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Roots Newsletter November 2020: GFC is 20 today!

Espanol // Française // русский

Dear friends,

Today we celebrate GFC’s 20th anniversary! We hope you will join us in a few hours time to commemorate the occasion during our birthday webinar, where we will honour the struggles that our member groups have engaged in over the past two decades. The event will hear stories of success and struggle from around the world, and will have simultaneous interpretation into Spanish, French and Russian. You can register here if you haven’t done so already. We’ve also just published a short video showcasing some of the things that have happened over those 20 years, and we hope you will help us by forwarding and sharing it throughout your networks.

Over the past few months we’ve participated in some key advocacy work, particularly relating to our women’s rights and climate campaigns, and our campaign against unsustainable livestock farming. On International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations we launched a report in our Forest Cover series on the impacts of tree plantations on women during a webinar marking the occasion, which was an important addition to the growing evidence showing how women bear the brunt of these impacts disproportionately. Examples from nine of our member groups plus a powerful call to action showed the extent of the problem and the urgent need to oppose plantation expansion globally.

Linked to the plantations problem, we also published a briefing on REDD+ where we tried to cut through the jargon and technical language in order to make an accessible assessment of this UN programme for the people that matter most: local communities and civil society. With numerous allies we targeted other UN bodies that are similarly failing to deliver on commitments to protect biodiversity, through the CBD Alliance’s “People’s response” to the biodiversity summit, and through a call for: “No more Rhetoric: It’s time for money to be redirected to a gender-responsive, rights-based ecosystems approach to halt biodiversity loss”.

We also recently celebrated International Day of Rural Women by publishing a photo essay of the capacity-building work that our member groups have carried out over the past two years through the Women2030 programme. The day after, we published a blog on World Food Day by the newest member of the GFC team, Milena Bernal, on how lessons from COVID-19 can lead the way to sustainable food systems. Another event we marked, though without celebration, was the Net Zero Festival, which we dubbed the “Net Zero Circus” in a blog and social media campaign calling-out the greenwashing of the event and its corporate participants.

Our livestock campaign hosted another regionally-themed webinar series exploring how financial support and other incentives are driving the expansion of agro-industry, and drawing out the key barriers to a real transformation in food production. This helped to build momentum towards the #DivestFactoryFarming campaign, which we are spearheading with allies Synergia Animal and Feedback, aimed at shaming international development banks into ending their large-scale financial support for industrial livestock farming. In the last month we have also supported member groups to develop project proposals for the 50by40 funder’s platform to enable them to launch their own campaigns around the reduction of meat consumption and/or production.

Since September we’ve hosted or supported a large number of successful online events, including our Extractive Industries, Tourism and Infrastructure (ETI) campaign’s first webinar on tourism, a Latin American regional conversation on resistance to tree plantations and an event called “Resisting our destruction: forest, bioenergy and monoculture tree plantations” which was part of the COP26 Coalition’s online gathering “From the Ground Up” and attracted almost 200 participants and 450 viewers on social media. We’d also encourage you to look out for our final publication of the year in December, where we will be launching another report in our Forest Cover series. It will focus on how the destructive livestock and plantations sectors are promoted through perverse incentives, and how corporations support and benefit from these policies.

For many people 2020 has been a particularly challenging year. We also must come to terms with the fact that the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal 15.2 of halting deforestation by 2020 has not been achieved, and isn’t likely to be for some time, as a minority of countries with significant forest cover continue to ignore the SDGs. However, in the absence of political will, many of our members have been implementing this goal themselves, and it is these stories of positive change that we will showcase later today. We hope therefore that our anniversary celebrations provide some relief and inspiration as we welcome 2021.

In solidarity,

The GFC team


The impacts of tree plantations on women & women-led resistance to monocultures (21 September) 15 years of REDD+: Has it been worth the money? (3 September)

On International Day of Rural Women celebrate women-led struggle for gender-justice (14 October)

From the blog

World Food Day: Lessons from COVID-19 can lead the way to sustainable food systems (15 October) Roll up, roll up! The Net Zero Circus is coming to a forest near you (30 September)

Ending Violence Against Women Requires Systemic Change (25 November)


Global coalition releases liability “roadmap” for governments to Make Big Polluters Pay (15 September)

A “peoples’ response”: Over 100 organizations sign letter criticizing the UN’s biodiversity summit (30 September)

ECOonline: No more Rhetoric: It’s time for money to be redirected to a gender-responsive, rights-based ecosystems approach to halt biodiversity loss (8 October)

Statement against burning Namibian bushwood in German heat and power plants (9 October)

Development Banks: #DivestFactoryFarming NOW! (11 November)


Webinar: International day of struggle against monoculture tree plantations (21 September)

Webinar series: Fueling agro-industrial livestock production (15 October)

Webinar: Tourism, forests and communities (22 October)

Regional conversation: Resisting monoculture tree plantations (6 November)

Resisting our destruction: forest, bioenergy and monoculture tree plantations (16 November)

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:

25 Nov, 2020
Posted in Roots