The power of the Buckets continues to grow.
From August 4th through 7th, GCM staff participated in and co-sponsored our 3rd international conference. The Campaigner Training Workshop was organized by our India-based partner Community Environmental Monitoring (CEM) and held at Deer Park Institute in Bir, Himachal Pradesh.
We are proud to report that we met the goal of the workshop by training and empowering new and developing environmental and social justice campaigners with practical and important tools to immediately apply in the work of their local communities.
We had an incredible turn out with 50 participants attending the training. These participants came from all over India, nine Indian states were represented: Tamil Nadu, Nagalaand, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Kerala, Delhi, Sikkim, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. GAIA India co-sponsored the event with us.
Participants from the host facility, Deer Park, also attended with staff representing Sweden, the Czech Republic and Germany. Deer Park is a Zero Waste facility and is currently actively campaigning on the issue in Himachal Pradesh.
Participants are active on issues ranging from air toxics/communities and industrial pollution, forest rights, zero waste, waste picker rights, pollution and tourism, and hydroelectric project expansions.
The conference began with introductions about the issues and challenges each community is addressing, and the rest of the time focused on workshops covering campaign/organizer tools.
Sessions on campaign and organizer tools included: Researching Corporations, Media, Developing Campaign Materials, Use of Data & Graphs, E-Activism, Fundraising, Photography, Bio Monitoring, Air Monitoring and Fact-finding missions.
Sessions on specific laws were also covered: Right to Information Act, Environmental Impact Assessment, Forest Act, and Public Hearings.
Also, two case studies were examined more in depth: the industrial community of SIPCOT Cuddalore and the pesticide endosulfan.
The weekend closed with a feedback session that included comments from each participant.
We are proud to be helping grow the international environmental health movement and are inspired by the dedication and energy of the activists and organizers who participated in the training.