With a joint strategy and division of roles
Mit gemeinsamer Strategie und verteilten Rollen
Countless non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social movements worldwide are working for the transformations of energy and agricultural systems that are so urgently needed. On the one hand, there are the environmental groups which are committed to protecting the climate or the rainforests; on the other, there are the development organisations which promote fair access to energy and the rights to food and water. Here, there are the grassroots NGOs working with, and for, the most affected stakeholder groups; there, there are the NGOs which engage in professional lobbying and advocacy and manage to wrest – mostly small – victories from policy-makers and business. Faced with the climate and food crisis, how can they coordinate their strategies more effectively?
A coordinated strategy can only be successful if it proceeds from two basic starting points. The first is the right to development – specifically, access to energy and the rights to food and water. Anyone disputing these rights is not only a cynic; he also has no prospect of success. The second consists of the boundaries which Planet Earth itself sets on the form and scope of this development. Among other things, this means avoiding dangerous climate change and protecting healthy soils and biodiversity. Anyone who fails to respect planetary boundaries will fail in the medium term at the latest.
Local grassroots action and national/international lobbying and advocacy are not opposites: they are mutually dependent. Lobbying helps to flatten out the ongoing uphill struggle which all of them face, including the local groups. At the same time, the work being taken at the grassroots level shows that the transformation is possible and is forcing politicians to act.
If these principles are accepted as the essential basis for progress, the next step is to discuss the division of roles under a joint strategy.