Struggle for people’s access to the world’s resources

Concern No. 13: Science and technology for the people and development and environmental protection

Struggle for people’s access to the world’s resources; banish environmental destruction, imperialist plunder and war

Environmental hazards and natural disasters are more often and more severely affecting the poor throughout the world. While global warming is already having extreme impacts on our climate, free market globalization policies have opened up the rest of the world to pave the way for the unhampered entry, control and exploitation of raw natural resources and of people. Atrocious campaigns of wars of aggression have been waged by the world’s economic powers to expand their economic territories and gain direct or tighter control of land and natural resources.

In this era of monopoly capital, we continue to face a renewed, more rapacious and vicious campaign of plunder that aggravates the already devastated and polluted natural environment. Despite the great advances in information technology, robotics, genetics, agriculture, and medicine, these are not being applied towards solving fundamental problems of humankind. Instead every advance in technology through unbridled globalization is used to open up and exploit third world resources to generate profit for multinationals.

This plunder and pollution of the environment has made victims of poor communities many times over. Imperialist plunder of our forests, mineral and energy resources leaves in its wake poverty and environmental backlashes, which come in the form of floods, drought and other occurrences triggered or heightened by the prevailing imbalances in the ecosystem. Women and children shoulder the greater cost of these circumstances because of wider risks to their health, and added complications to their productive and reproductive functions.

The environmental damage caused by imperialist globalization disproportionately impacts poor nations and costs them more than their combined foreign debt. These environmental problems continue to ravage the third world as globalization seeks more and more resources to feed its overproduction centered around making profits and not around meeting basic human needs.

Climate change already aggravates the other environmental problems that communities have to face as a result of globalization’s ever increasing destruction of our ecology. Due to global warming, there are increased risks to vulnerable ecological systems such as polar and high mountain communities and ecosystems, biodiversity hotspots, corals, and small island communities. Extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, and floods are also expected to increase. Sea level rise lead to loss of coastal area and associated impacts. Biodiversity, health, poverty, rural livelihoods and food security are affected by global warming primarily in underdeveloped and developing countries where mitigation is not affordable. In general the most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming are the poor and marginalized people in the poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

While imperialist countries and their transnational and multinational corporations, which are the main contributors to the excessive global carbon emission, continue its unsustainable production and consumption of fossil-based fuels and products. The Unites States has cumulatively contributed the largest fraction of green house gases (GHG) in the world being one of the biggest processor and unregulated user of oil and petroleum products all over the world. Yet the US government refused to reduce global levels of carbon dioxide and five other GHG emissions.

Basic human needs, economic and social development need adequate energy and infrastructure. The improvement of the lives and the development of peoples should not be denied just to meet carbon emission reduction targets for the world. Carbon trading effectively markets carbon emissions and essentially shuffles around responsibility to curb emissions from imperialist countries to the third world. While at the same time, imperialist countries control and prevent the use and development of renewable energy resources and technologies.

With international finance capital and the deliberate collusion of the national governments and their elite, monopoly capitalism seeks to confuse and mislead us from its war against the people and the environment. Instead of protecting the national patrimony of the peoples of the world, these governments willingly implement liberalization, privatization and deregulation policies that destroy all national, social and environmental safeguards and allows the entry of foreign firms to the detriment of its people, their health and safety. Monopoly capitalism further promotes greenwashing that seeks to obscure and hide monopoly capitalism’s grave liability in the plunder, destruction and pollution of the world.

The escalation of monopoly capital plunder have resulted in intensified resistance and struggles of the people to defend our environment and uphold a future rid of the root causes of a socially destructive system- of overproduction, overconsumption and pollution for the motive of profit.

The people have continuously and actively exposed and confronted all the deceptive schemes and coercive machinations of monopoly capitalism. They have launched spontaneous, organized and coordinated actions in various venues and arenas of struggle, and used all forms of struggles and at different levels. They have organized themselves in communities, established national organizations and alliances and are forming regional and international issue-specific networks and formations linked to other peoples’ issues and concerns.

The intrinsic and practical value for human development of the environment and natural resources call for a substantial redefinition of production to one that is truly based on our needs from one that generates overproduction, overconsumption and pollution for the profit motive for a few.

We have seen how communities throughout the world remained resolute and determined to struggle for their rights and defend their natural resources because it is not only their present but also their future at stake.

We therefore resolve to struggle and aim for a new world that truly provides for human needs and cares for the environment.

  1. Struggle to challenge and end monopoly capitalism and other forces that appropriate control over the means of production to the hands of a few. For as long as monopoly capitalism and feudal forces control and dictate the use of the environment and science and technology worldwide, poverty, underdevelopment and the degradation of the environment will continue and intensify.

  2. Assert peoples’ control over the development and use of science and technology for their needs and all-rounded development. The high level of science and technology can provide people with the knowledge and tools to judiciously use the material environment for appropriate and sustainable development.

  3. Promote an environmental mindset and ethics and scientific thinking that integrate the care and management of the environment with the advancement of the well-being of communities that mostly depend on them.

  4. Work for the reorientation of the views and attitudes of the science and technology community of the world to free them from being appendages”of monopoly firms, and prevent corporate misuse of science and technology that leads to ecological, social and ultimate human destruction. Motivate and instill dedication of scientists and technologists to serve the people and participate in struggles against modern imperialism and establish a world that is free, socially just and progressive.

  5. Demystify science to allow people the opportunity of applying knowledge systems and technologies for their benefit and not for the generation of profits of a few. In addition, promote the value of indigenous and local knowledge and its role in the development of technologies to benefit the peoples of the world.

  6. Work for a moratorium on the commercialization of genetically modified organisms in food and agriculture pending the resolution of scientific, social and ethical issues.

  7. Strengthen the capacity of communities to respond to natural risks and disasters. Advance national programs for risk assessment and management, as well as mitigate impacts to highly vulnerable communities.

We resolve to undertake the following:

  • Study and develop the People’s Protocol on Climate Change. Develop a core paper on Climate Change with specific focus on the present environmental issues such as mining, oil exploration deforestation and biofuels.

  • Set up a “network for scientists, engineers and technologists for the people” and a “broad, anti-imperialist environmental network” on the regional and international levels.

  • Strengthen, expand and develop regional/international linkages and cooperation with individuals, institutions, organizations and alliances especially of the indigenous people, fisherfolks, peasants and workers.

    • Formation of alliance of mining-affected communities

  • Actively participate in existing major international and regional conferences that tackle science and environmental issues. Expose the deception and collusion of so-called “environmental” groups that defend privilege, divide people and serve directly the interests of monopoly capitalism.

    • Participate in the climate change discussion that will happen in Conference of Parties 14 and 15 in Poland in December 2008 and in Copenhagen in December 2009, respectively

  • Establish and strengthen international alliance in launching campaigns to expose and oppose the control, mis-orientation and misuse of the environment and science and technology by monopoly capitalism with focus on the plunder of mineral resources (i.e. MNC commercial mining and oil). Launch a internationally coordinated campaign against mining giants or the biggest mining TNCs and other issues such as deforestation, biofuel, oil and gas exploration, etc.

  • Hold regional and international conferences and other forms on the subjects of Concern 13 and/or on specific issues on science and the environment particularly on the issue of climate change and imperialist mining.

  • Develop a system of support/assistance of science and technology institutions, environmental groups and organizations with people organizations and alliances.

  • Monitor and document developing environmental, scientific and technical issues and concerns and set up a system of information exchange and dissemination.

  • Conduct in-depth studies on issues of the environment, science and technology confronting the world.

  • Work on common ground on science and environmental issues through bilateral discussions with other study commissions in the ILPS.

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