[Juhani Klemetti] I had recently a pleasure to join Siemenpuu’s Mekong program’s project monitoring and designing trip to Myanmar. We traveled together with the Siemenpuu’s local partner organization Mekong Energy and Ecology Network (MEE Net) to Yangon and then to Shan state. MEE Net held a two-day training workshop on conducting Community-centered Strategic Environmental Assessment (C-SEA) in Danu Special Administration Zone in Southwestern Shan state.


[Marko Ulvila] One of the challenges, that various movement groups and organisations working for a common cause are facing, is the fruitful framework for collaboration. There are ideological, organisational and practical reasons why there is a tendency to work separately on a limited aspects of a larger problem or a vision.


[Marko Ulvila] In 2000, Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer introduced the term anthropocene (pdf) to describe a new geological epoch caused by human activity. Since then the idea has gained acceptance and popularity. Now there is scientific journal with that name, and newspapers write how humans are now leaving a mark on a geological scale.


It's Friday 20th of November in Bamako, Mali. This morning, the news upon waking up in my hotel was given by a colleague that an attack and hostage taking is going on at the Radisson hotel downtown. In the following moments it sinks in, that this is the same hotel where we were yesterday with our partner Mali Folkecenter (MFC) for the third event of this year's FENA national environmental forum, and where we were meant to be continuing today.  The second day's discussions were supposed to be on renewable energy in Mali. As I am writing this blog, some hostages are being released.


The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs recently stunned solidarity-oriented citizens,  when delivering its news on new austerity measures, extended now to the world’s poorest countries. By cutting development cooperation aid, it is sending a disturbing message; the breach of promises by the richer nations to mitigate climate change as it affects the over-exploited, poor countries of the planet. The “aid”, after all, has not been charity, but a token contribution to countries to which the Western world owes a huge historic debt.


"While the forest is not ours, we're still fighting for it."

Peter Kitelo comes from Kenya, and he's saying out loud what many must be thinking. Kitelo represents the ogiek community of Mt. Elgon forest. The people do not own the land where they have been living for generations. But the land is all they have, which makes them conserve it.


On Wednesday 2nd of September the Fostering Community Conservation Conference, organised by Global forest Coalition in Durban started by summarising the results on previous evening's discussions on possible solutions in respect to the threats the communities are facing.


- Development NGOs are challenging the government’s decision

The new centre-right government of Finland has decided to reduce the budget for development co-operation by 43 %. The cuts will start already this year by no more directing income from emission allowance auctions to development cooperation. This amount is estimated to be some 70 million euros. The big cut of 300 million euros would be done in the 2016 budget. These two combined would mean a cut of 43 percent compared to 2014. The funds available for helping the world’s poor were then 870 million euros.


The excellent gold mining and extractivism related seminar here in Helsinki on 22 May 2015 brought back in mind some personal experiences from years back. Those experiences could be seen as one example of the principle, that a disaster to many is usually a road to riches to some people at the same time.


The World Social Forum in Tunis brought together in March thousands of organisations and tens of thousands of participants from more than a hundred countries to share and energize each other on the way to another world. My interest this time was on how the discussions for a coherent and viable alternative to the dominant and destructive world system are building up.