Tag Archives: monoculture

Forest protection groups call on UN to take serious steps to halt deforestation on International Day of Forests

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project is a signatory to this letter, calling on the UN to take real steps toward addressing deforestation, and opposing false solutions like REDD+, biofuels, and monocultures plantations, which can lead to increased deforestation and human rights abuses against forest peoples.

-The GJEP Team

March 21, 2013. Source: World Rainforest Movement

On the occasion of March 21st, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly as International Day of the Forests (1), the World Rainforest Movement (WRM) and more than 300 signatories call on the General Assembly and UN Institutions and Initiatives related to forest issues to use the new initiative to address the underlying drivers of deforestation.

The letter is motivated by the fact that in spite of several UN initiatives aimed at calling attention for forests at the international level, the process of deforestation -affecting especially tropical forests- continues and the proposed solutions have not slowed down tropical forest loss worldwide – on the contrary.

“The proposals discussed at UN-level, by the FAO, CBD, UNFCCC and UNFF, to solve the forest crisis, for example REDD+ (2), are false solutions because they do not address the underlying drivers of deforestation and strengthen a false idea of sustainability. This is why deforestation has increased in many countries, rather than decreased”, declares Winnie Overbeek, International Coordinator of the WRM.
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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Green Economy, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, UNFCCC

As drought hits corn, biotech firms see lush field in GMO crops

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project is in St. Louis, Missouri today- home of Monsanto’s international headquarters- to kick off the Occupy Monsanto Global Week of Action, and to draw attention to the close connections between Monsanto and ArborGen, the most prominent developer of GE Trees.  –The GJEP Team

By Ricardo Lopez, September 17, 2012. Source: Los Angeles Times

Renee Lafitte, a research fellow at Pioneer’s facility in Woodland, Calif., examines an ear in one of the plots where the biotech company conducts research to develop drought-tolerant corn. Photo: Ricardo Lopez, Los Angeles Times

WOODLAND, Calif. — The worst U.S. drought in half a century is withering the nation’s corn crop, but it’s a fertile opportunity for makers of genetically modified crops.

Agricultural biotechnology companies have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing plants that can withstand the effects of a prolonged dry spell. Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, has received regulatory approval for DroughtGard, a corn variety that contains the first genetically modified trait for drought resistance.

Seed makers, such as Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. of Johnston, Iowa, and Swiss company Syngenta, are already selling drought-tolerant corn varieties, conceived through conventional breeding.

At stake: a $12-billion U.S. seed market, with corn comprising the bulk of sales. The grain is used in such things as animal feed, ethanol and food. The push is also on to develop soybean, cotton and wheat that can thrive in a world that’s getting hotter and drier.

“Drought is definitely going to be one of the biggest challenges for our growers,” said Jeff Schussler, senior research manager for Pioneer, the agribusiness arm of DuPont. “We are trying to create products for farmers to be prepared for that.”

Their efforts come amid concerns about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, and the unforeseen consequences of this genetic tinkering. Californians in November will vote on Proposition 37, which would require foods to carry labels if they were genetically modified. The majority of corn seed sold is modified to resist pests and reap higher yields. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy, Industrial agriculture

Video: Shut Down Monsanto Protest at the Gates Foundation

 As part of the Global Day of Action to Shut Down Monsanto on Saturday, this action was co-organized by AGRA Watch/Community Alliance for Global Justice, Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Washington Biotechnology Action Council, and GMO-Free Washington.  The protest was directed at the Gates Foundation for their efforts to spread Monsanto’s dangerous GMOs throughout Africa.

Video courtesy Washington Biotechnology Action Council.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Greenwashing, Pollution, Videos

Report: More trees could be cut for biomass plants (no kiddin’…)

Note: Now here’s a shocker–using trees for industrial-scale electricity production will require vast numbers of trees to be cut and burned.  How about that.  Now add this one to the pile, ArborGen–the company developing genetically engineered  eucalyptus trees–has plans to annually sell half a billion of these non-native, invasive, flammable and water devouring franken-trees for bioenergy plantations from Texas to Georgia, as well as Florida and South Carolina.  This poses extreme danger to the forests and communities of the south and must be stopped.

The GOOD news is, they have not yet gotten permission to sell them commercially.  This is still one disaster we can stop.   Please join our campaign to STOP GE trees, go to: http://nogetrees.org.

–The GJEP and STOP GE Trees Campaign Teams

By SAMMY FRETWELL, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012

Cross-Posted from The State

A new report says Southern forests are at risk from biomass plants that burn wood to make energy.

The report, released Tuesday by two environmental groups, says the expanding biomass industry will look at cutting trees to fuel the power plants, a departure from the current practice of using waste wood from sawmills and other sources.

The report raises questions about whether the South will have an adequate supply of waste wood, thereby increasing the need to cut trees specifically for biomass plants.

In addition to concerns about deforestation, the report says biomass plants could cause a spike in atmospheric carbon over the next 35-50 years. Carbon is a pollutant that contributes to climate change. Long-term carbon levels should drop, but researchers question whether that will be soon enough to help stop global warming.

The report was done for the Southern Environmental Law Center and the National Wildlife Federation by the Biomass Energy Resource Center and others.

The report looks at conditions at proposed and existing biomass plants in the Southeast, including six in South Carolina. Those plants are in Newberry, Darlington, Aiken, Charleston, Marlboro and Orangeburg counties, the report says. Region-wide, the study analyzed 17 existing and 22 planned biomass plants in seven states.

Biomass is an alternate energy source that boosters say could help reduce the nation’s reliance on coal and nuclear power plants, both of which have substantial impacts on the environment. Coal-fired power plants release toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Nuclear plants produce deadly waste.

Biomass would not be expected to replace coal or nuclear, but biomass plants could help diversify the nation’s sources of energy.

“While biomass offers some environmental benefits, any expanded use of logging residue and live trees will affect forest structure and nutrient cycling,” said Robert Perschel, eastern forests director with Forest Guild, which helped compile the report.

“This raises questions of long-term forest health and other environmental factors, such as water quality and wildlife habitat, that need to be addressed by further study and reasonable guidelines for the industry.”

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees

Anonymous Takes Down Monsanto.com–Their Message: We Fight for Farmers

Note: Monsanto was also one of the original founders of the GE tree company ArborGen.  The President and CEO of ArborGen, Barbara Wells, led Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready soy division in Brazil.  GMO soy in Brazil and other parts of Latin America has taken over vast swaths of Amazon and other forest land, and has displaced or poisoned many communities there.  Please sign our petition to the USDA demanding a ban on the commercial release of GE trees.  ArborGen plans to sell hundreds of millions of GE tree seedlings annually if given permission by the USDA.  Help us stop them.  Sign our petition and get involved.
–The GJEP & STOP GE Trees Campaign Team

Anonymous DDOS Attacked Monsanto

Above video shows how Anonymous hack attacked Monsanto.com

Anonymous Message To Monsanto: We fight for farmers!

Anonymous Message To Monsanto: We fight for farmers! – Video Transcript
To the free-thinking citizens of the world: Anonymous stands with the farmers and food organizations denouncing the practices of Monsanto We applaud the bravery of the organizations and citizens who are standing up to Monsanto, and we stand united with you against this oppressive corporate abuse. Monsanto is contaminating the world with chemicals and genetically modified food crops for profit while claiming to feed the hungry and protect the environment. Anonymous is everyone, Anyone who can not stand for injustice and decides to do something about it, We are all over the Earth and here to stay.

To Monsanto, we demand you STOP the following:

  • Contaminating the global food chain with GMO’s.
  • Intimidating small farmers with bullying and lawsuits.
  • Propagating the use of destructive pesticides and herbicides across the globe.
  • Using “Terminator Technology”, which renders plants sterile.
  • Attempting to hijack UN climate change negotiations for your own fiscal benefit.
  • Reducing farmland to desert through monoculture and the use of synthetic fertilizers.
  • Inspiring suicides of hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers.
  • Causing birth defects by continuing to produce the pesticide “Round-up”
  • Attempting to bribe foriegn officials
  • Infiltrating anti-GMO groups

Monsanto, these crimes will not go unpunished. Anonymous will not spare you nor anyone in support of your oppressive illegal business practices.

AGRA, a great example:
In 2006, AGRA, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, was established with funding from Bill Gates and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Among the other founding members of, AGRA, we find: Monsanto, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter and Gamble, Merck, Mosaic, Pfizer, Sumitomo Chemical and Yara. The fact that these corporations are either chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturers is no coincidence.

The people of the world see you, Monsanto. Anonymous sees you.

Seeds of Opportunism, Climate change offers these businesses a perfect excuse to prey on the poorest countries by swooping in to “rescue” the farmers and people with their GMO crops and chemical pesticides. These corporations eradicate the traditional ways of the country’s agriculture for the sake of enormous profits.
The introduction of GMOs drastically affects a local farmers income, as the price of chemicals required for GMOs and seeds from Monsanto cripples the farmer’s meager profit margins.

There are even many cases of Monsanto suing small farmers after pollen from their GMO crops accidentally cross with the farmer’s crops. Because Monsanto has a patent on theri brand of seed, they claim the farmer is in violation of patent laws.

