Greetings Forest residents and welcome to the final transparency report of this government.
Yes, it's been 6 months since the last election. My how the time has flown.
If you're interest in putting yourself forward to be the next Forest Keeper, or wish to vote on who that will be, the voting starts this thursday.
Forest Inter-regional Writing Contest
Please check out the winning entries below.
Forest Interregional Writing Contest 2021
- The Winners -
The esteemed judges of the writing contest, Verdant Haven, Chan Island and Uan aa Boa, have carefully read and considered each (anonymised) entry and together have chosen a winner for each category. They considered a number of metrics, not limited to word choice, structure and originality, as well as how each writer interpreted this year's theme, "Anthropocene", within their work.
Congratulations to the winning entrants, each of whom has been awarded the Forestian Literary Prize; while these honours are awarded to the OOC players for their writing skill, I have no issues if the winners want to also RP/worldbuild it as an IC interregional prize received by one of their citizens. Furthermore, all the entrants are invited to publish their own entry (or entries) now that the contest is over for all to enjoy as unfortunately it's not possible for me to share everyone's work.
Verdant Haven said...
"While it exhibits no attempt at a rhyme scheme, the author
definitely made some decisive word choices and wielded
them effectively. The recurrent usage of specific words is
done to great effect - words, rather than structure, define
this piece. The message is the important thing, and everything
else is in support of that message, rather than aesthetics."
Chan Island said...
"I checked this one in a plagiarism software because it felt
like it came straight from a Buddhist text! There's a
religious chant style that nonetheless conveys the deepest
insecurities of the Anthropocene's most prominent species.
Rereading this palpably enhances it too, reinforcing in
the reader the call to passion, care and ultimately action!"
Uan aa Boa said...
"From the title and opening lines I was expecting a criticism
of attachment in the spirit of Buddhism and its self-help
offspring, but instead we get a celebration of weakness as
essential to humanity that leads to a kind of call to arms,
ending with the declaration that despite appearances the
Earth is protected. Simple, yet intriguing; I’m won over."
Forestian Literary Prize for Drama
is awarded to
NO AWARD GIVEN
Will anyone be able to claim this honour next year?
Verdant Haven said...
"This story captures the plight of people facing terrible
circumstances in a very real way. The pent-up frustration,
sorrow, and anger filtered through the narrator's limited
understanding is a powerful tool, and the glimpse into the
grinding of bureaucratic wheels, where even the best
intentions can lead to bad results, is well-handled."
Chan Island said...
"Tuvalu has sunk under the sea, as predicted by scientists
studying the rising sea levels, and while New Zealand has
taken in the refugees, it's clear that the conditions are
less than stellar. This story paints a bleak world of
climate refugees, sea walls, discrimination and hot debates
on the politics of it all."
Uan aa Boa said...
"Having described one futile, preventable death it builds
to a climax of anger and another sudden death... and then
returns to its beginning with nothing having changed. It
also deftly throws in the rhetorical question of how one how
one can be defined as being a Tuvaluan despite having no
actual connection to the place. Masterful stuff."
Attachment is what gives us the greatest of dread
Fearing to lose what we are attached to is the greatest of fears
We are attached to our Earth
We are afraid to lose our Earth
Attachment is what gives us the greatest of love
Fearing to lose that love is the greatest of fears
We love our Earth
We are afraid to lose that love
Those who hold no attachments feel neither love nor dread
They are not afraid to lose our Earth
They are strong but not human
All humans feel attachment
All humans fear losing that
All humans have that weakness
All humans are amazing for that
All humans try and fight to protect what we love
All humans do that out of fear
Earth is protected by attachment because of that fear
Attachment gives us the dread that motivates us
Tupuna fafine tells me stories about Tuvalu. She tells me of her childhood, of the hot days splashing around in the sparkling blue sea, of lounging on the white sand in the shade of the coconut trees, of seagull cries and waves crashing into the shore. I've never seen Tuvalu, and I never will. For the last fifteen years - for my only fifteen years - my world has been concrete and iron. I haven't seen the sea, sparking blue or otherwise. I haven't felt sand between my toes nor drank from a coconut. We have seagulls though, they paint our little concrete boxes white, which I suppose is better than the grey. We also have hot days, we only have hot days really.
Tamotu says it's ironic, ironic that they keep us in concrete.
"Concrete's made from sand," he's told me more than once. "And that's part of the problem. Entire beaches disappear overnight... people taking the sand. Of course, that didn't happen to Tuvalu. But it's like what happened to Tuvalu, the sand disappearing."
I should be thankful. Or that's what the wardens say. They get sick of the complaining, many of us complain. I don't. Tupuna fafine says I'm too young to complain.
"Keep those thoughts in that messy little head of yours!" she orders before smiling her gappy smile and winking at me.
We should be thankful. The wardens tell us of the Tuvaluans down Dunedin way where they still sometimes have winter, and of the ones "six feet Down Under." They laugh.
Miss Manaia tells us the same thing, but more quietly. "I know it's not perfect, but it's better than the alternative."
"Better than being outside the bloody fence?" Iosua growls.
Miss Manaia doesn't say anything.
Iosua likes to make himself big. He's older than me, tupuna fafine says he's nineteen, but Iosua swears he is "basically twenty-one." Iosua looks after us younger ones, he only scares the agency people, like Miss Manaia. But we, all the other kids and me, we should look after each other, he tells us, "‘cause no one else will."
Miss Manaia is the sixth agency person I can remember. Iosua scared off the three before her. The one before Miss Manaia only visited once. Iosua made her cry and she didn't come back.
They all introduce themselves the same way: "Hello, my name is Their-Name. I work for the Climate Refugee Integration Agency, and I'm going to get you all out of here."
The wardens call them CRIAs. Since Iosua scared off the last one, we call them criers.
I spend my days playing with the kids. There's a hopscotch court painted onto the concrete, but the numbers have all worn away. There's a netball hoop as well, but we only have a football that doesn't bounce.
Iosua often asks Miss Manaia why we only have one netball hoop, not two. "Them netball courts are meant to have two, y'know? Where's the other?"
Every time Iosua asks, Miss Manaia looks over at the hoop and frowns. "That's a good point, Iosua–"
"I'll make sure to look into it," Iosua interrupts, finishing her sentence, before kicking some gravel and walking away.
Tupuna fafine taught me how to braid my hair, so all the little girls, and some of the boys too, will sit in a line and let me braid their hair. Sometimes I weave in some of the dandelions that grow in the cracks of the concrete.
Iosua told me that I stick my tongue out when I'm braiding the girls' hair, so I work extra hard to make sure I keep it in my mouth.
I play with the kids until 3 o'clock. The cartoons come on the TV at 3. The criers make sure we have a TV. It never gets turned off. We get two channels: Channel 1 and Channel 2. The adults watch Channel 1 most of the day, Channel 1 has the news and stuff. But at 3, Channel 2 gets the cartoons, so the kids get the TV until they're over. I like to watch the cartoons as well, but not when Iosua's around, he thinks they're dumb.
The adults watch Channel 1, but they don't like it. The news makes them mad. Tupuna fafine says I shouldn't watch the news, "it's for the grown-ups." But they sometimes talk about us on the news. I like to listen to what they say about us.
There's a room with a lot of people sitting in chairs, and the people are always yelling at each other. Tamotu says that's parliament.
The Blues say that we need to go away. To Australia or America or Japan. "Japan needs more workers! And we need fewer costs!" Mrs Blue says.
Mr Red is in charge of New Zealand. He says that they're being "good Pacific citizens" by having us here. He uses the word 'duty' a lot.
When I asked Tamotu what 'duty' means, he said it's "something they have to do."
