USAID’s so-called ‘democracy promotion programmes’ are designed to foment dissent against governments unfriendly to Washington
By Linda S.Heard | Special to Gulf News
Published: 20:00 April 21, 2014
There is no such thing as a free lunch as states that are recipients of western aid understand only too well. The naive may believe that foreign aid is a tool to help developing countries; sceptics are convinced it’s a quid pro quo enabling wealthy powers to exercise geopolitical policy objectives. In a documentary, filmmaker John Pilger made the case that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are “The New Rulers of the World” on behalf of their largest donor countries — the US, the UK, Germany, France and Japan. But some less powerful nations are alleging that one agency — the US Agency for International Development (USAID) — is acting as a front for the CIA.
Continue reading “Beware Aid Agencies Bearing Gifts”
One of Bougainville’s leading film-makers says the island would be better off without mining.
After 25 years, moves are afoot to re-open the Rio Tinto-owned Panguna copper mine and PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is due to make a much-postponed visit to the autonomous region next week. Jemima Garrett has been getting a sneak preview of Clive Porabou’s new doco ‘After the War’.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/52192689]Nakuru Lemiruni sends a message to those responsible for evicting the Samburu tribe from their land..
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home in 2010 after the land was sold to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF, using funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government.
Police chose a Friday “market day” for their attack, when the men were away and only women, elders, and children were in their homes. Fanning out across the 17,000- acre Eland Downs Ranch, police burned the Samburu families’ homes to the ground, along with all their possessions.
Identified in the Kenyan press as “squatters,” the evicted Samburu families petitioned a regional court to recognize their ancestral claims to the land where they lived and grazed their cattle The suit has been filed by the Samburu against the African Wildlife Foundation and the former President.They need money and public support to win.
The U.N’s Green Climate fund has so far received 7.5 million dollars in funds from a small number of countries. What do you think a bunch of dull, grey conference types would do with it? Sure enough they spent it all on their own salaries, offices, travel and finding new ways to be boring. Try to read their catchy slogan without yawning, more in an article at whatsupwiththat.com
archived here: Long_Green.pdf
REDD, or reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, is one of the most controversial issues in the climate change debate. The basic concept is simple: governments, companies or forest owners in the South should be rewarded for keeping their forests instead of cutting them down. The devil, as always, is in the details. More details in redd-monitor.org’s intro page.
In August 2013, the No REDD in Africa Network met in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. The members of the Network, which was launched at the World Social Forum earlier this year, produced a short statement, posted in full below.
In the past few weeks, REDD in Africa has hit the headlines several times. In Madagascar, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the government of Madagascar announced that 705,588 carbon credits are certified for sale from the Makira REDD+ Project. WCS estimates that the 400,000 hectare project will prevent emissions of 32 million tons over the next 30 years.
“The sale of these carbon credits has triple bottom-line benefits; it helps wildlife, local people, and fights climate change,” said Todd Stevens, Executive Director of Global Initiatives at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Stevens clearly hasn’t considered what happens when carbon credits are sold. Of course the Makira forest should be protected, but the sale of carbon credits ensures that somewhere else emissions will continue, thus cancelling out any reduction in Makira.
Much more in full article: No REDD in Africa Network Maputo Statement: “REDD does not reduce emissions, REDD does not halt deforestation”
Archived here: No_REDD_in_Africa_Network.pdf
[On 10th Sept 2013], “Varm luft for milliarder”, a documentary by Tom Heinemann, was broadcast on Danish television. It’s an exceptionally good documentary, with beautiful photography and featuring interviews with politicians, academics, a carbon trader, a journalist and an activist.
The narration is by Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Headhunters, Game of Thrones, Black Hawk Down). “One carbon credit is equivalent to one ton of carbon. Or the volume of one hot air balloon,” he tells us.
Called “Carbon Crooks” in English, the documentary presents a detailed critique of carbon trading starting with the Kyoto Protocol. It looks into the VAT carousels, computer hacking, theft, money laundering and fraud with carbon credits that have cost European tax payers an estimated €15 billion. It mentions carbon credits from wind farms in China that are not connected to the grid. And “smokeless” factories, where you can’t breathe the air. And looks in detail at a project that distributed thousands of water filters to villagers in Kenya but that hardly anyone uses. And it looks at the collapse of the carbon market in Europe.
Much more in the full article at redd-monitor.org
archived here: Hot_air.pdf
Today, the “international community” is running Haiti again, colonial style.
One can easily tell by comparing the very slow construction of shelters and basic infrastructure for the Haitian majority with the rapid rise of luxury hotels for foreigners, sometimes with the help of aid funds which, we were told, were going to provide Haitians with basic necessities.
Most of the aid money went to donor countries’ businesses, government agencies and NGOs, as usual. International “aid” is a well-known capitalist scheme aimed at developing markets in the global south for businesses from the North. Of course this “aid” will benefit Haitians. But only the very few elite ones: those in power and the rich corporate elite. “Haiti’s open for business” and deluxe hotels will be welcoming businessmen so they can set up their sweat shops in a cool and luxurious environment.
In depth article on the GlobalResearch website
Archived as pdf Haiti_Reconstruction
It was recently announced at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa that MasterCard and the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) under the government of Nigeria would form a partnership to distribute a new identity card to every Nigerian citizen. The purpose of the card is to have all Nigerian citizens participate in the financial services sector under the control of MasterCard, a multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York. MasterCard’s press release ‘MasterCard to Power Nigerian Identity Card Program’ stated:
As part of the program, in its first phase, Nigerians 16 years and older, and all residents in the country for more than two years, will get the new multipurpose identity card which has 13 applications including MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology that will provide cardholders with the safety, convenience and reliability of electronic payments. This will have a significant and positive impact on the lives of these Nigerians who have not previously had access to financial services.
Read more at globalresearch.ca. Archived as pdf: Cashless_Society_Arrives_in_Africa
At the G8 Summit held two weeks ago at Camp David, President Obama met with private industry and African heads of state to launch the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a euphemism for monocultured, genetically modified crops and toxic agrochemicals aimed at making poor farmers debt slaves to corporations, while destroying the ecosphere for profit.
And Bono, of the rock group U2, is out shilling for Monsanto on this one.
More at activistpost.com
saved as pdf: Bono_Monsanto_etc