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Guy Dauncey, Editor
395 Conway Road, Victoria, BC
Tel (250) 881-1304
Executive director of The Solutions Project
No. 83 - Serving Vancouver Island's Environmental Community - May 1999
A PEACEFUL, SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR KOSOVO
What are we to do ? The situation
in Serbia and Kosovo is horribly distressing. The Serb massacres, rapes
and other war crimes are horrendous; so is the NATO bombing, whether the
bombs fall on Serb targets or (by error) on columns of Kosovar refugees.
The Albanians living in Belgrade
say that they feel like the Jews in pre-war Germany. The Albanians living
in Kosovo are being driven out of their homeland. How would the world respond
if the Canadian army and paramilitaries tried to drive French speaking Quebecers
into New York State and Maine, destroying their homes behind them ?
The history of conflict in
the Balkans is ancient. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the
Albanians are not Slavic people, but are descendants of the original aboriginal
people of the Balkans. When the Victoria writer Beth Hill visited the region
with her husband Ray ten years ago, visiting museums to research the ancient
neolithic people of eastern Europe, she noticed a repeated triangular design
on neolithic pottery. Later, she saw the identical same design being used
on the dress of a young Macedonian shepherd woman. The past has a long memory
in the Balkans, which we should be amazed at.
Our traditional ways of resolving
conflicts, however, must end. It is not only people whose lives are being
destroyed. A CBC report in mid-April told of a town where a chemical installation
had been bombed, where the whole town had to wear gas masks or improvise
something equivalent, and where a plume of toxic chemicals was making its
way down the Danube to the Black Sea, killing everything along the way.
Our 20th century methods of
resolving conflicts are not working, neither Milosevic's age-old ethnic
death solutions, nor NATO's ultra high-tech bombing solutions. Both are
so wrong. Nor can we find a way out by simply demanding that one side stop
its actions. We have to find a new way, to think outside the box.
These are some personal ideas
to share with others, as a starting point for discussion. Please feel free
to share them as widely as you like.
- Acknowledge the history of
ethnic conflicts in the region. Acknowledge the Serb people's deep spiritual
attachment to Kosovo, going back to their defeat at the Battle of Kosovo
against the invading Ottomans, in 1389.
- Acknowledge that many Serb
people do not support the Milosevic regime, and would be horrified if they
knew what was really happening in Kosovo.
- Using the power of the Internet,
mobilize a huge movement for a different solution, beyond Milosevic and
beyond the NATO bombing.
- Create a vision of Kosovo
as a 'Doorway to the New Millennium', a place where, based on forgiveness,
a rebuilding could take place based on sustainable forestry and agriculture;
solar and wind energy; community participation and shared democratic representation,
combined with all the mine-sweeping, reconciliation and trauma counselling
that will be needed. For the price of just one Stealth bomber, so much of
this would be possible.
- Offer the same package to
Serbia, to repair the damage done by NATO and lead Serbia into a sustainable
future. The years of poverty following the bombing will only feed more hatred
and revenge. We have to reach out to post-war Serbia and Kosovo, the way
we did to Germany after World War 2.
- Offer the same package to
other countries in the region, in what could become a Balkan Alliance for
Peaceful, Sustainable Future. Invite individuals to sign up prior to their
governments signing on, creating a new political force for a peaceful, sustainable
future in each country.
- Persuade the world's spiritual
leaders (including Orthodox Serbian & Greek Christian, Muslim and healers
like James Twyman) to meet together and initiate a huge process of worldwide
prayer, creating a field of sensitive energy in which miracles can happen.
Start prayer and healing groups all around the world, focussed on the region.
- Gather 10,000 people from
around the world who would be willing to enter Kosovo and Belgrade in a
non-violent pilgrimage of peace, sustainability and forgiveness, led by
Bishop Desmond Tutu, accompanied by the world's musicians and by the world's
media, providing safe conduct for the Albanian refugees back into Kosovo,
and inviting all the players to embrace this vision of peaceful, sustainable
- Inundate Belgrade, Serbia
and the Balkans with information on the new initiative, using email, radio,
TV, leaflets and personal friendships from Balkan émigrés
around the world.
