Schrijf je in voor de Fair ICT Awards 2020

Fair ICT Awards 2020

Vlaamse bedrijven, non-profitorganisaties, instellingen hoger onderwijs en lokale besturen die inzetten op het duurzaam aankopen of beheren van ICT-apparatuur kunnen zich tot 14 november 2020 inschrijven voor de Fair ICT Awards. 

Heeft jouw bedrijf refurbished laptops aangekocht? Verleng je actief de gebruiksduur van je ICT door de apparaten te delen of intern te verhuren? De Awards belonen het fair en duurzaam omgaan met toestellen. Niet zeker of je in aanmerking komt? Schrijf je dan gerust in, en we laten je zo snel mogelijk iets weten.

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Smartphones, tablets, laptops, printers: ze zijn niet meer weg te denken uit de werksfeer, en veranderen de wereld in sneltempo. Ook letterlijk: het ontginnen van grondstoffen voor ICT-apparatuur en de fenomenale hoeveelheden afval die resulteren uit een te korte levensduur, wegen zwaar op onze aarde. De cijfers doen duizelen: in 2018 werden wereldwijd alleen al 1,46 miljard smartphones geproduceerd.

De industrie houdt vast aan een lineair  ‘take – make – waste’-businessmodel. De gemiddelde levensduur van een smartphone bedraagt 1,5 tot 2 jaar. Ecodesign en modulaire toestellen zijn in de ICT-sector moeilijk te vinden. Volgens Global E-Waste Monitor belandt jaarlijks het gewicht van 4.500 Eiffeltorens aan elektronisch afval op de vuilnisbelt. Dat cijfer stijgt trouwens elk jaar.

Organisaties, (onderwijs)instellingen, besturen en ondernemingen hebben de macht en de sleutels in handen om dit onevenwicht recht te trekken. Door ICT-materiaal te eisen dat op een sociale en ecologisch verantwoorde manier gemaakt is, duwen we de producenten automatisch in de juiste richting.

CATAPA, Bond Beter Leefmilieu en Ondernemers voor Ondernemers zetten met het project Fair ICT Flanders in op deze problematiek, met als doel de verduurzaming van het ICT-aankoop- en verwerkingsbeleid in Vlaanderen, en een duurzamere toekomst en verbetering van de werk- en leefomstandigheden van getroffen gemeenschappen in de mijnbouw- en ICT-productiesector in het Globale Zuiden. Om goede praktijkvoorbeelden in de kijker te zetten, wordt deze zomer de Fair ICT Awards gelanceerd.

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De winnaars krijgen niet enkel een welverdiende trofee, maar ook media-aandacht via de persconferentie van de Fair ICT Awards. Bovendien kunnen ze met trots het label ‘Winnaar Fair ICT Awards 2020’ op hun website plaatsen en genieten van verschillende mogelijkheden tot publiciteit binnen Fair ICT Flanders.

De deadline voor indiening is 14 november 2020. Op 30 november worden de genomineerden bekend gemaakt om dan op de persconferentie van 15 december de winnaars aan het grote publiek voor te stellen. Lees vóór je deelname zeker het reglement erop na, wat je kan vinden op fairictflanders.be/fairictawards.

Mineralen voor de energietransitie: naar een koolstofarme samenleving zonder verliezers

Nieuw onderzoek toont limieten van ontginning voor de energietransitie

De Europese Commissie kondigde aan dat de Europese Green Deal het kompas zal zijn voor het economisch herstel na de COVID19-crisis, een belangrijke voorwaarde voor het behalen van de klimaatdoelstellingen. Maar de toepassingen voor hernieuwbare energie en elektrische vervoer die daarvoor nodig zijn, vragen grondstoffen en de ontginning daarvan zet in verschillende delen van de wereld – vaak in ontwikkelingslanden – druk op onder meer lokale gemeenschappen, watervoorraden en de biodiversiteit. Ontwikkelings- en milieuorganisaties 11.11.11, Broederlijk Delen, Bond Beter Leefmilieu, CATAPA, FairFin en Justice et Paix kaarten op basis van nieuw onderzoek aan dat de transitie naar een koolstofarme samenleving ook grondstofarm en met respect voor mensenrechten moet verlopen.

De organisaties lieten door de onafhankelijke onderzoeksbureaus VITO en Profundo berekenen wat de transitie naar 100% hernieuwbare energie en een mobiliteitsshift in België volgens verschillende scenario’s betekent voor de vraag naar grondstoffen. De vaststelling is dat er in alle scenario’s sprake is van een toename van de vraag naar cruciale energiemineralen, maar dat politieke en technologische keuzes een groot verschil kunnen maken om die vraag en dus de negatieve impact van ontginning te beperken. Het gevoerde beleid moet de samenleving in de richting sturen van een lager energie- en materiaalgebruik door maximaal in te zetten op circulaire strategieën, zoals een langere levensduur, deeleconomie, circulair ontwerp, meer hergebruik en recyclage.

Hoe dan ook zal er op korte termijn nog ontginning van grondstoffen als lithium en kobalt nodig zijn. Die ontginning leidt nu vaak tot schendingen van mensenrechten en milieuvervuiling, zoals het nieuwe dossier ook toont. Een eerlijk antwoord op de klimaatcrisis vraagt daarom ook regulering die garandeert dat ontginning gebeurt met respect voor mensenrechten en milieu en met toestemming van lokale gemeenschappen. De aankondiging van Europees Commissaris Reynders op 29 april dat hij volgend jaar bindende wetgeving inzake zorgplicht voor bedrijven zal invoeren, is dus een goede zaak. Een nieuwe verordening zou bedrijven verplichten om na te gaan dat hun activiteiten geen negatieve gevolgen hebben voor de mensenrechten en het milieu, en dat in de hele toeleveringsketen.

Lees het volledige rapport hieronder.

Ghost town Choropampa: Twenty Years after the Mercury Spill

Author: Maxime Degroote

 

Ghost town Choropampa: Twenty Years after the Mercury Spill

 

On June 2, 2000, a truck with a load from the Yanacocha mine lost about 150 kilograms of mercury in the small community of Choropampa in the province of Cajamarca, in northern Peru. Twenty years later, the village seems to be completely forgotten, while the inhabitants are still dying from the consequences of the disaster.

It’s June 2, 2000, around five in the afternoon. Loud voices can be heard on the street, shouting. “Everything in front of my shop is mine”, exclaims Julia Angelica. A sparkling, clear, silver-colored sort of liquid slides like some sort of jelly over the road that runs straight through the village. “Mommy, mommy, look”, you can hear elsewhere, “there is something shiny and sparkly on the street and everyone is collecting it. I am going as well!”

Children pop in the middle of the mysterious stuff, collect big, empty bottles of Coca Cola and Fanta and fill them with the shiny liquid. They play with it, throw it in the air and walk under it, rub it on their bodies, even consume it. Is it gold? How much would it be worth? The confusion reigns, but it must be worth something. Wealth for Choropampa.

Children passing out

Nothing turns out to be less true. Twenty years later, we are standing on that same spot, on the long road that connects the important mining city of Cajamarca with Lima, the capital of Peru. The road on which trucks of the Yanacocha mine pass on a daily basis, and where exactly twenty years ago today, such a truck from the transport company Ransa, contracted by Yanacocha, lost 151 kilos of mercury. No gold, but 151 kilos of shiny, sparkly, but deadly poisonous mercury, spread out over 27 kilometers of road between San Juan and Magdalena. The community of Choropampa, in the middle of that road, got hit the worst. Directly or indirectly, all three thousand inhabitants were exposed to it.

