Living Well: Practical Solidarity and Steady State
This Economics Report is shared by Judith Emanuel from Steady State Manchester and was written in November 2012. In June 2012 members of what became Steady State Manchester were involved in discussions with Manchester City Council about the idea of a Steady State Economy.
While these discussions were open and amicable, we decided that more work was needed to articulate the arguments for Steady State in ways that were appropriate and practical for Manchester. We also wanted to broaden the discussion to include other stake-holders from business (both private and co-operatively run), civil society and academia.
This is the second report following ‘In Place of Growth, Practical steps to a Manchester where people thrive without harming the planet’ which focuses on steady state economics. Further reports on Education, Biodiversity and other areas linked to Steady State Manchester will be published in 2013.
This report was written by Arwa Aburawa and Judith Emanuel with case study contributions by Mark Burton and Dave Cooke (Southern Voices), Kaira Boniface Gunda (KERI), Akufuna Ngenda (KERI) and Jane Ward (KERI). We are grateful to Marc Hudson, Mark Burton, Jaya Graves (Southern Voices), Dave Spooner (Global Labour Institute in the UK), Alana Dave (International Workers Transport Federation), Alan Manning (NWTUC), Stephen Pennells, (Manchester WDM), Bina Agarwal (Manchester University) and Juliet Simwinga for their contributions and suggestions. Needless to say, any deficiencies in the final report remain the responsibility of Steady State Manchester.
“International Solidarity is not an act of charity but an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objectives.” – Samora Machel, former president of Mozambique
Disclaimer: The team working on this report struggled to come up with terms and concepts which were fair, accurate and useful for the way we think about practical solidarity. Third World? The Poor? The South ? The Underprivileged? Developing world? Majority world? These all didn’t really fit the bill but we had to say something. If you have better suggestions, then please let us know.
“Solidarity comes from deep recognition of our most expansive self-interest. From the recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable.” – Aurora Levins Morales
This is a detailed report which has the following structure:
- Learning to Live Well on Less
- Tackling Inequalities: Manchester As A Mini-world
- We see practical solidarity playing out in several ways
- Maximising solidarity: minimising travel
- AIM 1: Learning from the South and underprivileged communities
- Example 1: Green Belt Movement, Kenya
- Example 2: Green for All – Environmental justice inthe S.Bronx
- Example 3: Food sovereignty in Cuba
- Example 4: Women Governing Forests in India
- AIM 2: Finding ways (while minimising travel) to work with people in the global South so that we all become more resilient against climate change and the shock to our economies and build a future where we can live well and equitably
- Case Study 1: Be The Change workshops
- Case Study 2: Kaoma Environmental Restoration Initiative (KERI)
- Case Study 3: The Grow Method, Oxfam
- Case Study 4: Learning for Sustainable Cities – Development
- Education Project in Manchester (DEP)
- Case study 5: Manchester Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC)
- Case Study 6: Unicorn Grocery
- Case Study 7: WDM campaign for climate justice
- AIM 3: Reducing our carbon footprint so that those more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are spared some of the worst implications – both globally and in the UK
- Practical Steps for Manchester and Mancunians
- Glossary/ Jargon buster
Though the link between steady state economics and international solidarity may not be immediately obvious, the two issues are closely connected in many ways. Steady state economics is all about local and regional economies and learning to be more self-sufficient, but that doesn’t mean we stop caring about those beyond our borders. The deÂ¬linking of Manchester’s economy from the global economy has to happen with one eye on our local communities and another on the underprivileged communities that the global system of trade currently has in its fold. As such, one important question that we have to answer when looking at steady-state economies is: how do we manage the transition to steady state in ways that minimises exploitation of people of the global South, and also minimise the shocks to their economies and livelihoods?
Learning to Live Well on Less
Another important issue that steady state economies raise is how we do learn to live on less? How do we learn to live without constant growth, without more and more products and to accept that there are planetary limits we can’t cross? We have a lot to learn from the global South about how we can better ‘live within our means’ and cut our emissions, which is after all what steady-state economics is all about. For example, an important concept that is gaining international traction is the Andean notion of ‘Living Well’ – this is about abandoning the constant and consumer-driven race to live better and embracing what is really important to living well.
