From The Fields : A preview

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Today the WEA team and the Delegates are arriving and settling into their hotel in Delhi. They are about 12 hours ahead of California time and so they are hopefully sleeping right now. While we wait to hear from them directly here is a preview of what they’ll be doing and where they’re going in the next two days.

Meet with Dr. Suman Sahai from the Gene Campaign. Gene Campaign, a grassroots organization with a presence in 17 states in India, was started in 1993 by Dr. Suman Sahai (an Ashoka Fellow in 1989) and a group of people concerned about food and livelihood security. Gene Campaign is recognized as a leading research and advocacy organization working in the field of bio-resources, farmers and community rights, intellectual property rights and indigenous knowledge, biopiracy, and issues related with GE food and crops.

drsahaiVisit Punjab Agriculture University. PAU is considered a big player in the promotion of GE seed, bio-tech and associated “green revolution” technologies. In more recent years it has expanded its emphasis on organic farming. We will visit with Dr. Aulakh who is heading the organic farming department and his wife who is in the Home Science department and who is active with local women’s groups.

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Visit Post Harvest Management Training Center. PHM Training Center creates training in basic, applied, strategic and adaptive engineering and technology research in post-harvest sectors of plants, livestock and aquaculture production. In particular interest to us, PHM trains women farmers in processing and value-addition of fruits and vegetables.

This is part of a series entitled From The Fields which follows the Women and Agriculture delegation on their 12 day journey through Northern India. Read more about it here and here.

Your invitation to join us From The Fields

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This Sunday, a group of 13 women delegates will travel to Delhi, India to learn, connect, share and strategize with Indian women who are leading the way in sustainable agriculture development. Among this group there are economists, biologists, academics, authors, permaculturalists, and urban farmers. Together, we will launch the first key phase of WEA’s Women and Agriculture Initiative.

A lot can happen when smart and passionate women get together over a common cause. Join us here to hear about their journey. They will send posts from their travels and we’ll learn about what they see, smell, hear and taste.

Add us to your daily routine, subscribe to our feed, and email our blog to your friends. We are all going to India on Sunday.



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Coming Up from the Roots: another full house!

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Last night more than 75 people gathered for the second of three events in WEA’s Fall Speaker Series Coming Up from the Roots. It was dry and warm inside during the Bay Area’s first storm of the season. And the room was full of environmental leaders, fellow tenants of the David Brower Center, social justice activists, WEA Giving Circle members, friends, family and one 2 year old.

4017604819_f6fd8afb6e_oThis group gathered to learn more about WEA’s Women and Land Initiative, and to hear from four inspiring leaders:

  • Vien Truong of Green For All: Vien spoke about the critical need for working across sectors to create green jobs. She invited people to get involved, and you can learn more about her critical work forging a nationwide green jobs coalition here.
  • Wahleah Johns of the Black Mesa Water Coalition and WEA’s International Advisory Board: Her stories about passing legislation in the Navajo Nation for green jobs were inspiring! The focus, determination, creativity and sheer person-power to make that happen is humbling. You can read about it here.
  • Nina Simons of Bioneers. Nina talked about the power of women and what it means to be a woman leader. And that it’s Bioneers’ 20th year of convening social and environmental change leaders… Click here for more information about this year’s conference this weekend.
  • Adrienne Maree Brown of the Ruckus Society. She sang us a song that could be felt in our bones. It was a beautiful and peaceful way to end an evening.

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Our next event in this series, the final one of the season, will be held Tuesday, November 10 at 7pm. This will be a very special evening with Joanna Macy, a long time supporter of WEA and a member of our International Advisory Board. RSVP here.

 

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4017604859_2bcd8e999b_oWahleah Johns and Adrienne Maree Brown

WEAving Words

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“If we can make small-holder farming more productive and more profitable, we can have a massive impact on hunger, and nutrition, and poverty.”

—Bill Gates
2009 World Food Prize Symposium
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Learn about WEA’s newest initiative– the Women and Agriculture Initiative, which will work to equip Indian women farmers with training, business skills, networking support and seed funding to launch sustainable agricultural micro-businesses across India.

WEAving Words

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“As indigenous people we’re still fighting for protection, for cultural survival, fighting to protect our sacred and holy places. Although it has always been in the interest of the government to annihilate or assimilate indigenous peoples, we’re still here, and we’re not going anywhere. And we’re continuing to share our traditional ways and traditional knowledge with our young people because it’s important for us to survive, for our cultures to survive, for our futures to survive.

We are all indigenous, no matter where we’re from or what our heritage is, whether we’re from Asia, Africa, South America, North America — it is a matter of recognizing that root and recognizing our ancestry.

The basis of all indigenous cultures is respect and harmony, and living within your environment in a harmonious way, and one that is respectful and understanding that the earth is our Mother and she takes care of us and nurtures us. Everything we need to be a healthy people is here, is provided for us by our Mother Earth. It’s just a matter of recognizing and remembering who we are.

And we also need legislation!”

—Jeneda Benally, Save the San Francisco Peaks Coalition, from our Fall 2009 Conference Call Series: San Francisco Peaks: Legal Advocacy for Sacred Places

Please stay tuned to the Women’s Earth Alliance website to hear a recording of this powerful one-hour conference call featuring Jeneda Benally and Howard Shanker, attorney for the Save the Peaks Coalition.