Team discussions: Sea: The new capitalist plundering agenda
The International School of Ecology is a regroupment of more than 60 conscious activists from various African countries namely Mauritius, Rodrigues, Comoros, the Philippines, Madagascar, Reunion island, Seychelles, Namibia, Kenya, Denmark, South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Mozambique to learn more about the the arguments pertaining the ecological concept versus capitalism. All participants were assigned to a team on day one for co-management of the logistics and for group discussions.
Following Professor Moenieba lecture titled “Sea: the new capitalist plundering agenda” on day three, the teams were assigned the following questions to work on for forty-five minutes:
1. Who has the right?
2. To what resources?
3. For what purpose?
4. For how long?
5. Who gets to decide?
6. Now, What next?
After an intense group reunion, each team came forward to present their thoughts and discussions.
It was with mixed feelings that we listened to each presentation one after the other. We all mostly came with similar responses. We felt encouraged to know that we were not alone in this ecological fight and yet we were angry and sad that the series of ecological issues that we face here in our country, are actually a global phenomenon also happening in all the 21 African countries but which seems oblivious to the capitalists who are the roots of all our problems.
We all mutually agreed that in our current situation, the one who have the right to national livelihood decision making in our respective countries, are mainly the ones who have the capital and power, that is, the capitalists. Not only do they exerce control over the economy of our countries, but also on natural resources like water, sea and land as well as the production of energy and food. If we do not act soon, there will be a time when air and oxygen will also be sold as commodities and humans will be seen buying and carrying oxygen bottle in order to breathe and live. The only purpose behind this vicious capitalistic concept is profit making. The greed is so much that the moral values of the capitalists seem to be non existent. They are fine with exploiting the poor locals for their own benefits!
This system has been going for too long. And it will keep on going unless we, people of mother earth, we stand strong together and start a global revolution against capitalism. Upto now, the capitalists have been the main actors in the decision making of our countries’ functionalities as they even have the power to influence and manipulate the governments that we africans voted for.
But now, we have had enough. We are all engaged activists who have just one mission, to own our resources and freedom. We agreed that the state and the community must decide together of how to better share the resources, to write laws and policies only in the betterment of the people and that too after fully educating the people on the matter and consulting qualified scientists and academics. Development is good but as small countries with limited resources, we need to define boundaries for development while bearing in mind the ecological preservation of our environment. For a population to be really free and peaceful, we need to give up the greedy profit making mindset and accept to be happy while enjoying our resources and preserve them for the generations of tomorrow. As Prof Moenieba said, we as activists, we need to develop new tools and methods to ensure that we put an end to capitalism and free our countries.
In reponse to our arguments and ideologies, Professior Peterson Carsten added that last year, the government of Seychellles declared 2/3 of their coast line as marine protected, thus, allowing stakeholders participation. Various fishing organisations walked out of meetings in protest of the injust imbalances of power. Moreover, the people of Seychelles were not even included in the decision making process.
This session ended on a positive note that we will work unified to put an end to the concept of capitalism and the nepotism that follows.
Reporter: Pooja Raghoo [National School of Ecology 2019]