Active Citizens

Energy Cooperatives, Fogged Mirrors for Latin America

“It made me angry that a company from outside the region was making money from renewable energy and I wondered why people weren't getting involved," says Petra Gruner-Bauer, president of the German co-operative SolixEnergie.

Indigenous Peoples Recover Native Languages in Mexico

Ángel Santiago is a Mexican teenager who speaks one of the variations of the Zapotec language that exists in the state of Oaxaca, in the southwest of Mexico. Standing next to the presidential candidate who is the favorite for the July elections, he calls for an educational curriculum that "respects our culture and our languages."

Protests Fuel Harassment Faced by Media in Nicaragua

Assaults on journalists, persecution of press workers' unions, direct censorship and smear campaigns are a high cost that freedom of expression has paid in Nicaragua since demonstrations against the government of Daniel Ortega began in April.

Optimal Use of Water Works Miracles in Brazil’s Semi-Arid Region

Cattle ranching has been severely affected by drought in Brazi's Northeast region, but it has not only survived but has made a comeback in the Jacuípe river basin thanks to an optimal use of water.

From the Syrian War to Argentina – Or How to Start a New Life

Fares al Badwan moved to Buenos Aires alone, from Syria, in 2011. He was 17 years old then and the armed conflict in his country had just broken out. Since then he has managed to bring over his whole family and today he cannot imagine living outside of Argentina. "I like the people here. No one makes you feel like a foreigner," he said.

Protests, Strikes, Solidarity – France Revisits May ‘68

“It’s good to be in Paris on a sunny May day and see many universities occupied … and the strikes against neo-liberalism,” declared British Pakistani writer and activist Tariq Ali at an event in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on May 3. “That’s very pleasing.”

Central Americans Demand to be Consulted About Mining Projects

Rosa Dávila is busy cooking ears of corn, to be eaten by the men and women who have set up a checkpoint on the side of the road to block the passage of supplies sent to a mining company that operates in the area.

Steady Old Hand of Repression Seeks to Strangle New Media in East Africa

In African countries where journalists are targeted with killings and beatings while traditional news outlets have been muzzled by governments and other actors unhappy with criticism, bloggers and social media users have become the new independent media by providing much-needed coverage, commentary and analysis.

African Governments Mark World Press Freedom Day with Crackdown Against Online Journalism

When Uganda in April ordered Internet service providers to shut down all news sites that had not been authorized by the communications regulator (pdf), it was the latest attempt by President Yoweri Museveni’s government to constrict the space for independent media.

Free Media Under Threat Globally

Buoyed on by the likes of United States’ President Donald Trump, a growing number of political leaders are encouraging hostility towards news media and journalists across the globe are finding it harder than ever to do their jobs.This is among the main findings in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) annual World Press Freedom Index which examines 180 countries and their relationship with the media.

Mexico’s Solidarity Towards Haitians Only Goes So Far

In the airport of this Mexican city, on the border with the United States, customs agents warn that they will carry out a "random" inspection. But it's not so random. The only people who are stopped and checked have dark skin and kinky hair, and virtually do not speak a word of Spanish.

Press Freedom & Enforced Disappearances: Two Sides of the Same Coin in Sri Lanka

When Sri Lankan journalist Richard de Zoysa was abducted from his home in Colombo on the night of February 18th, 1990, his family knew there would be dark days ahead. The population was still reeling from one of the bloodiest episodes in the island nation’s history – a government counterinsurgency campaign to crush a Marxist rebellion in southern Sri Lanka, which left between 30,000 and 60,000 people dead at the hands of government death squads.

Women Farmers in Peru Bring Healthy Meals to Local Schools

Getting children and adolescents to replace junk food with nutritious local organic foods is the aim of a group of women farmers in a rural area of Piura, on Peru’s north coast, as they struggle to overcome the impact of the El Niño climate phenomenon.

“Fake News” a Growing New Threat to Press Freedom

When a Malaysian politician of a bygone era was asked about the “leading newspapers” in his country, he shot back: “We don’t have any leading newspapers in our country because all our newspapers are misleading.”

From Mega to Micro, a Transition that Will Democratise Energy in Brazil

An energy transition is spreading around the globe. But in Brazil it will be characterised by sharp contrasts, with large hydroelectric plants being replaced by solar microgenerators and government decisions being replaced by family and community decision-making.

Over to You, Children! Zambia’s ‘Plant a Million Trees’ Takes Root

Trees are a vital component in the ecosystem—they not only give oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give refuge to wildlife, but also provide materials for tools, shelter and ultimately, food for both animals and human beings.

Authoritarian Govts Tighten Grip on Press Freedom

The 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day will be led by UNESCO and the government of Ghana in Accra on May 2-3. The theme is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law,” covering the issues of media in respect to the judicial system and transparent political processes.

Working Together Is Key to Meeting Water Targets by 2030

Mutual collaboration and coordination among the various stakeholders are tools to accelerate the actions necessary to meet the 6th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in the 2030 Agenda, which states the need to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all.

Forest Communities Join Forces to Fight Land Degradation in Mexico

Forest communities play a fundamental role in Mexico in combating land degradation, but they need more support to that end.

Women Miners Stake a Claim in Zimbabwe

Tapiwa Moyo, 40, religiously leaves her home each day when the first cock crows and joins a throng of women who have taken up artisanal mining in her community.

Women Lead the Fight for Housing in Brazil

"Here we empower women and we do not tolerate domestic violence, which we treat as our own, not as an intra-family, issue," says Lurdinha Lopes, a leader of the squatting movement in Brazil.

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