Wednesday, November 27, 2013

[biofuelwatch] In Truthout - Biomass Thermal: The Logs That Break the Forest’s Back





Biomass Thermal: The Logs That Break the Forest�s Back

Wednesday, 27 November 2013 10:59By�Josh Schlossberg,�Energy Justice Network�| News Analysis
http://truth-out.org/news/item/20297-biomass-thermal-the-logs-that-break-the-forests-back

A sector of the biomass incineration industry claims to be turning over a new �green� leaf by building smaller, slightly more energy-efficient facilities focused on heating rather than electricity. Meanwhile, behind the smokescreen, biomass thermal advocates are supporting much of the same forest-raiding, climate-busting, and lung-searing policies as the biomass power pushers.

If successful, the biomass thermal industry�s legislative agenda won�t result in smaller, higher-efficiency biomass heating facilities replacing larger, lower-efficiency biomass power facilities �� �it will simply spur the construction of both... READ MORE


--
Josh Schlossberg
Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, Energy Justice Network

Find Energy Justice Network on Facebook and Twitter

"Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function." -- David Brower


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[biofuelwatch] Forth Energy still undecided on pursuit of Dundee biomass plan





 

Forth Energy still undecided on pursuit of biomass plan

By Andrew Argo, 26 November 2013 10.29am.
 
Five months ago Dundee City Council decided to formally object to the £325 million proposal for the city's harbour.
 
Forth Energy have still to decide whether to pursue their plans to build a giant biomass plant at Dundee.

Five months ago Dundee City Council decided to formally object to the controversial £325 million proposal for the city's harbour — a decision that triggered a public inquiry.

Forth Energy would have to present their case at the inquiry, for which no date has yet been set. They said after the council decision that they would consider their position on the project, and that situation remains.

A spokesman told The Courier: "We continue to consider our position on our proposals for a combined heat and power renewable energy facility in Dundee."

The lack of a date for an inquiry and Forth Energy's reluctance so far to commit to that stage of the process could put the project in doubt.

The Dundee biomass proposal could take two years to go through the Scottish Government's public scrutiny judging by the time taken for the company's proposal for Grangemouth to be approved.

If the Dundee proposal follows a similar path, and does receive Scottish Government backing, that decision may not be taken until 2016.

There would then be another three years for further air quality tests and construction, meaning the project may not be completed until 2019. Extending the timescale could affect the viability of the project, if it is going to take until 2019 to produce electricity and heat, and make any money.

The company, a joint venture between Forth Ports and Scottish and Southern Energy, did defend the environmental credentials of the Dundee project in response to continued criticism from Friends of the Earth Tayside.

FoE said a new report had put Forth Energy's claims that the proposed Dundee plant would be environmentally sustainable into further doubt.

The study by Biofuelwatch, the World Rainforest Movement and a Brazilian group, said that during the public inquiry about Forth Energy's successful Grangemouth biomass application, the company's consultants tried to rebut concerns about sustainability by referring to wood from fast-growing eucalyptus plantations certified as 'sustainable' in Brazil.

The study has found that these plantations had been created by bulldozing a biodiverse ecosystem on which traditional communities depend for their livelihood. Territories and forests had been removed from the communities who had been stopped from maintaining their way of life.

Andrew Llanwarne of Friends of the Earth Tayside said: "The city council decision in June focused on the local impacts of the proposed biomass power station, on air quality and the appearance of the Waterfront.

"This investigation confirms that the damaging impacts of big biomass projects extend much further, to social and environmental destruction in the countries where timber is harvested."

Forth Energy say the wood pellets they would ship to Dundee would come from an abundant supply in North America and not from eucalyptus plantations in Brazil.

The Dundee biomass plant was first delayed for more information about impact on air quality. Tests concluded that nitrogen dioxide emissions from the plant would be negligible although this was disputed by the scheme's critics.

The plant would employ up to 500 people during construction and about 70 permanent staff thereafter.

Its near 100 metre stack would dominate the area and opponents said it would spoil views along the waterfront. The V&A said they would have no problem with the site as a near neighbour, however.



