Fifteen New Interviews in Production!
The Green Interview has recorded more than a dozen marvellous conversations in recent weeks, and we’ll be releasing them over the coming months as they’re edited and completed. Some of these people are famous – David Suzuki, Atossa Soltani, Tzeporah Berman, Alberto Acosta. Others may be entirely new to you – Nati Greene, Santiago Manuín, Mumta Ito, Daniel Sallaberry. But all of them are doing noble work for the planet, and it’s our pleasure to present them to you.
Pablo Fajardo is the remarkable young lawyer from eastern Ecuador who took on mighty Chevron over the pollution of a huge tract of Amazon rain forest, on behalf of his own people, who live there. He and his colleagues won a $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuador’s Supreme Court, the biggest award in the history of environmental law. His is also the first Green Interview to be conducted in Spanish.
Osprey Orielle Lake is the founder of the Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus, and co-chair of International Advocacy for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. She’s the author of Uprisings for the Earth: Re-connecting Culture with Nature, and she’s also an internationally-celebrated sculptor
David Suzuki has consistently ranked as Canada’s most trusted, most admired and most inspiring leader. As scientist, author, broadcaster and teacher, he has been interpreting and defending nature to viewers and audiences in Canada – and the world – for more than forty years. David Suzuki has written 52 books, and his television show, The Nature of Things, is seen in more than 40 countries.
Pablo Solon was formerly Bolivia’s Ambassador to the United Nations and chief negotiator on climate issues. He was also instrumental in organizing the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, the 2010 gathering that produced the transformative Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. A lifelong social activist, Pablo Solon is now the Executive Director of Focus on the Global South, based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Steven Guilbeault is a green Quebecois tornado. He’s a journalist, a newspaper columnist who writes about science and the environment. He’s also an author, a consultant, a professional speaker, an adviser to venture capitalists. Most importantly, he’s senior director of Équiterre, probably the most influential environmental organization in Quebec, with 6200 members and more than 40 employees.
Cormac Cullinan, a lawyer from Cape Town, South Africa, is the author of the pioneering book, Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice. The book calls for an “Earth Jurisprudence” that would place human legal systems within the laws of nature, leading to a more democratic participation in an Earth community that includes all life. A leader in the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, he also played a leading role in drafting the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.
Tzeporah Berman burst into national prominence in 1993 as a spokesperson for the Friends of Clayoquot Sound during the anti-clear-cutting demonstrations that became largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. As leader of ForestEthics, she later led a brilliant campaign to stop Victoria’s Secret from printing its catalogues on paper made from old-growth forests. She later joined Greenpeace International to work on climate change, the ultimate threat to old-growth forests.
Alberto Acosta was formerly Ecuador’s minister of energy and mining, and chairman of the constituent assembly which in 2008 made Ecuador the first country on earth to enshrine the rights of Mother Nature in its constitution. Acosta was also the driving force behind Ecuador’s offer to fight climate change by foregoing oil exploitation in the Yasuni national park. In 2013, he ran for president of Ecuador. This interview was conducted in Spanish.
Natalia Greene of Ecuador is a key figure in the movement for recognition of the rights of Mother Nature – or Pachamama, which, as she explains, is an even broader and more inclusive South American concept of the reality in which we all live and breathe. She was closely associated with Alberto Acosta in developing Ecuador’s 2008 constitution as well as the Yasuní-ITT Initiative, which aimed to keep oil underground in the Amazon region.
Santiago Manuín Valera is a prominent member of the Awajun indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon who has been recognised internationally for his commitment to the environment and human rights. In 2009, he was shot, almost fatally, by the Peruvian army during an epic confrontation over industrial exploitation of native lands. Five years later, he is still undergoing medical treatment, and he is forbidden to leave Peru. He is a pacifist, a devout Christian and a founder of the Jesuit Social Centre in his community. He spoke to us in Spanish.
Mumta Ito is the founder and director of the International Centre for Wholistic Law (www.wholisticlaw.org) which supports a paradigm of law based on healing, restoration and reparation. Formerly a high-powered corporate lawyer in the City of London, she later toured extensively with Amma, a celerated spiritual teacher. Mumta Ito is based in the Findhorn Foundation Community in Scotland, and she currently heads the European Citizen’s Initiative for Recognizing and Respecting the Inherent Rights of Nature.
Atossa Soltani is the founder and director of Amazon Watch, a US-based organization that works to protect the Amazon rainforest and to support its indigenous peoples in their struggles for self-determination, traditional territories, natural resources and culture. An adept media strategist, photographer and filmmaker, she has led several successful campaigns to force international corporations to adopt higher environmental and social standards. Amazon Watch also supports a school that trains indigenous leaders how to defend their rights against oil and mining companies
Daniel Sallaberry is the lawyer who represented the residents of the impoverished riverside community of Villa Inflamable in Buenos Aires, Argentina when they sued three levels of government and 44 industries for infringing both their rights to a healthy environment, and the Riachuelo river’s right to be treated with respect. In 2008, the Supreme Court of Argentina handed down a sweeping and historic judgment that ordered the authorities to engage in a massive clean-up of the river which has already shown dramatic results. This interview was conducted in Spanish.
Marina Aizen is an award-winning Argentinian journalist who has written a comprehensive history of the Riachuelo decision and its consequences. She was formerly the New York correspondent for the leading Buenos Aires newspaper Clarin, and she has been widely published in the Spanish-language press.
Michelle Maloney is National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (www.earthlaws.org.au). A lawyer who is just completing her Ph.D. at Griffiths University, she has worked on issues of climate change, sustainability and social justice in Britain and the US as well as Australia, and she spent five years managing an indigenous not-for-profit organisation in central Queensland which undertook community development and sustainability projects. She is deeply involved in opposing the massive coal and coal seam gas developments currently being developed in Queensland.