Our world is in a state of flux and crisis. The pandemic exposed the deep injustice of our economic and social system. Yet more than 2 years on, the health crisis continues, compounded by spiralling food and energy prices, escalating wars and ever more signs of environmental collapse. How can progressive forces better understand these dynamics and improve our strategies to achieve system change? Sign up to hear some of the best scholar activists worldwide with a truly internationalist analysis of the state of the world.
As conflict and military rule continue, Mumyit Sinli Pukdun argues that a major rethink in international aid is essential with a focus on civil society which is at the heart of community resilience and support for national change. Lessons need to be learned from the failed donor policies of the past three decades. Not only has the nature of political challenges been misunderstood but many international agencies have also followed aid policies that have undermined local capacity and organisations. In Myanmar’s latest cycle of state breakdown, support to civil society is vital to address emergency needs and socio-political transformation in the long term.
Although militarism enables and prolongs war, since the invasion of Ukraine, Western governments have ratcheted up defence spending, strengthened military alliances, and intensified divisive rhetoric. Perhaps stopping the war isn’t the end goal but rather defeating Russia, regardless of how long that may take or what the immediate and long term cost of that strategy may be. How did we get here and where will this unbridled militarism lead us?
Tensions are rising in Arakan (Rakhine State) where a ceasefire exists between the Myanmar military government and Arakan Army. On the surface, the relative stability contrasts with the chaos that has enveloped many other parts of the country following last year’s coup. In this commentary, Kyaw Lynn analyses the changing landscape highlighting that, while confrontations are occurring, neither side appears yet ready to return to open warfare. “Retaliatory” actions, though, are increasing.
This new report from the Transnational Institute and Friends of the Earth International explores the role of multistakeholderism in the COVID crises, when multistakeholder initiatives, working outside the multilateral system, acted as governing bodies. A follow-up to COVAX, a joint study published in March 2021, this report situates COVID-related multistakeholder undertakings within the overall strategy of the Global North towards the Global South.
Across the world, the state of environmental stress is unprecedented. As scholarship and activism on ‘environmental justice’ point out, poorer and marginalised communities face particular exposure to environmental harms.
This holds especially true for populations in the Global South, including Myanmar. The role of opium cultivation in relation to these environmental stresses is an underexplored terrain. Yet, as this new TNI report argues, drugs, as well as the policy responses to them, are an environmental crisis in Myanmar as well as other countries where opium poppy, coca bush and cannabis plants are cultivated.
While the struggle against military rule continues, Lahkyen Roi analyses in this commentary how natural resource exploitation, land-grabbing and the marginalisation of local peoples underpin poverty, suffering and conflict in Kachin State. A once pristine land of biodiverse forestry, mineral and water potential, Kachin State is today one of Myanmar’s poorest territories. While the natural environment is degraded, the resources of local communities are plundered by outside actors, over-extraction, business cronies and military elites. The establishment of political reform and peace in a new system of federal democracy is essential if the local peoples are to live decent and dignified lives.
The undersigned civil society organisations, trade unions, human rights, animal welfare and environmental defenders, address this statement to policy makers in Mexico and the European Union (EU) to call on them not to ratify the “modernised” EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement (EU-Mexico FTA). The text was negotiated behind the backs of citizens without debate or public consultation, and was finalised in April 2020, in the midst of one of the worst health, social and economic crises in the world, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Millions of people have found a lifeline in the illicit cannabis economy in these past decades, but traditional cannabis farmers in the South are confronted with huge obstacles to participating in the emerging legal markets. The rapidly expanding legal cannabis markets for medical and adult use are increasingly captured by corporate businesses. Cultivation is more and more shifting from the South to the North, from small farmers to big companies, and from outdoor to indoor, with negative impacts on sustainable development goals. This first TNI Cannabis Policy Brief argues that it is vital that the socio-economic needs and rights of traditional cannabis producers are not overlooked and that ‘no-one is left behind’ in this historic transition.
Across the world, the state of environmental stress is unprecedented. As scholarship and activism on ‘environmental justice’ points out, poorer and marginalised communities face particular exposure to environmental harms. This holds particularly true for populations in the global South. The role of illicit drugs in relation to these environmental stresses is an underexplored terrain. Yet, as this report will argue, drugs, as well as the policy responses to them, are an environmental issue.
Fisheries are one of Europe’s most challenging and dangerous employment sectors. While they remain a central pillar of the European food system, the sector still relies on strikingly unequal and gendered labour relations. This report looks at the French case, where women are the engine behind the commercialisation of local artisanal fish.
Satoko Kishimoto, Programme Coordinator for TNI’s Public Alternatives programme, has been elected mayor of Suginami City, a ward of 500,000 people in Tokyo. Satoko's colleagues at TNI are very happy for her.
The Caribbean region’s Informal Drug Policy Dialogue that was held in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), in December 2021, at the initiative of Transnational Institute (TNI) in close collaboration with the Medicinal Cannabis Authority (MCA) of SVG highlighted several challenges to the establishment of a legal medical cannabis industry currently being faced by countries in the region. These issues include international banking restrictions; access to laboratory, research and testing facilities; complying with EU GACP and GMP to meet the standards for exports, the Seed-to-Sale System; securing access for patients and getting doctors to prescribe; the structure of the licensing system; guarantees for the Rastafari community for ceremonial ganja usage, and most importantly, how to envisage traditional cultivators inclusion in the regulatory framework and practice being developed. Around the table seven (7) countries were represented from the region: Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, St Lucia and of course St Vincent and the Grenadines.
While most of us probably rarely think about it on a daily basis, the handful of transnational corporations that dominate the mining industry play a key role in providing inputs for goods we use every day – from smartphones to food. Their profits stem from their role in the production of these goods: control of extraction of minerals at the starting point of the vast global supply chains that stretch from Chilean and Congolese mineral landscapes to – in the case of smartphones – our pockets.
Fish auction markets, or ‘halles à marées’, are fundamental public players on French coastal areas. They enable small-scale and industrial fishing professionals to sell and buy the day's catch. Some of them, such as the one in the French port city of Quiberon, Brittany, have adopted their own strategy to compete with larger fish markets. The Quiberon fish market has chosen to distinguish itself by selling live fish and applying the Japanese slaughtering method called ikejime. Initially implemented for economic reasons, this strategy now seems to offer some of the key characteristics of more sustainable fishing.
El presente documento explora el origen y desarrollos de los modelos de Erradicación Manual Forzosa EMF, en el marco de su uso para garantizar la implementación de la estrategia de reducción de la oferta de drogas referida especialmente a los cultivos de uso ilícito, ámbito donde se desenvuelve con mayor intensidad los costos humanos, pero también la afectación de la legitimidad estatal por la guerra contra las drogas en Colombia.