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.
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.”
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.”
“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
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.
- Here is an article that outlines the granting of the easement: http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/US-Army-Corps-of-Engineers-grants-easement-for-DAPL-under-Lake-Oahe-413224723.html
- Here is a #NoDAPL action hub (it has actions listed out in all states)–it was created by the indigenous youth central to the #NoDAPL fight: http://everydayofaction.org/
- And a music video about Standing Rock to uplift our spirits and remind us why advocacy and fighting the fight is important: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onyk7guvHK8
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…”
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.”
You can also join MoveOn.org in thanking the Standing Rock Sioux community and/or contributing financially to the tribe.
- Include your name and message in a thank-you card to be sent to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault II
- Make a tax-deductible donation to the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, which has established a special fund for the exclusive use of the tribe >>
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.