Conference Notes by Matthew Brett (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Cochabamba+1 conference was hosted on Montreal on April 15, 2011. The event included a series of panels with front-line activists, academics, NGO representatives, politicians and union members. On the second day of the event, various ad hoc working groups were established to address areas of pressing concern. One working group briefly addressed the idea of creating a climate justice network across Quebec and Canada. Further discussions were held the following day. The idea of creating a climate justice network is evolving quickly.
This proposal is based on initial discussions held at the Cochabamba+1 conference.
If a climate justice network is going to be created, it should happen the right way, not the fast way. The goal should be building broad-based support for grassroots community resistance. There are already dozens of networks and active climate justice organizations. Several failed efforts have also been made to develop strong networks and resources. Any proposal to create a network must avoid replicating existing networks. Organizers must also be very careful about building a network that could fail, like many others before.
If a network is going to be created, there needs to be and open and inclusive process from beginning to end. A consultative process with frontline communities and community organizations should be established, including representation from groups outside of the climate-environmental and NGO-labour sectors (i.e. grassroots migrant justice groups, indigenous solidarity and indigenous organizations, anti-poverty groups, etc.).
- A procedure must be developed for building a network;
- Develop feedback mechanism as a means of staying in contact with participants;
- Propose a statement to potential network members, perhaps based upon Cochabamba, to see if there is consensus around the statement.