Rwandan GPS team keeps growing

Valentine Dushimiyimana was the unique participant selected to attend the Istanbul summit last June from Rwanda. This country is among those where tough decisions have to be made to select only one talented and skilled applicant for phase 1. However, this 27 year-old young lady worked hard and demonstrated competency and leadership.

Valentine with other activists from different organizations successfully filled in the country mapping document and developed the national strategic plan. She was the team leader who mobilized her peers in collecting and uploading the critical data needed for future plans development. Moreover, since her return from Istanbul, Valentine continued to grow the number of supporters and allies to the Power Shift initiative. Experienced and talented young professionals from various groups, private and public organizations are now coming together under a new group called “Rwanda Green Initiative’, the group behind Power Shift Initiative in Rwanda. Read the rest of this entry »

GPS team Nigeria focusing on dirty energy as part of their strategy

Written by: Usman Inuwa

I am Usman Inuwa and I come from the beautiful city of Bauchi in Nigeria. I have been an advocate of the environment and other fauna and flora preservation and protection for many years. I am passionate about the green outdoors and particularly enjoy spending time with wildlife. While on one of my field trips I became aware of the dangers human activities has on our mother earth and this encouraged me to make a valued effort in the work that I could do around this. Growing up I lived in a community where I remember ever so often finding relief in the cool waters of the adjacent river during the hot summers in Nigeria but now the sad reality is that this river over time shrank and eventually dried up. 

Usman Inuwa

Usman Inuwa

The lack of awareness and knowledge among people and a government, whose priority did not meet our concern on environmental protection, drove me to make the connection of dots of extreme weather and the affects on our environment pushing our government for political drives to sustainable use of natural resources and clean energy.

This drive has led me in becoming one of the participants in the Global Power Shift (GPS) campaign this year. The GPS team in Nigeria is made up of 9 young energetic professionals who all saw the need for scaled up global action and saw this as opportunity in which to make that happen. The members of our team come from various networks and organisations who besides working on activities towards climate change and social injustice at different local levels are now working together as a team against climate issues/problems such as dirty energy, flooding, gas flaring, flooding and erosion in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.

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Possible new coal powered plant in Ghana!

Shenzhen Energy Group, a Chinese company has proposed to build a 700 MW coal powered plant to the government of Ghana. The Ministry of Energy in Ghana which has welcomed this build with much enthusiasm.

Ghana Youth Environmental Movement together with GPS Ghana team are currently involved in campaigning against this atrocity which forms part of their Price for Pollution Campaign for 2013.

This is what they have to say about the price of pollution in Ghana…

“What we are saying is that industries must pay for polluting the environment. A price could be in the form of tax prescribed by a government’s authority. We are making this a big moral issue. The argument is that if it is morally wrong to pollute the environment and/or wreck this planet, then it’s equally immoral to benefit from that pollution and wreckage without paying for it.

We know the groups that pollute – individual citizens, companies, industries, institutions, etc. We all pollute in this country and as such may feel guilty and defensive. However, as much as  it is very fair to say that everyone pollute in this country, it is equally fair to also say that not everyone who pollute benefit from that pollution and use their riches and power to block progress towards clean and renewable energy. So our campaign is naming the villains – plastics, mining and oil companies – to avoid any misinterpretation of the basic principles that birthed it.

In addition, we believe that activating this topic of paying for pollution automatically activates the broader perspective of the issue at hand – liquid waste from industries, hospitals and faeces been dumped into the sea without treatment, illegal mining (galamsey), the massive air pollution by the burning of e-waste and the importation of these e-waste to flood this country. These are other aspects that the campaign would touch, but we can only start from where we have the strategic capacity to make our voice heard.

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Pas de temps à perdre!

Trois semaines après la fin du Sommet d’Istanbul, l’heure est à la restitution, à l’enrichissement des plans et à la prise de contact avec les différents partenaires, alliés et volontaires qui aideront dans la mise en œuvre de la phase 2 de Global PowerShift. Depuis leur retour au pays, les différentes équipes ont eu à partager leurs plans avec différents partenaires afin de recueillir leur avis et soutien. Certains participants ont fait une telle restitution sur les médias afin de porter à l’attention de l’opinion les resultats de ce sommet historique.

Les consultations pour la mise en oeuvre de la phase 2 sont en cours

Les consultations pour la mise en oeuvre de la phase 2 sont en cours

En fin de compte, ce que nous espérons dans les semaines à venir des différentes équipes régionales et nationales, ce sont des plans stratégiques, cohérents et adaptés qui confrontent localement les défis climatiques identifiés. Du soutien aux politiques de zéro carbone à la promotion des solutions alternatives en passant par l’adaptation aux impacts et l’élargissement du mouvement climatique, ces plans se veulent être ambitieux et mobilisateurs à large échelle. Tous auront en commun la volonté d’élever la question climatique au coeur du débat citoyen et de l’agenda politique, particulièrement sur le continent où la non-prise en compte du danger que constituent les changements climatiques mine les efforts de développement.

 Personnellement, je ne doute pas que si l’énergie, l’engagement et la détermination démontrés à Istanbul demeurent au même niveau – ou mieux sont multipliés – le changement désiré au niveau communautaire, national et international sera atteint d’ici les prochaines années.



South Africa stands in solidarity with the US against the Keystone Pipeline


As Barack Obama touched down in South Africa during the week of the 29th July, South Africans stood in solidarity with the US against the Keystone Pipeline! More pics can be seen here: