Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:55pm :: Editorial
Nicanor Perlas
12 February 2005

Corporations have felt the sting of the Battle of Seattle that occurred in the United States of America in 1999. Thousands of activists, demanding social and ecological accountability of corporations, shut down the global meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1999. And this was not an extraordinarily singular feat. In 2003, global civil society, in tactical alliance with 20 countries, neutralized the WTO meeting in Cancun, Mexico, over similar concerns. Yet it seems that some Philippine corporations are not aware of the potential damage they are doing to themselves when they engage in socially irresponsible advertising.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:50pm :: Contributors
Panjee Tapales Lopez
February 12, 2005 | Philippine Star

I woke with a start to the sound of fireworks, though I didn't know that until I stumbled out of bed, heart pounding, to witness a spectrum of lights spreading across the sky. Chinese New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choy! But I wasn't thrilled about the noise and the quality of air that was bad to begin with but now, judging from the noise and my diminishing ability to breathe, had taken a turn for the worse. I saw proof of all the fanfare across the skyline the following morning as I took the children to school. My younger son pointed at the haze and asked if "the brown was the works". Yes, I said with a sigh, the fireworks coated our air in another shade of brown. I looked at my older boy who, in the last few days, has been wheezing on and off and asked his angels to cloak him with a little more protection please.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:40pm :: Social Threefolding | Conscious
Endy M. Bayuni,
11 February 2005 | The Jakarta Post, New Delhi

TF! Editorial Comment: Recent headlines have been replete with references to Davos and Porto Alegre and the competing visions of globalization and development among civil society, government and business. While the World Social Forum is primarily a civil society gathering, the World Economic Forum tends to be associated with business and political leaders. In the article below, a relatively unknown effort referred to as the "Helsinki Process" seeks to build consensus through a tri-sectoral approach involving the three global powers – civil society, government and business.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:35pm :: Good News | ISD-Philippines | Spirit
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Feb 10, 2005 | Philippine Daily Inquirer

TF! Editorial Comment: A number of comparative surveys have pointed to the Philippines as the most spiritual nation on the planet. Transforming this innate spirituality into a conscious force for social change is one of the challenges of comprehensive sustainable development. In the article below, distinction is drawn between religiosity and spirituality with the latter being indispensable to true nation building, and indeed, one might add, to authentic self-realization.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:30pm :: Good News | ISD-World Affairs | Economics
By Howard Weiss-Tisman
February 7, 2005 | Brattleboro Reformer, VT

TF! Editorial Comment: More and more people are discovering that the future of agriculture lies in building sustainable production systems. Key to this trend are the efforts of educational institutions as well as individual farmers to spread innovation and excellence. In the article below, an institution working to transform agriculture and empower farmers is recognized for its educational efforts and success in advancing sustainable agriculture in Vermont.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:25pm :: Good News | ISD-World Affairs | Economics
Viviana Alonso
Feb 8, 2005 | IPS

TF! Editorial Comment: Many initiatives around the world are seeking to reform the way the economy is organized and run. These solidarity (otherwise called social, compassionate, or people's) economies are pointing towards alternative approaches that build on inclusivity while meeting real economic needs. The article below describes local efforts in Argentina that are trying to scale-up and build a local "caring economy" that maximizes solidarity instead of profit.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:20pm :: Good News | ISD-World Affairs | Society
Julio Godoy
Feb 8, 2005 | IPS

TF! Editorial Comment: Major progress has been made in recent years to combat the plague of tobacco use. Culminating perhaps in the recently passed Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the on-going campaign against tobacco use has been a partial victory for health, environment and corporate responsibility advocates. In the article below, Europe, long associated with smoke-filled cafes and public areas, is finally clearing the air by taking a stand for public health. It is hoped that many more countries can follow suit given that tobacco companies are shifting their operations to the global South.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:15pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Politics
Thalif Deen
Feb 7, 2005 | IPS

TF! Editorial Comment: The recognition of the urgency of global poverty eradication, in spite of a number of much-hyped efforts, has yet to influence the uptrend in military spending. The amounts are staggering and reflect the lack of global cooperation and commitment necessary to address social development goals. As discussed in the article below, the 100s of billions of dollars of military spending are resources diverted from social programs that can build true peace and security and a more decent future.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:10pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Human
By Yasmin Moll
February 2005 | Egypt Today, Vol #26, Issue 02

TF! Editorial Comment: The almost irresistible march toward democracy continues to sweep through many of the remaining autocratic and anachronistic states. It is a march that has shown the important role of an active civil society. That this advance has come at the expense of much suffering--by those who hold to the promise of participatory democracy—seems to be a common feature that has also contributed to fundamental and lasting change. The following article explores the mind of one such long-suffering reformer and holds much hope for the future of one of the oldest civilizations.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:05pm :: Good News | ISD-Philippines | Culture
Rudy A. Fernandez
February 7, 2005 | The Philippine Star

TF! Editorial Comment: As anyone driving through rural areas can attest, virtual mountains of rice hulls appear at regular intervals where rice mills are located. This typical "waste" stream—-a real problem for the mills--is actually an underappreciated resource waiting to be utilized. One promising initiative is discussed in the article below, where a fuel-efficient rice hull stove has been developed to help solve the twin problems of rice hull disposal and fuelwood scarcity for the rural poor.
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:00pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Society
Sanjay Suri
Feb 5, 2005 | IPS

TF! Editorial Comment: The inescapable logic and reasonableness of a debt relief program for the poorest countries is gaining currency even in G7 circles. This relative breakthrough in terms of debt relief coupled with poverty eradication has been a consistent theme of many in civil society striving for sustainable development. Although major hurdles remain, the article below gives a measure of hope that genuine progress is indeed possible on this long-standing issue of debt relief.