Category Archives: Campus – News

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Educational Role-play in Córdoba

Córdoba maintains less than 3% of native dense forests, yet the current provincial government is pushing for a bill that reduces the current protected surface of native forests from 4 million hectares to only 2 million hectares. To address this important issue, the RLC Campus Cordoba organised an educational role-play on May 31, 2017, at the National University of Córdoba in Argentina. Organized by Right Livelihood Award Laureate Raúl Montenegro and three Chairs of the Faculty of Psychology, more than 2,300 university students recreated a debate about the governmental plans for adopting the “bad project of law on native forests”. The role-play involved six main steps: 1) a preparatory process with active dissemination of information prior to and on the 31st May, 2) sector discussions in groups; 3) a public hearing of the groups and a discussion among panel members 4) a vote by all students participating; 5) a presentation of the winning decision, and 6) a music festival as an epilogue. For step number 2 and 3, six main groups of 200-300 students each were formed with randomly selected members. The six groups represented the “government”, “soya agriculturalists” and “parliamentarians of the political party in power” as well as the “university”, “NGOs” and the “movement of green farmers”. At the end of the role-play around 90% of the students voted against the new law.

RLC Córdoba hosts Open Seminar: “Independence for whom?”

On November 5, 2016, the RLC Campus in Córdoba hosted an open seminar with the indigenous Mbya Guarani people in the Argentinean city of Puerto Rico. More than 300 participants attended the conference to discuss about the questionable official dates of independence in Argentina and the historical impact of independence on indigenous people and communities. RLA Laureate Raúl Montenegro, head of the RLC Campus Córdoba, gave a lecture on the topic “The Mbya people transform knowledge into wisdom, the Jurua people transform knowledge in knowledge. Will we learn from each other?“.

Supporting research of postgraduate students

The RLC campus of Córdoba cooperated with the Chair of Ecology and Environmental Health of the University of Córdoba to support research on environment and health issues by postgraduate students of the “Master on Maternal and Children Health”. Research was conducted in the provinces of Cordoba and La Rioja, near the Andean region. The postgraduate students detected many health threats in urban and rural areas, e.g. deleterious effects of pesticide sprays, mining, open waste deposits or the pollution of water with fluorine and arsenic. Additional threats resulting from climate change are uncontrolled fires and floods. Students discovered inadequate management of X-ray equipment in hospitals, incorrect environmental management of neonatal rooms, and incineration of hazardous waste.

Public Panel Discussion – Human Rights and Environmental Governance: From Marginalization to Empowerment

On September 5, 2017, the RLC Campus Bonn and the Association of German Development Services (AGdD) organised a public panel discussion on Human Rights and Environmental Governance jointly with the Adult Education Center Bonn. Juan Pablo Orrego, Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate (1998) and founder of the Chilean NGO Ecosistemas, discussed with the Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE), Dr. Imme Scholz, the importance of community involvement in the decision making process of large scale “development” projects that affect the social and ecological livelihoods of people. A special emphasis was put on collaborations and on information spreading between the affected people, activists and policy advisors. Additionally, two participants of the RLC/AGdD workshop spoke on the panel; Ms. Sandhya Kumar presented research findings on how policies are established practically in local communities, using the example of “Right to Food” in India. Wolfang Dörner, peace consultant for the “Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst”, gave insight into challenges in creating grassroot organisations and networks in the conflict-ridden and mineral-rich southern Philippines. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Merjam Wakili (Deutsche Welle) and supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

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RLC Workshop on “Mobilization for Change: Human Rights, Governance and the Empowerment of the Marginalized”

From September 2 to 7, 2017, 24 scientists, practitioners and PhD students from 17 different countries came together at the RLC Campus in Bonn to discuss and analyse research and practice concerned with human rights, governance and marginalized people in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The transdisciplinary workshop, jointly organised with the Association of German Development Services (AGdD), focused on the nexus between economic development, ecological balance, and on rural livelihoods of marginalised people. Right Livelihood Award Laureate Juan Pablo Orrego (1998) gave an insight into his lifelong work and engagement in the protection of Chilean ecological and social systems from largescale dam projects.

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RLC PhD student Willis Okumu publishes paper in the Journal of Modern African Studies

RLC PhD graduate Willis Okumu published an article in the September Volume of the journal of Modern African studies, together with Kaderi Noagah Bukari, Papa Sow and Evans Onyiego, on “The role of elite rivalry and ethnic politics in livestock raids in northern Kenya”. They analyse the changing culture of cattle raids in northern Kenya, focusing on new arising business- and political elites who use the existing ethnic rivalry to mobilise raids to gain control over limited resources in the region.
The paper can be found here.