The mercury destroyed the whole community. It entered the ground, the water, the plants, the air. Water measurements show that the level of mercury in the water grows over time. The harvest is yielding less and less, and no one wants to buy or consume agricultural products from the region of Choropampa.

People who hadn´t had physical contact with the mercury, inhaled it. And still inhale it. When the weather is hot, the mercury that´s still in the soil evaporates and rises. Inhalation even turns out to be worse than touching it.

Inhaling mercury breaks the protective membrane of the brain and mainly causes problems with the nervous system. Salomón Saavedra from Choropampa confirms that. “When it’s hot, you often see children passing out on the street, on their way home from school. They pass out from all the mercury they inhale. They are taken to the health post, they recover a little, but they remain sick. They continue to have the same symptoms. Like all of us, for the rest of our lives.”

Also children born after the disaster have severe health issues. ©Maxime Degroote

Collective amnesia

Hours after the mercury spill, the health post in Choropampa filled with people with the same complaints. Nose bleedings, headaches, stomachaches, hives over the whole body. The list of symptoms grew over time. Vision loss, severe pains in the bones, joint pains, peeling of the skin, blood in the urine, irregular menstruations, menstruations that fail to occur, infertility, ectopic pregnancies, deformed children, and so on.

We find ourselves in the small living room of Juana Martínez. When we ask her whether she can tell us what happened the day of the disaster, she looks at us desperately. “I don’t know… I really don’t. We are losing our memory because of the mercury.”

Forgotten. Not only the authorities have forgotten about Choropampa, also the memory of the inhabitants themselves is failing them.

Around ten villagers have gathered in the small room to tell their stories. Others couldn’t walk the few blocks to Juana’s home, and we visit them in their own houses. The stories are similar.

Pretty poison

“It looked so pretty,” María Clementine Hoyo Zabreda remembers, “so pretty how it decorated the street. But it turned out to be poison. Look at my body.” She pulls up her skirts and shows her swollen legs. Different women follow her example. Hands, feet, spots everywhere and skin peeling off.

Vision loss is another serious consequence of the disaster. “The whole village needs to wear glasses. And change those glasses every year”, they say.

Melisa Castrejón Hoyos wasn’t in Choropampa when the mercury spill happened. She arrived to her home in Choropampa six days later, to hear poison had arrived to the community. Poison that was just sitting there in a glass bottle in her home. “I was so scared. I didn’t dare to come close. There I was, with my baby of barely two months old in my arms… Now my son is basically blind. He can’t read. He is studying, but I think that he won’t finish his studies, just as most of the rest of the youth of Choropampa.”

Wait

Santos Mirando does remember the day of the mercury spill very well. He ran out to scoop the mercury up with his bare hands. “I have the most terrible headaches. All the time. And all the doctors prescribe me is paracetamol. My wife is shaking so hard that often while she is cooking, she drops the plates. My seven-year-old daughter has severe pains in her bones and can´t see anymore. She hadn’t even been born when it happened. And we are poor. We can’t do anything. Nothing. Just wait.” Santos wipes the tears from his cheeks. “We will just have to push through the pain.”

Wait. That’s the only thing that rests the people of Choropampa, while slowly the villagers are dying. “My niece died from lupus,” says Helena Portilla, “and right after that my son died. He was only 23 years old. They gave him three months when he got to the hospital. Little afterwards also my daughter in law passed away. She felt bad around one, and at seven she had died.”

Many villagers fled the community and went to other cities to look for a healthier way of living, but no one can escape the death of Choropampa. Even children and youth born after the mercury spill have high levels of mercury in their blood and urine, and severe health issues.

Judith Guerrero Martín suffered a miscarriage. “I can’t get pregnant. Many women are at risk during pregnancies. There are women who lose their child after three, four months of pregnancy. Or their children are born deformed. When I lost my baby, my doctor told me that it was better this way. That it was an ectopic pregnancy, as many women have here. A friend of mine even died during her pregnancy.”

Sentenced to chair

The mayor of Choropampa brings us to a house a little further down the road. A new face, with the same look of desperation. She talks quietly and it’s hard to understand her words. Headaches, backaches, pain in her arms. For the last three years, she had barely been able to move. Three years in which she hasn’t been able to do anything. She can’t fold her hands, she can’t stretch her arms. She can’t wash herself, she can’t comb her hair. She is sentenced to her chair.

“My life is so sad”, says Modesta Pretel. “I can’t do anything anymore. I can’t work on the field. I can’t cook. I can’t knit. What the doctors say of my case? I have no idea. I can’t remember. I forget everything, like most of us. Even my daughter, who is born after the disaster, suffers from memory loss.”

Close to where the accident happened, we meet Imelda Guarniz Ruiz. She also suffers because of the impact of the mercury in her community. “I was a strong woman, and now? I can’t even walk anymore. My kidneys hurt. There is no solution. They give me ibuprofen and paracetamol. How is that going to help me? The people from the Yanacocha mine make fun of us. And I can´t do anything anymore. Before I sit down, I always have to find someone who will be able to help me stand up afterwards”, she says. She reinforces her words by calling her son to help her get up from the stairs she is sitting on.

Imelda Guarniz Ruiz has pain all over her body as a consequence of the mercury she ingested. ©Maxime Degroote

Four deaths a month

The complaints aren’t new, but they are getting more and more serious with the years. Around the time of the accident, about 100 people died. “Doctors from Germany and the United States told us that everything would be way worse in five, ten, fifteen years”, Juana Martínez says. And look at the situation now. “In the past we had one death every three, four years. Now we have three to four deaths every month.” The impact of the disaster is more visible than ever, twenty years after it happened.

It took a long time before the villagers heard how poisonous the mercury was. Two days after the accident, employees of Yanacocha arrived in Choropampa. The villagers remember how they arrived in special suits with protection goggles. It raised questions, but still no one had informed the local population about the risks of mercury. The workers only reported that they had come to buy the spilled mercury, and offered money in exchange for the collected mercury.

Children ran out on the streets again, looking for whatever was still left of the mercury. Five to ten soles they got, depending on how much mercury they could gather. “A circus had just arrived to our community,” mayor Ronald Mendoza Guarniz says, “and with five soles the children could do a lot. For a kilo, they would even give them up to 100 soles. Our children ran back and forth with their hands full of the shiny liquid.”

Yanacocha was able to recover only a third of the spilled mercury. The rest stayed behind in Choropampa, in the fields, in the houses, even in the bedrooms.

The dates on the crosses in the cemetery follow each other up faster and faster. ©Maxime Degroote

Hush money

The damage was done and very fast the irreversible consequences of the spill became clear. Choropampa got sick. And Choropampa protested. They wanted an analysis; they wanted to know what was wrong with them. Fifteen days after the spill, the contamination in the villagers was measured.

The analysis showed that the villagers had high levels of mercury in their blood and in their urine. But the results of the analysis disappeared. And twenty years later, they still haven’t been found.

While inhabitants of Choropampa all ended up in the hospital with similar complaints, Yanacocha returned to the community with lawyers.

Yanacocha offered money to the inhabitants of Choropampa. Any amount of money, depending on what the villager said yes to. 2500 soles (about 650 euros) for one person, 5000 (about 1300 euros) for another. Whatever they agreed on, to buy their silence.

After all, to receive the money, they had to sign a document. An extensive document with several clauses, clearly stating that Yanacocha is not to blame for what happened, that Yanacocha pays only to end the controversies about the disaster. And by signing, the villagers said goodbye to their rights to sue Yanacocha for what had happened or take any legal action against the mine.

Fingerprints

Almost all of Choropampa signed. The majority of the people by leaving his or her fingerprint. At the time, 85 percent of Choropampa was illiterate and could neither read nor sign the document.

The villagers used the money to cover their medical costs. They ran out of money quickly, even before the true impact of the health issues reached the population. It wasn’t about a few temporary health issues. These were lifelong complaints that would only get worse over the years. But what choice did they have? Even the then Minister of Women and Human Development traveled all the way to Choropampa from Lima to advise the community against hiring lawyers to help them.

Choropampa was silenced. Nobody was allowed to speak. For years, the inhabitants of Choropampa have been silent under the weight of the documents. Twenty years later, while the number of deaths from the consequences of the disaster suddenly starts to increase rapidly, they give up their obligation to remain silent. If we die anyway, we might as well open our mouths; seems to be the motto.

No medication

Next to money, the inhabitants of Choropampa also received health insurance for five years from Yanacocha. Health insurance they can barely use in Choropampa.

Right next to where the mercury spill changed the lives of three thousand Cajamarquinos, we find the health post of Choropampa. On this health post, everyone agrees. “We have let go of the hope to receive help or medication. The only thing we still ask for, are tranquilizers and painkillers. Either way we can never be cured anymore.”

We knock on the door of the health post, but can’t be let inside. It´s better to come back in a day or two, they tell us. Then they will be able to show us the post.

The look on the mayor’s face says it all. “There is nothing to show. Nothing. The health post is empty. That is the problem that we have had for years. There is no medication in the health post, no help. They only check your pulse and give you some sort of sedative. But I’m sure if Yanacocha knows you’re here, with the cameras, they’ll come with a car full of medication. That’s why they need a two days’ notice to let you in.”

A day later, we suddenly receive a video from the health post from an anonymous source, filmed that same day. The racks are empty. There is no medication in Choropampa.

“We are dying,” Helena Portilla says, “this is no life for us. We have been forgotten. We are asking for justice from Yanacocha, but nothing happens. They came, poisoned us, and abandoned us.”

Also in other cities, the population of Choropampa seems to have difficulties to find help. “We lie. We tell them we are from Magdalena or Cajamarca. Nobody wants to help the people from Choropampa. We are nobody”, they say.

The place where exactly twenty years ago a truck of the Yanacocha mine lost 151 kilos of mercury. ©Maxime Degroote

Full cemetery 

The cemetery of Choropampa is filling extremely quickly. The dates of death on the crosses follow each other up faster and faster. Two per month, three per month, four…

Mayor Guarniz looks at us with a desperate look on his face. He is still young, was still a kid when the mercury spill happened. As was his wife. Seven days after the accident she ended in the hospital for the first time. Five years later, she came back with the same complaints. Two years later again. “And what now? Do I take her back within a year? And then every month?” Guarniz asks.

The previous mayor was only 28 when he died. They quickly brought him to Chiclayo, but he died almost immediately upon arrival. “And such quick deaths are the rule rather than the exception”, Guarniz says. “Today we feel good, tomorrow we might feel bad, and poof, straight to the cemetery. What are we still waiting for? We are completely left to our own devices.”

Only eighty inhabitants of Choropampa didn’t sign the document of Yanacocha twenty years ago. They are the only ones who can still take legal action against the company, although most lawsuits were filed quickly. Only three of them were reopened.

In twenty years Choropampa has lost all hope of help. “We have been deceived so much already,” says Julia Angelica Guarniz Luis, “twenty years have passed and still nothing has happened. We are going to die. Soon it will be done with Choropampa. All that´s left for us is wait until God says it is enough.”

Twenty years have passed and still there is no solution for Choropampa, the village in which the inhabitants continue to die and are more and more intoxicated with every breath they take. It is time for Choropampa to get justice.

Watch the documentary “Choropampa, Tierra de Nadie” here:

Ten days of quarantine in Peru

Caning, arrests and social issues

Ten days of quarantine in Peru

Author: MAXIME DEGROOTE

DISCLAIMER:

This article was written on March 25, after the first ten days of quarantine in Peru. By now, after six weeks of quarantine, a lot has changed, of course, and there is a lot of new information known. To begin with, the Peruvian Government announced two weeks ago that they wanted to reach a number of 12.000 COVID-19 tests a day, which they have reached this week. Until now, 27.517 results came back positive. 728 People have died from COVID-19 in Peru so far. It took a long time before the virus reached Cajamarca, but now there are 127 confirmed cases here. Over the whole country, 3.765 patients are in the hospital, 545 of them on intensive care. The Government is focusing on having more beds on intensive care available for patients and is buying and constructing more ventilators that should be ready to use this week. According to official numbers, there are now 719 beds on intensive care exclusively for COVID-19 patients. This means there are now 164 beds still available over the whole country.

The quarantine that would first only last for two weeks, got extended twice already and will most likely be extended again. The Government is now evaluating whether or not some measures can be lifted from next week on, as the quarantine is still bringing a lot of questions and issues with it. Last week the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations had already registered 125 cases of rape and 14.222 cases of domestic violence during the quarantine. Nine women were killed in their own homes in less than six weeks. There are serious economic issues, as 42 percent of the inhabitants of Peru is left with no income, and many still haven’t received their corresponding help from the Government. Classes have started again online and through TV- and radio channels, although not every family has access to them. There is still no solution for indigenous villages. And how come mine workers are allowed to travel home in the middle of quarantine, but thousands of Peruvians are still stuck far away from their homes without help? A lot of Peruvians were far away from their homes when the quarantine suddenly started, and still haven’t made it back home. Various groups of people started walking extremely long distances to make it home, simply because they can’t afford to stay where they are for this long. Over 30.000 people registered for humanitarian transportation from Lima to Cajamarca. The Government of Cajamarca offers transportation to 600. How do you choose who can go home?

Peru did great responding this fast to the crisis by declaring a national quarantine. But there are still many, many issues to be resolved, that we can’t just forget. Hopefully more solutions will come up soon.

Monday marked the start of the second week of quarantine in Peru. What does quarantine imply in a country like Peru?

We escaped for a few days to a cabin in the forest, away for a while, away from the world, the crazy world that we don’t seem to understand at all these days. And when we wanted to step back into that world after a few days, it turned out to be closed for us. Peru is in quarantine. An entire country, and already almost an entire world, in quarantine.

The army ensures that nobody goes out on the street © Edgard Bazán

Corona horror stories

For a while now the corona virus has the entire world in its grip. In every single conversation of the past few weeks another corona horror story came up. We’re bombarded with numbers of deaths which are difficult to grasp and which make the situation seem even more unreal, no matter how real it all is. And little by little, we pass all phases.

In general, Peru has taken the situation very seriously.