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[biofuelwatch] Burning food crops to produce biofuels is a crime against humanity





http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/nov/26/burning-food-crops-biofuels-crime-humanity

Burning food crops to produce biofuels is a crime against humanity

EU leaders must vote against a biofuels policy that is increasing world hunger and causing environmental devastation
Sugar cane being cut in Brazil
Sugar cane being chopped in Brazil, where it is used in the production of the biofuel ethanol. Photograph: Sipa/Rex

Burning hundreds of millions of tonnes of staple foods to produce biofuels is a crime against humanity. Since 2007, the EU and US governments have given lavish support to agribusinesses to fill car fuel tanks with food – compulsory targets, and tax breaks and subsidies(pdf) worth billions annually. The result? Increased hunger, land grabbing, environmental damage and, ultimately, hundreds of thousands of lives lost.

Next month David Cameron and other EU leaders have an opportunity to intervene to put a halt to this idiocy when they vote in Brussels on the future of biofuels policy. With one child under 10 dying from hunger and related diseases every five seconds, they must do so.


It is ironic that biofuels are still promoted by some multinational corporations as an eco-friendly sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Few, except those who directly profit from biofuels policies like the EU's 10% target for renewable transport energy, believe there are any environmental or social benefits. The reality is just another form of reckless exploitation of resources. Producing one litre of biofuels, for example, requires 2,500 litres of water.


EU policies promoting biofuels have, since 2008, diverted crops out of food markets at the bidding of powerful agribusinesses, in their pursuit of private profit. This use of large quantities of food and commodity crops for relatively small amounts of transport fuel has had three disastrous consequences.


First is an increase in world hunger. Almost all biofuels used in Europe are made from crops, such as wheat, soy, palm oil, rapeseed and maize, that are essential food sources for a rapidly expanding global population. Europe now burns enough food calories in fuel tanks every year to feed 100 million people.


Moreover, prices of vital foodstuffs such as oilseeds are expected to rise by up to 20% (pdf), vegetable oil by up to 36%, and maize by as much as 22% by 2020 because of EU biofuels targets (those that are being reviewed). For slum dwellers across the world, who have very little money with which to buy food, this represents disaster.


Second is a massive new demand for land, destroying smallholder farms as well as habitats. Land speculators, hedge funds, and agro-energy companies have been at the forefront of a global rush for land that has forced hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers off their fields and taken away their livelihoods and water supplies. All too regularly across the world, but particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the monopolisation of land by large biofuel corporations is accompanied by violence: the victims are small farmers and their families.


Third is environmental devastation. The demand for additional land to accommodate EU biofuels plans means expanding cropland, which will result in felled forests, plundered peatlands and ploughed prairies. The evidence is increasingly clear that the climate change benefits of most biofuels are negligible or nil.


Through fertiliser use, land clearance, deforestation and displacing other crops, most EU biofuels are not reducing carbon emissions – as they are subsidised to do – but emitting millions of additional tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The consumption of fossil fuels must be rapidly reduced – but solutions lie with the reduction of energy consumption, public transportation and alternative sources of clean energy, not land using biofuels with so many detrimental consequences.


It is time to stop this biofuels madness – which allows a few transnational corporations to make large profits while causing devastation to the environment and to millions of helpless victims. On 12 December, when EU leaders vote, they must immediately cancel targets and support for biofuels that compete with food. Failure to do so would make them an accomplice to a crime against humanity.


Jean Ziegler was UN special rapporteur on the right to food between 2000-08, is on the advisory committee of the UN human rights council. He is author of Betting on Famine: Why the World Still Goes Hungry. The European commission hosts European Development Days, a two-day conference starting today. One of the subjects to be discussed is the EU's policy coherence for development, a legally binding commitment on the trade bloc to take account of development in its policies



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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

[biofuelwatch] African peasants reject corporate seed laws and assault on peasant seeds and food sovereignty





http://viacampesina.org/en/index.php/main-issues-mainmenu-27/biodiversity-and-genetic-resources-mainmenu-37/1518-african-peasants-reject-corporate-seed-laws-and-assault-on-peasant-seeds-and-food-sovereignty

African peasants reject corporate seed laws and assault on peasant seeds and food sovereignty

LVC Africa News from the continental meeting on seeds

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_biodiversity_20131411harare_seeds1scaled.jpg(Harare, November 14, 2013) At the African seeds meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 12-14, peasant farmers held rich discussions about the growing threat of external investment in African agriculture, including multinational seed companies and ongoing efforts to exploit African land and resources for the production of food for other parts of the world.

Participants at the meeting expressed alarm about the push for industrial agriculture throughout Africa by corporations and their partners, including initiatives such as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the G8 New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition. Some African states are supporting similar initiatives through the African Union, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP). Africa was bypassed by the first Green Revolution – the introduction of hybrid seed, synthetic agri-chemicals, irrigation and credit – that resulted in massive loss of farmers' seed diversity in other parts of the global South.

