Ecologists in Action
|Formation||December 9, 1998|
|Legal status||Confederation of organizations|
|Headquarters|| Spain (Madrid)
Marqués de Leganés 12
Ecologists in Action is aligned with the philosophy of social ecology, which views environmental problems (and many other social problems) are having their origin in an ever more unsustainable and globalized model of production and consumption, a model that must be changed to resolve the ecological crisis. To that end, they conduct campaigns to publicize ecological problems, such as public denunciation of actions that damage the environment. They publish a magazine, El Ecologista and have an Internet presence as Proyecto EcoSpip.
Ecologists in Action was established in 1998 as a coalition of ecologically oriented groups, many of them already grouped under Aedenat (Asociación Ecologista de Defensa de la Naturaleza) or CODA (Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Defensa Ambiental), as well as other groups on the political left. The objective was to create a common organization with a single name, which would have a comparable public recognition to existing groups such as Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth or SEO/BirdLife. In the event, several large groups chose not to join; these included Grupo Ornitológico Balear in the Balearic Islands, Acció Ecologista - Agró in the Valencian Community and the majority of Catalan groups, already integrated into Ecologistes de Catalunya.
The organization is composed of member groups of various political origins and is not linked to any one political movement or party. Nonetheless, its internal operation through direct democracy has determined which sectors of the population are likely to be drawn to it. The common denominator of its activists and associates is the defense of the environment in line with social ecology. Their actions center on publicizing and denouncing what they see as actions counter to the interests of the environment, and in taking legal action on behalf of the environment, as well as conducting awareness campaigns. They also engage in elaborating viable alternatives in the various areas where they work.
The confederation is structured along territorial lines, with a different federations organized based on the autonomous communities of Spain. However, not all autonomous communities are represented in the confederation. Also, in the autonomous communities that contain multiple provinces and where Ecologists in Action is active, the federations at the level of autonomous communities further subdivide into provincial federations. Each federation is, in turn, composed of local groups. These groups—independently of the number of their associates or activists—each have one vote at the annual confederal assembly of Ecologists in Action.
As of February 2009, Ecologists in Action is active in Andalusia (with the largest number of local groups, over 100), Aragón, Asturias, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castile and León, Castile-La Mancha, Catalonia, the Community of Madrid, the Basque Country, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarre, the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia, as well as in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
Functionally, the structure is the same as this in the different areas of work, focused on different environmental problems. Depending on the size of the groups, work in a given area is assigned to a particular "commission"; obviously, the smaller groups do not break down into commissions. These groupings along lines of areas of work are also important in bringing proposals to the confederal assembly.
Areas of work
Areas of work, often overlapping, are identified as:
- Agroecology: fighting against genetically modified organisms and promotion of ecological agriculture
- Water: sustainable use of water resources, especially of continental waters; in particular, the campaign against the Spanish National Hydrological Plan (Plan Hidrológico Nacional, PHN)
- Animals: Ecologists in Action denounces activities it considers as constituting cruelty to animals
- Antiglobalization: campaigns against economic globalization (and other activities of international scope)
- Climate change: alert campaigns regarding global warming
- Consumption: denouncing the wasted caused by a productivist economy. Particularly dedicated in this area is the collectiv ConsumeHastaMorir ("ConsumeUntilYouDie"), with their satiric campaigns.
- Pollution: denouncing various forms of pollution, from air pollution to light pollution, among others.
- Education: denouncing the anti-environmental content in numerous textbooks and organizing environmental awareness campaigns.
- Energy: denouncing the environmental impacts ocf various forms of obtaining energy; this is, of course, linked to the area of climate change.
- Marine environment: promotes the sustainable exploitation of the marine environment and denounces episodes of danger of marine contamination, such as involved in the oil industry or inappropriate coastal development.
- Nature: promotes the protection of natural spaces, including the vías pecuarias (the routes in Spain used for transhumance, seasonal movement of people with their livestock) and denouncing aggressions against protected areas
- Heritage: denouncing aggressions against what in Spain is known as patrimonio histórico, the physical artifacts of the country's artistic and cultural traditions (historic buildings, landscapes, etc.).
- Residues: promoting the reduction of waste materials in modern production systems and denounces bad practices in the management of waste, including lack of interest in and support for recycling or uncontrolled disposal of hazardous waste.
- Transportation: denouncing the unsustainability of the current system of transport, based on private transport and the construction of high-speed rail or airports, and promoting sustainable means of transport such as public transport and bicycles.
- Urban planning: denouncing urbanistic abuses and the unsustainability of the modern urbanistic model.
- Legal defense: dedicated to supporting different groups in denouncing aggression against the environment, as well as elaborating normative proposals and training members of the organization.
- This article incorporates information from the
- Ecologistas y agricultores exigen en Zaragoza una España sin transgénicos Público, 2009-04-18.
- Piden prohibir los encierros taurinos porque se basan en una "crueldad" y son un "riesgo real", tercerainformacion.es, 2009-08-21/
- Ecologistas en Acción pide la clausura de un zoo "ilegal" en Peña Escrita, Almuñécar, 20 minutos, 2009-08-28
- Ecologistas en acción llaman a un nuevo apagón reivindicativo en la provincia, 20 minutos, 2007-11-07
- Ecologistas en Acción considera "insostenible" el "consumismo navideño" y acusa a la publicidad, 20 minutos, 2005-12-25
- Ecologistas en Acción denuncia el consumismo navideño por contaminante20 minutos, 2006-12-04
- Los ecologistas alertan de otro vertido en Algeciras Publico, 2008-12-29
- Los ecologistas piden tarifas eléctricas progresivas, Público, 2008-01-10
- Ecologistas en Acción pide el cierre de todas las centrales nucleares españolas, 20 minutos, 2006-04-26
- Los ecologistas denuncian "el desarrollo insostenible de las costas españolas" Público, 2008-07-22
- Ecologistas denuncian los daños provocados por una construcción en Valdeaveruelo, 20 minutos, 2007-10-11
- (Spanish) Ecologists in Action / EcoSpip, official site