Tag Archives: international development

Comprehensive Spending Review Response

Today saw George Osborne set out exactly where, when and how the Coalition Government will reduce the budget deficit.

Among the many and various cuts Tearfund is pleased that the Government has listened to us and our supporters who have campaigned and prayed for the UK to maintain its commitment to increase investment to tackle global poverty.

This is clearly a moral obligation, especially at this time of global economic hardship, and we hope that the rest of the world will follow the UK’s lead.

In particular Tearfund is pleased that the Department for International Development (DfID) will lead the drive to tackle global poverty and will continue to be responsible for the majority of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). We hope that the increased money for development will be spent effectively on issues like water and sanitation, HIV and giving people in developing countries an opportunity to participate in the decisions which affect them. We recognise that there is a particular challenge to support development in conflict-affected states but urge DfID not to forget those living in extreme poverty in other more peaceful parts of the world.

Climate change is already having devastating effects in some of the poorest parts of the world, and we welcome the UK’s drive to support low carbon growth and adaptation. If we do not take urgent action by committing additional long-term funding to help countries adapt to the effects of climate change, we could see vast areas of the world become uninhabitable within our lifetimes. The international development money committed through the Comprehensive Spending Review for tackling poverty is welcome but we must also find further funds to tackle climate change. The Government must now press for agreement on innovative sources like a Robin Hood Tax to raise more than $100bn internationally by 2020, in addition to overseas aid, for tackling climate change.

Following the Comprehensive Spending Review Tearfund is asking you to write to David Cameron through the Superbadger app, thanking him for protecting the aid budget and calling on George Osborne to not give up on finding long-term funding for climate change.

Click here to take action.

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Mr Badger Goes To Westminster

Well today was a very exciting day! SuperBadger and some of his Tearfund colleagues spent their lunchtime outside one of the most famous doors in the world – 10 Downing Street!

Along with Ben, Jay, Helen, Heather, Jack and Sarah, SuperBadger was on a mission to deliver over 10,000 campaign actions to the Prime Minister, asking him to prioritise development and climate change. Thousands of you have taken action to remind the PM that we care about the poor, and that we want our government to show leadership on tackling injustice.

Luckily, the team just about managed to avoid the rain and managed to take some pictures of the hand-in, and even made some short video clips – keep your eyes out for these, coming soon!

Tearfund staff at Number 10

It’s great to be able to take our campaigns direct to the government, and really encouraging to know that key decision makers do see and hear our petitions, and do act on them!

Keep your eyes peeled for new actions coming soon at http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger and, until next time, happy badgering!

Tea-totally unacceptable

Last month, hundreds of you badgered Typhoo, asking them to become an entirely Fairtrade brand. We know that Fairtrade is the only system that independently guarantees farmers a fair price for their products, whilst also helping communities to develop in a sustainable way. Big tea companies like Typhoo have the power to improve the lives of thousands of tea farmers all around the world, by investing in the local communities in which they work.

So SuperBadger wasn’t very happy when he received a reply from Typhoo a few weeks ago that suggested that Typhoo weren’t too keen on switching to being a Fairtrade brand any time soon. SuperBadger was particularly concerned that the reply stated that:

“we [Typhoo] also believe that our customers should be allowed the opportunity to freely choose between Fair-trade accredited products and standard products, which is why we offer both.”

As a number of SuperBadger’s friends have said on the discussion board, who would prefer to buy a product that has been produced in unacceptable and unjust conditions, when there is a Fairtrade alternative available?

Whilst SuperBadger welcomes Typhoo’s commitment to double the number of Fairtrade products sold over the next year, it’s a shame that they haven’t committed to working with Fairtrade to ensure that all their products are Fairtrade accredited. Rather than working within their own certification rules, why don’t Typhoo commit to working to achieve full Fairtrade-accreditation on all their products, accreditation that is recognised and respected world-wide, and helps thousands of people out of poverty.

As always, do visit http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger to see the latest actions you can take.

Here is the full response from Typhoo:

_______________________________________________________

Dear Customer

I am writing with regards to your recent correspondence requesting that Typhoo become a Fair-trade labelled tea. We fully understand your concerns and would like to highlight that, whilst Typhoo wholeheartedly support the Fair-trade movement and would endorse any initiatives that ensure that tea workers situations are improved, we actually operate differently from all of our competitors in how we source tea.

