Thursday, January 30, 2014

Argentine Activists Win First Round Against Monsanto Plant

NOTE:  An additional watch for corruption as the judicial process proceeds, and a model for other communities throughout the world.

African nations take note.


http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/01/argentine-activists-win-first-round-monsanto-plant/



Monsanto’s plant in Malvinas Argentinas, seen from the camp set up by local protestors blocking access to the works in construction. Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS
Monsanto’s plant in Malvinas Argentinas, seen from the camp set up by local protestors blocking access to the works in construction. Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS
CORDOBA, Argentina, Jan 25 2014 (IPS) - Residents of a town in Argentina have won the first victory in their fight against biotech giant Monsanto, but they are still at battle stations, aware that winning the war is still a long way off.
For four months activists in Malvinas Argentinas, a town in the central province of Cordoba, have maintained a blockade of the construction site where the U.S. transnational company is building the world’s biggest maize seed treatment plant.
In this previously peaceful town, protestors continue to camp in front of the construction site and to block access to it, even after a provincial court order this month put a halt to the works.
The campaign against the plant, led by Asamblea Malvinas Lucha por la Vida (Malvinas Assembly Fighting for Life) and other social organisations, began Sept. 18 in this town 17 kilometres from the capital of Cordoba.
Tense situations ensued, with attempts by the provincial police to disperse the demonstrators and provocations by construction union envoys, but a provincial labour court ruling on Jan. 8 upheld the activists’ cause.
“The ruling shows that the residents’ arguments are just, because they are claiming basic rights that are recognised and established in the constitution and federal legislation,” Federico Macciocchi, the lawyer representing opponents of the plant, told IPS.
The court ruled that the municipal ordinance authorising construction of the plant in this mostly working class town of 15,000 people was unconstitutional.
It ordered a halt to construction work and banned the Malvinas Argentinas municipality from authorising the construction until two legal requirements are fulfilled: carrying out an environmental impact assessment and a public hearing.
“This is a big step forward in the struggle, achieved by working together on institutional demands, along with social activism on the streets,” Matías Marizza, a member of the Malvinas Assembly, told IPS.
“This struggle has resulted in guaranteeing respect for the law,” the activist said.
The Malvinas Assembly and other organisations have decided to continue to camp out at the site and block access until the project is abandoned for good.
Monsanto replied to IPS’s request for comment with a statement that describes local activists as “extremists” who are preventing their contractors and employees from “exercising the right to work.”
The court ruling arose from a legal appeal lodged by local residents and the Club de Derecho (Cordoba Law Club), presided by Macciocchi.
The labour court has ordered an environmental impact study and a public hearing, he emphasised.
The views expressed in the public hearing will be “highly relevant,” he said, although under the General Environment Law, participants’ objections and opinions “are not binding.”
However, the law does stipulate that if the opinions of the convening authorities differ from the results of the public hearing, “they must justify them and make them public,” he said.
Now the Malvinas Assembly also wants a public consultation with a secret ballot.
Such a ballot would comply with the environmental law and “guarantee citizens’ full rights to decide on which model of local development and what kind of social and economic activities they want for their daily life, and what environmental risks they are prepared to take,” Víctor Mazzalay, another resident, told IPS.
“It is the people who should have that information and decide whether or not to accept the costs and risks involved,” said Mazzalay, a social researcher funded by the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) at the University of Cordoba.
“An environmental impact assessment should include a public consultation so that citizens can provide the ‘social licence’ necessary for developing any social, economic and productive activity that may affect their environment and health,” he said.
Monsanto’s statement said the company does not agree with the court ruling, but respects judicial decisions and will abide by the verdict.
The company stated that it had already conducted an environmental assessment, which is currently under review by the provincial Secretary of the Environment.
In Macciocchi’s view, the court’s ruling is definitive and “brings the legal conflict to an end.”
“The ruling arose from a legal appeal, so there is no further recourse in ordinary law,” he said.
Monsanto can still appeal to have the decision overturned by the provincial High Court (Tribunal Superior de Justicia, TSJ).
The company has already said that it will appeal. “We consider our right to build legitimate since we have complied with all legal requirements and have obtained authorization to build according to the regulations, as confirmed by the ruling of the Court of First Instance of Oct. 7, 2013,” their statement said.
However, in Macciocchi’s view “this appeal will not overturn the labour court ruling.”
“If we consider how long the TSJ takes to process an appeal, by the time there is a decision, the Malvinas municipality and the Environment Secretariat will have complied with the laws they previously violated,” he said.
According to the lawyer, the high court takes up to two and a half years for appeals lodged by individuals under sentence, and five to seven years in labour or civil cases.
“It would create a real institutional scandal if the TSJ were to deal with this case by leap-frogging all the other cases that have lain dormant in its offices for years,” he said.
The Jan. 8 ruling cannot prevent the definitive installation of the plant, which Monsanto plans should become operational during 2014.
“But if the citizens’ demonstrations against the plant and the environmental impact assessment are unfavourable to the company, Monsanto will not be able to instal the plant in Malvinas Argentinas,” Macciocchi predicted.
Mazzalay emphasised that the “substance” of the arguments of opponents to Monsanto’s plant was “the defence of the people’s right to decide on the kind of productive activities and the type of environmental risks they wish to undertake.”
The company announced it was planning to build more than 200 maize silos, and to use agrochemical products to treat the seeds. Monsanto is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of herbicides and genetically modified seeds, and has operated in Argentina since 1956 when it established a plastics factory.
“It is frequently argued that there is a reasonable doubt that this productive activity is harmless to human health,” Mazzalay said.
In his view, “a multiplicity of scientific studies have shown negative effects on health from both seed transportation and handling of and exposure to different agrochemical products.”
“When there is a health risk related to environmental issues, reasonable doubt should bring the precautionary principle into play, that is, an activity should not be developed until it has definitely been proved to be harmless,” he said.

