Newsletter 03 / 2011

A Marshall Plan for North Africa?
Financial Transaction Tax Should be Introduced in Europe
Congressman Keith Ellison submits Global Marshall Plan resolution to House of Representatives
What is the Summer Week ...
Solidarity with Muhammad Yunus
- Opinion -
Don't Fear the Middle East's New Wave
Zeki Ergas: "Freedom of Expression in an Age of Inequality"
- Plant-for-the-Planet -
Report from Lesotho
The Philippines Go Planting
- Press Coverage -
Press Room



A Marshall Plan for North Africa?

A plan that could help


North Africa has been changed by the region's youth, frustrated by their collective lack of hope for the future. It won't be until both the economic and political climate change that the youth will begin to see future opportunities. A Marshall Plan could help.
Frank-Walter SteinmeierThe whole of North Africa is in upheaval. The driving force for the change came from the region's well educated but largely unemployed youth. North African economies are mired in cronyism and corruption. Once that changes, the youth will have a brighter outlook and Europe will gain partners in the South. In Germany, calls are being heard for a Marshall Plan to kick-start development, like in post-world-war two Germany. Social Democrat parliamentary leader, Frank-Walter Steinmeier is calling on the EU to create just such a plan for North Africa. The EU could help drawing up new election laws and constitutions. The bloc could also open up its market for North African goods, but it will however have to give up on its failed Mediterranean Union model. With the EU ready to rejig its policy for the region, a new economic collaboration could create the basis for the policy shift.

Read more about it: Would a western Marshall Plan work for North Africa? (from 6 March 2011)

Article: DW-World (4 March 2011)
Teaser picture:
Picture:DW-World, Frank-Walter Steinmeier


Financial Transaction Tax Should be Introduced in Europe

European Parliament resolution of 8 March 2011 on innovative financing at global and European level

The vast majority of Members of the European Parliament (EP) thinks that the financial transaction tax (FTS) should be introduced in Europe, if the introduction of the FTS on the global level fails.

According to the resolution of the EP of 8 March 2011 "Innovative financing at the global and European level" (Rapporteur Anni Podimata, S & D, GR), adopted by a clear majority (360 against 299 votes, 12 abstentions), the EP “…considers that the introduction of a tax on financial transactions ought to be as broadly based as possible and that the EU should promote the introduction of an FTT at global level, failing which, the EU should implement an FTT at European level as a first step…"(Item 16)

The resolution not only touches upon the issue of "Financing of the financial sector", but also upon other innovative sources for financing of development, green economy and budget consolidation, as for example a CO2-tax and official development cooperation.

Read here the resolution of the EP of 8 March 2011 "Innovative financing at the global and European level".



Congressman Keith Ellison submits Global Marshall Plan resolution to House of Representatives

Funded by a Tobin tax


Rabbi Lerner's friend, and Tikkun/Network of Spiritual Progressives' ally, Congressman Keith Ellison, the first elected Muslim to the U.S. Congress, made an amazing and beautiful challenge to the racist witch-hunting Congressional hearings about alleged Muslim community support for terrorism of Peter King. If you haven't seen the full thing, listen to it here:

His statement speaks for us and every open-hearted and ethically sensitive American.

Meanwhile, Congressman Ellison introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday the Resolution in support of the Tikkun/Network of Spiritual Progressives' Global Marshall Plan. The Tikkun/NSP version of the Global Marshall Plan, which focuses on eliminating poverty, hunger, homelessness, inadequate education and inadequate health care both in the U.S. and around the world, proposes that the Global Marshall Plan could be funded by an international Tobin tax of 1/2 of 1% on international transfers of money or stocks or securities of more that $1 million (few ordinary citizens transfer that much money in international transactions, but the super-wealthy, the large corporations and banks and stock holders do).

Read here the details of the plan.

Read here the text of the resolution.

Read here the full text of the Global Marshall Plan and the Q&A about the Global Marshall Plan. This is a perfect moment to begin our educational process around Global Marshall Plan, because the uprisings in the Middle East have focused the world's attention on the suffering of people around the world, and we at Tikkun/NSP are advocating that the first location to initiate the Global Marshall Plan is Israel/Palestine and the rest of the Middle East. If you wish to work with us on building support for the Global Marshall Plan or doing research on how to best implement it in the Middle East, contact

Teaserbild source:



What is the Summer Week ...