African peasant farmers reject this model of industrial Agriculture. To win the battle government policies must support farmers. Although an increasing number of African governments are on the side of the multinational corporations, the government of Zimbabwe appears to be opening doors for collaboration with smallholder farmers. In his opening speech at the African Seeds meeting, in Harare, a government official, representing the Ministry of Agriculture, stated: "We are attracted to the concepts and practices of agroecology and food sovereignty and would like to work in partnership with ZIMSOFF and La Via Campesina to take these forward", he said.

The Government of Zimbabwe understands that "agroecology as an approach to farming is very modern while at the same time recognizing the wisdom of traditional practices".

To invest in Africa, agro'industrial corporations demand a fundamental restructuring of seed laws on the continent to allow for certification systems that not only protect certified varieties, but also criminalize all non-certified seed. In other words, these corporations want to outlaw farmers' traditional varieties and the age'old practice of farmers who save and exchange seeds. Farmers see clearly that these efforts are oriented towards large'scale corporate seeds, with the goal of a tightly concentrated system where a few large companies control with intellectual property monopolies and seed laws that harmonize seed regulations across the continent. These are the institutional systems and structures that will allow private seed companies to control the seeds.

The seed law harmonization process in sub-Saharan Africa is pushing African governments to join UPOV 1991. The harmonization of seed laws restricts farmers from saving or exchanging protected seeds or using it to improve their local varieties.

The African meeting on traditional seeds noted that the multinational seed lobby has rapidly created a vast network of well-funded initiatives, institutions and agreements that are pressuring African governments to adopt PVP laws based on UPOV 1991. The players include: African regional trade blocs such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA); intellectual property agencies such as the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO); the World Bank; the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Citizens Action for Foreign Affairs; and more…

Beatrice Katsigazi from ESAFF Uganda explained clearly when she said "we do not want nor need hybrid seeds.' Women farmers have few resources and do not want seed that we can plant for one season only or seed that is owned by companies. We believe in our own seeds that we can access from our own collections or from our farmer networks, free of charge."

Seeds are the very basis of human society and have been for all of human history. African seed systems have existed outside global capitalist markets apart from some enclaves or niches developed during the colonial era. The focus of these enclaves was on commercially viable crops, especially for export as part of the colonial system of extraction. Farmer-controlled seed systems in Africa are integrated and locally organized. They are based on local seed production – to feed local communities –involving on-farm breeding, seed-saving and exchange with farm neighbours. This is connected to food supply and distribution systems, for example through the use of a maize harvest for a combination of food, feed and planting.

African communities have developed their own systems of agriculture based on local knowledge and seed diversity that is helping them cope with extreme environmental conditions and political disasters. In Africa, farmers produce 80 - 90 per cent of our seed supply, which is recognized and valued for its rich diversity and the crucial role of women in maintaining this system. Traditional crop varieties are accessible and affordable. In today's economic climate, this is a critical advantage. With farmer-based and controlled seed systems, farmers can avoid becoming dependent on expensive agricultural inputs. In addition, surviving climate change will not be possible without seed diversity controlled by farmers.

Corporations that are pressuring governments to adopt seed harmonisation processes are trying to undermine and destroy the contributions that farmer-breeders have made, and continue to make, to seed breeding, genetic diversity and food security.

What is clear is that seed harmonization laws are designed to replace Africa's farmer-controlled seeds with industrial agriculture and a corporate controlled seed system.  

Resistance

According to Davine Witbooi, a farmer from the Food Sovereignty Campaign in South Africa, "the time for talk is over. It is time for action. We are not just sitting back and will do what is necessary to take back our rights and keep chemical agriculture out of our communities. We will re-double our efforts to conserve our traditional seed varieties and share knowledge between farmers in the region to improve agro-ecological techniques and train our young people.

"Juliana Mundwa a peasant farmer from Zimbabwe, and a member of ZIMSOFF feels the same way. She says that this meeting has highlighted the need for peasant farmers to stand up for themselves. "We will continue to collect, save and exchange our ancestral seeds."

The meeting included about 60 farmers from different African countries, members of Via Campesina, together with international allies and seeds experts.