Friday, January 24, 2014

CERT Training: NYC February 2014

v  New York Citizen Corps Weekly News
We are happy to announce that NYC Office of Emergency Management is now accepting applications for our upcoming CERT training cycle that begins in February.  

OEM's Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) are groups of local volunteers who have undergone a 10-week training program that focuses on emergency preparedness, fire safety, traffic control, disaster medical operations, and more. CERT members serve their community by assisting first responders, helping at citywide planned events, and educating the public about emergency preparedness. They also help their neighbors recover from disasters by serving in assistance centers and by providing accurate, up-to-date information.

Training:
·         The class is free!
·         10 weeks, one night a week, 6:30 - 9:30 PM
·         A mix of classroom instruction and hands-on practice

Requirements:
·         CERT members must be at least 18 years old
·         Must reside or work in New York City
·         There will be a pre-training interview conducted by the team you are set to join


To learn more, please visit nyc.gov/cert or email cert@oem.nyc.gov.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Reminder...Closing date: January 28, 2014. Youth in Int'l Development & Affairs Internship Program.

Apply NOW for Youth in Int'l Development & Affairs (YIDA) Internship Program!

Project Manager at United States International Council on Disabilities
Third Call for Applicants!

Youth in International Development & Affairs (YIDA) Internship Program

The summer 2014 Youth in International Development and Affairs (YIDA) internship program is aimed at students and recent graduates with disabilities who aspire to careers in international development or international affairs. We are open for applications until January 29, 2014.

The YIDA program will bring a group of talented graduate students, recent graduates, and rising college juniors and seniors with disabilities to Washington, DC, for nine weeks. This will include a one-week training and orientation program followed by an eight-week internship at an international organization in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. USICD will cover the cost of fully-accessible housing during the YIDA progam, reimburse travel expenses to and from DC, and provide a limited stipend. It is anticipated that the program will run from May 25 to July 25, 2014. These dates may be subject to change.

The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) launched the YIDA internship program in 2013 with funding support from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. The project follows from a vision, core to USICD’s mission, to increase disability inclusion in U.S. foreign affairs by supporting future generations of Americans with disabilities to invest their skills and talents in this field.

To learn more about the YIDA program, eligibility criteria, and the application process, please visithttp://usicd.org/template/page.cfm?id=257. This website answers Frequently Asked Questions for applicants.

Please disseminate this email among students and recent graduates who may be interested. If you are an international organization in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area interested in hosting a YIDA intern, please communicate with yid@usicd.org.

Application deadline for the summer 2014 YIDA program is January 29, 2014.

P.S. In addition to coordinating the YIDA program, USICD also leads the campaign for U.S. ratification of the “Disability Treaty” (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD). This is the first international treaty to protect the human rights of people with disabilities: 140 other countries have ratified it, but the U.S. is behind. The next national teleconference call on CRPD action for student and campus leaders will be on January 28 at 4 pm EST (3 pm Central Time, 1 pm Pacific Time).

