May 22, 2014. Source: Global Forest Coalition
An aerial view of the Chaco region of Paraguay. Photo: Glyn Thomas/Friends of the Earth
A new report and briefing paper launched by Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition on the International Day of Biodiversity highlight the negative impact of unsustainable livestock production in South America, the continent with the highest deforestation rates on earth, and the need to redirect the more than US $50 billion in subsidies that is supporting this industry.
The report, Impacts of Unsustainable Livestock Production in Paraguay, which will be launched tonight at an event organized by Espacio Organico, Cultura y Participacion and the Global Forest Coalition in Asuncion, highlights how both cattle ranching and the production of soy as feedstock for the intensive livestock industry are causing devastating impacts on forests, biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples in Paraguay.
“In 2013 alone, more than 268,000 hectares of forest were destroyed to expand cattle ranches in the Western half of Paraguay, turning it into the area with the highest deforestation rates on the planet” highlights Dr. Miguel Lovera of the Centro de Estudios e Investigacion de Derecho Rural y Reforma Agraria de la Universidad Católica de Asunción (CEIDRA) the main author of the report. “Indigenous Peoples, including tribes that have lived in voluntary isolation until now, are the main victims of this trend.” Continue reading
By Silas Kpanan’Ayoung Siakor and Jacinta Fay, May 7, 2014. Source: Sustainable Development Institute/Friends of the Earth
On 6-8 May 2014 agribusiness corporations are courting African governments at the Grow Africa Investment Forum in Abuja, Nigeria to ‘further accelerate sustainable agricultural growth in Africa’.
Corporations’ interest in agriculture in Africa has certainly accelerated corporate control of land and seeds but done little to support agriculture that will feed the continent. Rather than support family farming and smallholder agriculture private sector investment in agriculture has resulted in grabbing land from communities; the land which they farm sustainably and rely on for their survival.
Communities are resisting this corporate takeover of their land and they are winning. All over Africa people are sending a clear message to their governments; stop selling Africa to corporations. The Jogbahn Clan in Liberia is one such community and here is their story.
By Amazon Watch, April 29, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry
Right now, the U’wa people of Colombia’s cloud forests are once again requesting international support. For over two decades they have fought to keep oil projects – and the inevitable environmental destruction – out of their ancestral territories. With the recent expansion of oil exploration next to their sacred Cubogón river (known as the Magallanes project) and bombing of the oil pipeline that runs through their lands, they are organizing an international advocacy delegation to the United Nations. Using video images taken on Earth Day (April 22nd), they explain why their case urgently requires your attention and support.
The last time Colombian armed forces evicted an U’wa protest, it ended in tragedy. On February 11th, 2000, three indigenous children drowned in the Cubogón River as they fled helicopter-bound National Police. The U’wa were peacefully blocking a road and stopping materials for an oil exploration project, not miles from where they are currently camped out in La China.
This situation is at risk of repeating itself once again. Though the U’wa held high-level talks last Friday with the Colombian government, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Amylkar Acosta, stated this morning in a Caracol Radio interview that the government might declare a State of Emergency given that the shut-down of the Caño Limón pipeline is causing significant economic losses. Some 2.5 million barrels of oil have not been exported since the pipeline was bombed on March 25th, resulting in an estimated $8 million in daily revenue losses for the government.
By Richard Arghiris, April 27, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry
All Photos Credit: Ricardo Miranda
At least seven indigenous Ngäbe activists have been injured after police attacked their protest camps in the early hours of Friday 25 April.
The banks of the Tabasará river in western Panama are today the scene of sporadic skirmishes between armed riot troops, reported to number 200, and groups of protesters united against the infamous Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam.
The conflict has been brewing for months. Thousands of indigenous and campesino inhabitants rely upon the Tabasará for their livelihood and are set to be disastrously impacted by the project, widely regarded as improperly consulted and unlawful. Its reservoir is expected to inundate communities, destroy cultural centres, submerge archaeological sites, wash away fertile farming grounds, and completely exterminate the river’s migratory fish species. Continue reading
By Amelia Woodside, April 23, 2014. Source: Phnom Penh Post
Villagers walk through recently cleared forest inside a HAGL rubber plantation in 2013. Source: Phnom Penh Post
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched an internal investigation into a complaint lodged against the institution for investing in a Vietnamese rubber firm accused of illegal logging and land grabbing in Ratanakkiri, an NGO and villager said yesterday.
Earlier this month, representatives of the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) met with leaders from 17 indigenous communities in Andong Meas and O’Chum districts, along with representatives of Vietnam-based Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), which operates rubber plantations on economic land concessions in the Kingdom’s northeast, according to Eang Vuthy, executive director at NGO Equitable Cambodia.
“This was a preliminary visit . . . the IFC met with community leaders [and] government officials at the company.
We’re very hopeful a resolution between the parties will be reached. They say the company HAGL is willing to negotiate, so we’re hoping for a positive course of action once the IFC releases their report,” Vuthy told the Post yesterday. Continue reading
April 14, 2014. Source: African Press Agency
Over nine thousand farmers and pastoralist in St. Louis in the north of Senegal are facing possible evictions from their land as multi-national agro-industries scramble for agricultural land in the region. Speaking to the African Press Agency on Sunday, Fulani cattle herders of the local community in Ross Bethio accused Senhuile â€“ Sénéthanol, an Italian multinational company of encroaching on their grazing and farm lands.
They claimed that more than 37 villages are currently deprived of their land thanks to activities by the company which is based in St. Louis.
The local population said they have lost over twenty six thousand hectares, leaving them without the means to continue herding cattle and farming their lands.
“We prefer to die than to allow our land to be taken away by a foreign company. We shall not succumb to this new form of colonization” said Gorgui Sow, a member of the youth platform in Ndiael local community to fight the “illegal occupation”. Continue reading
By John Ahni Schertow, April 14, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry
Leaders of the Unist’ot’en resistance camp held a press conference in Vancouver on April 7, 2014 in response to leaked information that the Provincial government is preparing an injunction against the camp. The camp is in Wet’suwet’en territory in northern BC on the route of the Pacific Trail fracked gas pipeline.
Premier Christie Clark has staked her political future on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, more accurately called liquefied fracked gas or LFG. But pipelines from the fracking fields in the province’s north-east must pass through unceded Indigenous territory on the way to the coast. They therefore require the free, prior and informed consent of the people of those lands; consent they do not have and will not receive from the Unist’ot’en and the other Wet’suwet’en hereditary clans.
“While the elected leadership of some Indian bands have signed agreements regarding the Pacific Trail Pipeline, Wet’suwet’en hereditary clans have jurisdiction over their territories” says Freda Huson “The Unist’ot’en are standing up for our territory, and protecting Mother Earth on a global scale by keeping fracked gas in the ground.” Continue reading