This is how the concept, which is being used to support a new form of social and ecological justice, was expressed recently by the Bolivian delegation to the UN:
“Living Well is not the same as living better, living better than others, because in order to live better than others, it is necessary to exploit, to embark upon serious competition, concentrating wealth in few hands. Trying to live better is selfish, and shows apathy, individualism. Some want to live better, whilst others, the majority, continue living poorly. Not taking an interest in other people’s lives, means caring only for the individual’s own life, at most in the life of their family.
As a different vision of life, Living Well is contrary to luxury, opulence and waste, it is contrary to consumerism. In some countries of the North, in big metropolitan cities, people buy clothes they throw away after wearing them only once. That lack of care for others results in oligarchies, nobility, aristocracy, elites who always seek to live better at other people’s expense.”
This connection between different populations and steady state ideas are about identifying and implementing a sustainable life for all. We are promoting the concept of practical solidarity, which unlike charity, is based on mutual interest and aims to take place between equals and challenge power relations. This section includes examples of what we can learn from some outstanding projects addressing climate change in other parts of the world and case studies of successful examples of solidarity action.
Tackling Inequalities: Manchester As A Mini-world
Our first report, In Place of Growth, raised the importance of equity within a steady state. Solidarity is about addressing these inequalities wherever we find them. Practical solidarity is about the overprivileged world changing the way it lives in order to protect the underprivileged, especially those likely to be most affected by climate change, in both Southern countries and the UK. If we look at Manchester as a mini-world, then there are issue of inequality here too with low paid BME communities, working class, disabled people, women and others more worried and affected by the implications of a changing climate. We will endeavour to work with underprivileged communities locally and globally.
We see practical solidarity playing out in several ways:
- Learning important lessons from the global South and underprivileged communities.
- Finding ways with the minimum of travel to work with the global South to become more resilient against climate change and the shock to their economies
- Reducing our carbon footprint so that those more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are spared some of the worst implications – both globally and in the UK.
Maximising Solidarity: Minimising Travel
There are many projects in Manchester which do fabulous work linking with the global South. In recent years, as the financial cost of travel has reduced, opportunities for visits overseas and inviting people from projects to come here have increased. These have been invaluable, especially for individuals who have participated, in terms of personal experience, learning, relationship building and opportunities to give and take, life changing at times. We want to ask people, who we recognise have the best of intentions, if the travel is really necessary? Do so many people need to travel so often? Is the travel cancelling out the value of what you are giving? For example, if your input has helped people to have access to clean water, but that may dry up because of climate change.
New technology provides fantastic opportunities for alternatives. Mobile phones, the internet, Skype mean that contact with people even in remote places is much much easier than 10 years ago. Can money spent on travel can be better spent? For example, one project wants support to develop film-making skills. It would be relatively easy to find a volunteer who would at their own expense fly and share their skills. In terms of practical solidarity and carbon emissions an alternative would be to send the money to employ someone from a local town with the skills to do the same. It may not be as exciting but it is better practical solidarity. We recognise that solidarity projects which minimise travel demands a new mindset. We are absolutely committed to having a dialogue with as many projects as possible about this sensitive issue.
AIM 1: Learning from the South and underprivileged communities
‘When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of and peace and hope’
Below are some examples of how people in the Global South are working on climate change issues. They provide learning for us about what we can do to address climate change and live within our means.
Example 1: Green Belt Movement, Kenya
One of the great things for us all about global solidarity work on climate change is having a wonderful role model, the Kenyan Green Belt Movement (GBM). Founded in 1977 by Professor Wangari Maathai, the GBM has planted over 51 million trees in Kenya. GBM works at the grassroots, national, and international levels to promote environmental conservation; to build climate resilience and empower communities, especially women and girls; to foster democratic space and sustainable livelihoods.
There is an excellent DVD ‘Taking Root’ which Virtual Migrants1 and others have used in Manchester and activists have promoted in Zambia with exciting spin offs including tree planting in both places (see KERI case study).
