martes, junio 24, 2014

Pollinating on the eve of the 5th Venezuelan Congress of Biological Diversity

In 2008, when the Beehive visited Venezuela for the first time, we shared the Plan Colombia graphic campaign at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) in Maracaibo. After more than six years, in May of this year we returned to UBV and shared the Mesoamérica Resiste graphic, thanks to the Biology, Environmental Management, and Agroecology professors. This was an activity leading up to the 5th Venezuelan Congress of Biological Diversity, and the graphic includes many of the same themes talked about at the Congress.

During this visit, under the shade of the trees in front of the rector's office, we spent a couple of hours sharing the history and stories of Mesoamérica Resiste with a group of people who were very interested, while iguanas passed by on the grass where we were sitting, sharing stories and knowledge about problems with genetically modified crops, patenting of native seeds, coal mining in the Perijá mountains, and deforestation caused by cattle ranching.

We want to take the opportunity to extend the invitation to attend the 5th Venezuelan Congress of Biological Diversity that is taking place in Maracaibo between July 21st and 26th, a space that for the past four years has been building an urgent debate over territoriality as a key issue in the defense of all life. The Congress includes a variety of activities for a diverse public, including forums, video debates, expositions, discussions, cultural activities, activities for children and youth, artistic actions, screen printing on clothing, space for trading/bartering, and much more.

Amongst the topics that will be addressed are agriculture and displacement, communal economies and territory, gender and territoriality, participatory mapping of territories, water as territory, education for conservation, and conversation of threatened species and strategic areas.

Because of other commitments we can't participate in the Congress, however it is a very interesting and valuable process, an important example of how an ecological movement can build and strengthen a network. Venezuela, as a country that is completely dependent on the exploitation of hydrocarbons, urgently needs more spaces like this to begin to create a change in the face of how this land and the planet are being treated.

Whoever can participate should register on the website, and we hope to be able to participate in the Congress in the future.