• Olive Branch. In April, 120 former Israel Defense Force soldiers and Palestinian militants publicly launched “Combatants for Peace,” a partnership of former enemies who will pressure both governments to stop violence, promote peace, and establish a viable Palestinian state.
• Groundbreaking. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines released a statement on mining issues and concerns in January that challenged President Macapagal-Arroyo’s “mining revitalization program.” This program would allow transnational companies to open new mines in economically depressed areas, sensitive bioregions, and indigenous homelands.
• Salaam, Shalom. The Second World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace was held in Seville, Spain, in March, gathering more than 150 influential Jewish and Muslim leaders to work on a common agenda to “preserve the value of life.”
• Mini-Size It. Ravalli County, Montana, passed an ordinance in April limiting stores to no more than 60,000 square feet, effectively protecting main street businesses and blocking Wal-Mart’s plans to build a supercenter.
• Money Matters. Some of the world’s largest international investment funds, valued at more than $4 trillion, endorsed a set of six voluntary “principles for responsible investment” introduced by the United Nations in April. The signatories will incorporate environmental, social, and corporate governance issues into their investment analysis.
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