This gathering will create a space to:
Enable face-to-face conversation of activists, workers, locals, climate justice and impacted peoples to identify issues in common;
Discuss and plan for on-the-ground direct action, public education, litigation, legislation strategies for standing forests;
Provide opportunities and space that encourages participants to develop action items to carry through after the event;
Encourage radical, creative and transformative conversations with outcomes proportionate to the enormity of the problem we face;
Provide support to create structures for follow up and ongoing action after the event;
Assist groups with self-organizing for strategic discussions or action planning.
Examine the root causes of problems facing forests and create strategies to address them:
False “forest health” management initiatives;
Excessive consumption and over-packaging;
Global trade agreements that encourage global transport of wood products that spread invasive pests and diseases;
Extreme energies and their infrastructure;
Rampant expansion of industrial tree plantations into formerly forested lands;
Expansion of industrial agriculture and ranching into forested areas;
“Legal” and illegal logging;
“Alternative” energies including biomass electricity, large-scale hydroelectric and industrial wind farms;
Market-based solutions to climate change like forest carbon offsets that allow business as usual to continue, displacing forest protectors from their lands and destroying native forest by accelerating conversion to tree plantations and encouraging use of unproven technologies like genetically engineered trees;
“Green Economy” schemes that use wood to replace petroleum products and encourage dangerous techno-fixes like synthetic biology, nanotechnology and genetic engineering to create bioplastics, biochemicals, textiles, etc.
Discuss the deep interconnections of forests and climate change.
Forests can help stabilize local and global climates;
Forest destruction worsens climate impacts (No trees + storms = flooding disasters);
Forests hold water for dry seasons;
Tree plantations exacerbate climate change by disrupting soils, depleting water, destroying native forests and magnify severity of firestorms;
Climate change kills forests through droughts, heatwaves, firestorms, insect infestations and extreme weather.
Understand the interconnection of forests to broader global issues
The Convergence: Guiding Principles and Actions
With the release of the IPCC report and its call for urgent action in October 2018, coupled with the deadly global rise in fascism, it has become undeniable that a revolutionary movement centered on ecological integrity, climate mitigation and the rights of all peoples is needed.
Principles of the Convergence: We come together with the understanding that we will not be able to protect forests or stop climate change if we don't fundamentally transform the neoliberal and corporate-based economy which prevents us from achieving sustainable and just societies.
Transformation, not reformation: We work together in defense of forest ecosystems, Mother Earth and Father Sky; and toward the fundamental transformation of all systems driving environmental destruction and social injustice.
We oppose market-based false solutions to climate change that use forests to continue business as usual including:
Payment for Environmental Services
The Commodification of Life
We reject unproven and dangerous technologies like genetic engineering of trees, synthetic biology, gene drives and geoengineering schemes.
We must end commercial and industrial exploitation of the Earth, protect those regions that remain biologically intact; and restore those regions that can be.
We will support and participate in bold action by communities on the frontlines to challenge and transform the extractive economy that is harming marginalized people and ecosystems.
We promote ¡Buen vivir!–life in harmony between humans, communities, and the Earth where work is not a job to make others wealthier, but for a livelihood that is sustaining, fulfilling, and in tune with the common good.
The REAL Solutions
Solutions to the climate crisis will not come from markets. They will not be based in the same economic and political systems that have driven us to the brink of disaster. Effective and enduring solutions will come from a fundamental transformation of that system. Key parts of the solutions to the climate crisis include the following:
Achieving low carbon economies, without resorting to carbon offsets and pricing, and false solutions such as biomass, nuclear energy, large-scale hydroelectric dams, and industrial wind farms, while simultaneously protecting the rights of impacted communities;
Keeping fossil fuels in the ground;
Implementing community food sovereignty and energy democracy:
Protecting forests and natural ecosystems and allowing degraded lands to regenerate;
Identifying and addressing the underlying causes of deforestation;
Challenge and re-frame the narrative that conveys how forest are to be understood in mainstream media and culture.
Full recognition of the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples and acknowledgment of rural community's historical connections within forests and other ecosystems.
Re-localization of production and consumption, prioritizing local markets;
Democratically controlled, bio-regionally appropriate clean, renewable energy that promotes peoples’ self-determination and embrace the concepts and principles of Energy Democracy; and
Ending excessive consumption.
Convergence Code of Conduct
We will abide by the Jemez Principles :
#1 Be Inclusive, #2 Organize from the Bottom-Up, #3 Let People Speak for themselves, #4 Work Together in Solidarity and Mutuality, #5 Build Just Relationships Among Ourselves, #6 Commitment To Self-Transformation.
We will treat others the way we wish to be treated.
We recognize that all life is interconnected and that we depend on an intact world/environment for our own survival. We embrace cultures that honor life. We have a responsibility to all generations past, present, and future and reject short-term false solutions and systems that cannot be sustained. We must operate from a place of love, respect and honor for all life.
Prohibited behavior. Organizers and participants shall not engage in harassment on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, race, color, religion, national origin, class, age, or profession. Harassing or abusive behavior, such as unwelcome attention, inappropriate or offensive remarks, slurs, or jokes, physical or verbal intimidation, stalking, inappropriate physical contact or proximity shall not be tolerated. Other verbal and physical conduct will constitute harassment when such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile environment interfering with an individual or group’s capacity to organize.