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We all hear discouraging news about threats and damage to the environment, human rights, etc., and we only rarely hear about people and organizations worldwide who are responding and often finding solutions to these issues. Many of these stories can be found in this databse. The issues that this database seeks to address include peace, social justice, environmental concerns, ethnic conflict, corporate abuse, preservation of biological and cultural heritage, among others.

This collection of over 1,000 instances is intended to provide:

  • a source of information
  • a source of encouragement
  • A reminder that you are not struggling alone and that it is not hopeless

Included with the successes are also partial or temporary successes, promising but incomplete efforts, and failed efforts that are worth a second look. 


Actions can often be applied to different situations. For instance, a strategy for protecting the environment might also be useful for protecting human rights. So, try browsing to find more valuable strategies and tactics.  Just randomly browse through the database, or look at the "Editor's Choice" cases.

Please keep in mind that there are many factors that make for success or failure in a given situation, and that everything contains the seeds of its opposite. No success or failure is ever complete or permanent.


Your comments, corrections, and new success stories will directly help others around the world who are struggling with similar problems.  We want to make this project as useful as possible. We ask for the following:

  • How useful is this for you? Are there parts that are particularly useful, or parts that are difficult? Is the language ok for those of you who are not fluent in English? Any advice on making it better?
  • If you find a case that needs to be corrected or updated, please let us know by using the "Feedback, this Case" link on the case page.
  • Please send us more stories of successful efforts, using the "Feedback" button at the top of every page. Just a simple text describing the story will be enough for us to work with.(NOTE: due to spamming, the feedback button has been temporarily removed.  Use "comments on this case" instead, even for general feedback.)
  • Let us know of any strategies that you think should be added to the "selected" list.


For several years, the database has operated on a shoestring - but now the shoestring is in danger of wearing out. The main cost is website maintenance and processing new case histories. There is now a large backlog of success stories that are waiting to be processed. The cost is not great, but is more than we have. To keep dbsst.org up to date and working well, we need about $3,000, and we have to reluctantly ask for support from you.

So, if you are using this site and find it valuable, please consider making a donation. We promise your funds will be put to very good use. Use the donation button below, or send a check to:

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If you have questions, please contact Arden Buck, creator of dbsst.org


The Mountain Forum for Peace
PO Box 1233, Nederland CO 80466
  768: Mexico City Impoverished Youth Work To Create a Better Environment

"Many people dismiss environmentalism as a middle-class luxury that few can afford. But in Mexico City a group of impoverished street punks are pioneering radical social alternatives because their survival depends on it. In a city that has only ever land filled its rubbish, Chiwy is among a group of youths who are working on local recycling and composting programmes. They go into neighbourhoods to t... 

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  431: Creative and spontaneous responses to violent attack

"(full text):

Sometimes nonviolence "just happens." Two vignettes illustrate an intuitive use of nonviolence that many people who have been accosted or attacked have used to disarm or distract the attacker.
Teacher, activist and author Torn Hastings tells this story:

When I was in jail for a civil disobedience action in 1985, I became the only friend of a fellow who was known by his... 

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  130: Furious Village Forces Military to Answer for Boy's Death

"In a small remote village in Guerrerro, Mexico, soldiers shot and killed a fourteen year old boy much loved by the village. After Esteban Martinez Nazario's body was found on Jan. 17, this isolated hamlet in the mountains of Guerrero state, Linda Vista, rose up in fury against the army, forming a human chain around a military camp, a response they would not have dreamed of even a year ago. Their ra... 

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  474: Coalition forms to change the corporate mindset regarding the environment

"In an attempt to improve corporate social and environmental policy and practice, a coalition of investors, environmentalists and companies is seeking to show how protecting the environment minimizes a company's financial risk and builds shareholder value.

The U.S.-based Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) is launching a project, aimed at bringing together investors p... 

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  196: Inter-community reconciliation meetings translate conditions for peace into reality

"In May 1994 Mali found itself teetering on the brink of a full-scale civil war. For almost four years government forces had been locked in an increasingly violent conflict with various armed Tuareg and Arab groups from the North of the country. As the conflict escalated some of the groups in the North began fighting each other, lawlessness increased throughout the region and civilians were increasi... 

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