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Monday, November 25, 2013

[biofuelwatch] EXCLUSIVE from The Biomass Monitor - Biomass Thermal: The Logs That Break the Forest’s Back



Biomass Thermal: The Logs That Break the Forest�s Back

- by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

A sector of the biomass incineration industry claims to be turning over a new �green� leaf by building smaller, slightly more energy-efficient facilities focused on heating rather than electricity. Meanwhile, behind the smokescreen, biomass thermal advocates are supporting much of the same forest-raiding, climate-busting, and lung-searing policies as the biomass power pushers.

If successful, the biomass thermal industry�s legislative agenda won�t result in smaller, higher-efficiency biomass heating facilities replacing larger, lower-efficiency biomass power facilities �� �it will simply spur the construction of both... [READ MORE]








--
Josh Schlossberg
Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, Energy Justice Network

Find Energy Justice Network on Facebook and Twitter

"Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function." -- David Brower

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

[biofuelwatch] UK Parliament: recent answer relating to biomass





http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2013-11-21a.175680.h

Biofuels
Energy and Climate Change

Photo of Anne McGuire

Anne McGuire (Stirling, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what sanctions are available if generating stations using biomass to generate electricity exceed their forecasted domestic wood use; and if he will make a statement.
Photo of Gregory Barker

Gregory Barker (Minister of State (Climate Change), Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 18 November 2013, Hansard, column 719W.

[As previously posted on Biofuelwatch, the said answer was actually to a different MP and doesn't, so far as I can see, address the new question.]




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Friday, November 22, 2013

[biofuelwatch] Commodity Crimes: Illicit Land Grabs, Illegal Palm Oil and Endangered Orangutans





http://www.foeeurope.org/Last-chance-financiers-palm-oil-companies-211113

Illegal and harmful production of palmoil in Indonesia is continuing, reveals a new report released today by Friends of the Earth.

The study concludes that voluntary guidelines, such as those established by the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Environmental, Social and Governance policies (ESG) of European investors have not led to any significant improvement in the situation.

'Commodity Crimes: Illicit Land Grabs, Illegal Palm Oil and Endangered Orangutans' documents the illegal logging of land near protected forests in Indonesia by Bumitama Agri Group, leading to the destruction of forest that is home to endangered orangutans.

A plantation, managed by Bumitama, was cleared in violation of national laws, creating at least 5,000 hectares of 'ghost estates' which operate without the necessary permits. Selling palm oil from unlicensed plantations is illegal, yet large palm oil companies, for example the palm oil giant Wilmar International, purchase more than half (56%) of Bumitama Agri's palm oil, thereby bringing illegal palm oil into their supply chain.

Palm oil company IOI holds 31% of the shares of Bumitama and IOI's chief executive officer, Lee Yeow Chor, currently holds a position on the Board of Directors of Bumitama Agri.

Friends of the Earth Europe has alerted Rabobank, which are European financiers of Bumitama Agri, to this situation. It has also alerted the financiers of Wilmar and IOI, including Dutch pension funds ABP and PfZW, BNP Paribas, and Deutsche Bank, as well as the Swedish pension funds AP 1-4.

Anne van Schaik, sustainable finance campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "This is not the first time Friends of the Earth has alerted financiers about problems with palm oil companies. We see this now as the last chance for financiers to address the serious problems of the palm oil companies they are investing in and that are consequently violating the financiers' own ethical standards. If these problems are not addressed immediately, the financiers should cancel their loans or withhold further financial services for Bumitama, IOI and Wilmar, and take steps towards public divestment from these companies. After all, it is also their credibility which is at stake." [2]
      

Anton Widjaya, director Walhi (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) West Kalimantan added: "Besides calling on the companies to act, the government of Indonesia should immediately demonstrate it is serious about protecting the rights of local communities and saving the remaining forests by stopping issuing new permits to palm oil companies, evaluating existing permits and ensuring law is enforced when violations are committed. The moratorium policy is not only a commitment to the global world, but must be implemented with consistency and achieve real improvements in forest governance and the rescuing of peatlands in Indonesia."

Notes:

[1] 'Commodity Crimes: Illicit Land Grabs, Illegal Palm Oil and Endangered Orangutans' is a  joint report commissioned to Aid Environment by Friends of the Earth Europe, FoE Netherlands, FoE US and Walhi/Friends of the Earth Indonesia. The report used on-the-scene investigation and satellite mapping. Also available is pictures and video footage from a field trip by Friends of the Earth in October 2013.

[2] A full description of the ESG policies of the European financiers, the kind and amount of money they have invested in IOI, Wilmar and IOI as well as their response can be found in the report.