... and the Global Marshall Plan Initiative's annual meeting

Sustainable development of society is discussed in many organisations these days. An exchange of different experiences and interesting projects can make this development even faster and better.
The Summer Week "Work Matters - Global Impact" (17 - 21 June, 2011) and the resulting network will strengthen our common purpose: a better balance in the world. The participants will discuss major global challenges, express their opinions about the world in balance, new labour, new economies and new structures and join the forces in several projects to have a greater impact.

Partners and organizers of the Summer Week are: the German Association Club of Rome, the Global Marshall Plan Foundation, New work - new culture, the SPES Academy and the ThinkCamp cooperative.

Apart from the presentation of projects, ideas and experiences, interesting papers, lectures and discussions will enrich the program and inspire the participants. The following speakers have agreed to hold speech so far. Frithjof Bergmann (New Work, New Culture), Frithjof Finkbeiner (Global Marshall Plan Foundation, Uwe Moeller (Club of Rome), Franz-Josef Radermacher (Global Marshall Plan Initiative), Max Schön (DESERTEC Foundation) and Richard Wilkinson (The Spirit Level). More detailed program is available here.

For more information about the program and participants' registration, see current link (here soon).

Global Marshall Plan Initiative's annual meeting takes place from the 18 - 19th of June, 2011 as part of the international Summer Week. All supporters are heartily invited to attend this event.
Please, email to if you are interested in taking part in the meeting.


Solidarity with Muhammad Yunus

Government plans discharging of Muhammad Yunus from the Grameen Bank - Solidarity action via Facebook – Open Letter to Prime Minister Hasina.

Who is Yunus Muhammad?

Muhammad Yunus’s vision is the total eradication of poverty from the world. 'Grameen', he claims, 'is a message of hope, a programme for putting homelessness and destitution in a museum so that one day our children will visit it and ask how we could have allowed such a terrible thing to go on for so long'. This work is a fundamental rethink on the economic relationship between the rich and the poor, their rights and their obligations. The World Bank recently acknowledged that 'this business approach to the alleviation of poverty has allowed millions of individuals to work their way out of poverty with dignity'.

Credit is the last hope left to those faced with absolute poverty. That is why Muhammad Yunus believes that the right to credit should be recognized as a fundamental human right. It is this struggle and the unique and extraordinary methods he invented to combat human despair that Muhammad Yunus recounts here with humility and conviction. It is also the view of a man familiar with both Eastern and Western cultures — on the failures and potential for good of industrial countries. It is an appeal for action: we must concentrate on promoting the will to survive and the courage to build in the first and most essential element of the economic cycle — Man.

Read more here
Solidarity with Yunus Muhammad!
The Government and Central Bank of Bangladesh are currently seeking to remove Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, Bangladesh’s ‘Bank of the Poor’.

It seems likely that the Bangladesh Government want to wrest control of the Grameen Bank from Professor Yunus for its own means.

As a cooperative bank, however, the Grameen Bank is 94% owned by the poor themselves, with the Government possessing the remainder.

With this open letter we wish to help avert what we believe to be the scandalous nationalisation of the ‘Bank of the Poor’. We ask all people to participate in this lobbying action, and to alert all your friends.

• Every vote of support for Professor Yunus counts; your support counts: Facebook

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama for Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus

• We Stand in Support of Professor Muhammad Yunus Against the Corruption Investigations by the Government of Bangladesh

Facebook: Support Yunus: Nobel Peace Prize winner under attack

Teaser photo:


- Opinion -





Don't Fear the Middle East's New Wave

Arab governments must embrace a generation of men and women who are making their own historyComment by El Hassan bin Talal


The entire Arab world is witnessing a tectonic shift. There is a fragile, if for many sublime, expectation that democracy may now spread in our region. At the same time, the prospect of Arab self-determination has left some uneasy. One of the defining characteristics over the last 18 days of protest in Cairo is that no one has been able to predict what would happen next. But today some things can be said with certainty.

The first is that there is no going back. A new generation has come of age. Creativity, new communication technologies and the use of rational peaceful protest have restored Arab self-esteem. Cairo concluded what Tunisia had hinted at: that decades of realpolitik had failed. It seems to have united east and west in the understanding that true security begins with the dignity of the human being, and is based upon what we often refer to as hurriya, or "freedom".

