Tuesday, September 01, 2009

International Newsletter on Sustainable Local Development
Newsletter #61
September 1st 2009


Message from the Editorial Team

Principles of Community Economic Development
A global approach

Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller
Oil and the end of globalization

Semences Paysannes Meeting, Le Roc, France, June 22nd – 25th 2009

A - Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy
B - Local Initiatives/ Territorial anchoring of the Solidarity Economy: an invitation to contribute

Message from the Editorial Team

Things move very quickly: in fact the consequences of a globalized and deregulated economy are getting worse (and it's not over as shown by the analysis of the work of Jeff Rubin).

In this context, the territorial approach is trying to show the innovative nature of social relationships established in local or regional initiatives. Today they are essential players in the organization of solidarity. The vision of Community Economic Development presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Network for Community Economic Development (CED) bears witness to this fact.

This evolution confirms the analysis developed in this Newsletter. As you can see in the Announcements Section, Yvon and Martine are directly associated with follow-up applications that resulted from Workshop 7 at the Lux'09 Forum. Given the innovative nature of this approach we now need to adopt a methodological approach in order to prove and convince people that economic solidarity, rooted in local life, and connected with the outside world, can become a sustainable component and alternative to neoliberal capitalism, in the mainstream economy. We also want to demonstrate how it can bring together strategies for change, that are capable of meeting the challenges of a more responsible kind of globalization.

Finally, we wish to remind our readers that you may send us news or articles we can publish, taking into account our limited capacity, since the publication of our newsletter is a strictly volunteer endeavour.

Editorial Team
Judith Hitchman
Yvon Poirier
Martine Theveniaut

Principles of Community Economic Development
A global approach

At the annual meeting of the Canadian Network for Community Economic Development (CED) held in Winnipeg, Manitoba last June, Stephen Ameyaw from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver) gave a presentation on the Canadian government’s policy regarding the economic development program in place since 1989 in the Inuit regions of Canada. Community economic development is at the heart of this strategy, currently under review.

We wish to share with you an excerpt from this presentation.

CED is:
 development by people, for the people. In this type of development the community takes the lead right from the beginning and control the process to the end.
 a process. At times, communities may attract outside experts, and practitioners to help plan development projects, but the goals and the things they need must be set by the people. Examples include: Local materials, and labour and ideas.
 a long-term process — people will stay involved, get organized so that they achieve their goals.
 holistic - CED includes, physical, spiritual, social, natural environment, land, sea and rivers, their culture, health of the people and the environment are all intertwined.
 inclusive - Every member of the community participates in community affairs and is represented in several committees.
 the development of the people; the leaders are committed, organized, work together.
 founded upon sustainability - can the community sustain all the initiatives it is undertaking?
 Innovate communities find new ways to create opportunities, natural resources and materials.
 aims for diversification - means creating opportunities for change
 collaborative - communities build partnerships with industry, government, international organizations and others to accomplish goals.

This description is very similar to the principles developed in our Newsletter since its inception in November 2003. In light of our experience and the experiences of others in other countries, we wish to add some elements: CED strengthens social cohesion, relationships of non-violence and peaceful conflict resolution in the community; the building of a vibrant local economy that relies on its own human and material resources; openness to the outside world and awareness of the interdependence between the local and global, and ability to find better local solutions to current challenges.

This is why CED is a valuable resource for planning one’s development in terms of future generations.

Author: Yvon Poirier

Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller
Oil and the end of globalization

Jeff Rubin, former chief economist of World Markets for a major Canadian bank, CIBC, has just published a book entitled Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller.

In 2000, this economist was one of the first to predict that oil prices would soar. In his book, he demonstrates how the end of cheap oil will dramatically upset the economy and society. He speaks of the end of globalization to describe the phenomenon.

With supporting data, he shows that for several years now, oil consumption has risen by 4 million barrels more than the amounts found in new explorations. Even with camouflaged or limited access to data, there are major signs that deposits currently in production are being depleted. For example, the main oil field in Saudi Arabia is starting to contain salt water, a sign that sea water is being pumped to increase pressure, which is also a sign of depletion. Another example in the United States, where the historical production was 10 million barrels per day, now is only 5 million bpd. The operation of oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico was supposed to cover this production drop, but was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Katerina.

Meanwhile, despite the current economic crisis, sales of automobiles continue to increase by about 10% per year in India and China. The author also shows that alternative energies are far from being able to replace oil in the foreseeable future.

