improve public health, and work toward the demarcation and defense of territorial lands.
950 trees in Kyun Bin and U Yin villages, north of Mandalay. The need for tree
planting is paramount, especially in a country like Myanmar, sandwiched between
India and China, world leaders in greenhouse gas emissions. Temperatures in
Myanmar continue to rise more than most other countries making it imperative to
plant as many trees as possible.
Justice’s East Oakland nursery on weekends to be taught from inspiring & formerly
incarcerated educators about urban sustainability, environmental justice and economic
development alternatives and give these youth a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help
transform a 2-acre empty lot in their community into a globally significant plant nursery.
This mentoring program taught youth how to propagate fruit trees, plant and harvest,
cook healthy meals with ingredients grown on-site or sourced locally and participate in
a health and wellness curricula.
trafficking . Between January –November, 2018 seven women were provided up to
270 counseling hours. Funds were spent on specialized staff training, a program to
work with residents in making handicrafts and a meal delivery program geared to
elderly survivors in the community.
For the year, 330 meals were delivered to about five women per month
(fruit, bread/butter & eggs or roti, vegetables and chicken) and
four community meals were held at the residential center involving
117 needy people.
groundwater threatened from development projects. ProPublic is a public interest
organization in Nepal that FFI has funded for decades. The groundwater in the
Kathmandu is decreasing at an alarming 2.5 meters annually and the Bagmati and
Bisnumati Rivers are severely polluted due to industrial and residential discharges into
the rivers continuing without any enforcement.
In one case Propublic seeks to stop illegal construction in a World Heritage site
that has dried up the local water source. In asecond case, ProPublic seeks to protect
Queens Pond, a square-shaped pond that dates from the 17 th century that is one of
Kathmandu’s most famous landmarks and known for its religious and aesthetic value.
It is an important source of water for birdlife and a significant place for the recharging
of underground water in the Kathmandu Valley.
ProPublic filed a unique action against government officials to hold them criminally
liable under the Ancient Monument Protection Act. After continuous lobbying, protest,
and filing the criminal case, the government decided to restore the pond to its original
fishers along Kenya’s Lake Turkana near the Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopian
borders. This area is undergoing massive scale livelihood collapse – primarily from
the effects of the Gibe II dam which has radically reduced river flow, destroying
traditional fishing and lakeside grazing vital to the survival of thousands of Turkana.
Hunger, malnutrition, and diseases (including cholera) are prevalent in this region.
In light of this background, FFI provided funding to purchase 200 straw sleeping
mats and 20 new mattresses (children of families from distant locales/orphans),
repair pipes and carpentry work in the school kitchen, repair desks, construct new
benches, construct a security fence, paint classrooms, purchase social studies, math,
history, science, exercise and fiction books, wall charts, paper, pencils and small
supplies and two large first aid kits (with medicines, ointments, bandages etc.)
–there are no first aid facilities in the region).
The Kliptown Youth Program provides tutoring training, meals and supplies to
approximately 500 children. FFI partnered with the Kansha Foundaiton and the
Mark Day School in Marin to provide funding for the purchase of wonderpads for
girls at the youth program and primary school.
The rationale behind the wonderpads is simple: When girls have access to reliable
menstrual health products they can focus on education and stay in school every day.
Over 800 packs of wonderpads were purchased and distributed.
$2,500 to Planting Justice to Expand the Meditation Garden at Mr. Grace’s Special Day Class at McClymonds High School in Oakland, CA. FFI hooked up with Planting Justice, an amazing organization that continues to make its imprint in urban areas around the Bay and beyond. Funds were provided to enlarge the vegetable garden at this inner city school and work with special education students teaching gardening skills and good nutrition. See photos here.
$2,500 to Aisha Rising to assist women in the red light district of Kolkata, India who are no longer involved in prostitution. This unique project seeks to interrupt the cycle of exploitation by providing older women, many who have suffered prolonged illness and trauma with alternate pathways for sustaining themselves. Funds will initially be used to help create a permanent home for these women (a five-year lease on a home for 6-7 women is already in place), procure food, medical check-ups counseling, attend literacy classes and eventually find employment. Funds will help establish a kitchen area to allow the women to cook aloo/puri and later sell to women in other organizations.