These disgusting and inhumane practices will not be tolerated.

Anonymous urges all concerned citizens to stand up for these farmers, stand up for the future of your own food. Protest, organize, spread info to your friends!

Operation Green RightsSAY NO TO GMO!

We are Anonymous
We are legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
Expect us

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Land Grabs, Pollution

Take Action to Stop the Killing of Orangutan’s in Oil Palm Plantations

The palmoil industry says: Orangutans are pests!

This orangutan’s mother was killed in one of palm oil plantations

Dear friends of the rainforest,

the BBC reports that orangutans are treated as “pest” and exterminated on Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil plantations. In the last year alone, up to 1,800 orangutans were killed in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).

They wander hungry through the plantations as though in a daze, looking for food and thus eat the palm seedlings. Palm oil plantation workers are paid to kill orangutans either before a forest is cleared or, if they see any in a plantation. Either way, it is totally illegal to harass, harm or kill any orangutans.

Please write to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and protest with your signature against the slaughter of orangutans:

Take Action

Many thanks and best regards,

David Vollrath

Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald e.V.)


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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change

Alternatives to carbon markets to finance REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation & Forest Degradation)

By Chris Lang, 23rd December 2011

Cross-Posted from REDD-Monitor

Alternatives to carbon markets to finance REDD

At the beginning of the UN climate negotiations in Durban (COP17), FERN published a short report looking at carbon markets as a means of financing REDD. The briefing, which was signed on to by 28 organisations explains why carbon markets will not deliver for southern governments, forests and people.

The briefing can be downloaded here. It starts with the question, “How much money is needed?” and explains that although this has been a primary focus of discussions on REDD, it is the wrong question. More important than the amount of money needed, is “a clear action plan to address the underlying drivers of forest loss coupled with sufficient political will to implement the plan”.

In the period 2010-2012, more than US$8 billion has been promised or is expected from government funds for REDD, compared to US$600 million from voluntary markets and nothing whatsoever from compliance markets. This is unlikely to change much before 2020, the briefing argues, because the largest carbon market, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme does not currently accept forest offset and will not do so until at least 2020.

Most of the growth in carbon trading volume up to 2010 was in the secondary markets. In other words, most carbon trading is carried out by banks and speculators. Even this growth is currently stagnating. Since 2008 Bank of America, ABN Amro, UBS
Warburg and Credit Suisse have closed or reduced the size of their carbon trading desks. Meanwhile, “Forest offsets in the voluntary carbon market have been fraught with difficulties,” the briefing notes. There are several examples of dubious or damaging forest carbon projects in the largely unregulated voluntary carbon market.

Even with a forest carbon market, little money would actually reach the forests. Most of the money would end up in the hands of intermediaries: speculators, banks, consulting firms, certifying firms and so on. It is also unlikely that a carbon market would finance forest conservation in countries where the risks of corruption are high. More than 75% of CDM projects are in three countries: China, India and Brazil. A similar pattern is likely with REDD finance via carbon markets.

The briefing also lists some alternatives to financing REDD through carbon trading (see the briefing for footnotes and sources). REDD-Monitor welcomes discussion on the merits (or otherwise) of these suggestions:

    • Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)
      A tiny tax on financial transactions – as little as one hundredth of a percent – could raise US$650 billion per year.[17] Although many adaptation and mitigation measures would need to be financed through such a fund if it ever materialised, a small proportion would provide enough to help reduce deforestation. The European Commission and many European governments, including Germany and France, already support the FTT, and research from economic institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shown it to be technically feasible.[18]
    • Tax on international shipping and aviation
      There are many different proposals on the table to tax international aviation and ‘bunker’ (shipping) fuel. The emissions from these industries are significant, and they are currently not only under-taxed, but also benefit from fossil fuel subsidies.[19] Redirecting these subsidies to climate mitigation and adaptation is another potential large source of finance.[20]
    • Public funds
      Even in times of austerity measures, if government spending priorities were brought in line with their climate change policies, money would also become available for forest projects and for activities to deal with the drivers of deforestation. Government funding is still the major funding source for REDD as chart 1 shows.Public funds could also be used to address illegal logging. The World Bank (WB) estimates that illegal timber may comprise over a tenth of a total global timber trade worth more than US$150 billion a year.[21] More funding and political support to address illegal logging would therefore go a long way to keep forests standing and provide funds to Southern governments.
    • Private investments
      Projects where companies buy forests to speculate on financial markets (as is the case with trading in forest carbon credits) have led to many problems. However the Forest Trust’s Climate Tree project is an example of an initiative which channels private investment into improving forest use without letting Northern companies off the hook with regards to reducing their own emissions as carbon offset projects do.[22]

        17. Bonn Brief no. 8, Innovative sources of climate finance, June 2011.


        18. See: World Bank Group, IMF, OECD. Mobilizing Climate Finance: A Paper prepared at the request of G20 Finance Ministers, September 19, 2011; and: IMF (2010). A Fair and Substantial Contribution by the Financial Sector, Final Report for the G-20.




