Supporting the work of the Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN), the Grassroot Grannies advocate through displays, speaking engagements, media, letter writing campaigns, and participating in organized advocacy events. We have signed petitions, spoken to our MPs and marched on Parliament Hill several times urging our federal government to keep their promises.
On this page of our website, we are now including the GRAN Updates on a bi-monthly basis.
GRAN Update - February 2021
Advocating for grandmothers, vulnerable children and youth in Sub-Saharan Africa
Discussion regarding the South Africa-India Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Waiver continues at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Members of the TRIPS Council met for an informal meeting on February 4th when it was reported that, although some countries continue to oppose the proposal, there are reports of a perceptible shift in the position of many countries, but it is too early to confirm that less opposition means more support.
Ask our government to support the South Africa-India Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Waiver being discussed at the World Trade Organization (WTO). To send a letter to the minister Click here.
The Climate Strategy Group (CSG) anticipates a busy year ahead as we work with our climate partners in the lead-up to the Conference of Parties to the Paris Agreement (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland in November.
GRAN has been collaborating with the Climate Legacy Group, a new Canadian climate initiative. Climate Legacy is a project to engage and mobilize older Canadians in climate action at municipal, provincial, and federal levels for the purpose of moving our country to a net zero carbon economy by 2030. Click here to access their web site for climate action resources and information regarding climate action groups across the country.
Convention on the Rights of Older Persons (CROP) Watch Group
“Older people around the world face discrimination every day, and the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the inequalities they are exposed to. It is about rights and we need to change this,” says a recent report released by HelpAge International bringing together the individual voices of people around the world talking about their experience. The report includes voices from Canada, Kenya and Rwanda among many others. You can download the “Unequal Treatment” report here . Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has launched a three-year international Together for Learning campaign to promote quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for refugees, forcibly-displaced, and host community children and youth. GRAN’s Education Working Group has updated the Education for All background document on the GRAN web site. This document provides information regarding the importance of education and key facts to help with letter writing in upcoming months. Last month, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Fact Sheet was added to the GRAN web site to provide information regarding the great work that the GPE is doing. For a peek at some of the GRANs and MPs and Senators who participated, check out the meeting screen shots in the IDW photo gallery on the GRAN website. Thanks to all GRANs who participated in this important event.
Coming soon you will have the option of also making donations to GRAN by e-Transfer.
Watch for a link to the GRAN Gmail account on the donation page that will enable your donation to go directly into the GRAN bank account securely.
Click here to read Peggy Edward’s recent article on the intersection of ageism, COVID-19 and human rights, and the compelling case she makes for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.
Listen to a 10-minute webinar excerpt featuring Craig Mokhiber, a lawyer and Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Visit the new CROP page on the GRAN website with further background resources.
The CSG and the Mining Justice Working Group have formed a small, short-term project team in response to recent concerns expressed by UNESCO regarding a Canadian oil company’s project in the Okavango Delta world heritage site in Botswana near the Namibia border. The Vancouver-based Reconnaissance Energy Africa Ltd. (ReconnAfrica) drilling project threatens a sensitive water supply for indigenous small-holder farmers as well as the fragile ecosystem and rich biodiversity of the area. The project team plans to provide regular updates to GRANs on this issue.
Organized by Cooperation Canada, GRAN members joined with parliamentarians and civil society organizations with the goal of building support for increasing Canada’s investments in international assistance during International Development Week February 7-13.
Learning Events - Getting To Know GRAN Issues
Upcoming Learning Events
The ongoing Climate Action Network, "Pathways to Zero" webinar series is offered every Thursday at 1:00 p.m. ET February 18th through March 25th.
Wednesday, March 31, 3:00 ET -- GRAN Education Working Group presentation on the Global Partnership for Education (more information to follow).
Wednesday, April 28, 3:00 ET -- Dr. Elizabeth Vibert from the University of Victoria will speak on food sovereignty, sharing stories of resilience from South Africa.
You will also find links to recordings of past Learning Events, such as the GRAN Climate Justice Presentation with Dr. Louise Comeau (January 27, 2021). The link to Louise’s presentation is here.
GRANs are interested in participating in learning events that help educate and engage them in GRAN issues. We also hope that such events will provide a space where we can foster a sense of community during these difficult times.
GRAN updates our Learning Events section on a regular basis so check back often for new and upcoming events.
Click here to find out about more upcoming events.
Special Update Feature: Climate Breakthrough Award
GRAN members also participated in a panel discussion on Global Health, and continued to speak to the critical need for an increase to Official Development Assistance (ODA). Go to the OECD website to see the chart comparing Canada's contributions to other countries. The Climate Breakthrough Project, launched in 2015, is an initiative of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in partnership with the Oak Foundation, the IKEA Foundation, the JPB Foundation, and the Good Energies Foundation. The Project provides large, multi-year, unrestricted awards to support proven leaders to design and implement game-changing efforts to address the climate crisis and to bring their breakthrough strategies from idea to fruition.
As an award recipient, over the next three years Mohamed will receive a US $3 million grant and tailored support to bring his climate breakthrough strategy to fruition. Mohamed is an international climate policy expert and ardent advocate for the people of developing nations, who are disproportionately affected by climate change but play almost no role in causing it. Born and raised in a pastoralist community in Northern Kenya, he has first-hand knowledge of the impacts of climate change. He has worked in Africa over the past two decades in international development and climate change sectors, helping to improve drought management, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. He is an outspoken and highly respected leader among policymakers, NGOs, and the media on Africa and climate justice, and a former Board Chair of Climate Action Network International.
In 2018 Mohamed founded Power Shift Africa (PSA), a nongovernmental organization and think tank based in Kenya to strengthen climate action in Africa. PSA’s mission is to mobilize climate action in Africa, to amplify African voices through increased visibility in media and public communications, and to leverage this voice internationally. The organization is dedicated to supporting pan-African leadership in building renewable energy and to leapfrog to the smart energy systems of the future, thereby bypassing the fossil fuel era of the developed world. “A rapid roll-out of people-centred, environmentally and socially appropriate, renewable energy is . . . the answer to both the climate crisis, energy access and the development crisis.” (PSA)
The breakthrough strategy Mohamed intends to pursue through the Climate Breakthrough Award is to build up the collective moral, economic, and political voice of Africa to exert pressure in the international community around climate action. His plans include building an energy transition policy for Africa and African climate leadership on the international stage to generate a moral imperative for all countries to drastically reduce emissions.
The second recipient of the Climate Breakthrough Award in 2020 is a Canadian, Nicole Rycroft. Nicole is a widely recognized environmental activist and the Founder and Executive Director of Canopy. She has successfully engaged many of the world’s leading fashion, publishing, and consumer brands to pressure fiber producers to stop sourcing from old-growth and high carbon forests. Nicole plans to use her Climate Breakthrough award to catalyze investment in commercially viable, low-carbon fiber alternatives that will rapidly shift paper, packaging, and clothing production away from reliance on forest products.
Mohamed Adow is a visionary climate leader based in Kenya, and one of two winners of the Climate Breakthrough Award in 2020. The second recipient of the Climate Breakthrough Award in 2020 is a Canadian, Nicole Rycroft.