Student groups and associations from Concordia and McGill have come together to organize the Blue in Green: Articulating Human Rights and Environment conference that will take place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.
The Blue in Green conference will illustrate the link between human
rights, the environment and sustainable development. There will be numerous
speakers such as Ka Hsaw Wa, co-founder and co-director of Earth Rights
International: Sophie Bordenave, legal advisor for the Centre for Human
Rights and the Environment (CEDHA) and director of CEDHA Patagonia;
Elizabeth May, executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada; Dr. Owens
Wiwa, executive director of the African Environmental and Human Development
Agency and Ashfaq Khalfan, director of the Centre for International
Ka Hsaw Wa will discuss how the protection of human
rights and the environment are intrinsically connected. He intends to prove
that violations of human rights are in fact the result of the exploitation
of natural resources for the sake of economic development.
He will focus on the situation in Burma, where the construction of a pipeline, which was
produced for the development of the country, led to violations of human
rights such as forced labor and persecution of ethnic minorities living in
the area where the pipeline was laid. Dr. Owens Wiwa will speak about human
rights abuses in Nigeria, that he believes are the result of the oil
industry and the pollution it causes, as well as from Nigeria’s military
dictatorship. Wiwa will also address human rights and the health of
indigenous people while urging transnational corporations and governments to
respect human rights and the environment.Elizabeth May will focus her talk
on the management of natural resources, sustainable development, and the
protection of global ecosystems, while Sofia Bordenave will examine the
effects that environmental deterioration has on human rights.
And finally, Ashfaq Khalfan, will concentrate on economic and social rights, minority
rights, sustainable development and Islamic law and human rights.
The Blue in Green conference also plans to involve the audience in a wide variety of
Suzie Pudy, co-ordinator at Amnesty International of McGill
University said she hopes the workshops will be proactive. The purpose for
having what she calls ‘creative engagement’ workshops according to Pudy is
“to make people feel empowered to take action.”
One of the workshops will be presented by the Blood-Sisters. This organization is dedicated to educating women about alternatives to mainstream menstrual products that are not hazardous to their health, and will help participants make their own
products. There will also be a letter writing workshop that will allow
participants to write letters to governments and authorities believed to be
perpetrators of environmental and human rights violations.
To register or to learn more information about the conference please