6th April 2021

Dear GEN Community, hello! 
I write to you all with a sense of both excitement and anticipation about what 2021 will bring, as spring boldly and unapologetically unfurls here in the UK. This year is a monumental one for us as it marks GEN’s Tenth anniversary. In 2011, Gary Martin, GEN Founder and Advisor (and a dear friend of mine), posed a crucial question: where have all our environmental leaders gone? Gary wanted to know what support networks and mechanisms exist for those working on the frontlines of environmental conservation and social justice who often experience feelings of isolation and burn-out. I believe this question is more important than ever as climate projections only get more severe and social and ecological injustice runs rampant.
A decade on, and almost 600 members strong, we feel now is an opportune time to revisit and reimagine GEN's wider mission and vision: a process we will be starting this month with an inspired group of visionaries and strategists. 
Sadly Corinne will be stepping down from her role at GEN to pursue her own projects and a business venture. We wish her the best of luck and a massive thank you for all the time and energy she poured into her role. Thank you Corinne. This does open up an exciting new opportunity however. We are recruiting a GEN Programme Coordinator! So if you fancy getting more involved with GEN, and are looking for a new adventure, please see the job application below. 
This month's newsletter is packed with opportunities, updates from the network and some gems in our inspiration corner. As always, we love to hear from you so do get in touch if you want to collaborate.
Warm wishes,
Nessie Reid, GEN Director
GEN Updates
GEN is hiring a Programme Coordinator
This role involves maintaining and building our strong Network through our five pillars of work, which include GEN events (both online and in-person), our GEN Community, Project and Partnerships, the GEN Mentoring Programme and our Research and Practice. Read about the role and how to apply here.
Coming from a family of agroecological vineyard guardians, climate specialist Merelyn Valdivia incorporates sustainable practices in her family's business. She says, “2021 needs to be the year where business commitments to nature become actions.” Read about their efforts in Merelyn’s article, Sustainable Spirit.
While illness (and the eventual death) of a close family member and Covid-related travel restrictions put a halt on project activities late last year, Patricia has now found renewed energy for her passion: her wool, loom and natural dyes. Patricia will be joined by Marcela, a textile artist from Rari, in an upcoming textile residency workshop at Taller Witral. Read Antonia Barreau’s project update on efforts to revitalize traditional loom and forest natural dyes in Chile.
Since attending GESA 2018, Irina Feygina continues to share practices to address climate change and transform systems with our members, and beyond. She writes about her journey as a GESA participant, a speaker and facilitator at the GEN in Conversation Communicating in Times of Polarity event, and more, here.
Founder of The Poli, Mohammad Azim, writes: 'Leave nothing but footprints’ can be a popular suggestion for visiting a place or a country in a sustainable way. But what about carbon footprints? Our Vienna based environment and climate change expert Stephanie wrote a blog article to explain personal, product and company carbon footprint. She suggests why you should support companies like The Poli who care about climate change and work on reducing their carbon footprint.
Support bursaries for the Weaving Grief, the Body and Transformative Justice toolkit event
We are delighted to confirm the first GEN toolkit event, Weaving Grief, the Body and Transformative Justice: Embodied grief practices for supporting environmental advocacy and transformative justice, will be going ahead in person at the Quadrangle, in Kent, the UK in June this year. The retreat will provide a space for a majority people of colour (POC) group, of up to fifteen, to practice embodied techniques and rituals that explore how we can work with our grief in order to weave resilience, grow strong networks of community care and generate hope, in order to create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. 
In order to make this event as accessible as possible, GEN is offering bursaries to award to participants with less access to wealth, and will prioritise participants who are refugees or have recent personal or ancestral histories of migration or colonial displacement. 
If you would like to help support someone to attend the retreat, please click here to send a contribution.
Nessie shares insight into what’s in store for GEN this year, including a strategic focus on mentoring. 'We feel it is time to use our wealth (and years) of experience to create something more structured and long-term for our members,' she says.
Updates from Partners
How the Ashaninka have Rallied Support for Amazonian Communities in the Face of a Pandemic
Since July 2020, the Ashaninka People of the Amônia River (Apiwtxa community), of the State of Acre, Brazil, have been carrying out a well-crafted and deeply needed campaign directly supporting Indigenous and local communities living in the Upper Juruá River region of the Amazon rainforest, in their battle against Covid-19.
This is both a story of inspired action, bringing hope and renewed energy for the challenges of this time, and an invitation to contribute, whether that be through spreading the message or offering financial support. Read more.
Resources and Opportunities
Manuela Fernandez, Argentina partner of Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) project, shared information about their latest online course:
Nature-based Solutions for Disaster and Climate Resilience is designed for those who would like to deepen their knowledge on how to apply nature-based solutions that restore or protect natural or modified ecosystems and biodiversity and allow for their sustainable management. Launched on 22nd January this year, this course is self-paced, which means that you can access all of the content at any time until 30th November 2021. This online course is offered in 7 languages! Click here to be a part of the change.
An invitation by Rachael Knight to share stories about reviving land-honoring/land-feeding ceremonies and rituals
‘Over the past two decades that I've been a land rights lawyer working with communities to protect their lands, I've noticed a slow erosion of the intimate, traditional relationships that many communities have with their lands and ecosystems. While elders often see their land as inviolable, infused with spiritual value, connections to ancestors, and requiring ritual "feeding" and care, I've noticed that youth are increasingly seeing land as a commodity that can be transacted, and the vibrant local ecosystem as "resources" that might be sold for a profit.’
Rachael is now turning her dissertation, titled "Ceremony and ritual are not important for conservation, they are conservation:’ An inquiry into remembering and reviving culture and ritual for the protection of land and sacred sites'' into a book. If you support communities to revitalize the rich tapestry of beliefs and practices that function to "feed", honour and lovingly take care of their lands, and would like to share your story, do write to Rachael. Intellectual property rights and profits will be shared equally by all contributors.
Paid volunteering and internship roles at St. Ethelburga's
St Ethelburga 'builds community resilience for times of ecological and social emergency, through practical collaborative action.' Visit their website if you're interested in any of the following roles:
  • Communications Project Assistant
  • Programme impact coordinator
  • Video and stories internship
  • Communications and design internship
Essay Competition: Education as if People and Planet Matter
A writing competition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Schumacher College, in collaboration with Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine. Schumacher College has pioneered and promoted a very different paradigm of values-based, holistic education over the past 30 years. 
'Today’s education system presents young people with a world still dominated by materialism, consumerism and the heedless exploitation of both people and the planet. It’s hopelessly ‘unfit for purpose’ as we wrestle with today’s converging crises of the Climate Emergency, ecological collapse, racial inequality and worsening social injustice.'
Inspiration Corner
River at the Heart of the World, by Arati Kumar-Rao
'Arati Kumar-Rao ventures into a forested river gorge in the hidden land of Pemakö, which exists deep within the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist belief system. Intersected by the sacred waters of the Yarlung Tsangpo river, and its tributary the Yang Sang Chu, Pemakö has long been considered impenetrable and prophesied as a place that will one day regenerate and renew the world. But, as Arati learns, this prophecy is now confronted by the persistent grind of industry that threatens to invade this promised land.' Read her essay here.
Gertrude Stein on Writing and Belonging
'Everybody who writes is interested in living inside themselves to tell what is inside themselves.' ~ Reflections by Maria Popova
The Global Environments Network (GEN) supports a network of people dedicated to social and ecological justice, healing and planetary wellbeing. GEN is part of the Global Diversity Foundation.

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