Tag Archives: farmers

How Are AJWS Grantees Affected by Climate Change?

This week, on the heels of the historic People’s Climate March, world leaders will convene for the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit in New York City to take action against the dangerous consequences of climate change. While the world’s developed countries have been the largest producers of carbon dioxide emissions, the world’s poorest countries are unjustly paying the highest price. Communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are experiencing droughts, sea-level rises, stronger storms, warmer temperatures, unpredictable rains, the depletion of habitable land, and severe weather patterns that are leaving people hungry, disrupting their livelihoods and forcing them to abandon their homes. At the Climate Summit, world leaders must create a vision that will incorporate a human rights framework to protect the world’s poorest communities.

Here’s how some of our grantees and their communities have been affected by climate change and how they’re working to build a healthier planet:

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Human Rights in 2013: Our End-of-Year Top 10

As we get ready for the New Year, we’re also taking a moment to celebrate the joys and victories in human rights that took place in 2013—an exciting and tumultuous year for human rights around the globe. Read on for 10 human rights happenings that AJWS celebrated in 2013, listed in chronological order. Let’s celebrate the strides we’ve made together and take heart for the work still ahead of us!

10.  India: Supreme Court ruling upholds indigenous people’s rights over contested land (April 2013)

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Children from the Dongria Kondh community. Credit: Survival International

In a landmark ruling, India’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal that would have allowed a UK-based company, Vedanta Resources, to mine the Niyamgiri hills. The court recognized the indigenous community of Dongria Kondh‘s right to the land, which they make a living from and worship as part of their traditional beliefs. The ruling affirmed that people with religious and cultural rights to land must be involved in decisions about how to use it.

This marked a major win for the rights of indigenous people in India, and it shows the power of social action. Thousands of protesters rallied to protest the mining effort last December, and hundreds of Dongria pledged to stay in the Niyamgiri hills.

1st item video screengrab

Click to watch Survival International’s video story on the mine. A new window will open.

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Facing a Food Crisis: The Ingenuity of Haitian Farmers

Originally posted on The Jew and the Carrot.

With Passover around the corner, many of us are poised to recite the words, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” But when nearly 1 billion people around the world are hungry or malnourished, these words become acutely daunting—particularly for communities recovering from disasters.

More than three years after a major earthquake ravaged Haiti, the country is still struggling to recover. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of problems: homelessness, violence, political corruption and, perhaps most severe, a shortage of food—resulting in hunger. In November 2012, these crises were further exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy, which ripped through Haiti before wreaking havoc in New York and New Jersey. Read More »

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The Farm Bill and You

Originally posted on Pursue: Action for a Just World.

The U.S. Farm Bill is a piece of legislation that is reauthorized every five to seven years. It covers many food-related government programs like SNAP in addition to international food aid programs. With the failure of the Super Committee to sneak the Farm Bill in under the rug, we have an opportunity, as Congress breaks for winter, to make sure that food aid and food justice are on the minds of our congresspeople.

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Between Forkfuls, Let’s Be Food Thoughtful – and Kosher

Rabbi Noah Farkas

Rabbi Noah Farkas, an alum of AJWS’s Rabbinical Students’ Delegations, and a big fan of Pursue: Action for a Just World, wrote this fabulous article in JWeekly, reminding us to pay attention to our food, its source, and the politics bound up in its production. “We cannot just look at our food,” Farkas writes, “we have to look ‘through’ our food — beyond its materiality to its history, its depth, and to its ability to empower or impoverish the hands that brought it from the field to the fork.”

Read the full article here.

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Hunger in a World of Plenty

Originally posted on Pursue: Action for a Just World

This Food Day, we have a chance to ask the big question about hunger: why does it still exist? Does it occur:

  • Because there is not enough food for everyone?
  • Because of climate change?
  • Because of insufficient infrastructure?

The simple answer is that none of these is the sole cause of hunger today. There is enough food today to feed everyone on the planet, but the unequal distribution of wealth means that some people go hungry while others struggle to lose weight in the U.S. obesity epidemic. Climate change can lead to insufficient rain or floods that kill crops and decrease the quantity of food available, but there are also advanced growing techniques that will allow us to maintain an adequate supply of food, at least for the near future. Infrastructure isn’t the problem either. While in some places poor roads or lack of railroads can hamper the distribution of food, local communities can most likely grow their own food nearby. Read More »

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Reversing Hunger Starts With Us. Now.

It goes without saying that American Jews are pretty into food—especially during the Jewish holidays.

Food plays a central and sensory role in our lives and serves as a map of our history. Meals, recipes and the acts of eating and drinking teach us about who we are, where we live and where we come from.

But there’s a crisis on our hands—a global food crisis—and it isn’t only because of food scarcity. Sometimes it’s because of the unintended but tragic consequences of our own government’s policies—policies that we have the power to change, if only we’d do our part. Read More »

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Vote for Sameena and Molly—Two Powerful Women Pioneering Social Change

We’re really excited that not one but TWO of our grassroots partners and colleagues, Sameena Nazir and Molly Melching, are finalists for the Guardian International Development Achievement Award. It’s an award that honors the unsung heroes of international development; those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a positive difference in the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most marginalized people. Sameena and Molly need your votes to win!

So, who are these extraordinary women? Read More »

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Video Update on the Famine in East Africa

Originally posted on the Global Circle blog.

[iframe_loader width=”560″ height=”349″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/Qx9P1RDpgeE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]

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How the Colombia Free Trade Agreement Destroys Lives and Livelihoods

Too often when policy makers in Washington make bad decisions, the people of Kampala, Port au Prince, and Bogotá pay the price. This is exactly what will happen in Colombia if Congress approves the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

AJWS’s partners in Colombia work on a wide range of issues—from securing resource rights for indigenous people, to creating new agricultural systems for community development, to empowering marginalized youth. One thing that ALL of our partners have in common is that they oppose the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

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