Established originally in 1997 in Mumbai, Focus on the Global South India, is presently located in New Delhi. Our programme was set up to do policy research in three broad thematic areas: trade and investment, the commons and climate and environmental justice. As a policy research organisation, we educate people about the key issues in these thematic areas and how people can deal with the issue.
Under trade and investment, we conduct popular education about the power of some international global governance institutions such as the WTO, World Bank, IMF, AIIB, BRICS and what can be done to dismantle, paralyze, or drastically reduce their power to make space for alternatives. We educate the people through extensive analysis and public education about the ills of the WTO and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and their impacts on the Indian people and their livelihoods, especially our farmers, industry, service sector, fisheries. Similarly, under the Commons programme, we educate people about the ills of the neoliberal policy regime that promotes commodification of food, water, land and commons and the need to reclaim these commons for the survival of people who are dependent on them for their livelihood.
Under the Commons, we work extensively on promoting agroecology and toxic free agriculture and have brought out educational materials for popular education.
Under climate and environmental justice, we conduct public awareness activities to apprise the people about the climate crisis and to build national and local climate justice coalitions to reach out to the different communities who are getting affected by the climate crisis, especially farmers, forest dwellers, fishermen and others. We do critical analysis and debunk false solutions such as carbon trading (including the Clean Development Mechanism and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries/and Forest Degradation); techno-fixes such as agrofuels, GMOs and geo-engineering; and science fiction like carbon sequestration and storage. These so-called solutions will merely exacerbate the climate crisis and deepen global inequality.
While engaging on regional issues remains a priority for Focus, our strength is credible relationships with national networks and processes. We work closely with broad National and International networks such as the Indian Forum against FTAs, Indian Peoples Campaign against the WTO, National Working Group on Patent Laws and WTO, Political and Non-political Farmer Unions, Right to Food Campaign, India Climate Justice Network, Peoples’ SAARC, National Alliance of People’s Movements, La Via Campesina, Reclaiming Public Water and many others. Focus has been working with these progressive groups to expose the flaws in neo-liberalism, the role of corporations in influencing public policy and show an alternate path that reclaims democracy and can achieve social justice.