Jul 20, 2020

Landscape of Life: A Model for Indigenous-Led Conservation

On May 22, an alliance of Indigenous Karen communities Accountability Counsel partners with in Myanmar put forward an affirmative vision for conserving the biodiverse ecosystem in Tanintharyi Region. This vision – a “Landscape of Life” designed by Indigenous communities who are the historic conservators of the Region – stands in stark contrast to the top-down approach taken by Myanmar’s government and the international community in the "Ridge to Reef" project.

With this plan, our Karen Indigenous partners at Conservation Alliance Tanawthari (CAT) are not only calling for the government and donors to abandon their current destructive model; they are putting forward their own systemic alternative for how we should care for the earth. Their plan is rooted in traditional knowledge from generations of sustainably stewarding the Region's land and natural resources. 

The Landscape of Life vision exemplifies the environmental solutions – led by communities and grounded in Indigenous knowledge – that need support and investment as the global community responds to the interconnected social, health, and climate crises we face. What if all climate finance were community driven? 

As is so clearly seen in this case, the risks of ignoring community voices, rather than learning from generations of custodianship, can undermine climate goals. We are honored to accompany CAT’s complaint process, which has suspended the current project, and to amplify their call for an alternative vision. 

We invite you to explore CAT’s video below that captures the unique biodiversity and traditional way of life in Tanintharyi Region we are fighting to protect.

 Tanawthari Landscape of Life - Conservation Alliance Tanawthari

May 22, 2020

Accountability Counsel's COVID-19 Response and Leadership

Dear Supporter,

Around the globe, communities whose lives had already been upended by international investments now face grave and compounded threats to their human rights, health, and food security due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In an op-ed recently published in The Diplomat, Accountability Counsel's Anirudha Nagar highlights the urgent threat to tea workers we support in Assam, India who are sitting ducks for the pandemic following a decade of broken promises by the IFC to improve living and working conditions. Thousands of tea workers on plantations co-owned by the IFC are acutely susceptible to disease and food insecurity due to the abysmal sanitation, housing, and wages on the plantations. 

Now, more than ever, we must continue advocating for communities in Assam and around the world where lives and health are at stake. We are working in solidarity with communities and their advocates to ensure that COVID-19 funds support the resilience needed for these communities to withstand the coronavirus crisis. See our COVID-19 website page for more about Accountability Counsel's leadership and response in this moment of crisis. I also invite you to explore our recent media, including pieces in SSIR, Devex, and thought leadership on our blog

Thank you for your solidarity and support that enable our team to continue work to ensure that funding and resources are true to their goals and go to support those who need them most in this moment of crisis. 

In solidarity, 

Natalie Bridgeman Fields
Founder and Executive Director
Accountability Counsel

Jan 24, 2020

When Hope is Power

Accountability Counsel is proud to announce the launch of our new case study – ‘When HOPE is POWER: Haitian Farmers Defend Land Rights in Historic Dialogue Process.’ ‘When HOPE is POWER’ tells the story of the Kolektif Peyizan Viktim Tè Chabè, a collective of Haitian farmers and their families representing nearly 4,000 people, who were displaced by the internationally-financed Caracol Industrial Park (CIP). It documents their fight to restore their livelihoods, which ultimately resulted in a historic agreement signed by the farmers, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the government of Haiti. Accountability Counsel supported the farmers throughout this negotiation process, alongside ActionAid Haiti and Action pour la Reforestation et la Defense de l’Environnement (AREDE).

Victories – even imperfect ones – are rare and extraordinarily difficult to achieve when a community like the Kolektif challenges the actions of powerful institutions. Our case study provides key insights into the critical factors underlying the Kolektif’s success. It explains the sophisticated grassroots community organizing that took place, the main challenges identified and addressed by the Kolektif’s leaders, and the powerful role that dialogue played in achieving a historic agreement that aims to restore the livelihoods and dignity to the displaced farmers and their families. To learn more about the Kolektif’s journey, read the full case study in English or Creole.

On behalf of all of our team and the communities we partner with around the world, we are humbled to be able to continue this work with your support. 


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