Saturday, April 01, 2006

International Newsletter on Sustainable Local Development
Newsletter #27
April 1, 2006


Message from the Editorial Team
1 - The International Alliance of InhabitantsFight to preserve social rights

2 - National Institute for Local Development in FranceThe birth of a new organization

3 - The Bamako Appeal - January 18th, 2006Polycentric World Social Forum, Bamako

4 - Fowl play: The poultry industry's central role in the bird flu crisisRegarding avian influenza

5 - Social Inclusion and Community Economic DevelopmentResearch done in Canada

6 - Newsletters and information available on the WEBAn invitation to subscribe

7 - Social Solidarity Economy and Europe : what future ?Upcoming conference


Message from the Editorial Team
Through our respective activities, we have access to relevant information for other people concerned with the development of their communities, whether they be rural or urban, from the South or the North.

Thus, in this number, we have chosen to share with you a variety of summaries on different topics, which are related to our fields of interest. For example, the avian flu: On the one hand, it touches the control by local populations of their food supply, but on the other hand it shows clearly how the world industry of poultry and neo-liberal globalisation affect seriously and very directly small backyard poultry farms.

Concerning the Bamako Appeal, it is interesting to note that this action caused controversy within the organization of the World Social Forum. This is because this Appeal was prepared beforehand and was signed by a group of alternative globalisation leaders who wished to promote a more political action to the WSF’s approach. As such, this meeting did not appear in the program of the Polycentric World Social Forum of Bamako (although announced on the website of the WSF as being held the day before). Thus, it is not a question of a political message which comes from the Africans, except for those who were associated with the signature of the Appeal. This Appeal caused controversy because it gave the impression of emanating from the WSF itself. However, until now the organization of the WSF has refused to adopt political positions of this nature and maintains its objective of making these annual meetings a place open to all the organizations and tendencies who wish to partake, without giving a precise political orientation. See the Charter of Principles on the website of the WSF :

These questions of orientation, transparency and strategy, which arise at the majority of international movements of civic action will be on the agenda of the next meeting of the international Council of the WSF which will take place at the end of March 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya, ahead of the next edition of the WSF in January 2007.

At the end of this Newsletter, you will find reference to several new publications. Over the past years, several organizations were born in various countries and publish information bulletins. In spite of their unilingual character (three are in English, one is in French, and the other is in Portuguese) they are extremely interesting, if you able to read one or the other of these languages.

Please do not hesitate to send us information which we could publish in upcoming newsletters. We cannot promise to publish every submission, in particular because the translation of our newsletter in four languages is a very demanding task, but we will do our best to give access to information that you have provided.

Editorial Team
Francisco Botelho
Yvon Poirier
Martine Théveniaut

1 - The International Alliance of Inhabitants
The International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI) founded in 2003 has the following objective: how to jointly stand against the perverse effects of exclusion, poverty, environmental degradation, exploitation, violence, and problems related to transportation, housing and urban governance produced by the neo-liberal globalisation. It is a global network of associations and social movements of inhabitants, cooperatives, communities, tenants, house owners, homeless, slum dwellers, indigenous populations and people from working class neighbourhoods. Every month it puts out an on-line publication called The IAI Newsletter.

In 1996 the Croatian Parliament passed a law modifying the disposition of property, by which it allowed for the privatization of housing, thus allowing residents to be evicted. Since 1945 in the former Yugoslavia, occupancy/tenancy rights meant having all rights of ownership: the right to possession in perpetuity, the perpetual, unhindered and free use of a dwelling-place, to have it at one's disposal, as well as having the right to participate in the management of the building. The only thing that a tenant was unable to do was to sell the flat. Since the passage in 1996 of this law, 40 000 evictions have occurred and they are increasing regularity. For old persons for example, it means they are often placed in retirement homes, their upkeep being paid for not by the State but from individuals’ pension. This is why the Alliance of Tenants’ Associations of Croatia is promoting the campaign Zero Eviction in Croatia, Restoring the Tenancy Right to Security of Tenure.