Iosua snorted at that. "Have to keep us trapped in here?"
Tamotu shrugged and continued to watch the people yell at each other.
Eventually, Mr and Mrs Green were allowed to talk. They agree with Mr Red about duty, but say he's letting us Tuvaluans down.
Iosua always growls at Miss Manaia after they talk about us on the news.
"Why do we gots to stay in here?" he asks her.
Miss Manaia puts on her glasses. She sighs and takes them off again. "Aotearoa New Zealand has taken in ten thousand Tuvaluans. Finding homes for you all is difficult, not to mention expensive."
"No one's left here though, miss, 'cept for Big Pu'a, but the wardens say he went to jail. Can't you find even one house?"
Miss Manaia pursed her lips.
Tupuna fafine shuffled over in her sandals. "Leave the poor woman be, Iosua," she smiles. "She's not the Prime Minister."
Miss Manaia looks at tupuna fafine. Her lips smiled, but her eyes didn't. "Thank you, but I'm quite alright."
The crier turned her attention back to Iosua. "Homes are hard to come by these days, ours are being threatened by the sea," she explains.
Tupuna fafine's gappy smile disappeared as her face collapsed into a frown, eyes narrowing into a glare. She shook. "So were ours!" she hissed at Miss Manaia.
The woman mumbled something about the time and seeing us all again sometime next week before she hurried out the gate, past a pair of wardens, and back to her small silver car.
I couldn't remember the last time I had seen tupuna fafine so mad. I rushed towards her, but she smiled at me, waving me away, before toddling back to the shade of our concrete box while Iosua whooped and hollered at her, a massive grin stuck to his big face.
I like Mr and Mrs Green from the TV, they always say good things about us Tuvaluans. That's what they call us, "Tuvaluans." Miss Manaia calls us Tuvaluans as well, so do the wardens, but the wardens spit when they say it. Even tupuna fafine calls me a Tuvaluan.
Inside the room with the TV, the flag of Tuvalu hangs on the wall. Tupuna fafine tells me that the blue is the same colour as the sea she swam in and that the nine stars represent the nine islands of Tuvalu.
"It's funny," Tamotu says. "Tuvalu means 'eight standing together,' as in the eight islands emerging from the sea, but Tuvalu had nine islands. When it was named, only eight of the islands were inhabited, but the flag has nine stars for the nine islands. People eventually moved to the ninth island, but the name, Tuvalu, wasn't changed and still means 'eight together.'"
The flag hangs on the wall and I'm told stories about the islands by tupuna fafine and Tamotu and others, but I haven't seen them, or stood on them. I wasn't even born there. I was born in these chainlink fences. They tell me my mum and dad were Tuvaluan. They lived on the islands, but they didn't die on them. Mum died in the TV room, on the floor. Tupuna fafine doesn't like to talk about it.
Tamotu knows about this too.
"We tried to get the wardens to call the criers, to call a doctor, but they didn't. Not even when your mum started screaming. Big Pu'a got mad. Big Pu'a never got mad. He was always smiling and laughing, Big Pu'a was. Never even seen him squash a fly. But Big Pu'a grabbed one of the wardens, by the neck he grabbed him. Told him that if he wanted to see his kids again he was gonna call a doctor. The warden did call a doctor when Big Pu'a let him go, but he didn't get here quick enough. Your mum died, but the doctor managed to save you!"
Tamotu had smiled at me. The smile faded. "They came for Big Pu'a the next day. They told him to go with them and he did. He didn't try and run or fight or talk his way out of it. They pushed him into a car and drove him away. Big Pu'a never came back."
My dad was taken to Australia, Tamotu thinks. "But it's like the wardens say..."
Six feet Down Under.
Like Tamotu says, I was born in the TV room. I've never seen Tuvalu and I never will. No one will ever see Tuvalu again. Tamotu says that only four of the islands are still above water, but that the yearly typhoons are washing away what's left. But they still call me Tuvaluan.
Sometimes I hear the wardens talking. They talk to each other a lot, but never to us. They complain a lot. We complain about the heat, about our clothes, about the food, about the dirt. They complain about different things. They talk about banks and the climate and traffic. But they most often complain about the Wall.
"Waste of time and money," one of the wardens says.
The others nod.
I asked Tamotu about the Wall. "They mean the Auckland Seawall."
Auckland's a big city, more than two million people live there, Tamotu told me a while back. Three hundred of us Tuvaluans live in our concrete boxes and chainlink fences.
"Is two million a lot more than three hundred?" I frowned.
"A lot more, yes. More than you could ever imagine."
Tamotu says they're building a wall to keep the sea out of the city, like the sea came into Tuvalu.
I don't know how they're going to do that. Tupuna fafine told me that Tuvalu had a building with three floors. Like one of our concrete boxes, but with two more levels. The government building, she said. But Tamotu said that the sea and wind have been knocking that down for years. "It's probably not even standing anymore." I don't know how the Seawall could try and stop the sea if even a building with three whole floors couldn't stop it.
Now, whenever Miss Manaia comes, tupuna fafine starts shaking. She's never done this before. I've never seen anything bother her like this.
Tupuna fafine mutters to herself about "that stupid woman" and "the empty-headed crier". We try to take tupuna fafine away from Miss Manaia when she comes now, but she refuses. "I've got to keep an eye on that one," she says. "Don't want her teaching our kids more of her nonsense."
So tupuna fafine would sit in the shade, under a blanket, glaring as Miss Manaia would talk to us all.
Iosua talks to tupuna fafine a lot. She never used to talk to him before, but they're always together now. Whenever I try to talk to Iosua or tupuna fafine now, they tell me to go play with the other kids, but I've already braided their hair and played three games of netball.
Two months after tupuna fafine first scolded Miss Manaia, the crier visited us again.
Iosua was still eating breakfast, spooning his oats from his plastic bowl into his mouth.
"I'm sick of oats," he said. Then he tipped the last of his food onto the ground.
"Iosua!" Miss Manaia exclaimed. "Why on Earth did you do that? You're lucky to have that food!"
Iosua glared at the woman. "Every day since I could remember, you's fed us oats for breakfast. I want something else."
Miss Manaia pursed her lips. She put on her glasses and then took them off again. "You have the news on your TV, yes?"
"Yeah, so what?" Iosua grumbled.
"Then you must have seen all those poor people in India, starving in their camps, millions of them. You could be like that."
"This isn't India."
"No, and you have food, you should be grateful for it!" Miss Manaia hmphed.
"How dare you!" Miss Manaia's eyes widened as we watched tupuna fafine throw off her blanket and struggle to her feet. I could hear Iosua laughing.
"Grateful?" tupuna fafine screeched. "More than seventeen years we've been pent up in this cage!"
"Do not use my name, woman!" tupuna fafine spat, shuffling nearer. "For seventeen years we've been treated like pigs, penned up in here with nothing to do all day!"
Miss Manaia wrung her hands. "The TV," she stammered. "The netball court..."
"Two channels and half a court!" tupuna fafine was face-to-face with the trembling, white-faced crier.
"You say your job is to get us all out of here? No one's left. I bet none of us ten thousand Tuvaluans have ever left these camps! Even dear, old Pu'a! Prison, not freedom! Do you believe it's your duty to keep children locked up here until they're old and wrinkled like me?!"
Miss Manaia opened her mouth.
"Be quiet when you're being spoken to, Miss Mania! If I have to hear one more word about how this torture is good for us, I'm going t–"
Tupuna fafine collapsed. Iosua stopped laughing. Miss Manaia gasped and stumbled back. People rushed forward. Tamotu yelled at the wardens to call a doctor. The wardens listened this time.