We are interested in hearing from campus and student leaders who want to help mobilize others to take action in support of the Disability Treaty. Please communicate with Andrea Shettle at ashettle@usicd.org for details on future national teleconference calls for student/campus leaders on the CRPD. No time to be involved? Then you may want to simply sign and disseminate a petition at http://bit.ly/Youth4CRPD.
In 2013, with the vital support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF), USICD launched its first internship program focusing on youth with disabilities who are interested in international development or international affairs careers....

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Webinar Training Opportunity: Improving Resilience of the Nations Infrastructure. January 22, 2014

The Infrastructure Security Partnership

Improving Resilience of the Nation’s Infrastructure 

January 22, 2014 -- 12:00 Noon Eastern

For our first program of the New Year, EMForum.org is pleased to host a one hour presentation and interactive discussion Wednesday, January 22, 2014, beginning at 12:00 Noon Eastern time (please convert to your local time). Our topic will be The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) and its ongoing efforts to improve the resilience of our nation's built environment. Among its many achievements since its founding in 2001, 

TISP has published the widely used Regional Disaster Resilience Guide and other related resources. The partnership was also actively engaged in the recent update of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. Our guest will be William B. Anderson, TISP Director and Chief Operating Officer for over five years.

Please make plans to join us, and see the Background Page for links to related resources and participant Instructions. On the day of the program, use the Webinar Login link not more than 30 minutes before the scheduled time. As always, please feel free to extend this invitation to your colleagues.

In partnership with Jacksonville State University, EIIP offers CEUs for attending EMForum.org Webinars.  See http://www.emforum.org/CEUs.htm for details.


Is your organization interested in becoming an EIIP Partner? 
Click here to review our Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles and access the Memorandum of Partnership.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Training opportunity: RAND Corp. Community Resilience. January 23, 2014. Santa Monica, CA

RAND Corporation


Date:

Community Resilience




January 23, 2014
Time:
6:00 p.m. – Registration
6:30 p.m. – Program
Location:
RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA

Program

The 20th anniversary of the 1994 Northridge earthquake in January will bring fresh memories of a local natural disaster, while November's Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines still hits home for many Filipinos living in Los Angeles. These events remind us that it's important to build community resilience for the sake of long-term recovery, but how do we make resilience happen? Anita Chandra will distill the extensive body of research on resilience-building into simple steps that communities and organizations can take to help strengthen themselves against all kinds of disasters.

Featured Speaker

Anita Chandra
Director, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department, RAND Corporation

Register for This Program

Register online by January 20. Reserved seating is available for members of the RAND Policy Circle. If you are not currently a Policy Circle member, visit Support RAND to learn more about the benefits of membership.

About RAND

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND focuses on the issues that matter most such as health, education, national security, international affairs, law and business, the environment, and more. With a research staff consisting of some of the world's preeminent minds, RAND has been expanding the boundaries of human knowledge for more than 60 years.

Further Inquiries

Contact events@rand.org.

2014 Summer Programs for Students. Summer Language Programs

As students begin to make summer plans, be sure to share with them the following website that lists African language programs being offered in the US and abroad in Summer 2014. This list includes the Fulbright-Hays GPA Intensive Advanced Language programs in Swahili and Yoruba that the Association of African Studies Programs sponsors.

·  Summer 2014 African Language Programs: http://bit.ly/AfLangSum2014
A list of African-based programs that students have in the past attended for language study with FLAS fellowships is here: 
If your program is offering an African language in Summer 2014 and it is not already listed, you can include the information by completing the following online form:
Sincerely,
Martha Saavedra

--
-- 
Martha Saavedra, PhD | Associate Director | Center for African Studies
356 Stephens Hall | University of California | Berkeley, CA 94720-2314
martha@berkeley.edu | tel 510.642.8338 | fax 510.642.9466
http://africa.berkeley.edu/ http://UnderstandingSudan.org/ http://africareportingproject.org/


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Training Opportunity: Webinar. Transforming Oil and Gass with High Speed Data Transport


Complimentary Webinar:
Transforming Oil and Gas with High Speed Data Transport
Technology has transformed the oil and gas industry by improving the capability to find, extract, and process data more efficiently than ever before. These technological improvements have led to an explosion of data that, in most cases, still relies upon physical shipments of tape and hard drives.  
Internet bandwidth has become more available worldwide, and when paired with the appropriate transport technology, data can be moved quickly and efficiently over WAN ( wide area network).
 