Fidelis Allen publishes book chapter on “Decolonising African Political Science and the Question of the Relevance of the Discipline for Development”

Fidelis Allen, coordinator of the Right Livelihood Campus Port Harcourt, contributed a chapter to the book “Decolonizing the University, Knowledge Systems and Disciplines in Africa” edited by Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni and Siphamandla Zondi. In his chapter “Decolonising African Political Science and the Question of the Relevance of the Discipline for Development” he argues that American Political Science still dominates the field of Political Science worldwide even though analyses based on these dominating western political theories often fail to connect with African reality. He calls for a new understanding of development and political science by critically reflecting Western methodologies and complementing them by new scientific approaches.

RLC PhD student attends summer school

From 25 June to 7 July 2017 RLC student Alejandro Mora Motta participated at a Summer School on “Transformations that sustain life: Degrowth and Environmental Justice” held in Barcelona (Spain) and Cerbère (France). The event was organized by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona/ICTA in collaboration with the Research & Degrowth association. During a poster session he presented his ongoing PhD research on the topic “Looking for a way out: tree plantation extractivism and emerging resistances in La Union”. In this presentation Alejandro shared the strategies that the mapuche and non-mapuche communities (in southern Chile) employ in the search for alternatives to the tree plantation extractivist model.

Laureate Alyn Ware honours women peace and disarmament advocates in Nigeria

Alyn Ware, 2009 Right Livelihood Laureate, delivered a Right Livelihood College annual lecture in Nigeria on May 25, and participated in the special event organised the day before (May 24) by the RLC campus Port Harcourt and the Centre for Conflict and Gender Development Studies to commemorate International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.

Alyn used the occasion to release Women leading for Peace and Disarmament (see below) a joint statement of members of the World Future Council and laureates of the Right Livelihood Award from around the world.


Women leading for Peace and Disarmament

May 24, 2017

‘Involving women in peace and disarmament processes elevates the prospect of their success’, according to recipients of the Right Livelihood Award and members of the World Future Council who released a statement today – Women Leading for Peace and Disarmament – to commemorate the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.

‘We highlight the success of peace and disarmament initiatives in which women have played an important role, including in Bougainville, Colombia, Iran, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Sierra Leone, and other regions around the world.’

Coming just two days after the tragic terrorist bombing in Manchester UK, the statement condemns terrorist acts and any other forms of indiscriminate violence, including the use of nuclear weapons.

‘We express concern over the existential threats to humanity and the planet from climate change and the increased threat of nuclear war – a situation which has moved the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to move the Doomsday Clock to 2½ minutes to midnight. The threats to our planet – of climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, terrorism and war – can only be overcome by nations and the global community working in cooperation – something not possible while nations maintain large and expensive militaries and threaten to destroy each other, including with nuclear weapons.’

The statement highlights the opportunity for progress on nuclear disarmament provided by the negotiations by non-nuclear States which will take place in June-July this year on a draft agreement to ban nuclear weapons, and the UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament which will take place in 2018 and will include nuclear armed and non-nuclear States.

‘UN High Level Conferences in recent years have achieved success, including agreements on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants,’ says Alyn Ware, one of the Right Livelihood Laureates endorsing the statement. ‘So we hope for similar success on nuclear disarmament at the 2018 UN High Level Conference. We also support the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb being held in New York to promote the UN nuclear ban negotiations.’

‘And we highlight the possibilities to invest in peace and sustainable development if we re-allocate just a small portion of the $1.7 trillion spent globally on the military. As such we call on governments to support the Kazakhstan proposal to reduce national military budgets by at least 1% and reallocate these resources to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.’

RLC/BICC Panel Discussion: Academic Freedom and International Cooperation at Risk – Turkey and Beyond

Academic freedom and international cooperation have been increasingly at risk in Turkey in the last years. University Deans, Professors and other scientists were forced to step down, a travel ban was imposed on many academics, and Turkish scientists working abroad were pressured to return to Turkey. Many journalists and newspaper editors have been detained and harassed, particularly since the coup attempt last year.

Dr. Özgür Mumcu, journalist with the “Alternative Nobel Prize”-awarded Cumhuriyet newspaper discussed with Antje Schlamm, Head of Section Scholarship Programmes East Central Europe, South East Europe, Turkey at DAAD, how Universities, editors and journalists deal with these restrictions on and hindrance of their work.

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