Book review: Yvon Poirier

Rubin, Jeff, Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller, Random House Canada, 2009, 287 p.

Semences Paysannes Meeting, Le Roc, France, June 22-25th 2009.
Semences Paysannes is a network that aims to support small-scale farmers in their work to defend the right to conserve, re-sow and exchange seeds, which is a fundamental historical farmer’s right. These practices have been outlawed in many countries, under pressure from multinational seed companies and the pro-GMO lobby. The traditional practice of participatory breeding (selecting the ears of wheat that look best to the farmers, in their own and other farmers’ fields and using the seed to re-sow the next year’s experimental crop) also helps traditional local varieties of crops to adapt to local conditions and climate change, so is very important. It is equally important to preserve historic varieties that are part of our agricultural heritage.

This particular meeting brought together 150 participants from 18 different countries, and was dedicated to three aspects: visiting Jean-François Bertholot’s magnificent in situ collection of historic wheat on his farm, where the meeting took place, workshops for exchanging know-how on milling and sour-dough bread baking between traditional artisinal, small-scale bakers, and a one-day seminar on existing regulations and how to overcome obstacles.

The importance of enabling small-scale farmers and artisinal bakers to produce traditional sour-dough bread that is both high in quality and nutritional value is an imprtant dimension of the struggle for sustainable local development.

Author : Judith Hitchman
Original article in English and French


A-Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy

The second Asian Forum on Solidarity Economy will be held in Tokyo, November 7th -10th 2009. This is a follow-up meeting to the first such forum held in Manila in October 2007.

Four thematic workshops will deliberate the following topics:
Social Finance/Microfinance & Solidarity Economy
Fair Trade & Solidarity Economy
Social Welfare & Solidarity Economy
Local Initiatives/territorial anchoring of Solidarity Economy


B – Local Initiatives/ Territorial anchoring of the Solidarity Economy: an invitation to contribute

Workshop 7 which dealt with the theme "Democratic participation and territorial anchoring to create another economy" is continuing its systematic approach to ensure that this process will become a major pillar of development strategies in solidarity economy.

«Territorial anchorage comes into view when we look at the reality of Solidarity Economy (or SE) in a territorial approach, from the local to the global. An important advantage of this approach is to provide a realistic view of the level of development of SSE in communities, countries and continents. It allows for more rigorous efforts to examine various facets and dimensions of Solidarity Economy at its peculiar stage of development in a given locality. This improves the vision of how the thematic aspects or dimensions of SSE need to be enhanced and stimulated in order to advance SSE as a sustainable alternative economic reality in a given locality. »
«More importantly, territorial anchorage sharpens the focus on the role of governance in the promotion of the Solidarity Economy as an alternative economy, in the context of the globalization process. »

Taking into account the holding of the 5th meeting of the Globalization of Solidarity in Asia in 2013, the Asia Alliance for Solidarity Economy (www.aa4se.org) is the main partner in the process. Pactes Locaux (www.pactes-locaux.org) has agreed to assume responsibility to implement the consensus of the Workshop 7, with the support of the FPH.
To carry out this process, based on exchange between practitioners (or catalysts) of project areas, a provisional steering committee has been formed of:
Ben Quiñones (Asian Alliance for Solidarity Economy).
Denison Jayasooria (Asian Alliance for Solidarity Economy)
Yvon Poirier (International Newsletter on Sustainable Local Development)
Martine Theveniaut (Pactes Locaux)

This step is open and inclusive. Depending on the country and the continent, the meaning of territory and territorial anchoring are different: one speaks of community economic development in North America, community development in India, local development in Europe, Francophone Africa as well as North and South America. Regardless of these different terminologies, we know that beyond lie great similarities in approaches and practices.

We invite all interested readers to join the on-line open forum until October 30th 2009 and describe your experiences. Your contributions will go directly towards the preparation of the 4th Workshop of the Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy - Local initiatives / Territorial Anchoring of the Solidarity Economy to be held in Tokyo, Japan, November 7th – 10th 2009.

You can find the presentation text and a guide to respond to this invitation on the following websites:

ALOE http://www.forums.socioeco.org//info/atelier7-w7tf
AA4Se http:/www.aa4se.com

Our Newsletters are available on the WEB:http://local-development.blogspot.com/

Special thanks to:
Évéline Poirier from Canada for the English translation
Brunilda Rafael from France for the Spanish translation
Michel Colin from Brazil for the Portuguese translation

To contact us (for information, feedback, to subscribe or unsubscribe):
Yvon Poirier ypoirier@videotron.ca

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