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Climate Justice talk with activists from El salvador and Liberia

25 Jan 2012

Dr Ricardo Navarro, Friends of the Earth El Salvador

Friends of the Earth and Trocaire will host a public talk on Climate Justice and Community Rights with by Ricardo Navarro (Friends of the Earth El Salvador) and Silas Siakor(Friends of the Earth Liberia). The talk will take place on Monday the 6th of February at 6.30pm in the Central Hotel in Dublin. Both are internationally renowned environmntalists in thier own right and Goldman environmental prize winners for work in thier home countries. These awards are described as "the Nobel Prize for grassroots environmentalism" and we are lucky to be able to hear from them both.

Ricardo Navarro founded the CESTA (FoE El Salvador) to address his country's critical environmental and social needs. FoE in El-Salvador work on sustainable transportation and climate change. Ricardo has attended many UN climate change conferences including the most recent round in Durban. He will share his thoughts with us on this and provide a valuable insight as a grassroots climate campaigner from the Global South.
As president of CESTA - El Salvador's largest environmental NGO - Navarro, an engineer by training, has worked in partnership with urban and rural communities to provide technical assistance for an array of appropriate technologies. One of CESTA's programs trains people to build and repair bicycles, "bici-carts" and wheelchairs. Besides generating skilled labor and jobs, the "Ecobici" project raises consciousness about the environmental benefits of cycling.

Silas Siakor was awareded the Goldman prize for exposing evidence that Liberia President Charles Taylor used the profits of unchecked, rampant logging to pay the costs of a brutal 14-year civil war that left 150,000 people dead. At great personal risk, Siakor collected extremely hard-to-get evidence of falsified logging records, illegal logging practices and associated human rights abuses. He passed the evidence to the United Nations Security Council, which then banned the export of Liberian timber, part of wider trade sanctions that remain in place today. Silas continues to campaign tirelessly to protect communities and forests in Liberia, you can read his recent article in The New York Times here.

We are co-hosting this event with Trócaire who are partners of Friends of the Earth in El Salvador. We work closely with Trócaire to promote climate justice. Friends of the Earth Director Oisín Coghlan will be chairing the event and Molly Walsh of FoE Irl and Cliona Sharkey of Trócaire will provide short responses to Ricardo and Silas and speak briefly on the politics of climate change in Ireland.

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