The Asia Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) was initiated the mid-1990s from a common desire and need among people’s organizations and networks across Asia and Europe to find new venues for dialogue, cooperation, and solidarity. The inter-regional conference was organized in 1996 coinciding the first Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held in Bangkok.  Currently the work of AEPF is organised around six clusters on issues which are of pressing importance. They are  

  1. Climate justice and Just transition
  2. Just Trade and Corporate Accountability
  3. Food sovereignty and resources justice
  4. Peace and security
  5. Democratization and human right
  6. Social justice

This was the first time that Environics participated in the forum as a part of the Climate Justice and Just Transition Cluster. The Demand Climate Justice Alliance and Asian Peoples Movement for Debt and Development, CLARA of which Environics is already a partner and OilWatch, Gastivists and other Climate groups are a part of this effort.

Environics Trust has also been invited to contribute to the Social Justice cluster.  A Universal Charter on Social Protection with the main objective to promote a different philosophy on social protection, one that goes beyond the traditional rights, that encompasses environmental needs and bridges the unacceptable gap between production and reproduction has been drafted and the idea is to deepen its acceptance in all countries.

We had detailed discussions on the new IPCC report that is going to be released soon and the alternative CLARA report which emphasises on indigenous land rights and false land based climate solutions. We also held an outside action in the streets of Ghent. Ghent is a Belgium city which claims to be climate friendly despite Arcelor Mittal’s Steel Company in the city! However, it has taken several steps to avoid emissions.

Author – R Sreedhar