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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

[biofuelwatch] AUDIO: “Biomass Incinerator Noise" ANTI-BIOMASS INCINERATION CAMPAIGN CALL (November 2013)



Hi folks,

Here's the audio from November's Anti-Biomass Incineration campaign call on "Biomass Incinerator Noise."


Thanks to our excellent guest speakers, Debbie Martinez, Peter Perkins, and Ray Washington and to Samantha Chirillo for moderating the call!

Josh

***

Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign - National Conference Call�

Thursday, November 14, 2013

TOPIC: "Biomass Incinerator Noise�

AUDIO: "Biomass Incinerator Noise - November 2013"

We discuss the unfortunate health and economic impacts of noise from biomass incinerators and how residents can respond, with a focus on the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) biomass incinerator in Florida.�

Guest speakers:

-Debbie Martinez,�Registered Nurse
-Peter Perkins, Ph.D., Colonel US Army (retired), Courtesy Professor at University of Florida, neighbor of GREC biomass incinerator

-Ray Washington, attorney

Facilitator: Samantha Chirillo (Energy Justice Network, OR)



--
Josh Schlossberg
Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, Energy Justice Network

Find Energy Justice Network on Facebook and Twitter

"Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function." -- David Brower

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[biofuelwatch] UK Parliament: recent answer on biomass





http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2013-11-18a.175190.h&s=biofuel

Biofuels
Energy and Climate Change

Photo of Anne McGuire

Anne McGuire (Stirling, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to ensure that generating stations using biomass to generate electricity adhere to their forecast domestic wood use; and if he will make a statement.
Photo of Gregory Barker

Gregory Barker (Minister of State (Climate Change), Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)

We continue to monitor domestic wood use by biomass generating stations, both through their returns on actual use under the sustainability reporting requirements of the renewables obligation and through the forecasts large scale generators provide to the Department. We intend to publish the aggregated results of these each year:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/246006/UK_wood_and_biomass.pdf
We assess the aggregated results of these forecasts and compare against the Department's previous biomass availability forecasts. The most recent set of wood use data supported the Department's initial wood use estimates (from the renewables obligation banding review) and were within our availability estimates (from the Bioenergy Strategy). The Department has no plans to ensure individual generating stations using biomass adhere to their individual forecast domestic wood use, which are by their very nature subject to change, and would involve practical implementation problems.


[Ends]






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[biofuelwatch] Fwd: PAPUA NEW GUINEA LOSING INDEPENDENCE





                         


NEWS EMBARGOED 10:00 am EDT, NOV. 19, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: Anuradha Mittal, 510-469-5228
amittal@oaklandinstitute.org

PAPUA NEW GUINEA LOSING INDEPENDENCE



Oakland, CA - Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the latest known victim in a modern era of land grabs orchestrated by foreign corporations according to an investigative report and a film, On Our Land, released today by the Oakland Institute and the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG). In one of the swiftest and largest land grabs in recent history, close to a third of the country has now been appropriated by foreign companies. Thinly veiled illegal logging operations are destroying the world's third-largest rainforest and taking away land and heritage from the people of PNG.

On Our Land reveals how the current devastating land grab is happening with the de facto approval of PNG's government as well as the failure of the country's prime minister, Peter O'Neill, to act on a government-sponsored inquiry that revealed a shocking trend of corruption and mismanagement in recent land deals. The tabled report on Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs), the scheme used to free up customary land for so-called productive use, showed that the program had, in the prime minister's own words, "failed miserably."

"After years of looking at large-scale land acquisitions in Africa, we thought we had heard about almost every scenario of deception and collusion. Papua New Guinea was an eye-opener," said Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director at the Oakland Institute and author of the report. "Despite its own findings, the government has taken no action to reverse any of the 70 land deals and return land titles to citizens. From faked signatures and coercion to sheer bullying of communities, unlawful deals that fail to meet minimal guidelines are moving forward."

Funded by a Kickstarter campaign and narrated by Paul Hawken, the film On Our Land and the accompanying report expose the policies that have allowed for land acquisitions that reverse land rights Papua New Guineans achieved after national independence in 1975. They also show the human and environmental cost of land and resource loss. Together, they give a revealing view of the intricately twisted world of land grabbing and unravel how and why the government of a country like PNG, with the most egalitarian and protected customary land rights, would betray its own citizens and the constitution.