See the methods of support on the website

Summary by Martine Theveniaut

2 - National Institute for Local Development in France
Within the framework of the national activities dedicated to the rural territories, it was decided in September 2003 to make the Agen Institute, which was founded in 2001, a national center for continuing education and application of research articulating from its action with the other existing national centers. Its missions privilege a pedagogy based on the gathering of data from experiments, case studies and transfers of practices. The four areas of study are documentary information, network leadership, applied research with universities and research centers, and applied training for the performance of territorial and rural duties.

For more information:

Summary by Martine Theveniaut

3 - The Bamako Appeal - January 18th, 2006Polycentric World Social Forum, Bamako

It is a result of more than five years of worldwide gatherings of people and organizations who oppose neo-liberalism and work together in social forums -- world, thematic, continental or national -- and the Assembly of Social Movements. They have been the principal architects of this conscience. This appeal prepared at the time of the 50e anniversary of Bandung, on the eve of the opening of the Polycentric World Social Forum which was held in Bamako, is the outlet of an awakening. It is built around the broad themes and affirms the commitment to construct:
• an internationalism joining the peoples of the South and the North who suffer the ravages engendered by the dictatorship of financial markets and by the uncontrolled global deployment of the transnational firms;
• the solidarity of the peoples of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas confronted with challenges of development in the 21st century;
• political, economic and cultural consensus that is an alternative to militarized and neo-liberal globalization and to the hegemony of the United States and its allies.

It states the 8 guiding principles for another development based on the balance of the societies and the abolition of all the forms of exploitation (class, kind, race or caste). This appeal is based on a strategy which is grounded on a long tradition of popular resistances and which takes into account the essential small steps to the everyday life of the victims.

It proposes long-term objectives and proposals for the immediate action, because in order to progress from a collective conscience to the building of collective, popular, plural and multipolar actors, it has always been necessary to identify precise themes to formulate strategies and concrete proposals. Ten topics are proposed, largely inter-connected: the political organization of globalization; the economic organization of the world system; the future of peasant societies; the building of a workers’ united front; regionalization for the benefit of the peoples; the democratic management of the societies; gender equality; the sustainable management of the resources of the planet; the democratic management of the media and the cultural diversity; democratization of international organizations.

The Bamako Appeal is an invitation to all the organizations of struggle, representative of the vast majorities that comprise the working classes of the globe, to all those excluded from the neo-liberal capitalist system, and to all people and political forces who support these principles-- to work together in order to put into effect the new collective conscience, as an alternative to the present system of inequality and destruction.

Complete text available on following site :

Summary by Martine Theveniaut

4 - Fowl play: The poultry industry's central role in the bird flu crisisRegarding avian influenza

This well documented article shows the determining importance of the of the poultry industry in the spread of avian influenza. The virus travels much more likely via the highways and railroads of Asia than the air routes of the migratory birds. A breeding ground for this virus is much more likely to be found where are gathered the most significant colonies of industrial chickens, chicken incubators, poultry feed mills (which include faeces, feathers and litter from poultry!) and establishments for the production of eggs to be brooded which can transmit the virus. Everywhere one finds the presence of the poultry multinational, Charoen Pokphand, in Turkey and elsewhere. And since 2004, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Roche, holder of the patent of Tamiflu has seen its sales and its profits soar!

Whereas bird flu has prevailed in Asia for several years, the launch of a very media savvy campaign has focused on small chicken farms of poor rural populations in these countries, with the explicit intention of definitively closing down as many backyard farms as possible (Margaret Say, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council).

The silence of FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation) is questioned since until 2004 this organization defended the biodiversity of the species, supported small animal farms financially, and praised their contributions. Backyard poultry farms contribute to a third of proteins consumed by the average rural family of Asia. Perhaps these leaders await evidence before taking a position in the debate. Also, it should not be forgotten that the concentration of the production is also due to the density of population of Asia. The family and rural farms would not be sufficient to feed everyone.

The counterexample of Laos is very significant. Surrounded by countries where avian influenza prevails, it is almost ignored, but why? Because it is almost self-sufficient for its own domestic production, spread between its open air small-scale poultry farms (around 350 chickens, ducks, turkeys and quail being raised in small flocks interspersed among village homes of about 78 families), throughout the country. What one can call bio-security. A total of 45 outbreaks of avian influenza were confirmed, with 42 of these occurring on commercial enterprises (broiler and layer farms), 38 of these in Vientiane, the capitol and primary city of Laos.

