Tenth anniversary of the bulletin: Thank you all very much!

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With this issue, the WRM bulletin reaches its tenth year. This anniversary provides an opportunity to give visibility to the numerous people who, in one way or another have made it possible – month by month and year after year – to issue the bulletin.

It is important to start by saying that one of the most outstanding features of the bulletin is that it is produced through a wide network of people all around the world, who are willing to share the knowledge they have about local, national and international realities. It is those inputs that enable the bulletin to contain so much valuable and first hand information. Only a few of these people are, or consider themselves to be, journalists, but in fact they fulfil – and very seriously – this function.

All these people, from the most diverse realities and cultures, have something in common: a shared vision regarding the essential things in life such as rights, equity, respect for nature and the search for a better future for humanity. In the specific case of forests, they share the idea that not only is their protection necessary, but that it necessarily requires the recognition of the territorial rights of the people who live therein and who depend on them.

This explains another feature of the bulletin: its articles are never neutral, but written from and at the service of peoples’ struggles. The information they contain is objective, but the authors do not merely describe what is going on, but place themselves on the side of those who defend their rights.

Thus the bulletin is a tool, collectively produced and placed at the service of struggles. These – and not the mere dissemination of information – are the bulletin’s most important objectives: collaboration and support to struggles.

The word “struggle” usually evokes images of people mobilized around concrete claims. For example, those of local inhabitants opposing the logging of their forests or the installation of a hydroelectric dam or opposing eucalyptus plantations. And of course these struggles are permanently brought to the forefront and supported by the bulletin.

However, the word “struggle” also includes wider scenarios, such as the struggle for the recognition of indigenous and traditional peoples’ territorial rights, the struggle for changes in destructive production and consumption models, the struggle in defence of climate and biodiversity, and many others.

In every case, the bulletin attempts to provide information and serious analyses, but at the same time comprehensible to all, as a way of empowering people. The struggle for changes – both at local and global levels – requires people to be well informed. In turn, for this to take place the communication language must be within everyone’s reach, without loosing the necessary depth.

Of course for the bulletin to be disseminated every month, for people to have the opportunity to share their knowledge, for the language to be understandable, coordination and facilitation are required. This is what we at the WRM secretariat are doing and we feel very honoured to be able to fulfil this task.

However, the merit for the quality and usefulness of the bulletin not only rests with those who facilitate it or who write its articles, but also with its most important protagonists: the thousands and thousands of people whose struggles inspire and give life to the bulletin.

Thank you all very much!