I stood there. I watched people crowd around tupuna fafine as she wheezed on the concrete ground.
A few minutes passed while I watched and a wailing sound got louder and louder. Soon, two people dressed in bright yellow rushed into the camp and knelt next to tupuna fafine. The crowd backed off. They rolled her onto her back, pressed down on her chest, blew into her mouth, they even zapped her a couple times. But when I blinked, they began packing tupuna fafine into a bag and zipped her up. The bag was lifted onto a stretcher and wheeled back to their ambulance.
"They said it was a heart attack," Tamotu told me. "They tried everything they could."
I watched Miss Manaia run back to her little car and drive away, eyes red, while Iosua swore and kicked a concrete wall.
A week later, a man walked through the gate in the fence. He was tall, with grey hair and a long nose.
"Hello, my name is Mr Rudd. I work for the Climate Refugee Integration Agency, and I'm going to get you all out of here."
"All who?" I asked Mr Rudd.
He looked at me, confused. "All you Tuvaluans."
Lastly, I would like to express my own personal gratitude to everyone who took part in the contest! I think I speak for both the judges and myself when I say we thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the entries and were very impressed by the wide range of thought-provoking interpretations of this year's theme.
Thank you all so much for getting involved; we hope you'll join in again for next year's contest!
Culture Minister of Forest
We've promised you developments regarding the regional map since the beginning of this government, and getting it in just under the wire we have finally delivered.
Jutsa has now been named as our Head Cartographer. Please check out their new map despatch below.
Note: Accidentally uploaded Greenness as a jpg. I prefer pngs because they look less blurry on imgur but alas, I really like the order of this.
If you have any questions, do please let me know. I'm aware some of the maps are a little daunting at first. I have a small FAQ at the end - not that they're necessarily actually FAQ, but sometimes what I'd expect to be FAQ.
The links below were all made in June 2021.
Link to everything from the original update: Here
1) "What do the 2 and x2 mean?" Second-highest and second-lowest ranked, respectively.
2) "There are multiple Xs" tie. Looking at you 0 Disposable Income nations
3) "What the heck is going on with those colors?" Okay yeah it's a mess. So the black-white bar shows how intense a color should be based on its statistics, whereas the color map shows said statistic. If you have a lot of the green stat, a little of the blue stat, and none of the red stat, you're going to look like a slightly blue bright green or teal. If you have a little of everything, you'll look grey. If you're dark red, you are low in every stat but are a bit higher in the red stat; redish grey is neutral in all but slightly better in red; pale red is high in everything but especially red; and neon red means you're great at red but terrible at blue and green. Again, it's a bit messy, but it's how I set up tristat comparison. :P
4) "Will you make more maps or update existing ones?" Violet knows.
5) "How do I contact you with more questions?" Just telegram me. I don't mind. ;)
6) "Why did you chose to compare these sets of stats?" Arbitrary. Also if I could have more than 3 colours (which is already a mess as it is) I would. q-q
Amendment to the Constitution
The long awaited amendment to our constitution was tabled last month thanks to Verdant Haven's diligent efforts.
This amendment brought about necessary security changes due to Forest's current existence as a region without a founder and was passed unanimously.
Check out the changes in the despatch below.
Some months ago, I was asked to begin work assembling and integrating several previous proposals I had in development, as well as input, suggestions, and feedback from fellow officers, for a major amendment to the Forest Constitution. The primary goals given for this amendment are:
1. Change the old policies related to Border Control power, since we now anticipate being in a permanent "state of crisis" that warrants officers other than the Founder or WAD having it.
2. Implement a new system in which the Forest Keeper does not have sole, unilateral authority to appoint a new WAD, and where the FK cannot themself be the WAD, due to the increased need for checks and balances.
3. Enhance regional security through legally defining certain parameters, and developing endorsement cap rules to protect the delegacy.
4. Develop a new terminology to provide less confusion about the XWAD's authorities as Executive, in the absence of the Founder
Additional minor goals involve consistency in capitalization, correction of mis-stated voting percentages, corrections of both voting- and officer-related wording errors, introduction or more consistent use of a few clarifying terms related to governance, and numerous minor grammatical corrections, punctuation fixes, and language clarifications for easier reading.
New Terms Introduced in this Amendment
Several new terms are introduced in this Amendment, and several others are brought into consistent usage. This is to increase accuracy and consistency, and to clarify certain previously-murky points. The most notable terms introduced new or made consistent are:
Head of State: A new term for the holder of the region's "Executive" authority – IE, the Founder or WA Delegate, as appropriate. The term is introduced to distinguish the holding of that authority from the specific titles of certain offices. It does not change any of the meanings already intended, but makes them much easier to understand.
Head of Government: A new term for the holder of the authorities of the elected Forest Keeper, to distinguish them from the Head of State. This divide is common in parliamentary systems, but not in presidential systems, so it is important to be clear about this separation for the sake of our global population. It does not change any of the meanings already intended, but makes them much easier to understand.
Duly selected: A new term (not capitalized) to specify a WAD that has been formally and legally installed – not a usurper or fallback position. This distinction is critical for security purposes, to prevent usurpers (deliberate or not) from having legal authority and creating a constitutional crisis by their actions.
Term in Office: A new term to resolve the hodgepodge of terminology that existed. It is a replacement for the old phrase "Electoral Period," which was frequently found alongside "Election Season" and in several cases was actually misused to mean the wrong thing – a major point of confusion. This term is easily understood, is distinct from its counterpart, and is now correctly used only to refer to what it should. It does not change any of the meanings already intended, but makes them much easier to understand.
Election Season: Now used consistently and given firm definition to refer specifically to the time period during which Forest Keeper election process is underway.
Primary Round: In the event that more candidates wish to run for Forest Keeper than can be accommodated by a single poll, these additional rounds of polling will be used to democratically select the candidates that advance to the election. Our last election had enough candidates to make it clear there is potential for this problem to arise.
Article, Clause, and Subclause: The parts of the Constitution have been referred to by a number of terms over time, sometimes interchangeably. These should now be consistent in usage. An Article is an entire numbered section (e.g. Article 5). A Clause is a subsection of an Article (e.g. Clause 5.1). A Subclause is a subsection of a Clause (e.g. Subclause 5.1.iii)
In most previous amendments, the old text being replaced was shown with strike-through font, and the new text ran alongside it to show the replacement. Because of the sheer number of changes to minor wording and grammar, that is not practical in this amendment, and would actually make reading it much harder. Instead, the following changelog is offered, which identifies each place changes are introduced. In order to achieve transparency, I have attempted to include every single change, which makes for extensive reading. For convenience, underlined entries represent either newly inserted Articles, Clauses, or Subclauses to clarify existing meanings, or are those changes that introduce entirely new laws or meanings to the document. Consider focusing on those elements, as they are the meat of this amendment.
1 – Introduction of term "Head of State" to reflect the Executive Authority, as distinct from the job titles "Founder" and "World Assembly Delegate"
1.1 – Rewritten to reflect present-tense situation regarding CTE'd Founder
1.2 – Clarification: Inserted a new clause making the existing devolution of Head of State authority very clear
1.3-1.6 – Renumbered due to insertion of new 1.2
1.3 – Added sentence introducing the term Head of Government for the authority of the elected Forest Keeper
1.4 – Minor wording
1.5 – Minor wording
1.6 – Overhaul: this clause now permits the wider use and distribution of Border Control authority
2.2 – Minor wording
2.3 – Minor wording
3.1 – Minor wording
3.2 – New law: declares that the Head of State and Head of Government may not be the same person
3.3-3.6 – Renumbered due to insertion of the new 3.2
3.3 – Overhaul: added additional language regarding Border Control power limitations, for consistency with Clause 1.6
3.5 – Overhaul: eliminated authority of the FK to unilaterally appoint the WAD. Directed attention to the entirely new Article 8
4.1 – Rearranged some info to make it much clearer. Introduced usage of "Term in Office" to replace "Electoral Period," to avoid confusion with "Election Season" that is used repeatedly in the same section.