Against the intoxication by the virus of fear, why not mobilize to obtain a rigorous and legal control of the international poultry-farming industry?
For more information, see the site called GRAIN, - an NGO whose goal is to promote the management and the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity based on the control exerted by the populations on the genetic resources and local knowledge.

More information on the avian influenza is available on the following sites: (French only)

Summary by Martine Theveniaut

5 - Social Inclusion and Community Economic DevelopmentResearch done in Canada

Excerpt from the website :
“The Pan-Canadian Community Development Learning Network (PCCDLN) is a two and a half year project of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) that seeks to promote learning about and examine how comprehensive, community-based initiatives contribute to social inclusion.

Running from October 2003 to March 2006, the project facilitates peer learning and develops evidence-based research to strengthen integrated models of service delivery that build assets, skills, learning, social and economic development opportunities relevant to local community conditions.

The first major publication of the project, this document reviews literature on social inclusion and its related concepts, and examines the strengths of integrated, community-based responses such as community economic development to promote social inclusion.

The impacts of social exclusion and marginalization in Canada are difficult to fully measure.
From a range of health deficiencies to lost productivity and additional social costs, it is clear that social exclusion is not only personally damaging and socially disruptive, but it is also extremely expensive. Federal and provincial governments have taken some action to improve conditions, but already policy deficiencies can be identified.”

Beyond the review of literature, an assessment of 15 initiatives in diverse communities illustrates well how community economic development is an approach which fights social exclusion.

Downloadable publications are available in English and French:

Summary by Yvon Poirier

6 - Newsletters and information available on the WEB
An invitation to subscribe

A - Fórum Brasileiro de Economia Solidária (FBES)
The FBES publishes a monthly News bulletin. The FBES is actively involved in international networking concerning social solidarity economy. Therefore, the FBES was present in Dakar last November. Rosemary Gomes of the FBES now occupies one of the two seats for Latin America on the Board of Directors of RIPESS.
To subscribe: (available in PORTUGUESE only)

B - Solidarity Economy of Ontario
This network of solidarity economy among French-speaking people of the province of Ontario (Canada) publishes a monthly newsletter since its inception one year ago. Already, more than a thousand people receive this Newsletter. Mrs. Éthel Côté, president of Solidarity Economy Ontario and editor of the newsletter, is also a member of the Board of Directors of RIPESS and of the Canadian Network of Community Economic Development.
To subscribe: (available in FRENCH only)

C - Social Entreprise Alliance
This North-American organization, which has over six years of existence, hosts a forum of discussion. More than 3000 individuals are registered with the npEntreprise list. The letters np mean non-profit. The contents of the discussions are rather rich in information, although mostly focusing on context relevant to the United States.
To subscribe : (in ENGLISH only)
Social Entreprise Alliance website : (in ENGLISH only)

D - Social Edge
This is a weekly Bulletin addressed to social entrepreneurs. It is an initiative of the Skoll Foundation (Germany). Initiated in 2003, the bulletin Social Edge is disseminated to over 6 000 persons. Their website is also rich in information. Social Edge has an international scope and covers a broad range of countries who use the English language (Northern Europe and Asia). Social Edge also organizes seminars and other activities useful for the social entrepreneurs.
To subscribe : (in ENGLISH only)

E - Social Enterprise Coalition Newsletter
The Social Entreprise Coalition (SEC) is the UK's national body for social enterprise and gathers the large majority of the actors of the social economy. Although in the United Kingdom, the expression social enterprise is used, in fact it is similar to the expression social economy used elsewhere. The organization publishes a weekly newsletter. The website also gives relevant information on social economy in the UK, including the public policies in force.
To subscribe : (in ENGLISH only)

7 - Social Solidarity Economy and Europe: what future ?Upcoming conference

The Inter-University Network on Social Solidarity Economy is pleased to invite you to the International Conference organized by the Institute of Political Studies of Grenoble.

The conference will be held on June 1st -2nd, 2006 in Lyon. French is the language of use of this conference.

For information:

Summary by Yvon Poirier

Our Newsletters are available on the WEB:

Special thanks to:
Évéline Poirier from Canada for the English translation
Anne Vaugelade from France for the Spanish translation

To contact us (for information, feedback, to subscribe or unsubscribe):
Yvon Poirier

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