Strategic Action Sessions
About the Structure of the Convergence: The Strategic Action Sessions
The North American Forest and Climate Movement Convergence is organized into Strategic Action Sessions to address the intersections of social justice, forests and climate with the intent to facilitate development of new “outside the box” ideas, strategies, and action plans. This will ensure the Convergence leads to concrete outcomes and next steps that begin to address the root causes of these deep crises.
The Strategic Action Sessions are intentionally designed to bring together diverse groups including activists, organizers, grassroots and Indigenous community leaders, scientists, experts, youth and others.
Within the SAS, you will come together with others to strategize actions to stop the destruction of our forests, defend the rights of nature, resist greed and corporate control of nature, protect and renew biodiversity utilizing both ancient and modern knowledge in a consensus-based community structure that is just, equitable, and adaptable.
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 are facilitating conversations in advance of the actual event in order to begin the process of organizing these Strategic Action Sessions before we gather. This will help ensure The Convergence goals are met.
Within the SAS you choose, you and your group will be linked together with others who are interested in the same theme(s). 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.
Some of the issues identified in this Strategic Action Sessions are similar and/or overlapping with other SAS themes. This is unavoidable. Therefore, during The Convergence a good deal of time is set aside for coming together to share information/ progress/ outcomes from all of the Strategic Action Sessions.
Additionally, an after-action report of conclusions, transferable action models, and other key outcomes is planned that will facilitate ongoing collaboration, networking and next steps.
The SAS process is designed to support The Convergence goal of building concrete outcomes toward the transition of the power structure from corporate and government control to community-led building of truly regenerative, sustainable, and equitable self-reliance and resilience.
The Themes of the Strategic Action Sessions* and examples of sub-areas are as follows.
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 TBD
Expected Outcomes from the SAS:
• Share existing strategies & discuss new ones
• Expand and strengthen our networks/ movement building
• Develop common messaging across our movements/networks
• Plan future strategy meetings or actions
* 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.