Join this free webinar to learn how Aspera’s patented fasp™ (Fast, Adaptive, Secure, Protocol) transport technology can leverage your existing WAN infrastructure to:
  • Achieve speeds hundreds of times faster than traditional protocols such as FTP
  • Deliver end-to-end security for your systems
  • Ensure 100% reliability and adaptive bandwidth control

This webinar is essential if you work in any of the following functions:

  • Data analysis
  • Production
  • Reservoir engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Field Development
  • Operations
  • Corporate strategy
  • IT



Best Regards
Tim Haïdar
Editor-In-Chief
Oil & Gas IQ

Do you have a busy schedule?
Make sure you can attend by saving this webinar to your Outlook calendar


JANUARY
22

When
Wednesday, January 22, 2014,
When
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PST
Where
Online
Cost
Complimentary
PRESENTED BY
Michelle Munson
CEO & Co-Founder
Aspera
View Bio

Stuart Baker
Greg Hess
Service Delivery Manager
Landmark
View Bio

WATCH LIVE & ON DEMAND

In association with
Register


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Training Opportunity: Traumatic Brain Injury


ESRO - Traumatic Brain Injury


When
Wednesday January 29, 2014 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM EST
Wednesday January 29, 2014 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM EST
  

Where
The Milestone
9630 Technology Drive
Easton, MD 21601
Traumatic Brain Injury
January 29, 2014 (Rescheduled Date)
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Speaker:  Anastasia Edmonston, MS, CRC

The Milestone
9630 Technology Drive
Easton, MD  21601

Click on the link below to register.
  
The rescheduled date is January 29, 2014.

This course will cover:
-Brain Anatomy-Form and Function
-Brain Injury-How many and Who is Affected
-Types of Brain Injury
-The Physical, Emotional, Cognative and Behavioral Aftermath of Brain Injury.
  
Please join us at The Milestone for a course on Traumatic Brain Injury. 

If you have any questions on this workshop or any other training on the Eastern Shore, please contact me.

I look forward to seeing you at the TBI workshop.
  
Sincerely,
  
Andrea Jones
DDA/ESRO
410-572-5945

Monday, January 13, 2014

Summer Leadership Program. The Institute. Applications due on or before February 7, 2014

The Institute -- Summer Leadership Program 
The Institute prepares high-achieving African American men to be leaders of great character who make significant contributions to their communities, our country, and the world.  http://www.theinstitute.net/apply
OUR INTENSIVE TWO-SUMMER PROGRAM INCLUDES:
  • High-level paid internships
  • Rigorous academic coursework
  • Comprehensive leadership and professional development workshops
  • Private briefings with influential leaders
  • Housing provided by the Institute
  • Service as teachers and mentors in the Institute's Youth Scholar Academy
Participants join a network of more than 150 talented African American men across the world.
For more information about the Institute, please contact us at info@theinstitute.net or 202-660-6975

 To apply to the Institute, applicants must submit all materials listed below. All application materials are due on or before February 7, 2014.


Webinar: Infrastructure Security Partnership. January 22, 2014

The Infrastructure Security Partnership

Improving Resilience of the Nation’s Infrastructure 

January 22, 2014 -- 12:00 Noon Eastern

For our first program of the New Year, EMForum.org is pleased to host a one hour presentation and interactive discussion Wednesday, January 22, 2014, beginning at 12:00 Noon Eastern time (please convert to your local time)

Our topic will be The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) and its ongoing efforts to improve the resilience of our nation's built environment. Among its many achievements since its founding in 2001, 

TISP has published the widely used Regional Disaster Resilience Guide and other related resources. The partnership was also actively engaged in the recent update of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. Our guest will be William B. Anderson, TISP Director and Chief Operating Officer for over five years.

Please make plans to join us, and see the Background Page for links to related resources and participant Instructions. On the day of the program, use the Webinar Login link not more than 30 minutes before the scheduled time. As always, please feel free to extend this invitation to your colleagues.


In partnership with Jacksonville State University, EIIP offers CEUs for attending EMForum.org Webinars.  See http://www.emforum.org/CEUs.htm for details.

Job Opportunities....but the hurdles to get hired are the greatest obstacles.....August 19, 2019

 The obstacles to get in the door? When looking for a job, the options are enormous ·   Administrative Conference of the United St...

..Haiti. We will not forget.

Drink Life Beverages ....A Woman Owned Enterprise

Drink Life Beverages ....A Woman Owned Enterprise
Drink for Life. Communities drinking and eating well.

BEMA International ONLINE STORE

BEMA International ONLINE STORE
Mission is to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty. We attract African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans to business Ph.D. programs, and provide a network of peer support on their journey to becoming professors.

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