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Roots Newsletter December 2021: Happy new year!

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Women of Bakhai, India, on the cover of Forest Cover 65. Credit: Navrachna

Dear friends,

What a busy few months since our last newsletter! With international days of action and UN summits coming thick and fast, and a pandemic that continues to wreak havoc, we’re grateful for a brief pause before we dive into organizing and advocacy work in the new year.

Shortly after the last edition of Roots we celebrated International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree plantations on 21 September, when we launched two new investigations during a well-attended webinar. One looked at how the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) is driving plantation expansion, and the other examined Green Climate Fund-finance for eucalyptus plantations in Paraguay and the impacts that they are having on peasant life. Our webinar was a great opportunity to bring our members and allies together on the issue of the increasingly prominent role that tree plantations are playing in international forest restoration schemes.

Next up was the Global People’s Summit on Food Systems, which aimed to “End the global corporate food empire!,” with a three-day counter-summit coinciding with the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). Our livestock campaign joined thousands of rural peoples, CSOs and social movements in various online and on-the-ground activities to challenge the corporate capture of the United Nations. We are also currently helping to recruit a new campaign coordinator for the #DivestFactoryFarming campaign, so please do have a look at the job description if you are interested in being part of this exciting work!

A few weeks after the UNFSS the opening session of the Conference of the Parties to the Biodiversity Convention (CBD COP) took place mostly virtually. GFC collaborated closely with the CBD Alliance and the CBD Women’s Caucus to deliver a number of powerful messages to the summit. 

The International Day of Action on #BigBadBiomass also took place in October, where we supported our member groups and others involved in the EPN Forests, Climate and Biomass Working Group to build solidarity between forest biomass campaigns around the world. We hosted events focused on biomass developments in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region, published a case study on the impacts of the Valdivia biomass power station and pulp mill in Chile, and launched a statement from African CSOs calling for an end to land-grabbing for energy plantations. All in all, it was a hugely successful day with actions and events happening around the clock.

Following hot on the heels was the Climate Summit in Glasgow, which was billed as humanity’s “last hope” on the climate, but in reality was the most corporate dominated Climate Summit yet. Despite the fact that only a few members could attend the climate negotiations in person, the Summit was still a big focus for many of our staff and member groups. The highlight for us was publishing our landmark report on gender justice and climate change (Forest Cover 65), which featured nine powerful case studies and contributions from GFC member groups and provided a feminist analysis on the role of forests (and tree plantations) in climate mitigation efforts. We also co-hosted an official side event and an event during the People’s Summit, and continued to bring attention to the Net Zero scam and danger of negotiations around Article 6/market-based climate mitigation approaches.

This is just a brief summary of what’s gone on since September, and we encourage you to look through the publications, news and events section of this newsletter for a more comprehensive account. We’d also like to offer you a sneak preview of another important publication that we’ve just completed, and that will be presented at a webinar in January. Forest Cover 66 focuses on the gender-differentiated impacts of livestock-related policy-making, both in terms of policies promoting industrial livestock farming, and trying to address its impacts. Keep your eyes open for different advocacy and outreach activities based on this report in the coming months.  

A number of staffing changes have recently taken place at GFC too. Evgenia Mamedkhanova has sadly left the team, and we wish her all the very best in the future and thank her profoundly for her work and the valuable contributions she has made. Sebas Mak, our most recent intern, has stepped in to fill Evgenia’s role, so we now welcome Sebas as a full member of staff! We are also very pleased to welcome Chithira Vijayakumar to the team as GFC’s new Communications Coordinator. Chithira’s vast media experience and strategic comms skills will be a great addition to our communications team, and you will be hearing more from them soon. And finally, we also welcome Yuyun Harmono from WALHI/Indonesia as GFC’s new regional focal point for Asia-Pacific, who has taken over from Hemantha Withanage (who was recently elected Chairperson of FoEI – congrats Hemantha!).

2021 turned out to be a very difficult year, perhaps even more difficult than 2020. We lost too many friends and colleagues, including to Covid, and many parts of the world continue to suffer significantly due to the pandemic and its often gendered social consequences. As another year comes to a close we therefore wish you solidarity and strength for the year ahead, and look forward to organizing with you throughout 2022.

In solidarity,

The GFC team


Gender justice and climate action: A feminist analysis of forest and climate policy-making (2 November) AFR100: Driving commercial tree plantation expansion in Africa? (21 September)

Arauco’s Valdivia biomass power station: carbon emissions and conflicts with Indigenous communities in Chile (20 October)

These are not forests: The Arbaro Fund and monoculture tree plantations in Paraguay (29 September)

From the blog

In tree plantations in Paraguay, public money is driving private profit: What is Germany’s role?  (9 December) We Can’t Achieve Climate Justice Without Gender Justice: A Response to the Glasgow Talks (17 November)


The #DivestFactoryFarming campaign is recruiting a coordinator! (9 December)

International Civil Aviation Day: Carbon offsets for aviation are a false climate solution (7 December)

Tell FSC: Keep GE trees out of our forests! (26 November)

In Memory of Dr. Tengiz (Gizo) Urushadze (18 November)

A ‘Code Red’ for Humanity: Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance Statement on COP26 (17 November)

No landgrabbing for industrial biomass! Statement from Africa on #BigBadBiomass (21 October)

Join the International Day of Action on Big Biomass! 21 October 2021 (12 October)

The Net Zero Files: How greenwash is being used to reduce climate ambition (6 October)

Movements, civil society counter anti-people UN Food Systems Summit (22 September)


A Quarter of a Century of Struggles for Climate Justice: Lessons Learned and Strategies for the Future (9 November)

Is the industry greenwashing aviation? (1 December)

Uprooting the Drivers of Deforestation & Climate Change: frontline Visions and Pathways to a Transformative World (9 November)

Why Big Polluters are Net Zero’s Biggest Champion (6 November)

Burning monocultures for energy: the links between biomass, pulp, soy and steel in Latin America (21 October)

Divesting from #BigBadBiomass in the Asia-Pacific region (21 October)

The current state of forests: what’s the issue and why is it so important? (25 September)

Plantations vs. regeneration: why we must keep monocultures out of land restoration and climate mitigation schemes (21 September)

Share your news!

We encourage all of our members to send us your news, whether it be an event, a blog, a testimony, a photo essay or your press releases. We can help to share your campaign materials! Contact us:

31 Dec, 2021
Posted in Roots