When trees have been planted they are mapped as part of the Hummingbird campaign2 the aim of which is to plant one billion trees
- www. virtualmigrants.com/
internationally in memory of Wangari who died in 2011. Among other things, in Manchester, it inspired a teacher to write a teaching aid about Wangari, do a school assembly and the school planted a tree in her memory. Last year 3rd March, Africa Environment Day was renamed Wangari Maathai Day. In 2013, March 3rd falls on a Sunday. Steady State Manchester intends to works with groups to organise treeplanting and other events to emphasise practical solidarity.
Learning from the GBM has included:
- That individuals with vision, energy, a simple idea and a commitment to working at the grassroots can achieve a lot.
- The interconnectedness of issues – GBM which plants a lot of trees, empowers women and children, has effectively challenged corruption at a national level and elitism (such as the notion that you need a diploma to plant trees). It raises awareness of the impact of colonialism and bad governance, gives hope and makes a practical difference to the lives of people living in poverty.
Contact [email protected] to borrow a copy of the Taking Root DVD or obtain a copy of the teaching aid.
Example 2: Green for All – Environmental justice in the S.Bronx
“An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King South Bronx is an area of New York City where underprivileged people live. It has the largest food distribution centre in the USA and is the repository for waste from all over New York City. Traffic congestion is high and one in four children have asthma.
Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) has been championing hope and opportunity for the people of the South Bronx and other urban communities since 2001. They offer a comprehensive approach of integrated economic and environmental solutions, resulting in more prosperous, healthier and revitalized communities.
Majora Carter, economic consultant, radio host, environmental justice advocate and founder of SSBx grew up in the S.Bronx. She and others understood that what was happening to people who lived in areas like the S.Bronx was environmental abuse and was determined to achieve environmental justice. If environmental justice is achieved, no community will deal with a disproportionate amount of environmental burdens while enjoying few environmental benefits. SSBx understands that race and class are excellent indicators of where you’ll find parks and trees, power plants and waste facilities. Campaigners in the S.Bronx were not willing to be the repository for things that wealthier, usually whiter communities could afford to avoid. SSBX recognises that communities like the S.Bronx can be found around the world.
SSBx offer innovative Green Collar Workforce Training, Environmental Education, Community Greening Initiatives and campaign for environmental justice. They offer tried and tested practice in terms of a citizen-led approach to address issue of environmental, social and economic injustice. They are also a great source of inspiration in terms of the way they have integrated theory and practice and recognise the universality of their situation. More info at www.ssbx.org/2011
Learning from the SSBx has included:
- That individuals with vision, energy, a simple idea and a commitment to working at the grassroots can achieve a lot.
- The interconnectedness of issues -environmental issues are race, class, health equity issues.
Example 3: Food sovereignty in Cuba
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s/ 1990’s, Cuba experienced a financial and trading crisis which amounted to the loss of 80% of its foreign trade. Following wide consultation with the mass organisations of Cuban society, the government decided to launch a range of extraordinary measures. Among these measures were steps to increase the amount of food grown in the country.
Cuba had been used to trading its sugar and other tropical crops for a variety of commodities including petroleum, machinery and foodstuffs all of which were now in short supply. The scarcity of oil in particular led to problems in agricultural production and distribution of foods. The country’s rationing system and high level of social organisation meant that nobody starved although meals were basic and there were some temporary problems of vitamin deficiency.
In the cities vacant land and spaces such as rooftops were brought under cultivation by workplaces, community organisations, families and individuals. Shortage of petroleum products made a virtue out of the necessity of using organic methods and this later became official policy for the new sector of urban agriculture. In the country, the use of oxen for ploughing was reintroduced since there was little oil for tractors. Traditional methods of food preservation were resurrected and disseminated to deal with the seasonal nature of vegetable and fruit production.
Cuba continues to work on increasing its self-sufficiency in food although it still imports a significant proportion of its food requirements3. Recent policies have included the distribution of idle state lands to small farmers
http://monthlyreview.org/2012/01/01/the-paradox-of-cuban-agriculture and co-ops under the usufruct model where the land remains common property but may be used by families or co-operatives. Decision making is also being de-centralised to the municipal level.