4.1 – Split into two clauses to separate the length of terms from the description of the election.
4.2 - Clarification: new Clause split from above. Completed the missing part of the definition (when an Election Season ends)
4.3-4.7 – Renumbered due to insertion of new 4.2
4.3 – Minor wording
4.3.i – Rewrote and clarified
4.3.ii (former) – swapped places with 4.3.iii and rewrote with same meaning, as it didn't work grammatically in the previous form
4.3.iv – Minor wording
4.3.v – New law: moved notation of eligible WA nations to the beginning of the polling period, not the end, to provide security against troublemakers.
4.4 – Minor wording
4.5 – Clarification: Inserted a new clause clarifying the authority of the Head of State under their already-existing powers in Clause 1.4 to prevent unsuitable candidates from participating in the election.
4.5 – Renumbered due to insertion of new 4.5
4.6 – Minor wording
4.7 – Clarification: added clause to remove withdrawn candidates from poll. Added the missing language that actually specifies the declaration of a winner in the first poll if there is one. Corrected mis-stated percentages.
4.8 – New law: inserted new Clause and Subclauses to define runoff (Primary Round) procedures in case more candidates enter than can be accommodated in a single poll.
4.8-4.12 – Renumbered due to insertion of new 4.7
4.8 – Minor wording
4.9 – Minor wording
4.9 – (former) – deleted and moved to 4.1
4.10 – Wording correction and additional notes about Border Control for Election Officers
4.11 – Wording correction
4.12 – Minor wording
4.11.5 – Minor wording
5.1 – Clarified purpose. Corrected for wording and insertion of section
5.1.iii – Minor wording
5.1.iv – Moved part of 5.2 to its own section here, where it actually makes sense
5.2 – Moved unrelated part to new 5.1.iv. Corrected extremely wrong wording that conflated roles of Forest Keeper and WAD
5.3 – Clarification of language
6.7 – Corrected mis-stated percentages
6.8 – Minor wording
6.9 – Minor wording
7.1 – Overhaul: removal of references to FK being WAD. Moved portion about rogue WAD to new clause 8.10. Wording.
7.2 – Clarification: split previously long and winding 7.1 into two parts, with the second becoming 7.2. Wording.
7.3-7.7 – Renumbered due to insertion of new 7.2
7.3 – Clarification of language. Removal of references to FK being WAD.
7.4 – Minor wording
7.5 – Minor wording
7.7 – Clarification of language
7.8 – New law: introduction of endorsement cap when operating under an XWAD Head of State
7.9 – New law: introduction of consequences for violation of endorsement cap
8 – An entirely new Article from start to finish, covering the selection procedures for a WAD
8.1 – Defines the WAD as a (mostly) permanent appointment
8.2 – Defines due selection
8.3 – Specifies the duties of Forest nations to support/protect the duly selected WAD
8.4 – Provides for the Founder to freely appoint the WAD when present
8.5 – Provides for the planned/voluntary changing of an XWAD
8.6 – Provides for the unexpected changing of an XWAD, and limitations on an unappointed "fallback" office holder
8.7 – Provides for recovery from usurpation of an XWAD
8.8 – Authorized punishment for deliberate usurpation, or attempted usurpation, of a WAD
8.9 – Provides for emergency recovery in case of total loss of control in a raid
8.10 – Final clarification of the power of WA nations to replace a WAD, moved from 7.1
9 – Renumbered due to insertion of the new Article 8 before it
9.1-9.4 – As above
9.1.i – Minor wording
9.1.iv – Minor wording
9.2 – Minor wording
9.3 – Minor wording
9.4 – Minor wording, corrected mis-stated percentages.
Proposed Constitution As Amended
The Constitution of Forest
Article 1 - The Powers of the Head of State
1.1 By right of being the nation selected by the residents of Forest in May 2007, when Forest was re-founded, the nation of Errinundera is declared the Founder of Forest and retains perpetual right to serve as Forest's Head of State.
1.2 In the absence of the Founder due to Ceasing To Exist (CTE), the Head of State title and all authorities associated therewith, enumerated or unenumerated, pass to the duly selected World Assembly Delegate.
1.3 The Head of Government shall be known as the Forest Keeper (see Article 3). All powers and responsibilities of the Forest Keeper, and the members of the Forest Keeper's government, are at the ultimate discretion of the Head of State.
1.4 The selection of all members of government, both the Forest Keeper and the Forest Keeper’s Regional Officers, are at the ultimate discretion of the Head of State. However, provided all members of government follow this document, the Head of State is trusted to uphold the will of the people as expressed in the elections herein described and as it flows through the Forest Keeper.
1.5 The Head of State holds ultimate authority and is the last word in matters of the interpretation of this Constitution, determining if a resident of Forest has violated this Constitution, and deciding the punishment for violating this Constitution.
1.6 The power of Border Control and ejecting nations from Forest shall be carefully limited by the Head of State to only those officers necessary for maintaining the security of the region. Special officers may be appointed on a temporary basis for exceptional circumstances, such as annual NationStates events or a security crisis.
Article 2 - The Forest Way
2.1 Forest is understood to be a region that promotes inclusiveness and free expression from its member nations. All ideologies, government types, and perspectives are welcome in Forest so long as they are not purposefully hurtful or offensive to other nations in Forest in a serious way. Although disagreement and discussion are encouraged in Forest, being disrespectful to other nations is not.
2.2 Forest is neither a raider region, nor is it a defender region. Nations in Forest are expected to not undertake any sort of inter-regional ‘military’ action (raiding or defending). Forest will not act as a staging ground for military operation. There are only two narrow exceptions to this rule:
If a region that holds an embassy with Forest is raided by a clearly outside power, members of Forest may take part in a liberation effort. In this case members are expected to act in a deliberate manner and are encouraged to coordinate their efforts as part of a greater inter-regional liberation effort.
If Forest itself is invaded defender nations are welcome to come to Forest in an effort to foil the invasion.
2.3 The government of Forest (ie the Forest Keeper and ministers) is expected to act in an open, verdant, and democratic manner. The government is trusted to act in the best interest of Forest and put the interest of the greater good of Forest above their own interests.
Article 3 - The Forest Keeper
3.1 The Forest Keeper is the Head of Government of Forest. The Forest Keeper is an elected position (see Article 4).
3.2 The Head of State and the Head of Government shall not be the same person.
3.3 Regional Officers are expected to be subordinate to, and execute the will of, the Forest Keeper. The promotion, dismissal, and powers given to Regional Officers are the choice of the Forest Keeper, subject to the approval of the Head of State. The number of and types of Regional Officers are also the choice of the Forest Keeper, subject to approval by the Head of State. The Head of State retains the right to limit the distribution of the Border Control power and to add additional Regional Officers for the express purpose of utilizing that power.
3.4 No Regional Officer may have a power that the Forest Keeper does not also have, except World Assembly Delegate powers.
3.5 In the event that a World Assembly Delegate should voluntarily leave their position, express a desire to do the same, or CTEs, the Forest Keeper is responsible for leading the effort to select a new World Assembly Delegate. This procedure is covered in Article 8.
3.6 All powers not expressly covered in the Constitution may be used in whatever way the Forest Keeper and associated Regional Officers determine appropriate.
Article 4 - Forest Keeper Elections
4.1 The Forest Keeper shall be elected for a nominal six month Term in Office. A Term in Office is defined as the period between the ending of one Election Season and the beginning of the next.
