Lithium at the Uyuni Salt Flat, one of the world’s greatest wonders under threat

One might think that to get closer to the heavens, the mountain peaks would be our best stairs, that their erect phalanges holding the clouds in their course would offer mountaineers a unique spectacle of the union of the top and the bottom, between Ouranos and Gaïa. I discovered that this is not the case: the most suitable place to witness the birth of Chronos and Time is the Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivia. Covering an area of ​​10,500 km2…

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Decolonizing archeology: the Sistine Chapel of Guaviare

Western archeology is still dependent on a form of colonialist thought. For example, I take the recent Guardian article, 'Sistine Chapel of the ancients' rock art discovered in remote Amazon forest, picked up by newspapers around the world. The site is said to be so new "that it wouldn't even have a name", according to the "discoverer explorers". The place is said to be infested "with crocodiles, snakes and by FARC guerrillas" (with which it would be necessary to negotiate),…

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The environment does not need to be made

This is a response to the very deep and knowledgeable article written by Stephen Corry, The best conservationists made our environment and can save it. Stephen is the director of the formidable NGO Survival International. He has field expertise and a deep philosophical approach to indigenous people. He does not fell in the trap of the 19th century's romanticism or 18th century's Rousseauism. He has developed a personal philosophy on how modernity can accommodate with indigenous people, based on years…

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Has Safari Club International just made an insightful mistake on Zambia’s ban of elephant trophies ?

Safari Club International is an extremely efficient lobbying organisation that may have made a mistake demonstrating how powerful they are. During the "African Wildlife Consultative Forum" in Arusha, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted the ban on import of Zimbabwe elephant trophies. The problem is that Safari Club International announced the ban as aiming not only to Zimbabwe, but also to Zambia. Should we expect soon a new lift, due to the pressure of the hunter's lobbying group? Who…

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How Cuba undermines human rights: A true human rights defender can’t support Cuba

A long time ago, I considered Cuba as a power against a uniform, unequal and tough Western-driven world. Cuba was the sand in the gears, reminding everybody that women’s rights and minorities’ rights have to stay high on the agenda. This was my belief until I started working in the human rights field. Whilst it is true that Cuba is facing one of the most prominent long-lasting injustices of our time (the US Embargo), the Caribbean Island is also creating…

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EU and Russia: Triumph of the Weak Will

Here is an article Oksana Chelysheva sent me few days ago. How embarrassing it is for European people. Stanislav Dmitrievsky, 06.09.2008 (translated from Russian and abridged) http://www.kasparov.ru Yesterday, I was asked to formulate my suggestions to European politicians who will take part in the next OSCE meeting on the human dimension. The question I was asked was: "What should European politicians do to defend civic society, civic and political activists in Russia?" I find it very hard to formulate my…

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