The People’s Resource Centre – PRC has emerged from discussions and interactions among activists, engaged scholars, communities and citizens defending their commons and advocating for another model of “development”. The need for support organisations and resource centres is an idea often voiced by the groups and networks trying to implement the government schemes, rights based legislations or articulating new demands from the State. PRC members have been involved with many such networks and alliances in the country and are thus trying to fulfill this demand. The dominant paradigm of development and “modernity” which translates concretely into the construction of mega infrastructures projects and subsequent land & ocean grabbing, massive displacements, the destruction of the environment, commodification of the commons, or in urban areas in the gentrification of cities and privatization of public space, is throwing up new challenges for us in the light of the unfolding climate crisis. Thus, we intend to work towards building alternative thinking on the development model and simultaneously coming up with ideas, concepts, solutions which will prepare communities to deal with the consequences of the crisis, resulting in irregular weather patterns, increased natural disasters, disruptions in crop cycles and so on.
It is essential to address these trends in a systematic and holistic way, going beyond traditional dichotomies: rural/urban, conservation/inclusion, scholar expertise/citizen knowledge, resistance/alternative or observation/participation, to name a few.
In a time of increased regressive thinking on the environment and sustainability over the push for unlimited growth at the cost of pro-people initiatives and massive transformation of territories, we need to make an effort not only to stop those, but also to take a step-back from day to day reactions and invest time to think, reflect, nurture exchanges, contribute to elaborate alternatives and facilitate people’s genuine control over decision-making processes, formulation of public policies and accountability/respect of their rights.
No doubt it is an ambitious plan but a lot of resources, strengths, knowledge and committed people are already there, within social movements, communities, activists, researchers. A dire need is nowadays to bring these strengths together, help dialogue across sectors and respond to demands formulated by people themselves.