At Typhoo tea, we are committed to ensuring that we trade fairly with all the tea estates that we buy tea from. We are uniquely placed in the Tea industry and demonstrate our commitment through trading fairly with tea estates in two ways; firstly to support the Fair-trade foundation by using Fair-trade tea with our Ridgways brand; secondly to use our Typhoo certification scheme to monitor the tea gardens we buy from are continuously improving fair labour standards (measured against the ETI base code), health & safety, quality and food safety, and sustainable environmental practices.

An example of how our certification scheme works is in the Makandi estate in Malawi where we have worked closely with the estate to deliver significant benefits including the introduction of terms and conditions for workers, greater wage transparency, improvements to housing, sanitation and access to water, as well as a focus on the elimination of discrimination against women and illegal disciplinary practices.

Over the next 12 months we intend to double the number of Fair-trade products we sell, clearly demonstrating our commitment to the Fair-trade organisation for the long term. However, we also believe that our customers should be allowed the opportunity to freely choose between Fair-trade accredited products and standard products, which is why we offer both.

In addition to this, you have probably noticed recently on our packs that we are working very closely with the Federation of Disability Sport. We have developed a Typhoo Sports for All programme with them that provides community sports coaches with a qualification giving them the skills necessary to included disabled people in their coaching sessions. So far we have trained 1000 coaches across the whole of the UK which has given thousands of disabled people the opportunity to take part in the sports and games they love. So, you can see, that not only do we work closely with tea plantation workers around the globe; we carry out some very worthwhile activities closer to home too.

Carbon Fast Countdown!

Dear Carbon Fast Diary,

We have reached the last week of the Carbon Fast! For almost six weeks now, my Superbadger friends and I have been taking daily actions to reduce our carbon ‘paw prints’ for Carbon Fast 2010! It’s been a lot easier than I thought it would be and guess what…

Carbon Fast has gone global!

The fantastically green Lent idea has swept across the nations, and it has become quite a talking point! Looks like it’s not just churches and individuals in the UK who are taking part this year.

Everyone has been talking about the Carbon Fast!

Superbadger is also excited to hear that our Tearfund counterparts in Australia and The Netherlands are encouraging people and churches to reduce their emissions.

Promoting the Carbon Fast in the Netherlands

Tear Netherlands have even challenged some churches with ‘green graffiti’, where volunteers jet wash pavement graffiti and spell out ‘green’ messages in its place!

In Australia, church groups are doing the Carbon Fast course to think about underlying reasons for acting to tackle climate change.
Superbadger would love to hear UK and international stories about your Carbon Fast journey, and what your church, family or workplace is doing to take part this year.

Send us an email at campaigning@tearfund.org or comment below!

Take notes, Mr International Development Secretary

Badger Douglas Alexander to make sure the climate deal at Copenhagen really works for poor people!
 
The International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander is going to be at the UN Climate talks on Monday. In a letter to Tearfund he says ‘…getting the right global deal on carbon and climate finance, could be more vital to tackling global poverty than even the Gleneagles summit of 2005’.

Badger him now to make sure he knows what ‘the right global deal on climate finance’ looks like and that he does everything possible to get the EU to commit to it.

Though, I'm sure it would be difficult to get any work done with a badger on your head.

There’s lots of recycling going on at the climate talks in Copenhagen but it’s not the sort of recycling that helps us in the fight against climate change. It’s a recycling of aid money as climate financing and its bad news for those most affected by climate change, poor people.

We need to send a clear message to rich countries that aid money and climate financing are not the same thing. Poor countries, experiencing the additional burdens and costs of climate change impacts, need additional funds to cope with them.

Similarly, the outcomes of Copenhagen must provide long term climate financing to help poor communities deal with the long term impacts of climate change. Funding commitments that only cover the next few years are not good enough and threaten the future of millions.

As Mr Alexander heads for the UN climate talks in Copenhagen let’s remind him exactly what a good deal on climate financing looks like for poor people. Go to http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger/ to make a difference!

Superbadger will be standing by on Monday!

Go, Badger, go.