While in Jordan the youth element may not be as evident, protesters still call for inclusivity, and seek participation in a body politic and within a wider national platform. With the government change here objectives are being discussed regarding what I call the "social contract", and a politics which needs to become more normalised than radicalised. Such voices are being heeded, because almost everyone here understands that the credibility and security of the country depends upon it.

Recent events have shown that men and women make their own history, and are capable of controlling their own destinies. Unfortunately in our region this has not always been self-evident. It is now. Rather than fearing this "new wave", Arab governments should embrace it.

Read the whole article on the Homepage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal




Zeki Ergas: "Freedom of Expression in an Age of Inequality"

"Nothing straight has ever been made from the crooked timber of humanity" Emmanuel Kant


So suddenly, unexpectedly, revolution broke out in the Arab world. A true revolution ignited by a Tunisian man who turned himself into a human torch by setting his body on fire. Little did he know that his gesture triggered by hopelessness and despair would be the spark which would start a massive forest fire that would rapidly spread to the whole Arab world. But the Arab world was not alone to feel the hear generated by this massive fire: the old citadels of intolerance and repression - inter alia,China, Iran, Myanmar, Cuba, North Korea, and so on, – must have felt it too. The response of the West was, as usual, ambivalent and ambiguous: between the wish of helping 'our Arab brothers' and the fear that this massive fire may cross the natural boundaries of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and reach the shores of Western Europe and North America. The truth is that nobody knows what is going to happen, and where the fire will stop. I believe that the revolutionary movement will spread to Western Europe and North America. Why? Because there is a lot that is wrong in the Western world and needs to be fixed. What? The fallacy of democracy in the United States, for example, which is being used as a tool for a shameless oligarchy. As for Western Europe,it is caught between the Charybdis of its selfishness and the Scylla of the risk of invasion by poor and desperate migrants. The fascist and extreme right political parties are on the march.
This paper is primarily concerned by the question of freedom of expression (FE) which is - together with the freedoms of association and of religion, and free and fair elections, etc. - one of the essential conditions of democracy. I believe that credibility and honesty require that we should begin by examining the real situation 'at home' before pointing out at the shortcomings elsewhere. The arrival on the scene of Wikileaks which has completely transformed the 'situation' is very relevant and revealing in that respect. Thus, the questions that I shall try briefly to 'deal with' are: Who owns the mass media, especially television? What are the goals and purposes of the owners of the mass media? What can we say about censorship, and especially, self-censorship in the Western world?

Here you can download the article Freedom of Expression in an Age of Inequality 1



- Plant-for-the-Planet -





Report from Lesotho

Lesotho - Tree Planting with lots of Motivated Children


How it all started:

In July 2010 I saw an interview with Felix Finkbeiner on the German TV and I was very impressed about him and what he did. At the age of nine he founded the Plant-for-the-Planet foundation and wanted to plant 1,000,000 trees in Germany. In just three years Felix and other children in Germany already planted this great number of trees. The next aim was to plant 1,000,000 trees in every country of the world. In his interview he also mentioned the book "Baum für Baum - jetzt retten wir Kinder die Welt” (Tree by Tree, now we children save the world), where they tell about all their activities so far. I got very curious and I bought that book. When I was younger I also planted many trees, but just because I do love trees so much and not to fight for climate justice. But I was so much impressed about what these children have been able to do that I wanted to join them and also fight for climate justice. So I called the foundation and told them, that I would like to help them and that I was going to spend my holidays again in Lesotho and whether they are having a partner to plant trees jet in Lesotho. They told me no, but it would be nice if I could start planting trees in Lesotho.


Next I called the embassy of Lesotho in Berlin to help me to get some good contacts for this tree planting project. They were also very interested and gave me two fantastic contacts for the tree planting project. One was LESOTHO -- DURHAM LINK in Maseru and the other Bongani Ntloko, the former curator of the Katse Botanic Gardens. They were both already busy planting trees and could need some support. So I contacted them and told them about the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation and that I would very much like to plant trees in Lesotho together with them. They both appreciated this project and I was welcome to help them.