4.2 Election Season begins as soon after March 16th and September 16th at 00:01 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) as the Head of State is able to initiate the steps listed in this article. It concludes upon the declaration of an election winner.
4.3 As soon as possible after Election Season begins, the Head of State shall take the following actions:
Remove all serving Regional Officers, except for the World Assembly Delegate.
Modify the world factbook entry to an entry they feel is neutral to all parties.
Stop all other normal workings of government, including acceptance of embassy requests.
Open a poll for the duration of one week with all nations in Forest eligible to vote. The poll will be entitled "Do you want to run to be the Forest Keeper?" and will have two options: "Yes" and "No". Further explanation of all polls by the Head of State is permissible, at the Head of State's discretion.
At the beginning of the poll, the Head of State will make note of all World Assembly (WA) members in Forest at that time. Only these nations are eligible to vote in the election. The Head of State and puppets of the Head of State are not eligible to vote in the elections, and the Head of State is not to endorse a candidate, except as provided in Clause 4.8.
4.4 All Nations who voted ‘Yes’ in the poll are candidates to be Forest Keeper.
4.5 The exclusion of candidates from the election by the Head of State falls with the Head of State's purview as defined in Clause 1.4. The Head of State may exclude from the election process any potential candidate deemed unfit for office.
4.6 The week following the closure of the poll is Campaign Week. Candidates and associates are permitted to campaign in this time. Campaigning may occur on the RMB or the forum. Telegram campaigning and forum spamming are not permitted. Smear campaigning is discouraged.
4.7 Upon the conclusion of Campaign Week, the Head of State will hold a poll with the following text: "Whom do you want to be the next Forest Keeper?" or words to that effect. Each candidate will be made available as an option unless they have publicly stated their desire to withdraw from the election. The poll will be open to resident WA members only, and only those nations noted by the Head of State in Subclause 4.3.v may vote. The poll will be open for three days. Additional campaigning is not permitted during this time. If any candidate receives a simple majority (greater than 50%), they will be declared the new Forest Keeper. If no candidate receives a simple majority, there will be a run-off election between the two candidates that received the highest number of votes in the first poll. The poll will be open to resident WA members only, and only those nations noted by the Head of State in Subclause 4.3.v may vote. The poll will be open for three days.
4.8 Should the number of candidates exceed the maximum number that can be given as options in a single poll:
The candidates shall be randomly divided, as equally as possible, between the however many polls as are necessary to include the number of candidates. These polls shall be known as Primary Rounds.
The polls for each of these primary rounds shall have the following text: "Whom do you wish to advance to the election for Forest Keeper" or words to that effect.
Each Primary Round poll shall be open to resident WA members only, and only those nations noted by the Head of State in Subclause 4.3.v may vote. These polls will be open for three days.
The top vote-receiving candidate from each poll will advance to the election, as well as the top two vote-receiving candidates across all Primary Rounds who did not win their polls.
Upon completion of all Primary Rounds, the election will proceed according to the procedures outlined in Clause 4.7, featuring those candidates who advanced to the election per Subclause 4.8.iv.
4.9 In the event of a tie at any point in Clauses 4.7 or 4.8 such that it is unclear who should advance or become Forest Keeper, the Head of State shall choose the incumbent candidate to either advance or become Forest Keeper (depending on the situation). If no tied candidate is the incumbent, the Head of State may choose as they desire.
4.10 The Head of State may, at their discretion, appoint one or more Election Officers during the Election Season when all other normal workings of government are stopped. These officers shall have power over Communications and, if determined necessary by the Head of State, Border Control. They shall serve strictly to perform moderation functions on the Regional Message Board and, if instructed by the Head of State, security functions.
4.11 Should an extraordinary circumstance such as a game-wide event arise during the Election Season, the Head of State may, at their discretion, appoint such officers as are necessary to facilitate the operation of Forest during the aforementioned circumstance.
4.12 Should the Head of State choose to appoint any officers during the Election Season, such officers:
May not be a candidate for Forest Keeper.
May not use their position to campaign for or against any candidate.
Retain their right to vote in the election, if they are otherwise permitted to vote.
Serve only until the conclusion of the Election Season or the conclusion of the circumstance resulting in their appointment – whichever is shorter.
May be dismissed by the Head of State at any time, with or without a reason being given.
Article 5 – Recall Elections
5.1 Recall elections serve to remove the Forest Keeper and Regional Officers from office and should be avoided except in the most extreme circumstances, such as gross neglect or pursuing policy that is intolerable to Forest’s residents. A recall election may be triggered by the Head of State if:
The Forest Keeper ceases to exist.
The Forest Keeper leaves Forest for an extended period of time.
The Forest Keeper is removed from office by the Head of State.
A group of WA nations equal to 33% of the WA nations presently endorsing the World Assembly Delegate declare themselves in favor of a recall election on the RMB within a one week period.
5.2 A recall election will take the form of an election as outlined in Article 4. If the recall election is unsuccessful, in other words, if the current Forest Keeper is re-elected to office, then all those nations who initially called for a recall election are not eligible to do so again during the same Term in Office.
5.3 If a new Forest Keeper is elected, then the Term in Office is either until the next fixed election date as per Clause 4.2 (if that date is greater than three months from the recall election) or until the fixed election date thereafter (if the next fixed election date is less than three months from the recall election).
Article 6 – Embassies
6.1 Regions must have at least six WA nations in residence, and must have existed for at least six months, to be eligible for an embassy with Forest.
6.2 To establish embassies with Forest, eligible prospective regions must formally request embassies in game and send a telegram of intent to either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper.
6.3 Once all requirements are met, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will provide a suitable summary of the telegram received, and the government’s interpretation of it, to all residents via regional telegram. They will also create the following poll: “Shall Forest open an embassy with [region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will accept the embassy request in question.
6.4 Should a region with which Forest has an embassy cease to operate, and a new region is created as the unified, legitimate successor, the six month age requirement will be waived. Upon either satisfactory request of the successor region, or interest from within the Forest community, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will provide a suitable summary of the relationship history to all residents via regional telegram. They will also create the following poll: “Shall Forest continue embassies with [successor region], the official successor region of [former region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will attempt to open an embassy with the identified region, following that region’s protocols for doing so, or will accept their request as appropriate. The government will also close the previous embassy should it still remain active.
6.5 Any resident nation of Forest can call for the creation of an embassy with another region, provided it meets the requirements of Clause 6.1, by posting to that effect on the Regional Message Board. If there is considerable interest from the Forest community, as determined by the regional government, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will create the following poll: “Shall Forest request to open embassies with [prospective region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will attempt to open an embassy with the identified region, following that region’s protocols for doing so.
6.6 Any resident nation of Forest can call for the closure of an embassy with another region, provided they post legitimate reasons for their proposal on the Regional Message Board. If there is considerable interest from the Forest community, as determined by the regional government, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will create the following poll: “Shall Forest close embassies with [region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will initiate closure of the embassy with the identified region.
6.7 All embassy-related polls falling under this section shall be posted for a duration of three days, open to native residents only, and shall have the options "Yes" and "No" as their choices. The opening of a new embassy, or the closure of an existing embassy, shall require a two-thirds majority to pass. The continuation of an embassy with an official successor region shall require a simple majority (greater than 50%) to pass.
6.8 Any given region can only be voted on for opening, continuation, or closure one time each during a given Term in Office. An exception may be made if an extreme change of circumstances, as determined by the regional government and approved by the Head of State, warrants an additional vote.
6.9 Either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper may appoint or remove ambassadors at their discretion from among resident nations in Forest. The designated foreign minister or Forest Keeper may assign the specific duties of ambassadors as needed. The government shall seek to fill the ambassador positions for new embassies prior to the opening of those embassies and must strive to appoint and maintain active ambassadors for all regions with which existing embassies are present. In the event that no ambassador volunteers prior to the completion of a successful vote, the designated foreign minister in conjunction with the Forest Keeper may, at their discretion, elect to postpone the opening of the embassy until such time as an ambassador is found.
Article 7 - Founder Ceasing to Exist
7.1 Should the Founder cease to exist, the duly selected World Assembly Delegate assumes the role of Head of State, as described in Clause 1.2. The World Assembly Delegate shall have only those powers identified in this Constitution. Should the World Assembly Delegate overreach their authorities, the Forest Keeper may initiate the process for replacement of the World Assembly Delegate using the procedures outlined in Article 8 of this Constitution for World Assembly Delegate selection. Change of the World Assembly Delegate in this manner shall be undertaken only if absolutely necessary.
7.2 In the event that the World Assembly Delegate has assumed the role of Head of State, they shall have the authority to temporarily password lock the region if it is necessary to protect the region from imminent threat. The password lock shall exist only for the duration of such a threat and must be removed after no more than two weeks unless extension is approved by greater than 50% of native resident WA nations participating in a poll lasting at least three days.
7.3 In the event that Clause 7.1 is in effect, the World Assembly Delegate and the Forest Keeper may mutually determine whether or not the refounding of Forest is worthy of consideration. If the parties are in agreement that it is worthy of consideration, the following poll shall be created: “Shall we begin preparations to refound Forest with a new Founder?” with the response options of “Yes” and “No.” The poll shall be open to all native resident WA nations of Forest and must be open for a period of at least one week. The series of actions outlined in this clause shall only be legal if the World Assembly Delegate is duly selected and has held that position for at least one full week.
7.4 If the result of the poll is greater than 50% in favor of refounding, the World Assembly Delegate shall place a password lock on the region for the remainder of the refounding process. Additional polls shall then be held to identify a new founding nation. These polls shall follow the same procedures as those for the election of a Forest Keeper with the necessary language changes to reflect the position in question. The region shall then follow the steps outlined in Clauses 7.5, 7.6, and 7.7. If the result of the poll is not in favor of refounding as previously described, the region shall remain in operation in its present status and with its present laws. Another such poll may not be held until three months have passed.
7.5 Once a new founder is selected, a dummy region will be created and all nations will be encouraged and eventually forced to move to the dummy region or face ejection from Forest. The new founder nation will be the last remaining nation in Forest. The new founder nation will not refound Forest immediately after clearing all nations from Forest but will wait an undisclosed period of time (perhaps as long as months) before refounding. If the name Forest is lost, Forest will live on under a new name of the new founding nation’s choosing. Forest is more than a name.
7.6 Once Forest is re-founded this Constitution is no longer valid. Most or all of this Constitution may be used by the re-founding nations of Forest if they so choose.
7.7 Should the CTE’d Founder return to active status at any point while Article 7 is in force, return to Forest, and indicate that they are prepared to resume their role as Head of State, all Article 7 processes shall be cancelled, any passwords removed, and regional operations shall return to their normal conditions.
7.8 Should the Founder CTE, and the region chooses to operate with the World Assembly Delegate serving as Head of State, an Endorsement Cap shall come into force. In this situation, a nation that has endorsed the World Assembly Delegate may have no more than 80% the number of endorsements as the World Assembly Delegate. A nation that has not endorsed the World Assembly Delegate may have no more than 50% the World Assembly Delegate's number.
7.9 If a nation has exceeded the permitted number of endorsements, they should immediately contact a suitable number of endorsers and request the removal of their endorsements so that they drop back below the mandated number. Regional officers may also make such contact, issue a public reminder, or withdraw endorsements themselves as necessary. If a nation appears to be in imminent danger of usurping the delegacy, especially if deliberately, any and all efforts may be made to protect the position, including ejection of the offending nation from the region as a last resort.
Article 8 - Selection of the World Assembly Delegate
8.1 The office of World Assembly Delegate is a permanent appointment, with the duly selected nation serving until such time as they cease to exist, choose to step down, or are recalled by citizen action.
8.2 A World Assembly Delegate is only considered "duly selected" if they obtained their office by one of the procedures outlined in this Constitution as a valid selection process.
8.3 Upon completion of a valid selection process, it is the responsibility of all WA nations in Forest to support the duly selected World Assembly Delegate by taking the necessary steps to ensure that nation assumes and retains office.
8.4 If the Founder of Forest is present and serving in their role as Head of State, the Founder may at their discretion appoint a new nation to serve as the duly selected World Assembly Delegate. The Founder is encouraged to consult with government officials prior to such an appointment.
8.5 If a World Assembly Delegate is serving as the region's Head of State and indicates a desire to surrender their office, the Forest Keeper shall consult with the outgoing World Assembly Delegate and no fewer than three other officers or long-time citizens to duly select a successor. That successor shall then be announced by either the outgoing World Assembly Delegate or the Forest Keeper through regional telegrams or another suitable medium with instructions for ensuring the smoothest possible transition to the new office holder.
8.6 If a World Assembly Delegate is serving as the region's Head of State and unexpectedly departs, ceases to exist, or otherwise abandons the office without warning, by game rule the position of World Assembly Delegate will fall to the next-highest endorsement holder in the region. In this event, the new holder-by-rule of the title is not considered duly selected and is enjoined to do nothing more with their powers but support the government and region in the successful passage of the office to a duly appointed holder. In this circumstance, the Forest Keeper must urgently consult with no fewer than three other officers or long-time citizens to duly select a successor, announcing the selection as soon as practical in the same manner as in Clause 8.5.
8.7 If a World Assembly Delegate is serving as the region's Head of State and is usurped from the position by another individual exceeding their endorsement count, the duly appointed World Assembly Delegate retains their legal status and office. No act of a usurping nation has or shall retain any legal weight, nor shall any policy, decree, statement, or action by that nation carry any authority in the region. Upon removal of the usurping nation from office and restoration of gameside authority, any and all steps may be taken by the duly appointed World Assembly Delegate to restore any changes made by the usurping nation, which may include the re-opening or cancellation of embassies without vote, restoration or removal of authorities and officerships, tag changes, and other such acts.
8.8 Should a nation participate in the deliberate usurpation or attempted usurpation of a duly appointed World Assembly Delegate, either by willingly being a usurper or by deliberately supporting such an act or attempted act, that nation is subject to permanent banning from the region.
8.9 In the event of a total loss of control of the region, requiring either coordination of a counter-offensive by Forest residents and allies or the assistance of Defender forces, any citizen of Forest may serve as the temporary World Assembly Delegate for purposes of regaining native control and restoring the region to its proper operation. Such a nation should follow procedures outlined in Clause 8.6 for return of the office to the duly appointed World Assembly Delegate as soon as possible.
8.10 Should a World Assembly Delegate be derelict in their duties or otherwise go rogue, the elected Forest Keeper and the WA nations of Forest retain final authority to replace the delegate via informal means with their endorsements.
Article 9 - Amendments to the Constitution
9.1 Amendments to the Constitution add to, delete from, or otherwise modify the Constitution. Amendments to the Constitution may be brought forward in three ways:
The Head of State may call for an amendment.
The Forest Keeper may call for an amendment.
25% of the total number of WA nations in Forest may publicly call for an amendment within a two-week period on the RMB.
9.2 Amendments must first be approved by the Head of State.
9.3 If and only if the amendment is brought to vote through Subclause 9.1.iii, the Forest Keeper has a one week period after the Head of State approving the amendment to choose to veto the amendment. Vetoed amendments will be voted on as outlined in Clause 9.4.
9.4 The amendment will be voted on through the polling system with the poll only being open to resident WA nations. The poll will be open for a length of three days. The poll may be created by whatever nation with polling authority chooses to do so, but must be created as soon as possible after Clause 9.2 or Clause 9.3 (depending on how the amendment is brought up as defined in Clause 9.1) is fulfilled. If the Forest Keeper has not vetoed the amendment, as outlined in Clause 9.3, a simple majority (greater than 50%) of voting nations must approve the amendment for it to pass. If the amendment is vetoed by the Forest Keeper, a two-thirds majority of voting nations must approve the amendment for it to pass.
Drafted by: Ransium
Edited by: Mozworld
Signed by: Ransium, Esterild, Ashrah, Santa Joanna, Communal ecotopia, New chechovenia, Mountain ash forests, Dest oritio ,Edible Plywood, Gil zardon, Caracasus, Frieden-und Freudenland, Dazed butterflies, Bearadise, Mag meall
Potential Nationstates Changes
There are discussions currently taking place regarding some major gameplay changes which could end up altering our constitution again in the future.
Part of the proposals could mean we will have the ability to add a replacement founder, which would once again assure our regional security.
Check out Terrabod's write up on the current proposals below.
And speaking of events that shook up the status quo within Forest, the latest issue of Kawastyselir's Forest Roots newsletter covers the moment last year when Ruinenlust became Forest's new WA Delegate.
The Forest Roots
Forest EcoCON RP
Middle Barael launched a new RP at the end of August - the Forest EcoCON - an in-character Environmental Summit.
Participation is for Union of Forest members and details can be found in the link below.
Voice of Forest
Terrabod has release 2 new issues of the Voice of Forest - on environmental activists Chico Mendes and Jane Goodall.
The Voice of Forest - Issue II | July 2021 | Death in the Amazon
Indigenous rights activism
Assassinated by cattle ranchers
UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honor
NWF National Conservation
Namesake of the Chico Mendes
“At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save
the Amazon rainforest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.”
Schools were often made deliberately inaccessible to seringueiro communities as the landowners did not want their workers to be able to read or do arithmetic. Mendes was taught to read by activist-turned-seringueiro Euclides Fernando Távora at the age of 18; he would later describe how practising with newspaper clippings covering social and political issues opened his eyes to the injustices surrounding him. Inspired by his experiences, Mendes decided to become a literacy teacher to educate his community and so raise awareness of the seringueiros’ unjust treatment.
The Rural Workers Union Movement, founded during the political turmoil of 1960s Brazil, became the principal political representative of peasants, small farmers and rural labourers. Mendes himself played a central role in the creation of the Rubber Tappers’ Union in 1975 and served as its secretary, returning to his hometown of Xapuri to establish a union branch there with Marina Silva in 1977. In 1979, Mendes introduced a scheme to establish schools on rubber estates. Originally aimed at educating adults, the programme quickly expanded to include children, aiming to improve the living standards of the seringueiros which would, in turn, incentivise them to protect their land and way of life. Despite the overwhelming success of the initiative, all was not well for the union movement; in 1980, the president of the Rural Workers Union and a close colleague of Mendes, Wilson Pinheiro, was assassinated by ranchers who opposed the work of the Union. While the union movement continued to pick up speed in the following years, acts of police brutality against union members increased and several key union leaders were murdered by ranchers in targeted attacks.
In 1988, a rancher named Darly Alves da Silva bought part of a rubber reserve in Xapuri where members of Mendes’ family lived. Mendes clashed with da Silva in October of that year when he convinced the Brazilian government to declare a 61,000-acre tract of traditional seringueiro territory on da Silva's land to be off-limits to logging. This was the world’s first extractive reserve – an area of publicly-owned land where unsustainable land use is forbidden but local communities have the right to perform traditional extractive practices like fishing and rubber tapping. This major victory sparked a wave of murders of the union movement’s leaders.
In the last few years of his life, Mendes received a constant barrage of death threats. After months of being watched by gunmen hired by da Silva, Mendes predicted on his 44th birthday that he would not live to see Christmas. The gunmen disappeared completely following his birthday, leading to a feeling of impending doom within the seringueiro community. One week after his birthday, on the 22nd of December 1988, Mendes was shot dead in his Xapuri home by da Silva’s son. Mendes was the 90th rural activist murdered that year in Brazil.
assassination of Chico Mendes (1988).
The formation of extractive reserves is perhaps the greatest testament to Mendes’ tireless efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants. The reserve created on what was then da Silva’s land was the first of many - thanks to the efforts of Mendes’ contemporaries, including Marina Silva, 13% of the Amazon is now protected as extractive reserves. The reserves are funded in part by the World Bank, which had previously financed roads to make deforestation of the Amazon easier; this change of heart is directly attributed to Mendes’ personal lobbying of the organisation. The Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, created after Mendes’ death, continues to protect one million hectares of rainforest to this day.
Mendes' launch of the Alliance of Forest Peoples (representing the Amazon’s indigenous peoples and the Rural Workers’ Union) in 1986 signified a dramatic change in the fight to protect the rainforest. Both groups had historically been at odds with one another, so the fact that they were able to unite and work together to protect their cultures and way of life sent a powerful message to their opponents and the Brazilian government. Three months after Mendes’ death, 27 demands on environmental and human rights protection were released, along with the Declaration of the Peoples of the Forest, which concludes: “This Alliance of the Peoples of the Forest, bringing together Indians, rubber tappers, and riverbank communities, and founded here in Acre, embraces all efforts to protect and preserve this immense but fragile life-system that involves our forests, rivers, lakes and springs, the source of our wealth and the basis of our cultures and traditions.”
The idea that environmental protection was compatible with sustainable land use in a way that did not ignore thousands of years of indigenous land use within the Amazon changed the way the global environmental movement considered conservation. Of Mendes’ death, associate Gomercindo Rodriquez said: “Those who killed Chico got it wrong. They thought by killing him, the tappers' movement would be demobilised, but they made him immortal.” Thus, in life and in death, Chico Mendes lit the fires of the Amazon conservation movement; that fight continues to this day. Please, if you can, take a moment to recognise the sacrifices made by Mendes and activists like him to protect his people and our planet.
The Voice of Forest - Issue III | August 2021 | She Lived Among the Apes
Animal welfare activism
Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
Named UN Messenger of Peace
Numerous international honours
including the French Legion of
Honour and Japan's Kyoto Prize
"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you
want to make."
As a young woman, Goodall was interested in African animals; she was able to move to Kenya after finding work as a secretary to Dr Louis Leakey, an eminent archaeologist and palaeontologist. After Leakey obtained the approval of his co-researcher and wife, paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey, he laid out his plans to Goodall; he believed that the study of existing great apes could provide clues to the behaviour of early hominids and was looking for a chimpanzee researcher.
Leakey sent Goodall back to Britain to study primate behaviour and anatomy, and in 1960 he acquired the funds to allow Goodall to begin a research project at the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. Thus, Goodall became the first of three women, later known as "The Trimates" (or "Leaky's Angels"), chosen by Leaky to study great apes (alongside Dian Fossey, who studied gorillas, and Birutė Galdikas, who studied orangutans). In 1962, Leaky sent Goodall to the University of Cambridge, where she became the eighth person to be allowed to complete a PhD there without first having obtained a BA or BSc degree. Her thesis, which was based on the first five years of her research at Gombe Stream, was completed in 1966 under the supervision of Professor Robert Hinde.
Goodall's research is well known within the scientific community for challenging two long-standing beliefs held at the time: firstly, that only humans had the capacity to construct and use tools; and secondly, that chimpanzees were exclusively herbivores/insectivores. When observing the Kasakela chimpanzee community at Gombe Stream, she noted that some chimpanzees would stick long blades of grass into termite holes, then remove them when covered with termites, effectively "fishing" for the insects. Goodall also discovered that chimpanzees regularly hunt smaller species of primates such as colobus monkeys and share the carcass among the troop. Years of observation led Goodall to identify violence within chimpanzee communities, including the deliberate killing of other females' young by the troop's dominant females in order to maintain their place in the troop hierarchy.
Of course, one of Goodall's most significant feats is her acceptance into chimpanzee society. After many months of long-distance study, the Kasakela chimpanzee community gradually began to adjust to Goodall's presence – rather than fleeing when she was within 500 yards of the group, they allowed her to watch them from a distance of 100 yards. She began the long process of being able to recognise individual troop members and learned the basic behaviour patterns of the group. It was during this stage that Goodall started recording how members of the troop communicated with each other – both through body language and vocalisations. The fear towards her reportedly turned to curiosity, then to defiance at her intrusion. After a year, her arrival was greeted with excitement or indifference. At one watershed moment, a new member of the troop (whom she named "David") took bananas that Goodall brought from her camp and ate them; thereafter, he would accept bananas from Goodall and would sit with her as he ate them. This proved to be Goodall's entry point into the Kasakela troop – David eventually brought other members of the troop to share the bananas, and soon a trio of chimpanzees was stealing pieces of cloth from Goodall's camp! For a period of 22 months, Goodall was the lowest-ranking member of the troop. She would groom and be groomed by other members, and she would communicate with them in a rudimentary fashion by mimicking their calls and gestures.
Goodall credits the 1986 Understanding Chimpanzees conference at the Chicago Academy of Sciences with shifting her focus from chimpanzee observation to a broader interest in conservation. In recent years, Goodall has focused on her writing, which has produced several international bestsellers, a number of educational initiatives and a career as a conservationist. She received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 for her dedicated and ground-breaking research, as well as for her conservation efforts and wider activism.
Kasakela chimpanzee community. Flint was the first infant born
after Goodall arrived at Gombe Stream (c. 1960).
Regarded as a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats, Goodall has founded a number of conservation projects in Africa. These include the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo, which cares for orphans of the bushmeat trade, and the Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education project, which protects chimpanzee territory around the Gombe Stream through reforestation and the education of local communities on sustainability.
Goodall is also a committed vegetarian; she advocates the diet on the basis that it is ethical, healthy and good for the environment. She is an outspoken proponent of farm animal welfare, criticising industrial farming techniques that she believes are painful, degrading and inhumane as well as extremely harmful to the environment. Her opposition to hunting animals for sport and the use of animals for medical experimentation is also notable, although she has attracted criticism for her views of the latter from scientific experts who contend that ethical animal experimentation is a crucial part of lifesaving research.
To date, Goodall continues to work alongside several conservation and animal welfare organisations, including the Nonhuman Rights Project, Advocates for Animals and Population Matters. She was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2004, and is an honorary member of the World Future Council. In 2020, Goodall vowed to plant five million trees as part of the World Economic Forum's one trillion tree initiative and in February 2021 she, along with over 140 scientists, called on the EU Commission to ban the caging of farm animals. At present, Goodall devotes virtually all of her time to advocacy on behalf of chimpanzees and conservation of the environment, travelling nearly 300 days a year.
In embassy news, Forest has opened it first embassy this year, with Libertarian Socialist Confederation. Let's hope we have a long and fruitful relationship.
Aswell as our imminent election we are due another big event later this month.
Typically N-Day takes place at the end of September and we are currently looking for a couple of volunteers to help coordinate our faction during this event.
Candidates should possess some strong inter-regional connections and have the time to spare. If you think this is you please contact Terrabod.
For information on how N-Day worked last year see the despatch below. (Please be aware this year's faction will be announced closer to the time)
How to Take Part (and Prepare!)
Potato Alliance N-Day Guide
N-Day is an annual event in NS that pits regional factions against each other in a simulated nuclear war. This year we are joining with many of our ally and friend regions into a joint faction called Potato Alliance. (It's named after the unofficial mascot of Spiritus, the potato!). Whether you are a newcomer or a nuclear veteran, reading and understanding what to do will prepare you for the event and help you both survive and work effectively with your regionmates and our allies.
Before the event begins:
Familiarize yourself with the contents of this guide, the Ground Rules, our Strategy, and Testlandia's guide N-Day: What You Need to Know— all of which are linked to in the header of this dispatch. This guide will focus primarily on how our faction organizes and how we fight effectively, while Testlandia's focuses on the basics of how the simulation works and how to navigate the controls. Understanding both is essential to success.
Join the Potato Command, our joint N-Day command Discord server. We will be coordinating from there. Coordination is the essence of success in this event, so regardless of your feelings about Discord, the importance of using it (even if only for the event) cannot be overstressed.
What to do with puppets: Puppets (additional accounts besides your main one) are greatly helpful during N-Day and many more experienced or more involved players have large sets that they use. If you have any puppets, you can and should use them for N-Day. The more nations generating production for our faction, the better. No need to move puppets between regions to join our faction— you can join a faction from any region.
Consider taking a look at the Useful Technology + Tools page if you're using puppets. We've listed there several puppet management addons and scripts to make it easier to manage lots of nations. If you have such an add-on already, make sure it has all your puppets' information correct so there will be no problems once the nukes start flying.
Once the event has started:
Join our region’s faction: this faction will be called Potato Alliance, and a link will be provided to it in the header of this dispatch. Directions to it, once it is made, will also be available in the Discord and on the RMB of the The Potato Alliance region.
Begin production: What you produce most efficiently, and what role you take in a faction depends on what sort specialty your nation has:
If you are a Military Specialist: in the first few hours, create shields (even though this is not your special advantage). Then, when commanders give the order (which will be posted on the Faction page and on the Discord server), you may begin stockpiling nukes. Listen for fire orders from Command. When you get a fire order, target nations which are actively deploying nukes first. Do not launch more nukes at a nation then are needed to bring it to 100% radiation (you get some leeway on this since controls are clunky, but know that it is a potential waste).
If you are a Strategic Specialist: Begin producing shields. Watch the faction page for incoming nukes and prepare to intercept them. Shout out in the Discord if there are too many nukes being targeted for you to intercept them all. Be cautious that you are intercepting incoming rather then outgoing nukes. Additionally, if you see nukes being targeted at regions we are allied with, report it to Command, and you may be asked to intercept them as well.
If you are an Economic Specialist: Begin stockpiling production. Unless told otherwise your role is exactly the same as that of a Strategic Specialist, but you may need to help offensively as well, so you should keep up to date on what's needed and familiarize yourself with the instructions for each role.
Check the faction page: Our faction page will have a mini-World Factbook Entry at the top stating vital information, including our current targets, our allies and current do-not-targets, and any special instructions from the Potato Generals. Make sure to keep up-to-date on this as it will change.
Coordinate with your factionmates: Coordination is the determining factor in how successful a faction is and how effective you are at contributing to your faction’s success. Sharing information with our factionmates is the best way for us all to know what we should be doing, what others are doing and what we need to be prepared for. While you are online and actively launching or shielding, make sure you are on the Discord, telling others what you are doing. It is extremely important that you do this.
The only reason you should not join the Discord is if there is a technical issue with you connecting to the service. If so, you can still follow along on the Regional Message Board of The Potato Alliance. However, you may find yourself excluded from much of the action because response times over the RMB simply aren't quick enough.