Tag Archives: brazil
Fast-tracked Legislation to Allow Sterile Seeds Would Harm Farmers, Food Security
October 8 - Brazil’s Judicial Commission (Comissão de Constituição e Justiça e de Cidadania) is slated to rule on the constitutionality of a proposed bill (PL 268/2007) that will allow genetically engineered sterility in seeds, known as Terminator Technology. If the bill gains the approval of the Commission, it could quickly come to a vote in Congress. Brazil’s national law to ban Terminator has been under threat since it was enacted 8 years ago, but this most recent congressional action has caused the most serious alarm since it could swiftly overturn the ban.[i]
“It’s shocking that Brazil is on the verge of reversing its national position on suicide seeds. If the government is at all sincere about its desire to eliminate hunger, it can’t allow a law that would ultimately threaten farmers and undermine their ability to grow food,” says Maria José Guazzelli of Brazil’s Centro Ecológico. “Brazil can’t reach a goal of ‘Zero Hunger’ with Zero Farmers.”
By John Ahni Schertow, 3 October, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry
Nearly 1,500 Indigenous Peoples from across Brazil on Wednesday occupied a central road in the federal capital Brasília known as the Esplanade of Ministries, paralyzing traffic in both directions.
A part of the National Indigenous Mobilization convened by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), the protesters are trying to stop a legislative assault that threatens to severely undermine or extinguish Indigenous rights in the country.
As examined in “Indigenous April 2013: Declaration Of Indigenous National Mobilization In Defense Of Indigenous Territories,” this legislative assault consists of several bills and decrees, including:
Proposed Amendments to the Constitution (PECs) numbers 038/99, 215/00 and 237/13, Bill 1610/96, the bill for Complementary Law (PLP) 227/12, and the Portarias (ministerial orders) 419/11 and 7957/13. Continue reading
Note: In the same way that Suzano and other corporations are looking to turn traditionally occupied territories in Brazil into bioenergy resource colonies for industry in the North, companies like ArborGen are moving forward with plans to plant millions of genetically engineered (GE) trees across the US southeast for bioenergy production.
US-based ArborGen is racing FuturaGene, a Suzano subsidiary, to commercialize the first GE eucalyptus trees, which would only magnify the social and ecological disaster of monoculture tree plantations. Social movements and civil society networks are mobilizing to demand a ban on the release of GE trees — Please consider taking action by making a donation to support our work today.
Donate here: http://bit.ly/nogetrees
-The GJEP Team
20 September, 2013. Source: World Rainforest Movement
Throughout the month of September we will continue celebrating resistance to the advance of large-scale industrial tree plantations.
This action is being undertaken by our friends in Brazil, in the Bajo Parnaíbo region of the state of Maranhão. They have asked for our help to gather signatures for a letter that will be sent to the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) and the Colonization and Land Institute of the State of Maranhão to demand the recognition and land tenure regularization of the territories that they have traditionally occupied.
Large-scale industrial soy plantations and tree plantations geared to export for energy production in the North, established by the Suzano corporation, have occupied vast areas of their territory and caused the deforestation of the Cerrado, a biome that is essential for local communities and their traditional economies.
President Dilma Rousseff’s decision to postpone her visit to the United States because of the espionage that the National Security Agency (NSA) carries out in Brazil is hardly the most visible part of the geopolitical dispute that occurs in the region of South America. Before communicating the suspension of the trip, she received diverse and opposing pressures, that of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva among them, who demanded explanations from the government of Barack Obama.
In reality Rousseff had little chance of maintaining her trip to Washington after the June mobilizations that decimated her popularity and placed her government under public scrutiny. Shaking the hand of the president responsible for the espionage of her personal communications and the world’s fourth oil company, Petrobras, would have put at risk the incipient upturn of her approval levels one year before the presidential elections. Continue reading
Modified Stands: Will genetically engineered trees help save the climate or will they alter forests forever?
