Enjoy catching up with what is happening in ICAs across the globe.....If you wish to SEND a report...send to your ICA contact person OR...go to the members section on the ICA International website

Week ending: Saturday 2010 04 24


In the past week there was a second basic ToP methods course in-house at the New South Wales Department of Climate Change and Water, with the unit responsible for involving business in assessing their energy consumption and adopting more energy efficient practices. The response was enthusiastic, and there will be a third course in June in which the unit managers will participate. Many staff of this department have taken the public ToP course in the past several years and there are several more registered for the coming courses in May and October. 

The Parramatta Climate Action Network held a strategic planning event which identified a major emphasis on engaging citizens, business and government together to address issues of climate change. Visits to local members of state and federal parliament revealed a willingness to do more to combat climate change, and a great gulf between citizens’ concerns as identified in surveys and their communication with their representatives. It appears that people are confused by the active denialist efforts by some sectors of the society, and there will be a campaign in the community to meet with people and provide accurate information and listen to concerns. We supplied two questions on climate change for one member to include in his current community visitations to 25000 households, following which he will share the results with us. Following the strategy planning, the group decided to spend some of their future meeting time in smaller strategy-oriented working groups as a way of enabling a more rapid development of the program. 

The Reconciliation for Western Sydney group remains active in supporting the efforts of Aboriginal people to acquire a greater voice and role in the area, and in promoting understanding of issues affecting Aboriginal people in the wider community. The working groups are organizing the annual "Building Bridges" course in which Aboriginal leaders share information on concerns and initiatives directly with the non-indigenous community in an enabling environment for all. The writing group made submissions to the government in support of Tranby College, the oldest Indigenous-controlled educational institution in the country, and also to share concerns about the racial discriminatory practices being used by the government in the Northern Territory which have brought condemnation by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. 

We held a two hour strategy session on further development and support for ICA Bangladesh with Aziz Rahman, and the Sydney Facilitators Network contributed its collections surplus of $800 to ICA Bangladesh. 

Best wishes

Richard and Maria Maguire           unfolding@smartchat.net.au

ICA International:

Location: Montreal

On Thursday, staff attended the Montreal Millennium Summit, an annual conference that aims to bring attention to the Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the work of different organizations and individuals who strive to improve quality of life around the world. The conference provided the opportunity to learn about a variety of initiatives including partnerships for economic development and job creation in Haiti, a youth-led poverty awareness campaign, and climate change activism. Keynote speakers at the conference included Salil Shetty, director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, former US vice president Al Gore, and Jean Yves Jason, the Mayor of Port-au-Prince. Of particular interest was a presentation delivered by representatives of the Global Poverty Project, an Australian-based organization founded by two individuals that were deeply involved in the Make Poverty History Campaign (www.globalpovertyproject.com). The presentation, entitled 1.4 Billion Reasons is aimed at providing information and inspiration for ending abject poverty. We will be meeting with the founders of the organization to discuss how we might be able to collaborate and make use of their presentation for education campaigns.

We made solid progress on the Ghana MGI event, finalizing agreements with the Ghana government and signing MoUs with the authors who will prepare and present case studies at the event. We will be revising the event website, finalizing the url and continuing to firm up local preparations in the coming weeks.

Michael met with representatives from the Institute du Nouveau Monde (INM) a Montreal-based civil society organization that has partnered with CIVICUS to host the next three CIVICUS World Assemblies in Montreal (in 2010, 2011 and 2012). As most of you know, ICAI has a long history of involvement with CIVICUS, and one of our member organizations (ICA Nepal) was the country coordinator for their Civil Society Index project. CIVICUS and INM plan to welcome 1000 participants from over 100 countries to Montreal this August 20-23 on the theme ‘Acting Together for a Just World’. We are excited to have this significant event in Montreal, and are considering ways that we might contribute. According to organizers there will be a limited number of travel support grants available for participants from developing countries, but the details on how to apply for these have not yet been released. Details on the event can be found at: www.civicusassembly.org.

This week (April 26-28) Canada hosts the meeting of G8 development Ministers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in preparation for the G8 summit of economic leaders in Toronto in June. We are supporting the campaign among civil society groups to ensure that past commitments (in terms of levels of funding, transparency, and trade justice) are honored and that aggressive new commitments are made to the world’s poorest people. Main interlinked priorities include combating poverty, transforming the global economic and financial system, and making real progress on climate change. For those who are interested in learning more about the G8/G20 process and reading detailed analysis and reporting, the G8 information Centre at the University of Toronto has a wealth of information: http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/.

Staff           info@ica-international.org