Denial, because surely the virus won’t be that much more serious than the usual flu. Doubt, because it suddenly seems to spread very quickly. Fear, because it is getting closer and closer and the measures are getting more drastic. Anger, because why are so many people still not taking it seriously?

In general, Peru has taken the situation very seriously. We spent a few days in our ’cabin in the woods’, as we jokingly called it. A few days away from the corona craze that we didn’t understand yet and seemed to still be light years away. And then you’re in the car back to the city on Sunday night when you suddenly have cell phone reception again and hear the president of the nation declaring on live television that all of Peru is going to be quarantined.

Where to, the friend behind the wheel asks, where do you want to spend the next few weeks? Do I drop you off at your mom’s or at your boyfriend’s? Because wherever you get out of the car, that´s where you’re staying.

So here we are.

Panic

On Sunday the 15th of March Peru heard the news. On Monday everyone had one last chance to relocate, before all national and international transport was put to a halt at midnight. Borders closed. Everything closed. Only supermarkets and other food stores, hospitals, pharmacies and banks are allowed to remain open.

Panic arose on Monday. Because what does quarantine mean in a country like Peru, without any form of social security?

The president promised 380 soles (about 100 euros) to every family who wouldn’t be able to make ends meet during the 15 days without work. But how do they decide which families can’t? And how do they get the money? And when exactly? Questions arose, as did the unrest.

A day without work equals a day without food.

Only after a whole week there was some news about the 380 soles. A website was launched where you could sign up for a chance to receive the allowance. That same day, officials appointed by the government went to the communities looking for families in need. Only a week later. Not hard to imagine the level of concern that flooded the population.

And rightly so. Peru is no Belgium, where most of the citizens continue to work from home. Peru is a country in which more than 70 percent of the population works in informal sectors. In which the vast majority of the population is dependent on their daily income to put food on the table. A day without work equals a day without food.

And what about all non-Peruvians in the country? Every day I see the necklace that was made by my two fantastic Venezuelan friends hanging around my neck. What about them? What about the thousands of Venezuelans in Peru who are left to their own?

Markets and foodstores are allowed to remain open © Edgard Bazán

Chaos

Markets were flooded by panic and people that first Monday. People took whatever they could get and ran. Market vendors started to panic, prices doubled, tripled. Policemen trying to keep the peace and to arrest anyone stealing, now also had to start arresting vendors raising their prices. The chaos grew.

Waiting in line for three hours to buy eggs, only to find out they are sold out. Bosses who don’t believe in quarantine and demand employees to show up at work. Bus companies that continue to sell bus tickets, only to have the police rush in and shut everything down at the time of departure.

Tourists who don’t have a clue what is happening and go back to their hostels, some of them finding themselves in front of locked doors. Because doesn’t corona come from Europe?

And me, wanting to make use of those last hours of free movement in the evening, which was allowed until midnight. Only to find 15 soldiers blocking my way after only half a block on my bike. The quarantine is no joke.

 

Arrests

On the second day the severity of the situation becomes even more clear to us. On Tuesday, the Ronda Campesina starts roaming the streets in the north of the country. The civilian police. The gravity of the situation sinks in in Cajamarca, where the rondas command far more respect than the police will ever do. The declared state of emergency brings back memories of the protests against the mega mining project Conga here, in which several people lost their lives.

My neighbors all got locked up for a night for playing football in the park.

On Wednesday, the government declares a ‘toque de queda’, a curfew. No one is allowed to be outside between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., no matter what. People who disobey are arrested immediately.

The following morning, social media is flooded with videos of the first violations of the rules. A man who went to take out the trash and immediately got surrounded by five police cars. To the police station.  A man who got arrested, jumped out of the police car and was chased by the policemen. A man who wanted to walk his dog and got arrested right outside his front door, with on the background his wife screaming about the dog being taken away, not about her husband.

My neighbours all got locked up for a night for playing football in the park. We laugh, but the quarantine is no joke. The quarantine is serious.

And the quarantine has to be taken seriously. There are 250 intensive care beds in Peru. 250. And look at how many cases there are now. In Peru, the figure currently stands at 480. Seven people lost their lives in just a few days.

This is just the beginning. We have to fix this now, because Peru can’t cope with a crisis like the ones in Italy or Spain. Honestly, who can?

Policemen and soldiers are checking every person leaving their house © Edgard Bazán

No hospitals

And like this Peru was the first country across Latin America to impose such strict measures. And yes, it is scary to see soldiers, police officers and farmers with firm sticks walking through the streets. It’s scary to hear the stories from the past and see how citizens are losing more and more rights and how we are slowly moving in the same direction.

But it is even scarier to realize that there is not a single hospital here in Cajamarca that will be able to save an emergency corona patient. That to gain access to a ventilator, you have to travel at least seven hours to the coast. That there are currently only 50 ventilators left in the entire country, and they will most likely all be in use by the end of this week.

It’s scary that upon calling the corona emergency number for my friend who has been sick for three weeks, we were casually told that “this would mean that she would have had corona virus for three weeks and in that case she would have been dead for a long time already, so she shouldn’t worry”. I understand that the line is overloaded, but then when will you be taken seriously? When do they test you?

In the meantime the Amazon region is facing the highest number of dengue cases in the history of Peru.

It is scary to realize that in the meantime the Amazon region is facing the highest number of dengue cases in the history of Peru, and there will not be a single bed left for the first corona patient needing intensive care.

It’s scary to realize there are several thousands of Peruvians suffering from tuberculosis who, if infected, will not survive the virus.

And it’s scary to see that more than 18,000 people have already been arrested for disregarding quarantine measures and are continuing to go out on the streets as the virus spreads.

Difficult issues and problems

The quarantine is serious, the quarantine is necessary, Peru has acted well. But with the quarantine a lot of issues and problems arise. And I’m not just referring to the economic problems.

For fifty percent of women and girls in the country, their home is the least safe place to be. It’s the place where they are most exposed to sexual abuse and gender violence. The first feminicide since the start of quarantine was committed in Arequipa on Monday. It barely took a week for a woman to be stabbed to death in her own home by her boyfriend. Two reports of rape have thus far been made, involving a little 4 year old girl and a 14 year old, both in their own house.

Mandatory imprisonment with your rapist, can you imagine?

The emergency line of the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations received 2,500 calls in the past week. 208 complaints were made. 38 women have already been transferred to relief centers. Prolongation of the quarantine raises difficult issues. Mandatory imprisonment with your rapist, can you imagine?

Self-made rules

And what about the abuse of power that quarantine entails? Discrimination? Corruption?

Several officers seem to have set their own rules, forcing people to close their windows or even turn off their lights after eight o’clock, threatening with gunshots. Other policemen arrest random people on the street, because who can prove that they are actually on their way to the supermarket or that they have only been outside for half a minute?

Others will make an exception if you give them some money – how many agents accepted money when a friend’s uncle traveled seven hours back to Cajamarca on the seventh day of quarantine?

And then there is the video of a military captain. Instead of taking a young man that wasn’t respecting the curfew to the police station, the captain beat him on the street. Various times. Hard. The man in question has since been fired, although he receives support from nearly all over the country. After all, people say, military soldiers are trained to serve their country ruthlessly, and we must understand that a soldier is not the same as a police officer, and doesn’t work the same way.

