Category Archives: Biodiversity

Photo Essay: The Pillaging of Paraguay

Woman holds photo of baby whose condition is blamed on agrotoxins, during rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 Dec 2014.  PhotoLangelle.org

Woman holds photo of baby whose condition is blamed on agrotoxins, during rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 Dec 2014. PhotoLangelle.org

“All signs show that Paraguay, both its territory and its population, are under attack by conquerors, but conquerors of a new sort. These new ‘conquistadors’ are racing to seize all available arable land and, in the process, are destroying peoples’ cultures and the country’s biodiversity — just as they are in many other parts of the planet, even in those areas that fall within the jurisdiction of ‘democratic’ and ‘developed’ countries. Every single foot of land is in their crosshairs. Powerful elites do not recognize rural populations as having any right to land at all.” – Dr. Miguel Lovera

Photographs by Orin Langelle. Analysis at the end of the essay by Dr. Miguel Lovera from the case study: The Environmental and Social Impacts of Unsustainable Livestock Farming and Soybean Production in Paraguay. Dr. Lovera was the President of SENAVE, the National Plant Protection Agency, during the government of Fernando Lugo.

To view the entire photo essay click here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biiotechnology, Biodiversity, Food Sovereignty, Frontline Communities, Genetic Engineering, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Pesticides

Indigenous Amazon Leader Denounces REDD on Democracy Now!

Another blow to REDD: a false solution to climate change that is giving big polluters license to continue polluting, as well as displacing Indigenous Peoples around the world from their lands. For more on the dangers and impacts of REDD on Indigenous Peoples, watch this important interview on Democracy Now!

Brazilian Indigenous Leader: Carbon Trading Scheme “REDD” a False Solution to Climate Change

Democracy Now!, 11 December 2014

The controversial carbon trading scheme known as REDD, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, has set off protests not only in Africa, but also in South America, especially in the Amazon region. We speak to Chief Ninawa Huni Kui, president of the Federation of the Huni Kui, an indigenous group in Brazil. He has traveled to the U.N. climate summit in Lima to voice his opposition to REDD.

Click here to view the interview on Democracy Now!

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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD

The Green Economy, Forest Peoples and Territories: Rights Violations in Acre, Brazil

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – As officials from California EPA and members of the California Air Resources Board attend the United Nations Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru this week, they should consider the negative social and economic impacts of linking California’s carbon markets with forest protection efforts in Acre, Brazil, suggests a new report from the Brazilian Platform for Human, Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples

BREAKING – Murdered before Lima climate protest: Ecuadoran indigenous anti-mining activist José Isidro Tendetza Antún

Photograph: Pete Oxford/Corbis via The Guardian

Photograph: Pete Oxford/Corbis via The Guardian

The killing of José Isidro Tendetza Antún highlights the risks facing environmental activists in Ecuador. Earlier this week, a group of campaigners travelling in a “climate caravan” were stopped six times by police on their way to Lima and eventually had their bus confiscated. The activists said they were held back because president Correa wants to avoid potentially embarrassing protests at the climate conference over his plan to drill for oil in Yasuni, an Amazon reserve and one of the most biodiverse places on earth.

Once lauded for being the first nation to draw up a “green constitution,” enshrining the rights of nature, Ecuador’s environmental reputation has nosedived in recent years as Correa has put more emphasis on exploitation of oil, gas and minerals, partly to pay off debts owed to China.

– Patrick Bond in Durban, South Africa

Ecuador indigenous leader found dead days before planned Lima protest
By  and , The Guardian. 6 December 2014

The body of an indigenous leader who was opposed to a major mining project in Ecuador has been found bound and buried, days before he planned to take his campaign to climate talks in Lima.

The killing highlights the violence and harassment facing environmental activists in Ecuador, following the confiscation earlier this week of a bus carrying climate campaigners who planned to denounce president Rafael Correa at the United Nations conference.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, UNFCCC

GJEP in FL: No to Mutant Mosquitoes

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GJEP’s GE Trees campaigner, Ruddy, located in Florida, participated in a town hall last night in Key West held by UK-based Oxitec and Florida Keys officials about their plans for building a mosquito-rearing facility, importing mosquitos from England, releasing the GE mosquitoes for a trial period in Key Haven, and the releasing them on a large scale.

The GE mosquitoes are intended to lower overall rates and control the spread of disease, but scientists around the world and members of the local communities identify all the ways this could go really, really wrong.

Food and Water Watch and FOE came out with this fact sheet: GMO Mosquito Fact Sheet

GE Mosquitoes are not new though, nor is the controversy: Climate Connections has been following it for year, and here’s still very useful information from EcoNexus, including a scientific opinion by Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher, in response to Oxitech’s 2010 move into Malaysia.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Frontline Communities, Genetic Engineering, GMOs

Selling off forests is a business for the Peruvian government

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New report finds that Peruvian government is failing to address the real causes of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon while undermining Indigenous peoples’ efforts to protect their forests.

LIMA, PERU (4th December 2014) – On the eve of the arrival of negotiators at a crucial UN conference on climate change, a new report shows that, despite public commitments to protect Peru’s forests, the first Amazonian host of the UN COP is ignoring the real drivers of deforestation and failing to safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples. This, despite the fact that these peoples occupy approximately one third of the Peruvian Amazon and offer the best chance of defending the country’s precious forests.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Frontline Communities, Indigenous Peoples, South America

World Rainforest Movement Call to Action–Reject REDD+

The World Rainforest Movement (WRM) has issued an urgent call to action regarding the December 2014 COP20 UN Climate Negotiations in Lima, Peru. To join this call (full text below), send the name of your organization or group and country to NoREDDCop20@wrm.0rg.uy

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CALL TO ACTION
TO REJECT REDD+ AND EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES
TO CONFRONT CAPITALISM AND DEFEND LIFE AND TERRITORIES

COP20, Lima, December 2014
On the occasion of the UN climate change negotiations in Lima, Peru – known as COP20 – we warn that rejecting REDD+ and ‘environmental services’, under the ‘green economy’ umbrella, is a central part of our struggle against capitalism and extractive industries and in the defense of territories, life and Mother Earth.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Carbon Trading, Climate Justice, Confronting Government Agencies, COP21 Paris 2015, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, REDD, UN

This Holiday Season say NO to GMO Chestnuts

by Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project

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A nut rests in the spiny bur of a rare surviving American chestnut tree. A fungus wiped out almost all of the trees, which once numbered in the billions. (The American Chestnut Foundation/Via Associated Press)

In a society rising up against the corporate capture of our food supply in the form of GMOs, a new untested and not-yet-approved GMO food is being promoted: the GMO chestnut.

A recent op-ed in the Washington Posthowevermakes the silly assertion that this emerging new GMO food will be the answer to hunger and a step toward reconnecting with our food supply:

Repopulating our woods — and even our yards, our commons and our courthouse lawns — with [GE] American chestnuts would put a versatile, nutritious, easily harvested food source within reach of just about everyone. For those living on the margins, it could be a very real hedge against want. For everyone, it could be a hedge against distancing ourselves from our food, which can be the first step toward a diet low in the whole foods that virtually every public health authority tells us we should eat more of.

Really?  A food source for the poor?  People are going to be heading out with their burlap sacks collecting GMO chestnuts to roast, grind into flour or boil into candy?  This is the answer to hunger?  And what is the health impact of eating GMO chestnuts?  Is this even being assessed?  No.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Food Sovereignty, Forests, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Greenwashing