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Dialogue forum with the Liberian environmentalist Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor: Who supplies the “Green Economy”? – How sustainable is the energetic turn for Africa?” TUE, 23 April, 19:00, Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte

AfricAvenir invites you to the dialogue forum on 23 April 2013 at 7pm entitled “Who supplies the Green Economy? – How sustainable is the Energetic Turn for Africa?” with the Liberian environmentalist Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor and Peter Fuchs, board member of the association PowerShift - Verein für eine ökologisch-solidarische Energie- & Weltwirtschaft e.V..

After a number of events in 2012 in the context of “Paradoxes of Sustainability”, the first draft of our suggestions to policymakers in politics and economy for a globally fair “Energetic Turn” is now available. The aim of this dialogue forum is to present these suggestions in public and to discuss them controversially. The central demands are, amongst others, changing conditions for the extraction of resources, decentralizing the supply of energy in Europe and Africa and the production of “green” technologies in Africa

With his paper “The Real Price for Europe Going Green”, along with the invited activists and intellectuals, Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor has provided an important basis for the policy suggestions. In this dialogue forum, Siakor will report directly on Liberia and the local situation in the timber sector there. In 2011 alone Vattenfall imported 100.000 tons of wood from Liberia for the production of long-distance heating in Berlin. In 2012, the company stopped importing because costs were too high. It wasn’t until 2013 that all exports from Liberia made by private companies were stopped by the government because they were revealed as being illegal in a state investigation.

How is a truly fair energy supply in Europe possible without the abuse of elementary rights to biomass in the “Global South”? Who has to take responsibility here? Under which conditions are raw materials, especially in Liberia, extracted for the production of “green” energy in Germany and Europe and how can they be improved? 

Siakor will discuss and comment critically on these recommendations against the background of his expertise from Liberia. 

Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor 

Siakor is a Liberian environmentalist, social justice and community rights campaigner. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for his extraordinary commitment to the environment in Africa.. Central topics for Siakor are illegal deforestation in Africa, landgrabbing and the expansion of the agro industry. His paper “The Real Price for Europe Going Green", which together with others served as a basis for our formulated suggestions, highlights how Europe’s “green” consumption makes exploitation possible and what this means for the boost of renewable energies for the African continent. Siakor works for the Sustainable Development Institute in Liberia and in 2002 he won  Whitley Awards for Environment and Human Rights (www.whitleyaward.org) and the Award for Outstanding Environmental and Human Rights Activism 2012 (http://www.alexandersorosfoundation.org).

Peter Fuchs

Peter Fuchs is managing director of PowerShift (Verein für eine ökologisch-solidarische Energie- & Weltwirtschaft e.V.), which was founded in Berlin in 2012. PowerShift especially works in resource, energy and investment policy. Peter Fuchs, among others, contributed to an article for Powershift and a short film on the use of biomass in Berlin in connection with the lack of energy in Liberia.

For further information: http://power-shift.de/?p=151 

Background

The energetic turn is a much debated topic in Germany. Slogans like “It’s time for change” in politics and economics stand for the green production of energy and more energy efficiency. 

There is a high degree of political and social consensus around Germany’s irreversible exit from nuclear energy by 2022.

Since 2012 in its project „Paradoxes of Sustainability - How Socially Responsible are Green Technologies?“ AfricAvenir International e.V. has highlighted African perspectives on the energetic turn in Germany and Europe and the connected quick advancement of renewable energies. 

Based on dialogue forums and one conference in 2012 and articles by Nnimmo Bassey, Many Camara, Dr. El Mostafa Jamea, Silas Siakor and Nozipho Mabebe Wright, suggestions developed for the policymakers in politics and economics for a globally fairer energetic turn. These shall be presented to the public on 23 April 2013 for the first time and discussed with the expertise and criticism of the two experts Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor and Peter Fuchs. The goal is to develop the suggestions together with a critical German civil society. Together with partners from Africa we demand the consequent implementation of a socio-ecological energetic turn, which has to include much stronger development-policy coherence than before. 

On 22 April 2013 at 18:00, Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor is invited to the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) in connection with the event „Renewable energies - new prospects or risks of conflict?” in cooperation with the German Institute for Development Policy (DIE) The suggestions by AfricAvenir will be presented here, too. 

Tuesday 23 April 2013
19:00 
Admission by donation 

Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte
Greifswalder Straße 4
10405 Berlin
Tram M4; Bus 142 und 200 Am Friedrichshain

The event will be conducted in English.

The project "Paradoxes of Sustainability" is supported by financial aid from the BMZ and the Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (LEZ).

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