So what does that mean? Should we just tolerate this type of aggression then? Can we expect more of this? And why is there such a contrast in the way people are arrested in the wealthier neighborhoods, such as Miraflores in Lima, compared to the young man of the video for example? And why are women treated differently than men? Or why was I not checked at the supermarket while the local woman next to me was immediately arrested? How do we tackle this kind of discrimination?

Empty streets in the city centre of Cajamarca © Edgard Bazán

Bus de la muerte

And what about the congressmen who allowed themselves and their families to board a humanitarian flight from Lima to Cusco? A flight that was organized to return vulnerable families stranded at the airport in Lima, often without money, to their families. Who gives them the right to take those much needed places?

It’s no surprise the people of Peru have become alert. And that the bus that suddenly appeared a few hours’ drive from Cajamarca during the night from Thursday to Friday was immediately noticed. Vigilant citizens sent photos and videos into the digital world, and the bus route was followed all over Cajamarca on social media. The mysterious bus de la muerte was approaching the city. Who was on the bus, where did it come from?

The bus was coming from Moquegua, in the very south of the country. It had already traveled 2000 kilometers, about 35 – 40 hours, across the entire country. How can a bus travel 2000 kilometers in the middle of a national quarantine? How is it possible that no one has made the bus stop during its 40 hour journey while I can’t even reach the corner of my street on my bicycle? And who was on board?

Turns out there were 32 passengers on the bus. 32 mine workers. There you have your answer. The bus had permission. And just like that, 32 passengers who had crossed the entire country, entered Cajamarca, where no case of the coronavirus had yet been detected. Panic.

How would we survive a quarantine without winning copper? Extremely essential, of course, mining.

But the bus was allowed to drive. On Tuesday, we were already informed through an official document that the Ministry of Economy will make exceptions for essential activities during the national quarantine. And how would we survive a quarantine without winning copper? Extremely essential, of course, mining.

Mine interests and violations

The speculations started immediately. Is the declared state of emergency being used in the interest of mining? Why is no one in the country allowed to work while the mining companies just carry on with their business? Isn’t that also a form of discrimination? On Friday, President Vizcarra spoke out about the issue and declared that they would not accept pressure from any group with a particular interest in society.

According to his statement, some mining activities are carried out in remote places, where workers are isolated, where no one enters or leaves, and it is arranged that these activities may continue given proper isolation.

The departure of workers, such as the group from Moquegua which drove all the way to the north of the country, is however prohibited because it violates the measures.

But is that the only aspect that conflicts with the measures? The interprovincial movements? What about the hundreds of trucks that transport minerals between different regions every day? What about the rural population in the immediate proximity of the mining activities? Or the employees who often travel two or more hours, back and forth, to get to their work at the mine? It suddenly turns out these activities are not as isolated as they make it seem.

Health first

In the south of the country, complaints against the mining company were made public by the mine workers themselves, as well as by the local communities near the mining projects Las Bambas, Antapaccay and Shougan. The mining companies continue to work normally. Not just isolated, not just the basic tasks, barely any extra safety measures. Business as usual, 24 hours a day. And that is a violation.

The Peruvian government should always put the health of its inhabitants above personal interests.

The Peruvian government should always put the health of its inhabitants above personal interests. Which does not include buses driving across the country to let employees go home in the middle of quarantine.

Health comes first. When three young people arrived to Cajamarca all the way from Arequipa, after illegally having traveled for over 30 hours in cardboard boxes in the back of a truck, their own families denied them access to their own homes, to protect themselves and everyone around them. The three youngsters were arrested on the street shortly after. If a family can deny their own family members access to their own home to not put anyone at risk and follow the measures, then the government should for sure start taking these measures more seriously themselves. And then it should for sure be possible to suspend the work in the mines for a while, or at least ensure that the activities are carried out following the proper isolation measures. Neither the employees nor the neighboring communities, the most vulnerable part of the population of Peru, should be put in danger.

Standing still

Different communities all over the country have now closed their access roads by themselves. The streets are quiet. Thousands of disobedient Peruvians are still being arrested every day, but at the same time the conscience about the importance of quarantine is growing.

Peru has responded, and incredibly fast. The world seems to be standing still for a moment, but it isn’t. The world isn’t standing still, we are. And let’s continue to stand still for a little longer.

Stay inside.

A Review of the ICT Supply Chain from the Doculatino Film Festival 2019

The ICT Supply Chain from the Doculatino Film Festival 2019:

What is inside your smartphone, where does it come from and where does it end up?

Our Catapista Hernán Manrique wrote the following interesting and critical piece about the ICT supply Chain of electronic devices, by analysing and reviewing the three documentaries from our last Doculatino Film Festival.

Introduction

During October and November of last year, CATAPA organized the Doculatino Film Festival. Held in the cities of Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and Leuven, this edition of the festival was part of the Make Information and Communications Technology (ICT) fair European campaign, whose goal is to achieve a more transparent and fair ICT supply chain.

The documentaries showed various insights into the globalized ICT supply chain of some of our favourite devices. The first documentary, Minga (2019), directed by Damien Charles and Pauline Dutron, takes us into a journey through Latin America where it shows some of the major environmental conflicts between local communities and multinational mining companies. Death by Design (2016), directed by Sue Williams, explores how employees from the ICT supply chain work in unsafe environments where they come into touch with toxic substances during the production and assemblage of computers, smartphones, etc. Finally, The E-Waste Tragedy (2014), directed by Cosima Dannoritzer, reveals what happens with our electronic devices once we stop using them, showing that whether we recycle them or not, they reproduce vicious patterns of toxic waste disposal in developing countries.

©IrisMaertens

This review intends to discuss some insights on poorly known aspects of the ICT supply chain, as well as to introduce some alternative scenarios as portrayed in the documentaries.

Let’s try to answer some questions

Did you know that your smartphone resembles a mine of precious minerals and rare elements? It might seem odd, but each smarthphone contains at least 60 different minerals, such as cobalt, lithium, gold, copper, and so on and so forth, that are extracted from all over the world. Such variety is so large that, according to the Geological Society of the United Kingdom, the average smartphone uses 75 out of the 81 elements in the period table.

Extracting these materials at the large-scale needed for the ever growing ICT demand is a daunting challenge that requires millions in investments. Companies are always exploring new areas where to find these materials that allow the permanent interconnection of our digital economy. However, as with many other things, there is a very different picture at the other side of the coin.

©IrisMaertens

What are the social and environmental costs of mining in developing countries? Scientists from all disciplines have continuously shown the large social and environmental damages produced during mineral extraction. Are they inevitable? That is hard to tell, but what we know is that efforts to regulate mineral extraction are rarely enough and its accountability differs widely from one corner of the world to another. Environmental and labor safety regulations in poor and developing countries are usually sacrificed to the laissez-faire of free markets. For this reason, developing countries with plenty of mineral resources have sometimes been signaled as being ‘cursed’ by such abundance. Having said this, now let’s see how our three documentaries can help us to understand how such ‘curse’ works.

Minga presents some of the major struggles from various communities in Latin America against mining extraction. At these first stages of the ICT supply chain, rentier states seek to encourage extractive industries to invest in their national territories through various stimulus, such as low environmental and social regulations, financial incentives, etc. In many cases, governments portray such investments as a promise of modernity for rural communities near mining concessions that are depicted as ‘pre-modern’ or ‘left behind’. However, both environmental and social externalities affect the livelihoods of people from these areas. Heavy metal pollution, respiratory diseases, decreasing outputs in agriculture, etc. are some of the main consequences of inadequately environmental regulations in the mining sector.