        20. For more information about these alternatives and others see, Assessing the Alternatives – Financing Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Developing Countries



OECD, OECD Environmental Outlook (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2001), p122.



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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Land Grabs, REDD

Photo Essay: UN Climate COP: Corporate Exhibitionism (parting shots)

Note:  Anne Petermann and I went to our first UNFCCC COP (Conference of the Polluters) in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  One  of my first observations was that this was a bizarre trade show–from ‘clean coal’ to ‘clean nuclear’ to a clean way to get fucked.  Smile.  I was not impressed.  Well,  going into the exhibition center was more exciting than the plenaries packed with, for the most part,  suited charlatans. Fast forward to Montreal, Nairobi, Bali, Poznan, Copenhagen, Cancún and now all the way  to Durban, South Africa; and guess what?–the 1% have been and still are in control (for now). But one of the good things that has happened over these years is that the resistance has risen from a couple of handfuls of us to thousands.  It is evident to GJEP that the COP process is nothing more than the rich figuring out how to make more money off Mother Earth and her inhabitants under the guise of addressing climate change.  So this photo essay, with text by Anne Petermann, is my parting shot to this entire unjust, racist, classist, land-grabbing COP crap.  No to the next meeting in Dubai and yes to mobilization for the Peoples Summit during Rio +20.  GJEP will continue to support the social movements, Indigenous Peoples and those who struggle for justice. Please enjoy the trade show photos and note that the last two photos in this series show the discrepancy between the 1% and the 99%.  Orin Langelle for the GJEP Team.

All photos:  Langelle/GJEP       Captions:  Anne Petermann

The Road to Rio.  “Wait, I think we spelled that wrong–isn’t it supposed to be “Greed Economy”?

“Ohm…no Fukushimi…Ohm…no Fukushima…”

” Look into the blank screen… You are feeling sleepy…Join us…join us…join us…repeat after me…I believe in the green economy…Robert Zoellick is a nice guy…REDD will save the forests…The World Bank’s mission is poverty alleviation…”

What the World Bank said…

“Carbon bubble, what carbon bubble?  A ton of carbon is supposed to be cheaper than a pizza.  Isn’t a pizza made of carbon?  It all makes sense to me!”
“With the Green Economy we can even make fabrics out of tree pulp!  Fabulous Fashions From Foliage!  Yummy Eucalyptus unitards! Perky Plantation Pant Suits!  Thank God for the Green Economy!”
“We help cool down climate change by logging tropical forests…What, you gotta problem with that?”

“We magically transform ancient tropical forests into biodiesel plantations!.  Birds love ‘em!  (F*#k the orangutans).”

” Oooo…that panda makes me so hot…”

People need nature to thrive–which is why we have to protect nature from them!

“These charts clearly show that it’s the NGOs that are responsible for carbon emissions.  That’s why we have to ban NGOs from the climate talks; if there were no NGOs there would be no climate change.  Listen to me.  I’m a white guy and I know.”

“Screw you anti-capitalist NGO bastards. Market-based schemes like the CDM are the best solution to climate change!  So what if they don’t reduce carbon emissions.  Piss off.”

How the 1% live.  The pretentious Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel in Durban was host to the World Climate Summit, 3-4 December, which was a high-level and high-security event where business, finance and government leaders met to celebrate the glory of their green-ness with events like “The Gigatonne Award” for whatever company’s PR campaign was the biggest pile of “green” manure.

 The following week the corporate conference sponsors offered side events for UN government delegates on the theme of “Advancing Public-Private Partnerships for REDD+ and Green Growth” i.e. how to ensure profit-making as usual in the face of ecological collapse and rising public outrage.

How the 99% live.  This tent was where the delegation met that came to Durban with La Via Campesina, the world’s largest peasant organization.  Their slogan, Small Farmers Cool the Planet, confronts the myth that governments and the UN will take care of climate change for us and promotes the idea that bottom up, small scale, community-controlled and bioregionally appropriate solutions are what is needed. The building behind the tent was where La Via slept and ate meals–not as pretentious as the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel, but the people were real.

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Geoengineering, Land Grabs, Nuclear power, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, REDD, UNFCCC