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project coordinates the International Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees. To support GJEP’s ongoing efforts to build resistance to the GE tree industry in the southeastern US, check out this short campaign video: http://bit.ly/stop-ge-trees
-The GJEP Team
By Maureen Nandini Mitra, September 3, 2013. Source: Earth Island Journal
In late May, forest biologists, geneticists, and forestry industry officials from across the world gathered at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina to discuss ongoing research in tree genetics. One of the key sessions at the weeklong “Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference” dealt with the “different aspects of the use of transgenics, including gains in productivity, gene flow, and societal acceptance.” The last point, it turned out, would be the attendees’ biggest hurdle.
As convention participants sat in the four-star hotel’s conference rooms discussing how genetically engineered (GE) trees could meet the growing demand for “sustainable, renewable sources of biomass, in the face of climate change,” several hundred demonstrators gathered on the streets outside in one of the largest protests ever organized against genetically engineered trees. Anne Petermann, coordinator of the “Campaign to STOP GE Trees,” says their message to the tree biotech industry and its investors was simple: Expect resistance.
The protestors had converged in Asheville for their own weeklong “counter-conference.” Their key intention was to highlight concerns over the United States government’s pending approval of a genetically modified eucalyptus tree. The proposal, by the South Carolina-based company ArborGen, is currently being considered by the US Department of Agriculture. If approved, it would be the first time a transgenic tree is authorized for commercial production in the country.
By Alice Marcondes, 13 August, 2013. Source: Inter Press Service
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 13 2013 (IPS) - Environmental groups have appealed to UNESCO to help stop the reopening of Caminho do Colono, a stretch of highway in southern Brazil that crosses through Iguaçu National Park, declared a World Heritage site by the UN agency in 1986.
Hydroelectric dams in the Amazon, amendments to the Forest Code, agrarian reform conflicts: over recent years, the Brazilian public has witnessed a succession of controversies pitting environmental organisations against the country’s authorities.
The most recent conflict involves the Caminho do Colono or “Settler’s Road”, a stretch of highway in the southern state of Paraná that has been closed for over a decade, but could be reopened if a bill currently under study in the Senate is passed. The bill was fast-tracked straight to the Senate following approval by a commission in the Chamber of Deputies, without full discussion in the lower house as a whole.
The origins of the 18-kilometre stretch of highway date back to 1925, when local communities used it as an informal road and for the transport of the “yerba mate” harvested in the region. (Yerba mate is a plant used to prepare a tea-like infusion popular in a number of South American countries.) Continue reading
By Tory Field and Beverly Bell, 12 August 2013. Source: Toward Freedom
As a key determinant of who has power and who doesn’t, battles over land have been fought from time immemorial. One of the earliest may have been led by Adam and Eve as they attempted to reclaim their garden after having been evicted. Even before the Crusades, through centuries of colonization, to the oil- and water-motivated wars of the present day, land has long been the currency of religious, national, and imperial power.
In the 1950s and 1960s, struggles for land reform throughout the global South had some success. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, economic policies, development ideology, and military crackdowns quashed government-reform advances and the social movements that drove them.
In recent years, the voice and visibility of movements opposing land grabs and displacement, and demanding land reform, are increasing. Though relatively little land has been redistributed, organized movements of small farmers, indigenous peoples, and landless people are developing in size, strength, and organization. They are uniting across borders to break the nexus between land, agriculture, power, and profit. Continue reading
By Jonathan Watts, August 8, 2013. Source: The Guardian
Celso Rodrigues was walking by a river near his home in Mato Grosso do Sul, when he was ambushed by a gunman in a balaclava, shot with a pistol and then finished off with a rifle.
It might have been just another killing in Brazil, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates. But Rodrigues’s case has attracted international attention because he was a member of the Guarani ethnic group, which is at the heart of a fierce national dispute over indigenous rights.
In recent months, the national guard has been dispatched, a senior official has resigned and protests from both sides – tribes and landowners – have moved closer to the office of President Dilma Rousseff.
Police have arrested a farm manager, Ivonel Gabriel Vieira, in connection with the case. Survival International, which campaigns for indigenous people’s rights, claims that the murder was carried out on the orders of landowners.