In the country the small farmers association, ANAP, has led the move to organic cultivation. The government used the high level of scientific development in programmes to breed livestock and develop organic cultivation and pest control methods. Learning includes how one country has realised food sovereignty as a result of adversity. This was also achieved in the UK in the so called second world war with impressive health outcomes due to greater equity in distribution of essential food.
Example 4: Women Governing Forests in India
Research on women’s involvement in community forestry institutions (CFI’s) on forest canopy and regeneration in Nepal and the Gujarat in India concludes are that if landless women make up at least 25-30% of CFI’s, it makes a significant difference to greening the forests.
Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics and Environment at Manchester University, argues that it takes a critical mass of women to have a voice on the committees and they bring with them their stake in conservation, their ability to conserve and their knowledge of plants and species because of their everyday dependence on the forest which men do not have. While in the short term it may be in the interests of landless women to extract as much as possible from forests, through involvement in CFI’s, landless women have developed a greater understanding of the importance of conservation. They share their understanding and information with other women which has reduced hostility to conservation action and changed the way women use forests – a ‘win win’ situation.
We learn from this the importance of involving stakeholders who currently lack power and influence and whose short term needs may be best met by consumption rather than conservation. If we want their support do they need access to understanding what needs to happen and why, and opportunities to influence change? Steady State Manchester will work over the coming year to involve individuals and groups who lack power and influence and whose short term needs may be best met by consumption rather than conservation.
AIM 2: Finding ways (while minimising travel) to work with people in the global South so that we all become more resilient against climate change and the shock to our economies and build a future where we can live well and equitably
The following case studies are, we believe, examples of what good practical solidarity can look like. These case studies are in no way an exhaustive list. In fact, there is lots of interesting work being done by organisations such as trade unions and faith groups which have a long history of solidarity work. Although the link with climate change is just developing amongst many organisations, there is huge scope to explore it fu rther.
Case Study 1: Be The Change workshops
These transformational workshops, are a UK offshoot of the Pachamama Alliance and are available in Manchester. The Achuar have lived and thrived for centuries on the borders of Ecuador and Peru. Alarmed by the impact of exploitation of land in local villages for oil, they made links with people from the West offering support. The Pachamama Alliance was set up and responded in a range of ways including developing and running workshops about environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfilment. The aim is to raise awareness and encourage personal and political action in ways that will enhance the life of all beings and the planet.
Workshops have been held in at least 60 countries in 13 languages, with more than 3,500 volunteers offering the content in homes, churches, businesses, community centres and government agencies. Through a sister organization, Fundacion Pachamama, the alliance have supported the Achuar in gaining full title to nearly 1.8 million acres of rainforest. Fundacion Pachamama has expanded to working with indigenous groups in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia.
The workshops are great opportunity to bring people together to explore how they want to do something to reduce the negative impact of climate change. They can be 2.5 hours and are facilitated by volunteers who would like to run one for you and your organisations! See www.bethechange.org.uk and www.awakeningthedreamer.org. There are lots of film clips on the websites used in the workshops which anyone can use.
Case Study 2: Kaoma Environmental Restoration Initiative (KERI)
Our project started with a conversation between 2 Manchester residents and a Kaoma resident and environmental health worker, Kaira Boniface Gunda, about the lack of trees and approaching desertification in Kaoma, a small town in Western Zambia near the Kalahari dessert. Kaira recognised that:
‘Kaoma experiences a lot of climate change effects like dwindling levels of water sources, frost and excessive heat. Kaoma has very high levels of indiscriminate cutting down of tree for timber, charcoal burning, burn and slash farming and fire wood.’
KERI, an environmental organisation based in Kaoma was born. The link with KERI gives us the opportunity to reflect on how both we in Manchester and Kaoma can adopt sustainable means of utilizing natural resources. KERI networks and raises awareness about the extent of climate change problems with communities, government institutions, churches, NGOs and other interest groups and promotes tree planting. From the Manchester end, we have better access to the internet and therefore information and networks and have been able to offer some resources, technical support, advocacy with funders and a small amount of money.