For these reasons, it shouldn’t be a surprise that various communities near mining zones have risen up against extraction. Among many other cases, Minga shows one of the greatest conflicts against gold mining in Peru: Conga. This case became infamously known due to the agressions from part of the Yanacocha company and the Peruvian security forces against Maxima Acuña Chaupe (Goldman Environmental Prize 2016), a peasant woman from the Andean region of Cajamarca who refused to sell her land to Yanacocha. However, despite gaining global recognition in environmentalist circles for her defence of water sources, her life is still in danger. Maxima’s case is not an atypical story; hundreds of persons have lost their lives for opposing the extractive industries. Several cases from extractive localities in the Global South show that sometimes the rush for obtaining these precious minerals and rare elements needed for our devices privileges profit over life and the environment.

After extraction, minerals travel a long way to finally reach the facilities where, after several transformations, they are turned into key pieces of our ICT devices. Death by design takes us on a journey from mid 1970’s and 1980’s California to contemporary Shenzen in China to reveal what happens behind the scenes of this billion dollar industry.

Electronics and semiconductors necessary for personal computers require a large use of toxic chemicals, such as sulphuric acid, hydrazine sulphate, etc. Some decades ago, these products were mainly produced in the United States. However, in the midst of what would be later known as Silicon Valley, the increasing number of ill workers due to the exposure to such chemicals led to hundreds of lawsuits against some of the major ICT companies of the time. Not only there were accused of causing severe illnesses, such as brain cancer, breast cancer, etc. but also of polluting underground waters by storing chemicals below ground. After thousands of petitions, the Environmental Protection Agency from the United States obliged major ICT companies to clean up sites they contaminated.

However, this was only a partial triumph. Given that since the 1980s companies have enjoyed more flexible legislations to relocate their investments elsewhere, they decided to go abroad. Heavier environmental regulations in the United States led to a massive search for free-regulations areas across the world. It’s in this way that Shenzhen in China became the main hub for this industry. With inadequate labor regulations, companies could operate at a much rapid scale and with less concern for workers. Soon outsourcing would become the rule. With almost no labor rights and high production quotas established by ICT companies, outsourced workers became increasingly exploited. Death by design shows some of the consequences of such lax regulations. These include several accidents in the plants, disastrous explosions and fires in assembling facilities and even suicides during working hours.

Finally, the E-waste tragedy traces the path that electronic devices follow after we stop using them. Why would this be a tragedy? The documentary cleverly starts by portraying the dumping sites where they end up in Africa where the massive accumulation of toxic e-waste poses great environmental and public health problems for developing countries that import developed countries’ waste. But how did all this e-waste end up there?

 This is exactly the challenging question that the E-waste tragedy seeks to respond. E-waste trafficking is a criminal activity that involves millions of dollars. According to the experts interviewed in the documentary, despite EU regulations to prevent e-waste trafficking, more than 65% of these products never reach an official recycling plant and less than 1% of mobile phones are recycled in Europe. Thus, most e-waste is not recycled, but sold to the black market, where it is later exported through the main European ports.

But there is more. Once ICT devices end up in African dumping sites, large groups of people, especially children, dismantle smartphones and others electronics with their bare hands in search not just of screens and batteries but also of small electronic pieces, such as buzzers, transistors, capacitors, etc. After collecting some considerable amounts of electronics, these are later sold to brokers. This situation is similar in surrounding areas of Shenzhen, where Chinese workers use rudimentary and toxic methods to identify valuable electronic pieces from old devices. These products are then refurbished before getting into circulation once again. Again where? In China.

Screening of the documentary "Minga" in Brussels.

But how do these old devices (of which many of them were supposed to be recycled) and their small parts get their way into China? E-waste trafficking has Hong Kong as one of its main routes to enter China. The port of Hong Kong, one of the largest in the world, is a free port with low customs regulations. With more than 63,000 containers arriving everyday, Hong Kong represents a privileged entrance into the Chinese market. Indeed, it has been estimated that 36,000 e-waste containers enter China through Hong Kong every year. After arriving, most of the e-waste, once refurbished and repaired, find their way into Shenzhen, which is strategically located a few kilometers from there. Finally, all these different electronic devices and their small parts are offered as new in Shenzhen, where once bought they travel to new destinations to be sold and resold again and again.

Main lessons from Doculatino and steps further

The three documentaries screened in Doculatino show a reality that is hard to deny. The ICT supply chain involves several formal regulations and decent jobs around the world while at the same time it also allows the advancement of groundbreaking technologies that are changing the world. However, all this progress is also accompanied by more negative issues, such as conflicts, environmental pollution, child labor, e-waste trafficking, etc. We might not be aware of such problems, because most of them occur far away from the comfort of our homes. And that is exactly one of the main concerns that these documentaries point out: even without knowing it, we might be contributing to some of these hazards that affect thousands or even millions of lives around the globe.

What can you do?

Inform yourself about how ethical your devices are: There are several websites with relevant information on the provenance, labour conditions, and other characteristics of our devices. You can find some of them in the following links:

Make sure to hand your old devices to certified recycling operators: Recycling is not as easy as it sounds. Some companies offering to recycle for free might actually be part of E-waste trafficking networks. Don’t forget that most of EU’s e-waste is never recycled, but rather trafficked. Here you can find some useful links:

Think twice before buying a new electronic device: Instead of reproducing the vicious cycle that most electronic devices follow as seen in these documentaries, repairing your devices can be a much better option. It’s cheaper, it’s easier and it’s much more sustainable. Here you can find some links that show you where to repair your devices (you will be surprised that even some of them encourage to do it yourself!):

Think circular: If you want a more fair and sustainable future, it’s about time to start thinking circular!

Author: HERNÁN MANRIQUE LÓPEZ

Paper: Standaarden, certificaten, en monitoringsystemen in de ICT-sector

Standaarden, certificaten, en monitoringsystemen in de ICT-sector: op weg naar een duurzame aankooppraktijk?

De ICT-sector kampt met heel wat uitdagingen op het vlak van duurzaamheid. Het produceren van ICT-producten zoals smartphones, computers en laptops heeft een erg grote impact op mens en milieu. De ontginning van metalen en mineralen nodig voor deze producten gaat vaak gepaard met mensenrechtenschendingen en ecologische destructie. De assemblage van laptops en smartphones gebeurt in fabrieken waar arbeidsrechten met de voeten getreden worden. De gebruikduur is zeer kort en het ontwerp van ICT is niet gericht op hergebruik van de onderdelen, waardoor er een gigantische e-waste afvalberg ontstaat. Daarnaast is bijna vier procent van de wereldwijde uitstoot van broeikasgassen afkomstig van de ICT-sector.

De laatste jaren zien we een toenemend aantal initiatieven die aan de slag gaan met deze uitdagingen. Vele initiatieven vertrekken vanuit de koopkracht van aankopers van ICT. Grote consumenten van ICT producten kunnen via hun aankoopbeleid een belangrijke invloed uitoefenen op ICT bedrijven om hun productieketen op een structurele wijze te verduurzamen.

