The WRM Bulletin’s Fifth Anniversary

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With this issue the WRM bulletin will be five years old and we want to congratulate you and ourselves on this occasion. This double congratulation is not a mere formalism. In fact, for us the Bulletin is basically the result of continuous and fruitful interaction among individuals and organisations who, throughout the world, with reasoning and feeling, work for the defence of tropical forests and those who live in them. Therefore it reflects shared visions and objectives and is fed by the experience of thousands of people who, on different levels struggle to achieve them.

This is manifest, directly or indirectly, in the articles published in the bulletin. In the case of country articles, they mostly describe and analyse concrete struggles, in which both local populations and supporting civil society organisations take part. The bulletin fulfils the role of disseminating their struggles, experience and expectations, but it is they who are at the base of the concrete facts we describe and analyse. In many cases, the articles are written by the people involved themselves. But in all cases, whether they know it or not, they are the essential basis for our work and it is they who give life to the bulletin.

The information disseminated by the bulletin is a contribution, together with others, to promote mobilisation of many individuals and organisations throughout the world in support of these resistance movements, either at national or international level, thus increasing the chances of success of those facing, in an unequal battle, powerful local and transnational forces. In turn, these supportive mobilisations strengthen networking, be it thematic, regional or by country, generating increasingly close links of trust between individuals and organisations with common aspirations. The growth of the supportive networks is of vital importance to us to ensure the future of the forests and of those who live in them.

The bulletin also attempts to reflect international processes that may affect either positively or negatively the forests and their peoples. We refer to processes such as the Biodiversity and Climate Change Conventions, the United Nations Forum on Forests, the World Bank, FAO, the World Trade Organisation, etc. Here too it is nurtured on the experience of many individuals and organisations participating in these processes, at local, national or international level, seeking to have a positive influence on them. As a way of democratising participation, we try to transmit the essential elements of such processes in order to facilitate their understanding by the greatest number of people possible, with the aim of enabling them to have impact on these processes.

On reaching five years of age, we have something else to celebrate with you: as from this issue, in addition to the already existing versions in English and Spanish, there will be French and Portuguese versions (this latter version for the meanwhile covering the editorial and the section on Latin America). This will make it possible for an even greater number of people to participate and become involved and for an even wider democratisation of information.

Finally, we would like to thank you all for your contributions and your support which, month by month make it possible for the bulletin to be a tool in the struggle and in the generation of awareness that we have aspired to right from the start. To each and all of you: Happy Birthday!