We introduced KERI and Barefeet, a unique Zambian theatre group, who were touring with a play about climate change. As a result Barefeet went to Kaoma and trained 13 Climate Change Ambassadors at a school. Barefeet also loved Taking Roots and developed two theatre pieces inspired by Wangari and a teaching module ‘Wangari and the 7 wonders’ for a national Youth Conference in August. Barefeet teamed up with UNICEF to organise the conference. It took place in Lusaka and involved 2,000 young climate change ambassadors including the new Kaoma ambassadors.
KERI with some initial financial support from us have recently started selling solar bulbs which as a result are available for the first time in Kaoma, providing carbon neutral electricity to people living without electricity at Barefeet Theatre and local young present. We are hoping to be able to link people in Kaoma, March 2012 up activities in Manchester and Kaoma on 3rd March, which will be the first Wangari Maathai Day.
Case Study 3: The Grow Method, Oxfam
The GROW Method details simple things everyone can do every day to help tackle hunger that affects 1 in 7 people around the world; easy ways to help people be a thriving, supportive and sustainable part of ‘the food system.’
The food system is the global network between farmers and food producers, sellers in markets and supermarkets, and consumers in their local shops and kitchens. The way we currently produce food is putting a lot of pressure on the environment, with agriculture responsible for nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change – along with unfair distribution and rising food prices – is compromising the ability of small-scale farmers in the developing world to grow food.
Small-scale farmers and food producers are the backbone of the food system and in many developing countries, they are responsible for the bulk of food production. In Zambia, for example, up to 80% of food is produced by small-scale farmers. And although small-scale producers are ideally placed to provide the anticipated 70% increase in global demand for food by 2050, they currently suffer a lack of support and infrastructure to access markets to sell their goods for a fair price.
Women farmers are particularly vulnerable to a lack of support and resources. 43% of the world’s agricultural labour force is women, yet they own just 10-20% of land globally. If women were given the same access to resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by around a quarter, feeding a potential 150 million hungry people. There are easy ways to change the way you shop, cook and eat to make the food system work better for everyone, include:
- Buy fair trade products and brands and help protect the 1.5 billion people living on small farms around the world growing food to feed themselves, their families and their communities.
- Save food – In rich countries, we throw away almost as much food every year as consumers as Sub-Saharan Africa produces in a year (222 million tonnes), creating harmful greenhouse gases when it ends up at a landfill. Create less waste by storing our fruit and veg better and using up leftovers in inventive ways.
- Less meat and dairy – a 500g packet of beef needs 6,810 litres of water to produce enough meat for one meal. If just one family swapped beans for beef, they could save nearly 6000 litres of water in just one meal.
“It is hard to sell maize now. The best price is through the government depot but there is a limit on the number of bags that you can sell through them. My mother in law who lives in a remote part of Zambia was at the depot for four weeks trying to sell her maize. She failed
because the arrangement for weighing the maize and getting the right bags was never made. In the end she has to give up and sell it to a private buyer cheaply because she had college fees to pay for her son. People may think twice about growing maize again next year.” – Subsistence farmer in Zambia, who is in touch with a Manchester resident
Case Study 4: Learning for Sustainable Cities – Development Education Project in Manchester (DEP)
Learning from sustainable cities was an international project (1999 – 2003) coordinated by DEP. The project involved links being established between educators in the participant countries to develop and share case studies, explore content, teaching styles and student-led initiatives. The project was established with the Bombay Environmental Action Group and the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association to explore the concept of the sustainable city and to identify opportunities for young people to be involved as active citizens. Voluntary organisations in Brescia (Italy) and Curitiba (Brazil) became engaged as partners too. The work supported schools to promote and deepen an understanding of sustainability, including the centrality of justice and equality within urban environments.
These activities were developed by project partners:
Brescia – A student-led project and information campaign on the historical significance of the river in the city and the worsening of water quality due to factory pollution and urbanisation Curitiba – A student-led project and information campaign on the environmental and health impacts of waste, including dumped tyres, which provide a habitat for mosquitos and lead to the spread of dengue fever. Manchester – Regional coordination on education for sustainable development in the Greater Manchester region. School linking project in Oldham to promote racial and intercultural understanding between pupils.