Standaarden, certificaten en monitoringssystemen worden in verschillende sectoren, omwille van hun gebruiktsvriendelijkheid, veel gebruikt. Ze zijn vrij eenvoudig te verwerken in aankoopdossiers. Toch lijken labels minder gevraagd te worden bij de aankoop van ICT hardware.  Welke certificaten bestaan er voor ICT? Zijn ze betrouwbaar en bruikbaar?

Meer weten? 

Fair ICT Flanders, een project dat getrokken wordt door CATAPA,  en HIVA-KU Leuven publiceren vandaag een gebruiksvriendelijke paper rond standaarden, certificaten en monitoringssystemen voor een duurzamere ICT-sector. Het onderzoekswerk werd uitgevoerd door Dr. Boris Verbrugge (HIVA KU Leuven). Het document is geschreven voor aankopers en andere professionals die aan de slag willen gaan met duurzame ICT binnen hun organisatie. Het biedt handvatten op weg naar een duurzame aankooppraktijk van ICT, gaat dieper in op de voor-en nadelen van certificaten en standaarden en bespreekt mogelijke alternatieven voor certificaten.

De paper is gratis te downloaden op de website van Fair ICT Flanders.

Radio show “Hijack hour” about Bar Circular – Black Friday impact consciousness

Radio show “Hijack hour” about Bar Circular event – Black Friday impact consciousness

Last November 29th CATAPA co-organized Bar Circular, an event meant to raise awareness on the impact of Black Friday. The consumption levels around the idea of ‘Black Friday’ is increasing every year, in more countries and the event is lasting longer and longer, for example, now the duration is actually about a week long. This is pushing more and more people into over-consumption.

As part of this event, we were very happy to be invited to talk about this at a student Radio that same day. The Radio that host us was Urgent FM and we were in the show called ‘Hijack hour’ where one hour of radio time is given to local organisations who want to share and advocate for an important issue.

Here we want to share with you that “Hijack hour” session about the impacts of Black Friday consumerism related to mining and the ICT supply chain, and some actions you can do!

Catapista Louna and Catapista Youssef represented CATAPA in the show for the first part (in English), talking about the problems related to the ICT supply chain in the first half hour.

In the second half hour (in Dutch), members of Gents MilieuFront and Netwerk Bewust Verbruiken, also co-organisers of Bar Circular, talk about the different solutions and alternative ways of consuming ICT, like repairing or buying second hand. They even did interviews with repairers from the Repair Café, one of the activities of the Bar Circular event.

The event had many different activities open to participants and guests in the Krook library! Just before the activities started, local artists transform Miriam Makebaplein square (in front of the Krook) into an e-waste cemetery. Through this public action we tried to create more awareness about the impact of Black Friday and the consequences of our current way of producing and consuming electronic devices.

©Dennis Licht

Then, as mentioned above, we had a Repair Café where you could bring your broken electronic devices and clothing to get them fixed and give them a second life! Throughout the afternoon, three interactive presentation sessions were happening, about the problems related to the production of our electrical appliances and how we can work together towards solutions.

©Dennis Licht
©Dennis Licht

More practically, we had a “Documentary speed-date” corner where visitors could watch in pairs a short documentary from a selection that were about the problems related to the ICT chain and the possible alternatives. Also, there was a Workshop to discover the inside of a smartphone. During this workshop you will discover what raw materials and materials are inside a smartphone, what function they have and what their ecological impact is. Last but not least, there was also an old mobile phones collection point that was after taken to a designated recycling center.

©Dennis Licht

Another initiative we launched to raise awareness of the impacts of Black Friday was an alternative online campaign called “Buy nothing day”, that you can find more about it here.

This event is the result of a collaboration between CATAPA vzw, Gents MilieuFront, Netwerk Bewust Verbruiken, Vormingplus Gent-Eeklo, Curieus, Festival van de Gelijkheid and Bibiliotheek De Krook; with the support of Gent Klimaatstad.

VACATURE: Global Engagement CATAPA Officer (GECO) te Cajamarca, Peru

VACATURE Global Engagement CATAPA Officer (GECO) (m/v/x) te Cajamarca, Peru

CATAPA is een vrijwilligersbeweging die werkt rond sociale en ecologische rechtvaardigheid. CATAPA streeft naar een wereld waarin de ontginning van niet-hernieuwbare grondstoffen niet langer nodig is. We focussen ons op de mijnbouwproblematiek in Latijns-Amerika, waar we lokale gemeenschappen ondersteunen. In België sensibiliseren we over de sociale en ecologische impact van metaalverbruik door onder andere de link te leggen met het verbruik van ICT-producten (smartphones, laptops, …). We gaan (via onderzoek) ook actief op zoek naar alternatieven voor mijnbouw en doen aan lobbywerk. 

In Latijns-Amerika ondersteunt CATAPA de lokale gemeenschappen die (potentieel) worden getroffen door de negatieve impact van mijnbouw. Op vraag van haar partnerorganisaties bevordert CATAPA dialoog in functie van conflictpreventie en –bemiddeling.

De GECO zal ingeschakeld worden om de samenwerking met de NGO Grufides te bevorderen. Daarnaast zal de GECO de activiteiten van de basisbeweging PIC (Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendína) opvolgen en een nauwe band met Celendín behouden. Beide organisaties zijn gevestigd in het departement Cajamarca, in het noorden van Peru. Grufides werkt rond thema’s als mensenrechtenschendingen, milieu en mijnbouw. Ze voorzien ook juridische begeleiding aan slachtoffers van mijnbouwgerelateerde incidenten. PIC is een grassroots organisatie die in de provincie Celendín lokale burgerinitiatieven en boerengemeenschappen samenbrengt in de strijd voor ecologische rechtvaardigheid. Momenteel is PIC iets minder actief, waardoor de GECO hoogstwaarschijnlijk voornamelijk met GRUFIDES nauw zal samenwerken.

Taakomschrijving

  • Opvolging van mijnbouwprojecten in Cajamarca (en bij uitbreiding in Peru), waaronder het project Conga en de mijnbouwactiviteiten van Yanacocha. Zeer belangrijk zijn nu vooral de opvolging van de formele (Shahuindo) en informele mijnbouwprojecten in Cajabamba en het nieuwe mijnbouwproject Michiquillay.
  • Het voorbereiden en uitschrijven van nieuwe projecten en subsidiedossiers in samenwerking met onze partners ter plaatse en actief op zoek gaan naar nieuwe subsidiemogelijkheden.
  • Een ondersteunende, uitvoerende en opvolgende rol opnemen in de lopende projecten die CATAPA samen met haar partnerorganisaties uitvoert. In 2020 is dat een project rond waterbeheer met de watermetingscomités en een project rond gender.
  • Bijdragen tot een versterking van de werking van GRUFIDES in Cajamarca binnen eigen capaciteiten en vaardigheden en de werking van de PIC in Celendín opvolgen en versterken waar mogelijk.
  • Overleggen en coördineren binnen de verschillende samenwerkingsverbanden, lokaal en internationaal. 
  • Externe communicatie voorzien over lokaal en (inter)nationaal nieuws inzake mijnbouw, extractivisme  en sociale bewegingen en CATAPA en achterban informeren over recente ontwikkelingen in Cajamarca. Dit kan via blogs, video’s, podcasts, nieuwsbrief, artikelen en foto’s op de website van CATAPA en sociale media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). CATAPA Peru heeft ook een eigen Facebookpagina die de GECO bijhoudt.
  • Kennis van CATAPA’s aanpak delen met de partners.
  • Werking in België: De GECO levert informatie en materiaal ter versterking van onze campagnes in Vlaanderen. Het is belangrijk beeldmateriaal en documentatie over emblematische cases te verzamelen.
  • Coördinatie met stagiairs en thesisstudenten die naar de regio komen en erop toezien dat ze eveneens een nuttige bijdrage leveren aan het werk van de partnerorganisaties ter plaatse.
  • Nauwe samenwerking met de werkgroep Peru in België en regelmatige vergaderingen via Skype. De GECO levert hen zowel informatie als denkt na over mogelijke ondersteuning vanuit België.

