Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The director of our planting partner AIR is participating in a U.N. conference

Dr. Anne Hallum speaking with students in a school in Guatemala. Credit: AIR.

The Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR) is one of our planting partners and is doing a wonderful job in Guatemala, where it is working
to make a difference for the local people with projects that are based on direct community involvement.

We just got the news that Dr. Anne Hallum, the director of AIR, who is also a
Stetson University Political Science Professor, is participating in the ninth United Nations Conference on Indigenous Peoples at U.N headquarters in New York City this week in her capacity as co-founder and U.S. director of AIR.

Dr. Hallum said that "as a participant in the ‘Small Grant Programme’ of the U.N. Permanent Secretariat for Indigenous Issues, we have been invited to attend this conference, along with many other representatives of organizations that work with indigenous peoples. I am honored that AIR is part of this group of invitees, after 16 years of working in Guatemala. I am excited that we will attend policymaking panels that have on-the-ground impact for people we know very well in Guatemala. I hope to make lasting contacts with other organizations from around the world, and I will stress the importance of sustainable farming at every opportunity."

Last year, the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues presented AIR with a “Small Grantee” award to help fund the building of brick stoves in Maya communities in Sololá, Guatemala. Headquartered at Stetson, AIR also plants trees, establishes tree nurseries and provides environmental education in Central America. Stetson students volunteer with the organization during six-week programs, working side-by-side with local AIR staff in Guatemala.

Women who work at AIR's nursery in San Andres ,Itzapa, Guatemala, which is supported by Eco-Libris. AIR has worked here for six years, producing and planting tens of thousands of trees. Credit: AIR

Since 1993, AIR has trained more than 1,500 Guatemalan farmers, provided materials for more than 700 fuel-efficient stoves and planted more than 3 million trees. In 2004, AIR was recognized by the Guatemalan government’s forestry institute as the most effective nongovernmental environmental organization.

The theme of the U.N. conference, which ends April 30, is “Indigenous Peoples: Development With Culture and Identity; Articles 3 and 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” The session includes discussions about human rights and fundamental freedoms, the future work of the Permanent Forum, and dialogues with several U.N. agencies. The
Permanent Forum is described online as an advisory body to the U.N. Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights

Best wishes to Dr. Hallum and we'll keep updating you on AIR and their achievements.

See more information on AIR's website: You can also find more information on our work with AIR on these links:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!