Mumbai – A project to raise awareness and protest at the threat to the mangroves close to the city. Student research project and exhibition on Sanjay Gandhi National Park, a source of drinking water for the city.
The DEP continues to work to promote global education and education for sustainable development. See the websites of the Bombay Environmental Action Group and the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association to see some of this activity still going on: www.dep.org.uk
Case study 5: Manchester Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC)
In Manchester CSC group developed links with the province of Matanzas, some 100km from the capital. In partnership with the provincial government, the ANAP, and the Cuban Institute for International Friendship, CSC supported the Jose Marti agricultural co-operative at Los Arabos in rural Matanzas to establish a tree nursery and market garden to provide fruit trees, forestry species and vegetables for the locality as well as develop the facility for canning and bottling.
The project provides 5 new jobs for local women as well as contributing to the reforestation and food sovereignty of the province. Over 2008-2010, Manchester CSC raised the hard currency component of the funding required to establish the project (about 1/3 of the total cost) and this paid for construction materials, tools and equipment, fuel and office supplies. This has been achieved largely without the need for travel to Cuba although one member of the group did visit the co-op while in Cuba on other business.
Sunflower oil production Worm compost production
Case Study 6: Unicorn Grocery
Unicorn Grocery, a workers co-operative in Manchester, donate 4% of their profits every year to international organisations. For example, in 2010,they donated Â£5,564 from their 4% Fund to the Environmental Network for Central America (ENCA). ENCA used this to support the Honduran NGO International Center for Cover Crops Honduras for education in agricultural diversity ($4100). In addition to working to promote the use of cover crops, the International Center for Cover Crops Honduras is addressing Honduras’s lack of educational opportunities in the rural areas with an innovative educational program. ENCA also donated money for a Medicinal Herb Garden ($4,000) for COPINH. COPINH is the Consejo Cfvico de Organizaciones Populares e Indfgenas de Honduras: i.e. Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras. See more at Unicorn-grocery.co.uk.
Case Study 7: WDM campaign for climate justice
Whilst rich countries are responsible for most of the emissions pumped into the atmosphere it is the poorest communities in the world that are being hit the hardest by climate change. But rather than providing compensation for causing climate change, rich countries are using it to trap the world’s poor into new and dangerous climate debt. WDM is campaigning for climate justice for developing countries to ensure the UK fairly pays the compensation and doesn’t use the situation to reinforce existing global inequalities by propping up the World Bank and forcing new loans onto developing countries. The Manchester group meets monthly, all welcome. [email protected] or ring 0161 224 2025 http://groups.wdm.org.uk/manchester/
AIM 3: Reducing our carbon footprint so that those more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are spared some of the worst implications – both globally and in the UK.
Practical Steps for Manchester and Mancunians
The three aims that we have explored in this chapter are clearly interlinked. Living within our means implies a cut in our emissions and a greater ability to contribute to others trying to build more resilient and steady-state economies too. Here are some ways we think that we, alongside other Manchester residents, organisations and local authorities, could work on each of the aims:
- Develop the link with climate change We have a short workshop which can be anything from 20 minutes to an hour for groups who would like to have a quick look at where climate change issues link in with their work. We are happy to offer it to any group involved with work with people in the Majority World. As we have mentioned before in this chapter, there is lots of interesting work being done by organisations such as trade unions and faith groups which have a long history of solidarity work as well as campaigning groups, schools, individuals and others. We want a dialogue with as many groups as possible. Please get in touch with us [email protected]
- Organise a Be the Change workshop, see case study 1, p8 above.
- Keep in touch, informed about and participate in initiatives worldwide that are exploring new ways to make a living without destroying the planet for its resources.
- Develop and maintain links with communities and social
- movements that are working for living well, climate and social justice. Another example is Ecuador has a unique campaign to have the international community compensate the country in exchange for keeping the oil in the ground called ‘Leave the oil in the soil’. http://www.sosyasuni.org/en/index.php Manchester citizens and organisations including the City Council could lobby the Department for International Development to support the initiative financially.