The government's strategy of "freeing up land for development" has turned over 5.5 million hectares of land over to foreign interests for palm oil plantations in addition to 8.5 million hectares for logging operations.
"Land for the people in the Pacific is much more than a commodity; it is a source of welfare, livelihood, identity, and a social safety net," said Serah Aupong of PANG. "As we continue to struggle for essential services for the majority of the people, access to customary land fulfills our basic needs. The complicity of the government of Papua New Guinea in allowing this theft of land to continue is a gross injustice that demands immediate attention and correction," she continued.


Photos and film poster available here: http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/on-our-land-film-press-kit

Visit OnOurLandFilm.com for information on the film
For a copy of the film, On Our Land, write to info@oaklandinstitute.org

###

The Oakland Institute is an independent policy think tank whose mission is to increase public participation and promote fair debate on critical social, economic and environmental issues (www.oaklandinstitute.org).

PANG is a Pacific regional network promoting economic self-determination and justice in the Pacific Islands (www.pang.org.fj).
--   



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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[biofuelwatch] Calabar Declaration





http://wrm.org.uy/meetings-and-events/calabar-declaration/

Calabar Declaration

calabar-declaration

 

 Also available in French

We, members of communities affected by industrial monoculture oil palm plantations, including peasant movements, as well as other civil society organizations from Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia, and signatories to this declaration, met from 2 –5 November 2013 in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria,

Having:

- Shared testimonies and analyses related to the living conditions of rural communities affected by industrial oil palm monocultures;

- Shared experiences on monoculture oil palm and other types of monocultures implemented in all countries present at the meeting;

- Analyzed the consequences of the rapid and brutal expansion of monocultures promoted by multinational companies in different communities and countries;

- Analyzed the strategies and mechanisms for land grabbing and the invasion of multinational companies into different communities;

Having found that:

- Where multinational companies have engaged in implementing large-scale monocultures, they have left misery and poverty;

- Governments, on all continents, provide support to these companies, and many among them profit from the misery of their compatriots;

- Thousands of hectares of forest are destroyed every day to the benefit of monocultures, including oil palm;

- Communities are dispossessed of their land to the benefit of multinational corporations or speculative investors who manipulate governments, the police, or the entire judicial system of the countries they enter;

- Hundreds of people are imprisoned or killed every year for demanding their right to land, livelihoods and survival; and their lands, once transformed into monocultures, are militarized;

- Peasants are forced to work in slave conditions on their own land and buy food that once they produced;

- Voluntary initiatives and certification schemes such as RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) are inadequate to provide lasting solutions for the problems they claim to resolve;

- Conventions and legislation guaranteeing community rights are often violated by the different states in the slashing and grabbing of communities' land;

Considering that:

- Monoculture tree plantations are not forests;

- Communities are not objects that can be moved or manipulated at will;

- Communities have the right to dignity and to raise their voice;

- The RSPO is not a mechanism to halt the massive expansion of monoculture oil palm plantations and the ever-increasing demand for palm oil to meet excessive consumption, including for agrofuels. Also REDD is not a mechanism to solve the impacts of climate change.

Reaffirm:

- Our support for all communities repressed by the policies of the powerful and to those who defend their land rights as indigenous peoples and peasant communities;

- Our commitment to demand that the governments of our countries ratify and respect the declarations and relevant international laws that protect the rights of communities and indigenous peoples;

- Our opposition to land and forest grabbing for monocultures and other projects including REDD;

- Our appeal to our governments to halt and control the expansion of large-scale monocultures, and to support community- based, including traditional, economic activities.

- Our determination to fight for food sovereignty and food security of communities;

- Our commitment to build alternative and appropriate solutions that go beyond mechanisms like RSPO and REDD;

- Our commitment to save the environment instead of having it transformed into hell on earth;

- Our commitment to be the voice of the voiceless wherever their voice needs to be heard;

- Our commitment to use all non-violent means necessary so that community rights are respected.

 

Adopted in Calabar, 5 November 2013

Signatures :

African Dignitiy Foundation- Nigeria

Boki Rainforest Conservation & Human Development Concern – Nigeria

Climate Cool Nigeria

Community Forest Watch Nigeria

RRDC-Nigeria

ERA/Friends of the Earth Nigeria

GREENCODE – Nigeria

JVE – Ivory Coast

Brainforest-Gabon

Green Scenery-Sierra Leone

SDI-Liberia

FCI -Liberia

GRABE- Benin

COPACO – DRC and La Via Campesina Africa

FERN-UK

Green Development Advocates – Cameroon

Struggle to Economize Future Environment-SEFE – Cameroon

WALHI-Indonesia

SPI-Indonesia

GRAIN

WRM



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