Meanwhile I started to raise some funds from friends and acquaintances for this Project. Many people supported this that I was able to bring 300.00 € to Lesotho after just two month of asking for support. I was very happy that we
could really start planting trees during my holidays.

Lesotho :
In November 2010 I was two weeks in Lesotho and have been able to help planting trees . At Lesotho-Durham Link they do have their own nursery and are able to get trees for the planting by putting seeds into pots and looking after them for a while till they are big enough to be planted . They also have a big pick-up for transporting trees .I have been able to attend and help at following schools with planting : Phethahatso English Medium School and the SOS Herman Gmeiner Primary School , both in Maseru , at the Tekoe Anglican Church of Lesotho and the Mejametalana School. I have been able to help digging the holes for the planting and one day I've also been able to come and help at Ha Mohatlane to plant pine trees .


Mohau teaching kids how to plant trees                      Tamara showing how it’s done correctly

Before we started to plant we read the story of “The Man who planted trees” by
Jean Giono for the children, to give them a good motivation, what could happen if you start planting trees and how big the effects can be.
From the money I collected we have been able to plant 740 trees at Lesotho-Durham Link, including Mofifi, Lehlakuche,Peaches and Pine-Trees. In total they have been able to plant 2139 trees in 2010. With Bongani Ntloko I have also been able to attend the tree planting at St. Felix Primary School not far from the Ts'ehlanyane National Park, where we planted 100 eucalyptus trees opposite the school. Bongani told me that he has been able to plant 800 eucalyptus trees from the funds he got.


Proudly getting ready to plant                       Everybody busy at St. Felix Primary School

Picture ©Rohan Baker
If not otherwise stated text and pictures © Katrin Ponath


The Philippines Go Planting

Philippines - Planting Activities in 2010


As of today, we were able to mobilize tree planting activities in our neighborhood and also in other parts of our province. Due to typhoon Parma that devastated Metro Manila and affected most of our members (houses were flooded), we were not able to save previous photos taken by our coordinator. I am sending you photos taken last 2010.

This year, we are planning to do more tree planting activities after our classes end in March.  Also, because of the many disasters hitting our country, our organization is planning to sponsor a disaster preparedness seminar aimed at fostering awareness on disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction among the youth. As of todate, a forthcoming seminar on trees and forests is being planned.

Attached you will find some of our pictures taken during the tree planting activity, graced by two 15-year old Japanese homestay students. 


- Press Coverage -





Press Room

The Initiative and Plant-for-the-Planet in the media



Photo: Pixelio Rainer Sturm



Plant-for-the-Planet Academy

03/21/2011 09:10 am (local time) - 03/21/2011 2:30 pm (local time)

Become an ambassador for Climate Justice


Launch of the first Power Academy in the UK on March 21.


St Christopher School  Barrington Road SG6 3JZ Letchworth

More information will be available soon!

Are you interested in participating?
Please contact us at


How much is the world? The ecological footprint

03/31/2011 5:00 pm (local time)
Köln, Germany

Invitation to the second birthday of Odysseum Cologne


On the second birthday of Odysseum Cologne, which will be on 2nd April, the special exhibition “How much is the world? The ecological footprint“ will open its gates for visitors. To give you an exclusive preview, you and your family are invited to the opening event at Odysseum.

The topic of the temporary exhibit is the ecological footprint. The word footprint does not only refer to the prints we leave with our feet in the sand, but this term is also used to describe the size of an area: the areas that provide the resources we use on a daily basis. Strictly speaking, we would all need a small farm to produce everything we need in our everyday life. This farm would grow grain, vegetables and fruit, but also cotton and sugar cane. Most farms would also have a pasture with animals. You would also need trees for wood, paper or rubber and a lake or river. Naturally, you would also need space for the house and the stable and an area where you can store and decompose your rubbish. And you would also need a small power plant - or don’t you want to use electrical lights on your farm? And this means that you would also need some space for a wood which could absorb the exhaust fumes from the power plant. Your farm is rather big, isn't it? Well - it depends really. Those who eat more meat, use more energy or use more paper will need a bigger farm. This is how the footprint works: it calculates how many raw materials or resources are provided by nature and how many of these resources we need for our life.

Where: Odysseum Cologne, Corintostraße 1, 51103 Cologne

More about on the (in German)

Picture source:


iMatter: Our Climate. Our Future. Our Revolution.


