The final session of the conference dealt with issues in countries in conflict and post conflict. Speakers for this session focused around the challenges they face in defending their land and at the same time, protect their environment in the face of conflict.
Stories of hope, courage and solidarity were shared by:
Abeer Butmeh, a leading woman activist in Palestine and a member of PENGON, an alliance of environmental justice organizations in Palestine. Abeer works closely with affected communities, the youth sector and with local government councils in addressing the environmental problems faced by the Palestinian people. Abeer spoke about environmental justice in a country under occupation and how, in the face of conflict, they work together in rebuilding destroyed infrastructure, revitalize their food systems and re-plant trees and inspiring people to continue defending and rebuilding their land.
Demetrio Do Amaral Carvalho or simply known as Deo, has been working with HABURAS since its inception. Deo shares with us how, as young activists, they resisted the occupation of Timor Leste and fought for their sovereignty. Deo shared how the country rebuilt herself and how they still continue to rebuild in a time of post conflict. He gave a historical background of Timor Leste and how the most difficult period was between 1975 and 1983 when many died due to sickness and hunger. He also spoke about the nation building process which included the development of state constitution, legislation and other legal framework, promotion of self reliance principles by supporting community based development and natural resources management and promotion of conservation.