- Stop the NATO bombing for
a 3 month period of reconciliation, to give the Serb people a chance to
learn the truth about what has been happening, to consider these new approaches,
and to allow the pilgrimages to enter.
- The risk of a 3rd World War
is very great, with Russia being so unstable; this is a starting point for
a different way.
- Guy Dauncey
Published as a
monthly service, nourishing the vision of an Island blessed by the harmony
of nature and community, funded by your donations.
A very big thankyou
to Roger Colwill, Sharon Whyte, Gail Schultz, Eleanor McKinnon, J Bray,
Eric Bonham & Mary Nall, Petra Durrance, Maurice Tozer, Unlimited Possibilities,
Joan Waddell, Seymour Trieger, Joanna Wilkinson, Yvonne Bondarchuk, Kathleen
Kyle, Lovisa Milligan, Jo Phillips & M.Harvey.
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for recent late deliveries, which were due to the bulk mailing system.
- House for sale - ours ! Do
you know anyone who might like to buy our lovely 2-bedroom character 1947
bungalow on a quiet street in north Oak Bay, with a sweet presence and a
gorgeous organic garden with garden studio ? We are moving in July to agriculturally
zoned land in West Saanich where Carolyn can continue her 'Garden Path'
Nursery business. The asking price is $214,900. Call me, Guy Dauncey, 881-1304.
- A big welcome to The Rainbow
Snake Café and Juice Bar, at #101, 3 Fan Tan Alley (920-4047). Nancy
Prescott has been working towards this day for 2 years. Tasty veggy &
vegan food, yummy desserts, fresh juices & organic coffee with a unique
ambience, community noticeboard, and a big welcome. Eat Organic, and Save
the Planet !
- And welcome to 'Locally Yours',
a rural Saanich eco-business which is promoting local agriculture, local
economy and sustainable communities. Their first outing is a Saanich Peninsula
Ramble with a double-decker bus on May 16th. Give John Smith a call at 652-5410.
- Congratulations to Kathryn
Molloy, who was elected to the Board of Pacific Coast Savings Credit Union
as one of the GOMOJO group of candidates. She came in 3rd with 2913 votes,
and now starts a 3-year term. 7.5% of the members voted - a big increase
from last year.
- Congratulations too to Norway,
which has banned the construction of large shopping malls outside city-centre
areas for five years in a bid to reduce automobile pollution and revive
The latest news on the planned
overhead spraying is that it will not happen before the first week of May,
at the earliest. The intention to spray will be announced at 4pm, and will
occur 36 hours later, at first light. People who are chemically sensitive
or who fear a negative reaction are being advised to leave town overnight,
and to stay out for a 4-hour period after the spraying. When the government
tells us that BtK is a 'natural pesticide', they omit to explain that BtK
is only 2.1% of the spray. According to Tim Ebata at the Ministry of Forests,
the remaining spray consists of 90% water, and 7.9% a mix of dead bacterial
cells (a by-product of cereal fermentation) and other trade secret chemicals
used as binders. He says that the chemicals safety description of Foray
48B as "hazardous" was an error, a description which has now been
removed. As well as the health risks to people who are chemically sensitive,
the spray may cause two organic growers whose land is within the spray zone
to lose their certification, and cause transitional organic growers in the
zone to go back to scratch. If the spray is repeated yearly, none of the
land in the spray zone will be able to support certified organic food. The
West Coast Environmental Law Association's Environmental Dispute Resolution
Fund has given the Ecological Health Alliance a grant to research injunction
proceedings to challenge the Order in Council which ordered the spray program.