$5,000 Tanzaniza LEAT: Support for litigation to eliminate lead from paint in Tanzania. FFI has supported several successful actions by the LEAT team over the years. In 2014, LEAT will be working to eliminate lead paint sold in stores and prohibit its production and import.
$3,000 Mujer U’wa, Colombia. Support for law schools costs for female U’wa.
$2,500 for Global Student Embassy (“GSE”), an international youth student organization. The funds will be used to conduct curriculum development for Eco-Action programs in Nicaragua and Ecuador.
$5,100.00 to Centro para Justicia y Derechos Humanos en la Costa Atlantica Nicaragua (CEJUDHCAN) to work with the Mayagna Indians to protect their territorial rights against foreign corporations. The group has produced a guidebook of environmental laws to instruct indigenous peoples of the Atlantic how to obtain title to their lands to prevent destruction from a major logging development. Recently, FFI funded the group to engage in a women’s empowerment training on issues affecting local communities.
$3,500.00 to CEPDA, an environmental public interest law firm in Chile working to protect pristine forest areas in their country from foreign logging interests and harmful development projects.
$15,742.00 to Corporacion De Defensa De La Vida “(CORDAVI”) for legal assistance in helping grassroots and indigenous organizations in the Amazon River Basin in Ecuador defend their environmental rights affected by oil and mining activities. The lawyers for CORDAVI have worked with local communities and the government to create forest reserves and legal title to land in order to protect the rainforest from environmental disastrous projects. CORDAVI lawyers have been requested to provide legal and technical assistance to the Confederacion de Nacionalidades Indigenas del Ecuador and collaborates with Luis Macas, the indigenous leader. Dr. Byron Real has published a book that serves as Ecuador’s seminal citizens guide to environmental enforcement.
$8,900.00 to the Lawyers Environmental Action Team (“LEAT”) to fight for the rights of the Masai people whose lands have been exploited and confiscated in Tanzania and to protect the largest remaining continuous mangrove forest in East Africa. LEAT obtained an injunction stopping the African Fishing Company from developing the world’s largest proposed industrial prawn farm which would have destroyed 25,000 acres of shoreline mangroves.
$3,000.00 to YEUANI, a public interest law firm fighting to protect maquiladora workers from exposures to toxic chemicals in Tijuana, B.C. Mexico. YEUANI provides free legal and consulting services, and provides workshops and training to maquiladora working women, grassroots communities and other non-governmental organizations. In the last year, YEUANI offices have been vandalized repeatedly by the government and an attempt was made to kill the director.
$500.00 to Project Underground’s outreach campaign to individuals and organizations working in support of the U’wa indigenous peoples in Columbia.
$16,500.00 to Eco-Friends in Kanpur, India for their legal and educational campaign to improve the water quality of the Ganges River which has been severely degraded from cremated bodies, industrial pollution and sewage discharges. Eco-Friends obtained a cease and desist order from the Supreme Court and continues its efforts to monitor compliance and mobilize thousands of students and Indian people to protest generations of neglect. Rakesh Jaiswal, the founder of Eco-Friends was recently recognized by His Holiness The Dalai Lama in an awards ceremony called “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” this summer in California. Based on FFI’s initial support, in 2002, Eco-Friends was able to obtain several grants from larger foundations in order to conduct toxics monitoring of the Ganges and to continue its efforts to protect the River.
$17,800.00 to Pro Public in Katmandu, Nepal to help this environmental advocacy and litigation group fight to protect the air, land and water of their country. With the financial support of Friends Foundation, Pro Public established the “Friends Foundation Pro Public Scholarship Fund to fund two girls from the untouchable community to further their educational studies. Pro Public was successful in a legal challenge against several factories polluting the air quality of the Katmandu Valley. The government issued a notice to close down these factories and a study took place to improve the pollution control technologies of these facilities With FFI funding, Propublic has conducted trainings for the judicial on environmental issues.
FFI funding helped Pro Public achieve several legal victories including an order from the Supreme Court to the Ministry of Health to set up a committee to include Pro Public to study the problem of medical waste management and an order form the Supreme to the government to provide potable water for those compelled to drink arsenic contaminated water. FFI funds supported Pro Public to obtain a favorable ruling in the Court of Appeal to protect a valuable wetland in which the Court ruled in favor of public ownership. From 2009-2012, Pro Public in Nepal was successful in three of its legal cases.