Join the Youth Movement. We Will Make a Difference.


What? March!
Marching. Walking together. Showing up. Street Democracy. Revolution in motion. Together we can change the status quo and save our planet. Together we can tell the powers to live, lead, and govern as if the future matters. Our future. Our revolution.
Who? Everyone!
You. Your mom. Your friends. The whole youngest generation. Folks who care about nature and are ready to Live as if our Future Matters. Young people who need to stand up and be heard because our future is at risk. Older people who love us. Our government and corporate leaders need to show up too. To listen.
When? May 8, 2011
It's Mother's Day. And the day we march for Mother Earth. Coincidence? No way. Another well-calculated move on our part to make sure that the message behind this day matters. That this march matters.

Where? Everywhere!

On the city blocks of San Francisco and the suburban parks of Philadelphia. From Beijing to Boston, and Ghana to Greece. From Knoxville to Whoville and everywhere town in between. On by-ways, at beaches, up mountains, through malls. From coal plants to wind farms, from schools to town halls. On a boat, in the rain, over bridges, on a train...(you get the picture).

Short film about iMatter (3 Min)

More information & registration:



Global Marshall Plan Annual Meeting

06/18/2011 - 06/18/2011
Augsburg, Germany

"Work Matters – Global Impact"

The annual meeting takes place on 18 June 2011 in Augsburg and is integrated in the SmenosSummerweek “Work Matters – Global Impact” (17 -21 June).
The SmenosSummerweek is a network meeting of different organizations and offers to its participants the chance to work together on different projects. It can be of a great interest for the local groups and committed supporters of Global Marshall Plan Initiative, as they become a possibility to present their projects and during the next days to work together with other local groups aw well as organizations on the existing or new project ideas. Futhermore, the motivational speeches of various speakers will be held. Among them are Frithjof Bergmann and Richard Wilkinson.

The venue, the Exerzitienhouse in Augsburg, offers the perfect atmosphere to get to know each other and to work together. The conference rooms and sleeping rooms are in the same house. During the walks in the forest, that is 1 minute walk from the venue, you can talk and discuss you ideas.
The Summerweek includes as well the internal meetings of e.g. the annual meeting of German Association Club of Rome, the meeting of New work –New culture and the annual meeting of our Initiative on Saturday morning. During this meeting the revision of the content of Global Marshall Plan and the strategical alignment of the Initiative should be discussed with the coordination group. Furthermore, the applications for use for the Global Marshall Plan Logos will be discussed.
The Global Marshall Plan supporters, who want to come only on Saturday to the annual meeting of the Initiatice, should send us a brief mail on and participation is free for them. The meeting is funded by the Global Marshall Plan Foundation. The coordination group is pleased to welcome you..

Dedicated Global Marshall Plan supporters, graduates of the Global Marshall Plan Academy, members of the coordination group and activists from different organizations will meet on Summerweek and the annual meeting of the initiative in Augsburg in June.


Plant-for-the-Planet Academy

08/25/2011 - 08/26/2011
Louvain, Belgium

Become climate justice ambassador!

On the 25th and 26th of August 2011, there will be a Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Louvain, Belgium. Are you interested in participating? If so, please contact Ms. Knuth: kerstin(dot)knuth(at)plant-for-the-planet(dot)org.

More information will be available on our website soon!


Plant-for-the-Planet Academy

09/03/2011 09:00 am (local time) - 09/03/2011 6:00 pm (local time)
Oslo, Norway

Become climate justice ambassador!

A Plant-for-the-Planet Academy is a wonderful opportunity for children to come together, learn about global issues and to create their own action plan as to what they intend to do to solve the climate crisis. Here, the main responsibility of raising awareness and taking action is taken over by the children. The children encourage other young people to find and use their voices to have a say in their own future. Participation is free of charge!

More information can be found on our website, further details will follow soon.

Registration for this academy is already possible.


Editorial office
Global Marshall Plan Foundation
Helge Bork (V.i.S.d.P.R.), Andreas Huber

Global Marshall Plan Foundation
Coordination office
Ferdinandstraße 28-30
20095 Hamburg

The Global Marshall Plan Initiative works towards a worldwide Eco-Social Market Economy by the means of a Global Marshall Plan. Global Marshall Plan News is the means to inform all supporters about the latest developments.

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