The case will come before the Supreme Court of Canada during May, when public
support will be essential. To learn how you can help, call Katy Young at
Bill Robson writes : Sustainability
in business ? Big deal. I know all about that. Got the 'Save the Earth'
T-Shirt to prove it. That's what I thought about The Natural Step, a Swedish
model which provides a pathway for businesses and corporations to harmonize
with Nature's ecology. I've just attended a 5-day training in Portland (in
the company of David Brower, Paul Hawken & Amory Lovins), and realized
that it's the most far-reaching, visionary and yet practical framework for
businesses to become sustainable. Corporations are the single most powerful
and pervasive institution on the planet, and the most environmentally destructive
- so they need it. I came away committed to establishing a study group of
people who will meet, learn and strategize how to get the word out to Victoria
businesses. We'll meet at the end of May - if you're interested, call me
MODIFIED (GM) FOOD UPDATE
Following last month's cover
story on Monsanto, I was invited to speak on 'Genetic Patents and Moral
Issues' to a top-level delegation visiting Victoria from the Chinese Government's
State Intellectual Property Department. They learnt about Monsanto and Terminator
Seeds, while I learnt that Monsanto is already in China - (get this) - training
the patent law departments and the pesticide regulators. Talk about the
Mafia training the police ! In Britain, the country's most prestigious restaurants
are calling for a 5-year ban on growing and selling GM food, and Sainsbury's
and Marks & Spencer's, two of Britain's leading food retailers, have
joined Iceland stores in not using any GM ingredients in their foods. The
UK government has ruled that all corn and soya products must be labelled
to indicate if they include GM ingredients, and has fired 10 of the 13 members
on its biotechnology advisory committee, on the basis that their connections
to the biotech industry were too close. (They approved all 160 GM applications
that came before them). The new committee will consist of independent members
of the public. Here in Canada, we have no means of knowing if food has been
GM'd or not - but we do know that the following food products contain GM
ingredients - so watch how you shop :
Pillsbury food products
Kraft salad dressings
Green Giant harvest burgers
Isomil and ProSobec infant formulas
Wesson vegetable oils, Fritos, Doritos, Tostitos and Ruffles Chips
McDonald's french fries
Source - Rachel's
If you want to complain, write
to Corky Evans, Minister of Agriculture & Food (Tel 387-1023, Fax 387-1522)
One place you'll be sure not
to find any GM food is EarthFEST, which opened last year near Courtenay.
It was so popular that it's back, August 14th - 15th, bigger, better and
even more melodious. Plan on taking the family, tent, sun-tan lotion &
bathing costumes, and I guarantee you a weekend both stimulating and peacefully
mellow ! The organizers are actively seeking organic food vendors and qualified
workshop leaders and exhibitors. EarthFEST is a unique event providing workshops,
demonstrations and exhibits about organic food, alternative and renewable
energy sources, shelter, transportation, self-reliance, water issues, green
businesses, eco-forestry, health, waste solutions, and responsible community
development. Great outdoor site, camping, swimming, children's activities,
entertainment. The first EarthFEST was excellent, this year will be even
better! Come help create a vision of a sustainable society. Sponsors welcome.
Volunteers in Victoria and other communities needed. Virginia Mackie, (250)
334-8694 firstname.lastname@example.org www.web.net/earthfest
TO WORK WEEK
The weather's warm, and you
know it's a healthy activity - so why not leave your car at home for once,
and bike to work ? Come to that, why not go one better and get your workmates
to join you in a Bike to Work Week Team Challenge ? It could be a laugh
- and there are prizes to be won. As well as celebrating the bike as a non-polluting
means of urban transport, the week's organizers are asking for input on
where additional bike parking is needed, and setting novice cyclists up
with a 'Bike Mate' to help them discover the safe routes to work. So there's
the thought ! If you feel inspired, call the Hotline at 413-8000.
As of a year ago, in the USA,
3.5 million acres of forest had been eco-certified by the Forest Stewardship
Council (FSC) as managed in a way that is environmentally appropriate, socially
beneficial, and economically viable - half in the previous 6 months. In
England, certified timber products now represent 14% of the forest products
marketplace, and one of Britain's leading retailers has pledged to buy all
of its forest products from certified sources by the year 2000. Things are
shifting ! Here in B.C., a 1998 survey by IMPACS found that 74% of BC residents
would choose a slightly more expensive forest or paper product, if it was
labelled as having been harvested in an environmentally responsible way.
