Global dialogue for good living ('buen vivir')

Today's global crises emerge and escalate as economic gains are considered a priority and taken for a transnational right. The plans and projects of nation states and transnational corporations are often founded on unsustainable use of resources. Global trade and investments, growth-oriented economic policy, and climate crises, water crises and biodiversity crises are related to the displacement of people, which harms in particular indigenous peoples, small-scale farmers, and rural communities.

Communities in different regions of the global South often have shared experiences of fighting against over-consumption and displacement, and of fighting for good living and human rights. It is important to support local, national, and global struggles in which laws and regulations are employed in an attempt to govern the environmental damage and human suffering caused by transnational corporations.


According to the principle of good living ('buen vivir'), which stems from development criticism and the worldviews of indigenous peoples, creating sustainable livelihoods alone is not enough; it is also necessary to transform the global reality. Global transformation, then again, cannot be attained without establishing sustainable ways of living on local levels. This means using resources in accordance with people's own requirements and livelihoods, in a manner always adapting with nature's power of regeneration. The rights of people and communities to land, bodies of water, forests, and their own cultures must be secured.

Local solutions to global crises

The Siemenpuu Foundation Global Dialogue cooperation programme aims to create dialogue on good and just living without over-consumption of natural resources. Communities that follow sustainable ways of living can rarely on their own stop governments or transnational corporations from taking over their lands or forests. Instead, they need to network with other communities.

The cooperation programme provides our partners in the South new opportunities for cooperation in the struggle for the rights of sustainable communities in different parts of the world. The programme also establishes regional programme cooperation in East Africa. Dialogue is applied to raise awareness of various methods of using and managing the environments of communities in sustainable ways.

Environmental crises, climate change and globalisation are countered in various ways depending on local environments and contexts. Global dialogue is needed on these counter-actions, on diverse perspectives on ecology and sustainability, and on perspectives concerning Mother Earth and her life and rights as well. The purpose of global dialogue is to offer groups an open and egalitarian space for bringing forth their views on just and sustainable ways of using and managing our common earth. Furthermore, the wider public can be made aware of sustainable ways of living through the documentation of these ways.


Publications from the supported projects

Siemenpuu's partner Global Forest Coalition has coordinated studies on local forest conservation initiatives by indigenous communities around the world. Results of this Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) project were published in November 2015. Download the CCRI pdf report here (8,9 Mt). Conservation intitiatives were also discussed in the Siemenpuu supported Fostering Community Conservation Conference in Durbanissa in September 2015. At Siemenpuu pages you can find news and blogs from the Durban conference.


A 33 min documentary "A Mangrove Movement in Sunderban"  produced by Sunderban Rural Development Society (SRDS) on mangrove protection and local livelihoods in India.


In Cambodia, Siemenpuu supported in 2014-15 the communities in Areng valley through Mother Nature organization in their fight against the planned hydropower dam. The dam project was stopped and the valley forests and river protected. There are plenty of media articles and videos of the campaign on Mother Nature's website. Read also the project coordinator's article in The Guardian.


In Mozambique, Siemenpuu has since 2012 supported ADECRU's work in the project “Movement of the affected by megaprojects”, e.g. to hold workshops among affected communities to collect their revindications, discuss resistance strategies and to conduct advocacy work on large plantation projects like ProSavana. In 2015, Siemenpuu supported ADECRU to make the Portuguese version of the 19 min documentary 'Land grabbed, Life stolen'.


The India Climate Justice Network (ICJ), supported by Siemenpuu, has in 2013-16 published Mausam magazine covering climate and justice issues. Apart from English, some issues have also been published in Hindi and Marathi. In addition to Indian energy and climate issues, the magazines also cover some international climate topics. You can dowload the English pdf magazines here: Mausam 1 (12/2013), Mausam 2 (5/2014), Mausam 3 (1/2015), Mausam 4 (4/2015), Mausam 5 (11/2015) ja Mausam 6 (6/2016).

In 2013, in Siemenpuu supported project, ICJ made a 68 min documentary "Tales of climate change and development" , which tells about climate refugees and development victims on the Bay of Bengal.




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PETER KITELO comes from Kenya. His community lives in Mt. Elgon forest, about 3000 metres from the sea level. The forest is indigenous mountainous forest that transforms into  moorland when reaching the top.


"While the forest is not ours, we're still fighting for it."

Peter Kitelo comes from Kenya, and he's saying out loud what many must be thinking. Kitelo represents the ogiek community of Mt. Elgon forest. The people do not own the land where they have been living for generations. But the land is all they have, which makes them conserve it.


Perhaps it was because the freezing temperatures in the negotiation rooms cooled the tempers of certain countries, but the 12th Conference of the Parties of the Biodiversity Convention succeeded to adopt a wide range of decisions in a remarkably smooth way. Even a polemic issue like the need to apply the precautionary principle to synthetic biology as a new risky technology was resolved before the final hours of the conference.


Today is the day when the Ministers will join us, having wasted a significant amount of CO2, money and travel time to join us busy biodiversity bees here in The Big Fridge. Of course they are welcome, but it is a bit unclear what these high-level people are actually going to do in Pyeongchang, except for listening to yet another select group of Friends of the Secretariat who will tell them how to conserve biodiversity.