International Environmental and Human Rights Group Wins Major Grant | Global Justice Ecology Project

African Oil Palm plantations in the Lacandon Jungle of Mexico to be used for biofuel. Orin Langelle/LangellePhoto.org (2013)
Buffalo-based Organization Awarded $90,000
Buffalo, NY–Global Justice Ecology Project, an award-winning international non-profit based in Buffalo announced today that it will receive a grant of $90,000 from the Ceres Trust. The grant was made in support of GJEP’s leading-edge work to protect forests, wildlife and communities from the unpredictable and potentially devastating impacts of genetically engineered trees–such as wildfires, loss of water, sickness and forced displacement. 

“We are thrilled to receive this important grant from Ceres Trust,” said Anne Petermann, Executive Director and co-founder of Global Justice Ecology Project. [5] “In this age of climate change and extreme weather, our work in defense of forests and forest-dependent communities is more critical than ever, and this grant will help us accomplish many important objectives. In 2018, it will help us strengthen our work with indigenous peoples in Brazil, Chile, the U.S. and elsewhere who are protecting their lands and forests from corporate destruction.”

GJEP is also co-organizing a national forest protection conference in 2018 to reignite a powerful, united movement to protect forests in the U.S. The conference will link protection of forests with efforts to stop fossil fuel extraction and oppose dangerous and destructive false solutions to climate change such as wood-based bioenergy.

Global Justice Ecology Project’s Social Justice Media Program [3] includes Langelle Photography, a program designed to use the power of photography to expose social and ecological injustice while providing an historical look at social movements, struggle and everyday life. One goal is inspiring people to become involved in social change efforts. It is directed by GJEP co-founder and long-time photojournalist Orin Langelle. 

“I have been involved in and documented movements for social change and ecological protection since 1972, and I understand how critical it is to preserve our history,” stated Langelle. “People today can learn important lessons from struggles that came before—what worked and what didn’t. Being firmly rooted in history is critical. I am grateful to Ceres Trust for understanding this work.”

In January 2017 Langelle won the Member’s Exhibition Award at CEPA (Contemporary Photography and Visual Arts Center) in Buffalo, which includes a solo exhibit there in January 2018. The exhibit will be called Portraits of Struggle and feature photos documenting people’s efforts to defend and protect lands, forests and human rights around the world.

Contact: Tess Ipolito, Media Coordinator, tess@globaljusticeecology.org +1.716.867.4080

Global Justice Ecology Project received the 2013 White Dove Award from the Rochester Committee on Latin America for “dedicated efforts to protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights and native forests, and to promote social, environmental and ecological justice in Latin America and beyond, including the use of concerned photography.”
 GJEP leads the effort to stop the commercial sale and large-scale planting of genetically engineered trees, and its co-founders launched the first campaign against GE trees in 2000. In July 2017 GJEP organized the collection of 284,000 public comments and 500 organizational sign ons to the USDA protesting the agency’s proposed approval of the first genetically engineered tree–a non-native eucalyptus–which would be sold by the millions for planting across seven Southern U.S. states, despite the tree’s notorious reputation for being invasive, explosively flammable, water depleting, and displacing endangered species.

As the coordinators of the global Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees, in 2017 GJEP sent a team to Chile to investigate and document the aftermath of the worst wildfires in that country’s history–set off by a heat wave, and fueled by highly flammable plantations of eucalyptus and pine trees. They joined activists from around the world to discuss strategies to prevent the expansion of these plantations and the future use of GE trees in them helped mobilize a week of protests against a global industry conference in Chile on GE trees.
 GJEP’s Social Justice Media Program highlights the voices of activists and communities struggling to protect their lands, stop corporate destruction and stand up for justice. 
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