- Support partnership initiatives with towns, cities, schools in the South about climate change and adaptation. For example Manchester City Council’s exciting proposed partnership with Lahore. There are exciting possibilities for partnership with Bangkok which has a quality public transport campaign where different trade unions are linking together. Bangkok local authority has a carbon mitigation campaign and are committed to good public transport.
- Change the way we shop, cook and eat in the city to make the food system work better for everyone. Include Support to fair trade initiatives, specifically where they are linked to progressive social and environmental movements, in place such as Palestine and Chiapas. Consider growing more of our own food.
- Join worldwide actions against privatising multinationals, GM
and supporting those trying to protect their environment from exploitation and sustaining their way of life.
- Organise a tree-planting event on March 3rd in Manchester which will be the first Wangari Maathai day (see case study 2, page 9).
- Minimise travel Solidarity projects which minimise travel demands a new mindset for many. If your solidarity involves travel, reduce this to the minimum possible.
For more information on any of the initiatives discussed in this section, [email protected] and please let us know what you are doing.
Some initial readers have fed back that people may require background knowledge on issues raised by this report. We recommend the websites of the following organisations and DVD to fill in some of the gaps:
- New Economics Foundation
- Jubilee Debt Campaign
- World Development Movement
- War on Want
- Green Belt Movement
- Be the Change UK
Taking Root DVD about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. To borrow a copy, contact [email protected]
Glossary/ Jargon buster:This is a guide to how we are using some of the ‘jargon’ in the report.
De-linking – Currently Manchester is part of a global system of trade. Steady State proposes a trading system which focussing largely on the local economy which will require de-linking from the global system of trade.
Ecological Justice – all living things have a claim in justice to a fair share of the planet’s environmental resources.
Environmental Abuse – Environmental abuse is contamination of the environment as a result of human activities. We use the term to include environmental abuse of people where they live in areas which endure the environmental costs of economic activity and do not get a fair share of the benefits (see environmental justice).
Environmental Justice – This concept challenges the status quo where communities hosting waste-disposal facilities receive fewer economic benefits than communities generating the waste. This happens because some areas, communities, regions and countries receive benefits, such as jobs and tax revenues, from industrial production while the costs, such as the burdens of waste disposal, are sent elsewhere. The term, Environmental Justice, was developed by black environmental activists in the US. It is the pursuit of equal justice and equal protection under the law for all environmental statutes and regulations without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and /or socioeconomic status and recognises procedural, geographic and social inequity.
Food sovereignty is a term coined by members of Via Campesina in 1996 to refer to a policy framework advocated by a number of farmers, peasants, pastoralists, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, women, rural youth and environmental organizations, namely the claimed “right” of peoples to define their own food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries systems, in contrast to having cross-border trade in food
‘Living Well’ – Abandoning the race to live better (better than someone else, no matter the costs) and embracing what is really important to living well.
Overprivileged – Having an excess of opportunities or advantages. This is a relative term, the vast majority of people living in the West are over privileged in relation to most people who live in Southern countries.
Practical Solidarity – Learning from, connecting with and involving people from underprivileged communities in Manchester and elsewhere especially in Southern countries as equals to develop mutually supportive relationships in order to develop a steady state in Manchester which promotes equity within the city and between Manchester and elsewhere.
South or Global South refers to the poorer least ‘developed’ countries and is not wholly defined by geography and is somewhat outdated. But for want of a better term we are using it here. Other terms include Majority World, developing countries and third world. The term Majority World highlights that the majority of humankind live in the poorer countries. It also brings to attention the anomaly that the Group of 8 countriesâ€”whose decisions affect majority of the world’s peoplesâ€”represent a tiny fraction of humankind.
Steady State Economics – A steady state economy is an economy of relatively stable size. It features stable population and stable consumption that the environment can sustain indefinitely. The term usually refers to a national economy, but can be applied to the economic system of a city, a region, or the entire planet.
Underprivileged – Lacking opportunities or advantages enjoyed by others because of poverty and discrimination for example a decent standard of living, adequate education and economic security
For more information about Steady State Manchester please get in touch with Judith and company at: