Set up in 1997 in Mumbai, Focus on the Global South, India, is presently located in New Delhi. It has been set up to do policy research in three broad thematic areas: trade and investments; commons; and climate and environmental justice. As a policy research organisation, FOCUS does charitable activities through educating the people about the key issues in these thematic areas and what people can do to deal with the issue.
For example, under trade & investment, it is important to do mass education about powers of some international institutions of the global governance, like WTO, World Bank, IMF, AIIB, BRICS and what can be done to dismantle, paralyze, or drastically reduce their powers to make space for alternatives. We would like to educate the people through extensive analysis and public education about the ills of WTO and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and its impacts on the Indian people and their livelihood, especially our farmers, industry, service sector, fisheries.
Similarly in Commons, we plan to educate the people about the ills of neoliberal policy regime that promote 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 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, Focus plans to undertake public awareness to apprise the people about the climate crisis and to build national and local climate justice coalition to reach out to the different communities who are getting affected by the climate crisis, especially farmers, forest dwellers, fishermen and others. We also plan to do critical analysis and debunking of the 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 fictions 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. FOCUS 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.