Creator to invoke and respect the divine spirits of the natural world, thereby ending their desecration.”

– Indigenous Peoples’ Declaration for Action, Parliament of the World’s Religions, 2015, Salt Lake City, USA

 

A Statement On Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

The Parliament of the World’s Religions denies any purported “rights” of the Dakota Access Pipeline to trespass on, build upon, and subsequently endanger the sacred land and water of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. We do not speak for the peoples whose sacred sites and waterways are under attack. Instead we respond to a call from our 2015 Parliament keynote speaker Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, and we are inviting you to join us in answering that call:

“What we are being faced with is a dark spirit. All life cannot afford to allow the same mistakes to be made any longer. Look what is happening to the four directions in the contamination of MniWic’oni – the water of life…”

“We are asking the religious leaders to come support them to stand side by side with them [the protestors at Standing Rock] because they are standing in prayer.”

– Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Nations

 

The desecration of sacred sites, for profit or otherwise, is both an unjustifiable practice and a violation of the basic human right of religious freedom. This desecration is especially unacceptable when, as in this case, it is perpetrated against peoples who have weathered a long history of abuse for the sake of material wealth, land, and resources in both the recent and distant history of the United States.

The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline is an attempt to desecrate the sacred, to corrupt the life that flows from the water and grows from the soil, and to silence the voices speaking out in protest. And while the people at Standing Rock have brought an incredible level of visibility to the abuses happening there, the fight does not belong exclusively to them; it is our responsibility as humans and as people of faith to join them in that fight.

Since the centenary Parliament of 1993, the participation of Indigenous Peoples in Parliament events (in the USA, Africa, Europe, and Australia) has been crucial in making the Parliament of the World’s Religions what it now is. In this present environmental crisis, we have once again been granted an opportunity to embrace the unique and deep spirituality that comes from the land and those who guard it, to find common ground with one another and to experience the beautiful reciprocity that comes from sharing our beliefs, cultures, and our common home. We must not squander this chance to listen to those who have been so often silenced in the past.

Organized and well-funded violence is taking place in rural North Dakota, deployed against these protesters as they stand peacefully against further violence being committed against the Earth. It is another example of unchecked commercial entities endangering the common good for profit, a massive step backwards in the move away from fossil fuel reliance, and a clear instance of oppression.

It is time to join with these Protectors and to stand up to this exploitation of natural resources and the people that they sustain, in the name of the Mother Earth who nurtures all of us.

– The Parliament of the World’s Religions

* * * *

We do not and will never advocate repaying violence with violence in this protest or in others. For peaceful and practical ways to help protect the land and the water endangered by the DAPL and to support the people who are standing against it, here are some actions you can take:

Visit: http://www.nodaplarchive.com

Contact North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200 and leave a message stating your opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 to ask President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Call the Army Corps of Engineers at 202-761-5903 and demand that they rescind the permit.

End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock #Standing Rock #NoDAPL

A film project documenting the Dakota Access pipeline protests at Standing Rock!

This short film features an exclusive interview with Sky Bird Black Owl, first woman to give birth at the Standing Rock Protests. The filmmakers ask that you please watch, like, share, and donate what you can. With your help, the voices of the women of Standing Rock will be heard.

Click the image to view the film.

End of the Line The Women of Standing Rock

Dakota Access pipeline protests: UN group investigates human rights abuses

Via The Guardian:

A United Nations group is investigating allegations of human rights abuses by North Dakota law enforcement against Native American protesters, with indigenous leaders testifying about “acts of war” they observed during mass arrests at an oil pipeline protest.

A representative of the UN’s permanent forum on indigenous issues, an advisory group, has been collecting testimony from Dakota Access pipeline protesters who have raised concerns about excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where some activists have been held in cages.

“When you look at what the international standards are for the treatment of people, and you are in a place like the United States, it’s really astounding to hear some of this testimony,” said Roberto Borrero, a representative of the International Indian Treaty Council.

Read more on human rights abuses at the Dakota Access pipeline protests >>

Crucial Win for El Salvador: No Compensation for Denied Mining Permits

From the New York Times:

MEXICO CITY — The government of El Salvador won a long-running legal battle on Friday when an international arbitration panel ruled that it did not have to pay compensation to a mining company that was denied a concession to drill for gold.

The case had been watched by antimining activists, who had pointed to it as a test of the rights of governments to make laws protecting their citizens’ health and the environment against challenges from corporations.

The panel, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, at the World Bank in Washington, accepted El Salvador’s argument that the company, Pac Rim Cayman, did not meet all the legal requirements to receive a permit.

The ruling was a relief to the Salvadoran government, which faced a demand for $314 million in compensation from Pac Rim Cayman for the loss of expected profits from the mining venture.

“What is clear is that investments are welcome if they respect institutions, if they respect the environment and health,” Lina Pohl, El Salvador’s environment minister, said in a phone interview from San Salvador, the capital.

Read more: El Salvador Wins Dispute Over Denying a Mining Permit >>