lunes, mayo 26, 2008

COP9: "El Convenio de Biodiversidad está en venta"

COP9: "El Convenio de Biodiversidad está en venta"

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Los gobiernos nacionales están dejando en manos de las grandes corporaciones la biodiversidad con el pretexto de que no tienen dinero, se lamentó la activista Simone Lovera, integrante de Sobrevivencia – Amigos de la Tierra Paraguay, en la COP 9 del Convenio de Diversidad Biológica de Naciones Unidas, que se realiza en Bonn, Alemania. “Así se vende toda la biodiversidad de la gente”, concluyó.

Lovera forma parte también de la Coalición Mundial por los Bosques, con fuerte presencia en Bonn y que reúne a organizaciones sociales y pueblos indígenas, uno de los principales afectados por la privatización de la biodiversidad.

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Intervention by Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project at the UN Biodiversity Convention, 21 May, 2008

For the article with the photo, please visit

Thank you Madam Chair,

Genetically engineered trees pose a tremendous threat to forest biodiversity, and to indigenous peoples and local communities.

I fear that some delegations in this body are not taking this seriously. This body must strengthen the decision on GE trees made at COP-8, to prevent irreversible social, cultural and ecological impacts. I wish to thank the delegate from Liberia, and the African Group for insisting on the suspension of the release of GE trees, and also the delegate from Bolivia who pointed out that GE trees will only benefit large companies.

Commercialization of GE trees is moving forward rapidly, driven by pulp and paper and agrofuels industries.

Wood-based agrofuels will create a massive new demand for wood. These so-called second generation agrofuels are further driving the commercialization of GE trees and will result in increased illegal logging and accelerated conversion of forests to massive monoculture tree plantations of both conventional and GE trees. This, in turn, will further drive climate change.

The enhanced destruction of forests that would result from the commercialization of GE trees will take a very high toll, not only on wildlife and biodiversity, but on forest-dependent and indigenous communities and women. You cannot say that you support the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, and that you are committed to biodiversity protection, yet simultaneously allow the release of GE trees.

A ban on GE trees is critical because of the enormous threat of trans-boundary contamination. Scientists have determined that tree pollen can travel for over 1,000 kilometers.

Even GE tree scientists acknowledge this threat. In the 2005 FAO report on GE trees, over half of researchers surveyed named unintentional contamination of native ecosystems as a major concern.

I would also like to strongly caution this body about using the Precautionary Principle as defined by Principle 15 under the Rio Declaration. This definition is much weaker than precaution as defined under the Cartegena Protocol, and includes large loopholes that undermine it.

Social movements and environmental organizations around the world are mobilizing against GE trees. The STOP GE Trees Campaign now includes 137 member organizations in 34 countries around the world, including many in the very communities that will be directly affected by the commercialization of GE trees. These groups are united in their call for an immediate ban on genetically engineered trees. In addition, the growing consensus of independent scientists who are not affiliated with companies is that GE trees are far too dangerous to release into the environment.

It is now the time for Parties to acknowledge the concerns of civil society and the growing concerns of public interest scientists and foresters around the globe. The decision from COP-8 must be strengthened. The Precautionary Principle must be affirmed. The only way to do this is to immediately stop the release of GE trees and remove existing releases.

We have much more detailed scientific information on these concerns available here.
Thank you.

Note: This is the lead story with a photo on for 21 May 2008; it also can be found on the STOP GE Trees web page

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