Thursday, January 22, 2009

The American Museum of Natural History Presents LIVING IN AMERICA Changing Climate, Changing Environment


These programs will present a national view, highlighting environmental and climate change issues affecting indigenous communities across the United States, including Alaska and Hawai'i.

This is a series taking place every weekend in January. This Saturday there will be a performance by Polynesian Dance Productions, a film & discussion regarding Hawaii & the climate crisis, and other cultural events relevant to the response of indigenous communities in our environmentally turbulent time. All programs will take place at the AMNH. For more information, please call the Museum’s Department of Education at 212-769-5315 weekdays between 9:00am and 5:00pm weekdays. We hope you can make it to these special & significant events!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Available at BetterListen! and iTunes....

Dear Friends
We are very excited to tell you all about Steve Stein's new company Better Listen!. Steve and I worked together on documenting the Kari Oka conference that took place in Brazil prior to the Earth Summit where 700 tribal leaders gathered in 1992. It was an extraordinary adventure and it was at that time that Steve produced and recorded Message to the World on audio cassette. The message was so timeless and important that it has been re-released in digital format for the first time and is now available on and iTunes. The album entitled The Indigenous Peoples' Message to the World : Words and Music: An Audio Journey To The First World Conference of Indigenous Peoples Kari Oka Brazi is an award winning collaboration of numerous individuals and indigenous peoples from around the globe. To read more about this project and its collaborators please visit --Pamela

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Indigenous Entrepreneurship Side Event at COP-9, Bonn, Germany

We have recently returned from the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn, Germany where Tribal Link organized an event highlighting sustainable indigenous businesses and their partners. We were honored that this side event was one of the events chosen to be webcast on the COP 9 website. To view the webcast please visit Opening remarks for the event were made by Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD. The event was moderated by John Scott, Programme Officer of Traditional Knowledge, Innovation and Practices for the CBD. Presentations were made by: (Via Video) Dr. Richard Walley of the Nyoongar People (Australia) and Stephane Piquart of Mount Romance; Parabat Gurung of the Gurung People (Napal) and John Brebner of S&D Aroma. A presentation was also made by Tashka Yawanawa of the Yawanawa People (Brazil) along with David Hircock from AVEDA regarding their 15 year business partnership. To learn more about the COP 9 and the convention, please go to the following link:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Opening Call for Nominations for Equator Prize 2008

It is our great pleasure to announce the opening of the call for nominations for the Equator Prize 2008: Celebrating Community Success in Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Reduction. This marks the fourth round of the internationally renowned Equator Prize. Awarded biennially, the Equator Prize recognizes community-based initiatives that demonstrate extraordinary achievement in reducing poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the equatorial belt. Prize winners receive worldwide recognition for their work as well as an opportunity to help shape national and global policy and practice in the field. Twenty-five community organizations will be honored with the Equator Prize 2008 and US$5,000 each. Five of these communities will receive special recognition and an additional US $15,000. Special recognition will be given in the following categories: one for each region of eligibility (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean), one to the initiative that best exemplifies community approaches to adapt to climate change, and one to the initiative that best exemplifies the conservation of agricultural biodiversity. The Equator Prize will be presented in October 2008, in Barcelona, Spain, at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. All winners will have the opportunity to showcase their work in the “Poble” Dialogue Space at the Congress. The Equator Prize 2008 nomination process will be open through May 31, 2008. Details on the criteria for the Prize, information on the award process, and the online nomination system can be accessed through the Equator Initiative website at We encourage you to nominate qualified community initiatives that are active in environmental conservation and sustainable development within the equatorial region. Self-nominations are welcome. Please disseminate this announcement widely to your electronic newsletters and networks! With your help and nominations, we can continue to honor and celebrate exceptional communities around the world, support their invaluable work and grow a stronger network of community best practice in biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

