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UPDATE: Council team prepares to depart for Bolivia

The Cuban newspaper Granma Daily reports that, “Various representatives of civil society from 94 countries and delegates from 70 governments will be attending the First World Conference of the People on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth to be held from April 19 to 22 in Bolivia. In Cochabamba they will discuss global action plans such as demonstrations, but also the global referendum (with the goal of reaching two billion people) proposed by President Evo Morales at the Copenhagen summit last December.”

The Council of Canadians will be sending a team to this conference, including chairperson Maude Barlow, energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue, Blue Planet Project organizer Anil Naidoo, and me. Look for blogs, photos, videos, news and other updates from us on our website at http://canadians.org/cochabamba.

While on the ground in Bolivia, the Council of Canadians will speak at workshops and participate in working groups (including on ‘the dangers of the carbon market’ and ‘action strategies’), hold a joint workshop on the tar sands with the Indigenous Environmental Network on April 20, meet with allies (including Focus on the Global South, Global Exchange, and Common Frontiers), participate in a Climate Justice Now! meeting on April 24, hold a media tele-conference for reporters in Canada, and much more.

It is expected that more than 1,000 journalists will be covering the April summit in Bolivia. They will be based in a large press centre in Tiquipaya, 12 kilometers from Cochabamba.

Bolivia’s United Nations Ambassador Pablo Solon, a key organizer of the summit, has said, “The only thing that can save mankind from a (climate) tragedy is the exercise of global democracy.” The summit is intended to be preparation for the next United Nations climate change summit, scheduled for November 29 to December 10 in Cancun, Mexico.

At this point, the Harper government has not indicated whether or not it will be attending this critical gathering that starts in about ten days time.

The website for the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth is http://pwccc.wordpress.com/.