THIS IS NOT A CONFERENCE.
We are not going to share information and go home. We are facing deep planetary crises that threaten millions of species and even the future of the human race. So we are doing something different. This event was organized into Strategic Action Sessions under seven broad themes addressing the intersections of forests and climate.* These sessions are designed to facilitate development of new “outside the box” ideas, strategies, and action plans with concrete outcomes for next steps that can begin to address the root causes of these deep crises.
The seven Strategic Action Sessions are:
1. Industrial Infrastructure & Development
• Fossil fuel extraction and by products/petrochemicals & infrastructure (pipelines/refineries/etc.)
• Urban/rural development for housing/commercial & manufacturing expansion
• Copper/uranium/rare earth minerals mining – for new tech gadgets/wind/solar/AI
• Industrial agriculture (food/biomass) & feed-lots/meat production
• New roads thru wild forests & public lands for recreation & extraction infrastructure/development
2. False “renewable energy” solutions that impact forests
• Hydroelectric dams and nuclear power
• Industrial wind and solar farms
• Geoengineering schemes (biochar, carbon capture & storage - continuing)
• Biomass and biofuels (sourced from forests, or causing forest clearing for biofuel plantations; driving global transport of forest-killing pests and pathogens)
3. Greenwash Capitalism schemes threatening forests and climate adaptation
• Bioeconomy (using wood to replace fossil fuels for manufacture of “green” plastics, chemicals, textiles)
• Carbon markets, forest carbon offsets including REDD
• Commodification of forests/payment for environmental services/exploitation
4. Extreme Technologies for Climate Change
• Genetic engineering schemes for climate adaptation (including CRISPR, gene editing, etc)
• Geoengineering schemes for climate mitigation (biochar, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage)
• Synthetic biology (developing synthetic enzymes to transform cellulose into industrial products)
• Gene drives/Genetic Extinction
• “Purpose-grown” GE trees for industrial applications.
• Artificial Intelligence & 5G
5. Forest health” schemes threatening forests
• Using GE trees and biotechnology for 'forest restoration'
• Industrial logging (salvage, habitat “restoration”, disease control, etc)
• Wildfire control-for biomass resource
• Precipitous controlled burns
• Herbicide/pesticide spraying
6. Real solutions – How do we:
• PROMOTE/Facilitate reducing overconsumption
• END use of fossil fuels: Keep the oil in the soil, the coal in the hole, the gas … (while avoiding the temptation of false solutions)
• PROTECT standing forests
• RESTORE tree plantations back to wild forests
• ESTABLISH legal rights of nature/ biocentrism
• ENSURE forest and Indigenous Peoples’ rights of Free, Prior and Informed Consent
• DECENTRALIZE, establish, ensure community control (Economy, energy, etc)
• BUILD, Expand, Support small-scale bioregional food, energy production
7. Building and Supporting Youth Movements
• Organization and activities - Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth coming together to determine their path toward future work together will be facilitated. The Convergence coordinating and agenda committees will assist as requested and stand ready to provide guidance and resources as requested.
These Strategic Action Sessions will bring together diverse groups including activists, organizers, grassroots community leaders, indigenous community organization leaders, scientists, experts and indigenous and non-indigenous youth under the broad themes listed in the Call to Participate in order create collaborative efforts to achieve the fundamental systemic transformation required to tackle these crises.
Through your responses to this invitation, the Convergence Committee will help link you and/or your group together with others who are interested in the same theme. As with forest ecosystems, the more diverse and interconnected our movements are, the more focused on the roots, the stronger and more resilient we will be.
Diversifying and strengthening our efforts means bringing together people and groups who may not already be connected. To enable folks to work together more effectively, we will facilitate conversations in advance of the actual event in order to begin the process of organizing the Strategic Action Sessions before we gather which will ensure The Convergence goals are met.
* We created the concept for The Convergence and the list of themes for these Strategic Action Sessions after 2 years of meetings, and lengthy conversations with many people in various movements. If you feel there is a theme vital to forest and climate work that is missing, please let us know.
The soft deadline for submission is August 30, 2019. Calls for each group will begin the second week of September.
Follow this LINK to complete the information to get involved.