This is the pressure, combined with on-the-ground protests, that is causing
companies like MacBlo to phase out all clearcutting over the next four years.
In March, the FSC hired Marty Horswell as B.C.'s coordinator, to steer the
process of eco-certification in the province (250-329-2991). The FSC's standards
for B.C. are expected to be released very soon, for public review. Eco-certification
enables us to say, as consumers, that we do not want to be part of the destruction
of the world's rare, old-growth rainforests, here or anywhere.
Maryland Governor Parris N.
Glendening has unveiled a Smart Growth plan to curb the ecological, economic,
and social harm done by 50 years of city-to-suburbs migration. The Smart
Growth plan will : (1) Shift development back to existing communities by
directing state spending for roads, schools, and sewers to cities, towns,
and more densely developed suburbs already served by public utilities. (2)
Preserve the state's rural legacy by spending $163 million over the next
five years to buy up to 90,000 acres of farmland and environmentally sensitive
areas. (3) Encourage recycling of abandoned or underused brownfield industrial
sites by streamlining pollution clean-up requirements. Some farmers oppose
the governor's plan and changes in state funding because they fear the measures
might hurt their land value. And in rapidly growing Carroll County, Commissioner
Donald Dell praises the governor's overall plan, but is concerned that it
will cost his county $6 million in state aid for a needed school renovation.
(The Baltimore Sun, January 12, 1997). What would 'smart growth' look like
on Vancouver Island ? Urban containment boundaries for every settlement;
mandatory ecological assessments before every major project; transportation
based on pedestrian, cycle, bus and then cars, in that order, and active
planning for local economies.
Organic Heritage Plant Nursery
at the Greenhouse,
1834 Haultain St
(between Richmond & Foul Bay)
Open daily until
Sunday June 6th, 10am - 5pm
Heritage flowers, vegetables & tomatoes, culinary & medicinal herbs,
fragrant English roses - sweet peas - flowering shrubs
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
In a decision that
may change the way the world views environmental issues, the Supreme Court
of the Philippines has ruled that the three children of Antonio Oposa, along
with 41 other children, have standing to sue on behalf of their generation
and subsequent generations. Oposa is an attorney with the Philippines Ecological
Network and is representing the children in trying to cancel all existing
timber license agreements between timber interests and the Philippine Department
of Environment and Natural Resources. The July 30th 1998 decision held that
minors have standing to represent their own and future generations under
the doctrine of intergenerational equity. The Court stated that: "This
case...has a special and novel element. Petitioners' minors assert that
they represent their generation as well as generations yet unborn. We find
no difficulty in ruling that they can, for themselves, for others of their
generation and for the succeeding generations, file a class suit. Their
personality to sue on behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based
on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right
to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Such a right, as hereinafter
expounded, considers the `rhythm and harmony of nature'. Nature means the
created world in its entirety. Such rhythm and harmony include, inter alia,
the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation
of the country's forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore
areas and other natural resources to the end that their exploration, development
and utilization be equitably accessible to the present as well as future
generations. According to E-LAW U.S. Board President Michael Axline, at
the University of Oregon School of Law, the opinion will have far-reaching
consequences. "This opinion for the first time recognizes the interconnectedness
of the present and the future in legal terms," Axline said. "Courts
in the United States should study the opinion closely, not only because
it is well reasoned, but also because it demonstrates a wisdom to which
all judges should aspire." Courts in Canada should study it too, for
there is no doubt that today's generation is stealing the ecological wealth
of future generations, whether that wealth lies in the forests, the oceans,
the wetlands, the prairies, or the genetic integrity of the world's species,
out the Victoria Green Pages !
for June: May 24th
Green Diary has moved! Click HERE
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'After the Crash : The Emergence of the Rainbow Economy'
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