It is an honor and a special opportunity for us to be part, from the beginning, of this necessary and promising project. It has challenging objectives: to generate awareness and resilience in relation to the polycrisis. And it combines essential ingredients to achieve it: a broad and unstructured approach, the promotion of innovation and creativity, and the strengthening of networking. We understand that all this is essential to provide local and heterogeneous responses to a polycrisis that takes different forms depending on the territories and societies.
Although the polycrisis is manifesting itself in an undeniable way, we still face many challenges to generate awareness in this sense, and to achieve a reorientation of structural measures from the public and private sectors. But we also need to identify possible ways to address the issue, without becoming paralyzed in the face of the enormous challenge of finding solutions in this context.
In this context, the importance of this project stands out. Because it is an opportunity to identify and support creative and bold activists from the Global South who seek to challenge the resignation, apathy and paralysis that more and more people in the Global South are adopting. In many cases, these fellowships will be decisive for these projects and voices to materialize and have a space for resonance.
Undoubtedly, working with ORA is also an opportunity to network with organizations and activists from different regions, among people with different backgrounds and disciplines but with common interests. And of course, this project is also an opportunity for us as an organization to continue strengthening our work and our alliances.
About the Argentine Association of Environmental Lawyers
The Argentine Association of Environmental Lawyers has constituted a space for activism related to environmental and social justice for over twenty years. We support territorial movements, advocacy actions, strategic litigation, and communication strategies in order to promote social and environmental justice for all people and living beings in our territories.
The Association has taken part in the most important battles fought by the socio-environmental movement over the last few decades in Argentina. It was founded by people from all over the country who saw the need for a space of partnership and support where knowledge could be built to defend common resources.
Its founder, Enrique Viale, together with researcher and philosopher Maristella Svampa, have become opinion leaders, creating strategies for national and regional movements. Viale and Svampa are the authors of the Southern Ecosocial Pact (Pacto Ecosocial del Sur), a project analogous to the American Green New Deal, which was designed for and adapted to the Latin American context.
The Association has been able to overcome great challenges through the years without any kind of financial or administrative structure. These days, it implements different strategies for its own institutional development, with the aim of giving professional status to its team, strengthening its organization, and solidifying a regional space for activism related to environmental and social justice. As part of this process, the Association is also looking to consolidate its interdisciplinary nature, under the premise that strategic litigation and advocacy actions have the potential to transform and become much more relevant if they are coupled with creative communication strategies and with accessible, poetic and disruptive language that allows to explain the polycrisis and promote resiliency actions.
Another current goal of the Association is to create synergies between the work done by different territorial actors, and to promote regional integration that leads to the establishment of a Latin American network. The goal is to build bridges and exchange information and strategies with movements that are still in development, and with activists from countries such as Mexico and Brazil, where environmentalism has played a long-standing role in the ecological struggle of Latin America.
Implementing this project will be very beneficial to this institutional process, since it will provide the Association with organizational resources and contacts, with the innovative and interdisciplinary approach proposed by the ORA, and with the opportunity for the Association to consolidate networks and ties with socio-environmental activists from different countries in the region.