Profiel

  • Je bent minimum 21 jaar.
  • Je hebt een zeer goede kennis (gesproken en geschreven) van het Spaans en Nederlands, bij voorkeur ook Engels.
  • Bij voorkeur een band met CATAPA (bv. in het verleden een engagement opgenomen, samengewerkt, een thesis geschreven…).
  • Je bent sociaal en communicatief vaardig.
  • Je bent diplomatisch ingesteld en gaat bewust en discreet om met potentieel conflictueuze situaties.
  • Je functioneert zowel zelfstandig als in team goed.
  • Je kunt zelf goed je waarde en capaciteiten inschatten en ziet zelf waar jouw hulp het meest nodig is. Je ziet zelf waar jij mee kunt helpen binnen de lokale organisaties en neemt voldoende initiatief.
  • Je toont openheid en respect voor culturele verschillen en kan je aanpassen aan andere culturen en organisatievormen.
  • Je hebt ervaring in het schrijven van subsidiedossiers en dossierbeheer, of wilt je in korte termijn inwerken. 
  • Je bent bereid om fondsen te zoeken voor de partnersamenwerking en CATAPA’s lokale werkingskosten.
  • Een belangrijk project van GRUFIDES in samenwerking met CATAPA in 2020 focust op watermetingscomités. Bij voorkeur heb je technische kennis van biologie, watermetingen, etc. om een extra kracht binnen dit project te kunnen bieden en te helpen om technische kennis om te zetten naar informatie die gemakkelijk te begrijpen is voor lokale gemeenschappen.
  • Kennis over mijnbouw, sociale bewegingen, milieubescherming of water is een meerwaarde.
  • Het is een pluspunt als je je voordien kan vrijmaken om jezelf in te werken bij CATAPA.
  • Je bent geïnteresseerd in een engagement binnen CATAPA na terugkeer.
  • Je hebt ervaring in het geven van presentaties en workshops.

Periode

Vertrek idealiter in april 2020. Wordt voorzien voor 1 jaar, mits tussentijdse evaluatie na 6 maanden.

 

Wij bieden

  • Voorbereiding vóór vertrek en omkadering en opvolging tijdens het verblijf.
  • Een volledige reisbijstandsverzekering.
  • Terugbetaling visum
  • Een bijdrage in de leefkost indien je geen recht hebt op een uitkering in België (425 euro/maand).  CATAPA komt niet tussen in de kost van het vliegticket en vaccinaties.

Geïnteresseerd?

Stuur je CV en motivatiebrief naar charlotte.christiaens@catapa.be en dit ten laatste op 1 maart 2020. We nemen contact op in de loop van de daaropvolgende week.

Meer informatie? Neem contact op met charlotte.christiaens@catapa.be en maxime.degroote@catapa.be

 

CATAPA
Maria Hendrikaplein 5 bus 401
9000 Gent
www.catapa.be

Movement Weekend 2019

How great was the Movement Weekend 2019?

From the 13th till 15th of December there was the annual Movement Weekend which took place in Lokeren. We gathered with a lot of Catapistas to learn, brainstorm, be together, have a good time and eat some delicious food.

The weekend started on Friday with a warm welcome and some soup. Afterwards there was an interactive introduction game in which we discussed the different challenges related to the topics that Catapa is addressing. We also followed an interesting presentation about the extraction of Lithium. Lithium is, i.a. used for our batteries of electric cars. We ended the night with a fun game to get to know each other a bit better!

On Saturday we woke up early to kick off a day filled with interesting activities! We started with a group dynamic exercise and followed the working group meetings. Silke and Alberto, presented their research mission in Bolivia, focusing on several mining cooperatives. After a discussion on the results, we did parallel speed date sessions about the internal functioning of our volunteer organization. Here we sat together to give input and discussed solutions about how to improve our organizational, communication and planning skills.

Laura organized a teambuilding activity in which we learned to trust each other (and almost broke a leg). And then there was dinner, with the best falafel we ever ate. After we all overate, we called our GECO’s (Global Engagement Catapa Officers) in Latin Amerika through Skype to learn more about their experiences. And last but not least, Truike gave a kick-off presentation about OpenMinED, an event that will take place in March 2020. Here we invite guest speakers to give more information about mining and the impact of the ICT supply chain. We ended our Saturday night with the unforgettable Fiesta Catapista, in which we got to see some real dance talents!

On Sunday, the last day, Charlotte gave some information about how to make our way of working more efficient. This meant the end of an amazing weekend.

Already looking forward to the next one!

Climate Meet-up in Ghent

At the Watt Factory on Friday 27th, 2019

 

Our Catapa team is proud to have been able to meet with social entrepreneurs from both Belgium and South-Africa at the Watt Factory’s Climate Meet-up organized by the Sociale Innovatie Fabriek in Ghent. It was an opportunity to discuss with people who already started to make a positive change through various projects in both countries. Most participants to the event realized how similar we all are in facing the issue of global change.

Picture 1: Round tables, here picture of the talk about the theme of energy democracy

The social innovators we met that day are active about topics such as fair farming, energy democracy and circular economy. All their projects were first presented for everyone to understand the goals and challenges of each one. Then, we gathered around in smaller groups based on themes in order to have more in depth discussions. The interesting part was to see how each project does not only relate to the environment but also to social reactions and potential improvements the projects can bring into society. A good example of this is Iziko Stoves (South Africa), an enterprise which aims at both the reinsertion of former drug abusers into employment and at improving the recycling of waste in South-Africa. This happens through 3 pillars: help to rehabilitate current drug addicts (1), teach them how to recycle items such as boilers for Iziko Stoves (2), and make sure they remain the sober best version of themselves.

Picture 2: Round tables, talk about the theme of circular economy

Another very interesting encounter at the Watt factory was with Jami Nash who explained what his company, Electronic Cemetery, does in South-Africa in order to recycle e-waste in the area of Durban. They collect unused old electronic devices from companies, individuals and public institutions as well. The collected items are then dismantled, components are separated in order, as much as possible, to be recycled or refurbished. Electronic Cemetery has, thus, both the function of making the environment cleaner by recycling, but it also creates job opportunities in the area and provides access to low income families to quality ICT and other electronic equipment. In the future, this enterprise would like to upscale its activities by opening other recycling sites in cities like Cape Town or Joburg. However, they face limitations in doing so. In Joburg, for instance, there are already 2 other well-established e-waste recycling companies which will make it harder to settle there. Our discussion with Jami Nash was, thus, a good occasion for us to hear about the challenges facing those who are at the end of the ICT supply chain, or, considering that Electronic Cemetery brings back those products into the economy, should we say “the new beginning” of the supply chain?