You’re going to want to clear your schedule. This. Is. Huge.
I’m really excited to tell you about the next big thing happening with the Palm Oil Action Team: The first ever Palm Oil Action Leaders Summit!
The Palm Oil Action Team is making some of the largest companies in the world change their policies and their practices to protect the precious rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia. We're winning, but there is still more work to be done. That's why I am so excited to invite you to join the Palm Oil Action Leaders Summit.
When you apply to join the Summit and become a Palm Oil Action Leader, here’s what you’ll get:
Attend the Palm Oil Action Leaders Summit in San Francisco, CA from March 27 - 31st where you will be trained in designing and coordinating creative actions, communicating clearly to the public about campaign work, and how to incite and inspire your community to take action!
Put your new knowledge from the Summit into practice by organizing creative actions in your community -- publicly exposing the ills of Conflict Palm Oil and holding PepsiCo and other companies that are using this controversial ingredient to account.
Be part of an incredible team of activists from around the country from March to September 2015 (and beyond!) that collaborate and support each other as part of the Conflict Palm Oil campaign.
In summary: Make an impact for rainforests, and the people and animals that depend on them, by gaining new organizing skills, being a part of a powerful team and having FUN!
Ready for the nitty gritty details? Here they are:
What: Palm Oil Action Leaders Summit
When: March 27-31, 2015
Where: San Francisco and Point Reyes, California
Why: RAN’s Conflict Palm Oil Campaign is on the way to victory, but we’ll need committed and passionate activists to lead the charge and raise the stakes for the Snack Food 20. We're committed to bringing together a powerful team and giving you the skills and training you need to be effective and have fun.
Who can join: Whether you are brand new to RAN’s campaigns or are a seasoned activist, we encourage you to apply. We will be looking for diversity in background, geographical location and experience in applicants.
Costs: While the summit is free and all food, lodging, and training are provided at no cost, you will be responsible for the cost of travel to and from the Summit. Limited travel scholarships are available for those who need them in order to attend. We encourage everyone to apply regardless of their ability to pay for transportation.
Training Logistics: Meals at the Summit will be vegan and vegetarian and will fulfill any dietary needs. We will be staying in shared dorm rooms at the Point Reyes Hostel and at another hostel TBD in San Francisco.
How to apply: Applications will be accepted through February 11th. After that, we will review them on a rolling basis and will close the application process when all spaces are full. Click here to apply right now!
Commitment: We are asking everyone who applies to commit to attending the entire Summit and commit to doing roughly 10-15 hours of organizing per month from March 31 to September 31, 2015.
Do you have any questions about the Palm Oil Action Leaders Summit that aren’t answered here? Email me at Jess@ran.org
Last week, a team of RAN staff travelled to Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada to participate in the Tar Sands Healing Walk, which is organized and hosted by members of the local First Nations Communities.
Walking amidst the Tar Sands destruction was a humbling and powerful experience. We are putting together a series of blogs to share our impressions and reflections. This, our first one, is a photo-diary of the walk.
1. Grand Chief Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Derek Nepinak, Chief Allan Adam and Grand Chief Philip Stewart addressed the walkers at the beginning of our day. Each spoke about the importance of protecting land for future generations and the impacts that Tar Sands mining is having on First Nations Communities in Canada.
2. Aboriginal elders led procession under a banner reading “Stop the Destruction Start the Healing”. Along the way we stopped to pray for the land’s healing with offerings of tobacco, water and song.
3. We walked for more than nine miles around Syncrude’s excavation site, refinery and tailings ponds.
4. Many of the vehicles that passed our walk were transporting ‘potable water’. The local groundwater has been polluted by the Tar Sands mining operations.
5. This ‘Tailings Pond’ contains waste water from the Tar Sands extraction process. The neon work-suited scarecrows have been placed to deter birds from landing on the pond. 1600 ducks died after landing on a Syncrude tailings pond in 2008.
6. We were accompanied on the walk by two First Nations drum groups.
7. The air was thick and heavy with fumes from Syncrude’s refinery.
8. We passed a ‘work camp’ where Syncrude workers live, in the shadow of the refinery.
9. The RAN team, next to Syncrude’s refinery.
10. We passed several areas labeled as ‘reclamation’ sites. These bore no resemblance to the healthy Boreal forest ecosystem that existed before the mine was developed.
Stay tuned for future blog posts sharing our impressions and reflections.
We don’t get to do this as often as we would like. Today, we get to share some good news with you. Thanks to your hard work and support over the past four years, the world’s top publishers are moving in the right direction when it comes to eliminating rainforest destruction, human rights violations, and species extinction from their supply chains.
We’re publishing A New Chapter for the Publishing Industry: Putting Promises into Practice today, which outlines the shift in the entire sector as the implementation of publishers’ Indonesian forest commitments proceeds. Given the progress that publishers have undertaken in the last four years (since our 2010 report), we can confidently say that you have successfully prodded the 10 biggest publishers—and hence the whole industry—in the right direction. Click here to read the new report.
To really illustrate the point, we are pleased to tell you about two recently announced paper policies from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Macmillan. These policies go farther, in many ways, than past commitments from other companies. They demonstrate a new level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail—and a fierce commitment to eliminating controversial fiber and suppliers in order to protect the forests facing the greatest threats. Over the last four years, RAN has worked closely with publishers to develop and innovate the best practices for eliminating controversial fiber and suppliers from supply chains, and verifying and implementing forest commitments. What has emerged is a set of best practices (spelled out in the report) that could guide companies--not just in paper but in many forest commodities--in tracing their supply chains and protecting forests in the process. Of course, there’s still work to be done.
In order to translate this work to change on the ground, publishers should urge all of their supply chain partners to develop and implement strong, comprehensive paper policies. And, in particular, all companies should either stop buying (or maintain their no-buy stance) on controversial Indonesian pulp and paper giant APRIL and all affiliated companies.
Of course, this transformative work would never have been possible without you. While much of this work has happened behind the scenes, you were with us every step of the way through your commitment to RAN and its work.