The group obtained a Writ of Mandamus from the Supreme Court ordering government agencies to 1) take immediate measures to protect the endangered one horned rhino in and around Chitwan National Park; 2) follow the provisions of the Water Resources Act, enforce the licensing system and control the illegal exploitation of underground water; and 3) safely dispose of pesticides to make public areas safer for children and residents, study the impact of pesticides on the health of local residents, provide free medical treatment and establish a fund for compensation of injured persons.
$15,300.00 to the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (“ELAC”) in the Philippines to help document mercury contamination from a mining company, seek rehabilitation of the Bay, pass an ordinance to ban the quarrying of mine tailings and to protect tribal ancestral lands in Palawan by drafting guidelines to protect such rights. Quarrying activities have ceased and proposed mining activities have been put on hold. ELAC has brought a successful legal action to stop fishing companies from employing child laborers and will be filing a case to prohibit illegal fishing involving dynamite. ELAC has worked to protect mangroves from illegal developments and has successfully reduced illegal fishpond development activities occurring in these areas. Currently, FFI supports ELAC to protect indigenous Tagbana communities in northern Palawan from illegal land schemes that are taking these properties away from the original inhabitants.
$14,500.00 to the U’wa Defense Project/Amazon Watch and Mujer U’wa supporting the U’wa fight to preserve their indigenous territory in Colombia from oil exploitation. FFI funding over the years has gone toward a collaborative legal action to protect U’wa land from Occidental Petroleum’s massive oil drilling project in northeastern Colombia. In August, 2001, the oil company withdrew its plan to drill in the first exploratory well site on U’wa ancestral territory. Despite this victory, the State petroleum company is now exploring for oil on U’wa territory. FFI has supported leadership training for U’wa women and women’s workshops on human rights/environmental rights. FFI has provided financial assistance to the first U’wa women ever to study law at a Colombian University and for post degree international and human rights law training program.
$6,000.00 to the Center for Environmental Justice in Sri Lanka to help restore the devastation to the country from the December 2004 tsunami, provide water testing, green belt restoration and conducting legal aid clinics in the Tsunami affected areas.
$1,000.00 to rural Honduras for a training program to utilize improved agricultural techniques to increase food production.
$1,800.00 to ELAW Peru to fight against the government granting commercial licenses for harmful pesticide products, to develop federal legislation to ban certain pesticides and to promote alternatives to pesticides. Successful legislation was passed in Peru with help from this group.
$1,025.00 for the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law to assist ICEL’s efforts to curtail toxic contaminants from pulp, paper and tannery companies into the Ciujung River on the island of Java, Indonesia. The river is used by communities for drinking, bathing, irrigating rice fields and other agricultural products. ICEL was successful in getting best available control technology from a major polluter of the river.
$450.00 to purchase a video camera to document the environmental degradation occurring in the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve in Costa Rica from deforestation and coal and other development projects.
$600.00 to a medical clinic in the San Blas islands in Panama for refrigeration of medicines.
$700.00 to Centro de Pesquisa Indigena (The Indian Research Center) for reforestation of the Krenak indigenous reserve in eastern Brazil. Numerous trees were planted based on our donation.
$650.00 to the System Environmental Protection Project to provide village workshops in Nigeria to educated farmers and community members on alternatives to slash and burn agriculture and the harmful effects from agricultural chemicals.
$430.00 to Individual & Community Rights Advocacy Forum, Inc. (ICRAF) to educate the local people in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea about the environmental consequences to forestry and mining activities and to develop contacts to organize an opposition for to such projects.
$100.00 to Alberto Muenaca as seed money to begin to develop a film about the plight of the Quichua Indians in Chile.
$1,000.00 for the second edition of the Natural History of the University of California, Santa Cruz campus which was completed in 2008.
$2,400.00 to the Dick Cooley Endowment at U.C. Santa Cruz for student projects that will have a positive impact on the environment.
$900.00 toward the preparation of a conservation management plan for a wilderness area in Alaska.
$600.00 toward the making of a film on the harmful effects of the ozone depleting chemical methyl bromide which is often sprayed on much of the food we eat.
$200.00 to help start a newsletter and organize the community regarding toxic pollution of the Fort Belknap Indian reservation by the Pegasus gold mine in north-central Montana.
$300.00 to examine the genetics of several rare and endangered plants in northern California areas pressured with development proposals.