International Women's Day, 8 March 2008: Investing in Women and Girls

As the United Nations observed International Women’s Day at Headquarters, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that investing in women was not only the right thing to do, it was the smart thing to do. Gender equality was both a goal in itself and a prerequisite for reaching the millennium targets, he said, adding that empowered women brought new perspectives to decision-making and increased the chances of education and employment for the next generation. “And when women have access to finances, credit, technologies and markets, they are likely to expand their businesses and contribute effectively to sustained economic growth and development,” he said.Governments were increasingly creating an enabling environment for investing in women, the Secretary-General said, noting that more than 50 countries had introduced gender-sensitive budgeting and many were abolishing laws that prohibited women’s access to land, property ownership, credits and markets. The United Nations was doing its part by setting policies and strategies for gender equality and development financing, while generating commitments from Member States, international organizations, civil society and the private sector.“And yet, we still have a long way to go,” he said, stressing that women were still severely hampered by discrimination, lack of resources and economic opportunities, limited access to decision-making and gender-based violence. All stakeholders must calculate the economic costs of persistent gender inequality, and the resources required to remedy it, he said, calling for a major scaling up of investments in women and girls, the creation of mechanisms to regularly track investments in gender equality, as well as good governance, gender-sensitive budgets and creation of transparent, stable and predictable investment climates to promote women’s employment and productivity, among other things. “For my part, I will work to strengthen the UN Secretariat’s own gender machinery. In my revised estimates for the 2008-2009 programme budget, on improving delivery of mandates for development activities, I propose to almost double the staffing of the Office of my Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women.” Further, he announced plans to significantly increase the resources of the Division for the Advancement of Women, and he called on Member States to successfully conclude consultations to consolidate resources currently scattered among several structures into one dynamic and strengthened gender entity. Following the Secretary-General’s remarks, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketti, Minister for Public Service and Administration of South Africa, said it was important to remain cognizant of the enormous frustration women felt at the lack of commitment and accountability to development goals and gender equality commitments. While women played an integral role in community development, resources of development projects had been redistributed mainly to men through patriarchal land-reform processes. Imports from Western and Asian markets had weakened African women’s economic independence, and gender-specific conditions were still limited in the technical and financial support provided as part of official development assistance (ODA) in southern Africa, she said. Investment in women could change the current trajectory of the combined threats of underdevelopment, poverty, violence, environmental degradation, ill health, and conflicts over natural resources. But, to achieve that, international partners must harmonize and align programmes and simplify funding requirements, as well as support legislation and policy frameworks to protect vulnerable women. Gains made should not be rolled back. Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., agreed, saying there could be no sustainable development if half the world’s talent pool was stymied or underrepresented. The connection between women and economic growth was extraordinarily powerful. His company’s “10,000 Women” programme helped thousands of underserved women worldwide achieve their full potential by offering business management education. To learn more about this special day, please visit

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Finally, Australia Says 'Sorry' to Aborigines for Mistreatment

By Tim Johnston of the New York Times: SYDNEY, Australia — Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened a new chapter in Australia’s tortured relations with its indigenous peoples on Wednesday with a comprehensive and moving apology for past wrongs and a call for bipartisan action to improve the lives of Australia’s Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. “The Parliament is today here assembled to deal with this unfinished business of the nation, to remove a great stain from the nation’s soul, and in a true spirit of reconciliation to open a new chapter in the history of this great land, Australia,” Mr. Rudd told Parliament. This was “Government business, motion No. 1,” the first act of Mr. Rudd’s Labor government, which was sworn in Tuesday after a convincing electoral win over the 11-year administration of John Howard, who had for years refused to apologize for the misdeeds of past governments. Mr. Rudd’s apology was particularly addressed to the so-called Stolen Generations, the tens of thousands of indigenous children who were removed, sometimes forcibly, from their families in a policy of assimilation that only ended in the 1970s. In some states it was part of a policy to “breed out the color,” in the words of Cecil Cook, who held the title of chief protector of Aborigines in the Northern Territory in the 1930s. “We apologize especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country,” Mr. Rudd said as hundreds of members of the Stolen Generations listened in the gallery, some with tears in their eyes. “For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry. “To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.” The 4-minute apology, and the 20-minute speech that followed, received a standing ovation both inside the chamber and from the hundreds gathered on the grounds of Parliament House in the capital, Canberra. “I thought it was fantastic,” said Kirstie Parker, the managing editor of the influential Aboriginal newspaper The Koori Mail. She said that it was not just the apology that was important: Mr. Rudd recounted stories of the victims, Ms. Parker noted, bringing the reality of the misdeeds to light and publicly confronting those who deny what happened. For more on this article, please visit

Monday, February 18, 2008

New York City's Mayor Bloomberg Adresses UN General Assembly on the Importance of Climate Change

The UN General Assembly held a high-level discussion on climate change at United Nations headquarters last week. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the 3-day meeting on Monday, February 11 saying that if 2007 was the year when climate change rose to the top of the global agenda - with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change making it clear that climate change was already happening and accelerating - then 2008 was the time for concerted action to follow up on the powerful declarations of political will voiced at the Bali Climate Change Conference last December. In Bali, countries agreed to launch negotiations on a new international climate change agreement by the end of 2009. “The challenge is huge. We have less than two years to craft an agreement on action that measures up to what the science tells us. It will have to map out emission limitation commitments; agree on essential action to adapt to the impacts of climate change; and mobilize the necessary financing and technological innovations.” New York's Mayor Bloomberg also addressed the UN General Assembly, expressing his pleasure at having participated in the Climate Change Convention in Bali and saying that, between now and the planned Copenhagen meeting at the end of 2009, both developed and developing nations must resolve to change their policies - and that the world’s cities must be an important part of those changes. For effective results, he said targets for reducing carbon emissions must be imposed and the United States must take a leadership role in that area by imposing a carbon tax. “Serious carbon targets will not hamper growth and would make us all better off.” He said the targets must be ambitious, but also achievable, adding that New York City had shown the way through its “Plan NYC”, which envisions reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. The United States could do the same with zero cost, because of the efficiencies and opportunities involved. More than 700 cities in the United States are currently trying to meet the challenges of reducing urban pollution and challenging climate change, and enlisting private-sector companies in the cause as well.