The World Issues Forum are a quarterly speaker series hosted by Fairhaven College. The following is a list of the presentations for all of spring quarter.

Baldemar Mendoza Jiménez
“NAFTA turns 15: Free Trade, Food Security and Migration in Mexico”
7 p.m., Tuesday, April 7, Bellingham Unitarian Church; Noon to 1:30, Wednesday April 8, Fairhaven  Auditorium
Baldemar Mendoza Jiménez will speak about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). GMOs and food security will be discussed, among many other issues.
NAFTA was implemented in 1994 in order to ease trade between North American countries. Many tariffs on goods were eliminated, although some are still in use. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Canada and Mexico increasingly rely on United States agricultural inputs. Additionally, meat production and consumption has increased in Mexico.
Jiménez is an agro-ecologist with the Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez, Oaxaca.
Julio Betancourt
“Decisions, Decisions: Exotic Grass Invasions and Altered Wildlife Regimes in the American Deserts”
Noon to 1:30, Wednesday, April 15, Fairhaven College Auditorium
“Climate Variability and Climate Change in the Western U.S.”
3 p.m., Friday, April 17, Communications Facility 125
As a paleoecologist, Julio Betancourt studies the interactions between climate and vegetation. He will give two lectures. The first will focus on how invasive grasses have increased wildfires in U.S. deserts and what should be done to deal with this issue.
“My own take on these issues is that of a federal scientist with a sense of place and an ongoing crusade to engage the private and public sectors in Southern Arizona, where buffelgrass now threatens to convert a turistic Sonoran Desert into a burning savanna,” Betancourt said, according to the World Issues Forum’s Web site.
The second lecture will focus on changes in temperature and precipitation over multiple decades and how this data fits in with climate change. An example of multidecadal data is the study of tree rings, which offers data concerning past climate fluctuations.
Elizabeth May
“The Climate Crisis: Why U.S. leadership is urgently needed”
Noon to 1:15, Monday, April 20, Fairhaven College Auditorium
“Moving Toward a Green Economy”
4:00 to 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 20, Fraser Hall 3
Elizabeth May is the chair of the Canadian Green Party. She has written five books, including “How to Save the World in Your Spare Time.”
Nidia Castellanos
“Women Resisting War in Colombia”
Noon to 1:30, Wednesday, April 22, Fairhaven College Auditorium
7 p.m., Wednesday, April 22, 13 Prospect Street, Whatcom Human Rights Task Force
Secretary General of the Arauca Peasant Association (ACA) Nidia Castellanos works to protect the rights of organic farmers in Arauca, Colombia. According to the World Issues Forums Web site, the United States government provides Colombia with $1 million worth of aid daily, most of which is used to maintain Occidental Petroleum’s oilfield in Arauca.
“Instead of spending your tax dollars on more weapons, that money could be used to create jobs and support health care and education,” Castellanos said, according to the World Issues Forum’s Web site.
Hiroshi Motomura
“Immigration Outside the Law”
Noon to 1:30, Wednesday, April 29, Fairhaven College Auditorium
A professor at the UCLA School of Law, Hiroshi Motomura will discuss illegal immigration and whose role it is to make decisions, as well as the integration of immigrants. He will also discuss possible solutions to this issue.
In February of this year, 28 undocumented immigrants were arrested during a raid in Bellingham. However, last month U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Neopolitano held off permitting several planned raids, according to The Seattle Times.
Alia Parker and Eric Vermeers
“Participatory Poverty Alleviation: Rural Development in Guatemala and Bhutan”
Noon to 1:30, Wednesday, May 6, Fairhaven College Auditorium
Eric Vermeers will discuss his experience with the non-governmental organization (NGO) Tarayana Foundation, with which he visited rural villages in Bhutan. Alia Parker will describe her experiences in Guatemala concerning reproductive health care for women.
Jimmy Johnson
“Israel and the Pacification Industry: Control of Populations and Public Space”
Noon to 1:30, Wednesday, May 13, Fairhaven College
Jimmy Johnson is the International Representative for the International Committee Against Home Demolitions and an Israeli citizen. Johnson will discuss peace strategies for Israel as well as “spatial politics” and how the layout of settlements and home demolitions affect the odds of peace in the area.
Margaret C. Lee
“Re-enter the Dragon: China-Africa Relations in the 21st Century Scramble for Africa”
Noon to 1:30, Wednesday, May 20, Fairhaven College Auditorium
“Zimbabwe in Crisis: The Struggle Within the Struggle”
4 p.m., Wednesday, May 20, Room 210 Academic Instructional Center
An associate professor of African and Afro-American studies at Chapel Hill, Margaret C. Lee has written or co-edited several books concerning Africa. In her first lecture, she will discuss the increasing investment in African resources by China and how the relationship has developed over time. Her second lecture will focus on Zimbabwe and how cholera, malnutrition and a lack of food supplies is hurting the country. Lee will examine how politics have increased the prevalence of these problems.
Amy Hagopian
“Poaching Health Workers From Poor Countries: Is That an Ethical Way to Solve America’s Health Workforce Shortage?”
Noon to 1:30, Wednesday, May 27, Fairhaven College
7 p.m., Wednesday, May 27, St Luke’s Community Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy.
Amy Hagopian is a Ph.D faculty member of the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. In her lecture she calls attention to the fact that 25 percent of American doctors are trained abroad, resulting in increased taxes for residents of that country. The disappearance of doctors abroad is accompanied by doctors from low-income countries arriving in the U.S. to practice medicine. Hagopian will examine the reasons why doctors from abroad choose to go to the U.S. and the consequences.
Information for this article was largely compiled from The World Issues Forum’s Web site ( issuesforum/09spring).