“Yesterday, during APHIS’s ‘Invasive Species Month,’ the people of the US issued a firm demand to APHIS to reject invasive, flammable genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees,” said Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project Executive Director and Coordinator of the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees. “We will continue to hold the government accountable to the will of the people, rather than corporate interests.”
South Carolina-based ArborGen hopes to sell billions of GE cold-tolerant eucalyptus trees for planting across millions of acres in the US South in vast industrial plantations to supply biofuel, biomass electricity and paper production .
Dr. Rachel Smolker, Co-Director of Biofuelwatch stated, “ArborGen’s reckless vision of using the US South as a giant sacrifice zone for energy production would wreak havoc on rural communities, native forests and wildlife across the region, pushing already endangered species like the Louisiana Black Bear and the Red-cockaded Woodpecker over the edge.” Dr. Smolker added, “and despite the rhetoric about replacing fossil fuels with climate-friendly fuels, this wood-based energy will actually worsen climate change.”
Genetically engineered and other industrial tree plantations are not only a concern in the US, but internationally. Rural communities in Brazil have been fighting non-GE eucalyptus plantations for decades, and are also opposing the introduction of GE eucalyptus plantations. Additionally, in 2006 and 2008 the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) warned countries of the social and ecological dangers of GE trees. 
In late May, Global Justice Ecology Project, the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Biofuelwatch along with Earth First! and the Dogwood Alliance are mobilizing events and protests around the IUFRO Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference  in Asheville, NC. Opposition organizers are taking credit for the recent cancellation of an IUFRO-sponsored field trip to a forestry research site planned for 29 May as part of the conference. Organizers believe the field trip was cancelled due to the threat of protest.
 Rubicon Annual Review 2009
 Decision Regarding GE Trees at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Ninth Conference of the Parties, Bonn Germany, May 2008:
 IUFRO is the International Union of Forest Research Organizations. The Tree Biotechnology Conference happens every two years and brings together forest researchers, tree geneticists, students and others to discuss advancements in tree biotechnology including genetic engineering. This year’s conference is being held in Asheville, NC from May 26 to June 1. The last IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference took place in June 2011 in Arraial d’Ajuda, Brazil.
La política minera y energética que han impulsado los últimos gobiernos en Colombia se ha caracterizado por agudizar la extracción de bienes naturales como estrategia para insertarse en la economía global; sin embargo, es menester reflexionar en torno a qué otras potencialidades presenta Colombia, teniendo como principio el respeto a las culturas y cosmovisiones que constituyen nuestro territorio.
En este sentido, es necesario ahondar el debate, el conocimiento y la difusión en torno al a la cuenca del Río Magdalena, donde se han propuesto proyectos estratégicos para el transporte fluvial de mercancías, pasajeros y la generación de energía entre otros. Dada la importancia de este río el cual abastece más del 70% del agua para la agricultura y es la fuente de agua potable de varios municipios, es importante que la comunidad en general, y en especial las comunidades que diariamente interactúan con el río, tengan conocimientos suficientes de los planes y proyectos que se proponen en sus territorios y que afectan sus planes y formas de vida.
Por tanto, para este debate se hace indispensable conocer y socializar diversos estudios relacionados con la preservación y aprovechamiento del Río Magdalena y sus afluentes, así como las políticas, planes y proyectos que el Gobierno Colombiano viene adelantando para el río, en especial en torno en torno a la Inversión Extranjera Directa, donde empresas Chinas han manifestado su interés por invertir en Colombia en proyectos de generación hidroeléctrica en el alto magdalena y en el Plan Maestro de Aprovechamiento del Magdalena que contemplaría el dragado del río en zonas que ya no son navegables; no obstante las compañías chinas han sido objetadas en la construcción de represas en otros países, aunque por otra parte el gobierno de la China también se ha acercado a la adopción de lineamientos sobre el impacto ambiental de las inversiones en el exterior.
Es por esta razón, que en el marco del Panel Nacional Itinerante sobre política Minero Energética y sus conflictos en Colombia, que ha estado recorriendo el país para reflexionar sobre la política energética y sus conflictos, entonces se propone llevar el debate y la reflexión en torno a la Cuenca del Río Magdalena al Congreso de la República donde se diseñan y promueven las políticas, a la Universidad Nacional de Colombia donde los académicos sustenta la necesidad de transformar el modelo de sociedad y, en San Agustín, Huila, donde participarán masivamente las comunidades que potencialmente resultarán impactadas con los proyectos dispuesto para la Cuenca.
Estas dos últimas sesiones del Panel Nacional Itinerante serán el escenario para el Lanzamiento del Libro Titulado Las Nuevas Grandes Murallas que preparó la organización International Rivers y que muestra las experiencias internacionales de las empresas Chinas en la construcción de represas, de igual modo el Movimiento Ríos Vivos y CENSAT Agua Viva harán el lanzamiento oficial de un documental que da cuenta de los desplazamiento forzados por represas en Colombia.
Las sesiones también compartirán perspectivas y puntos de vista frente al comercio regional y continental, las propuestas de descarbonización de las economías para mitigar el calentamiento global del planeta las implicaciones del Acuerdo del Arco del Pacífico, entre otros, que solo son posibles mientras por medio de la intensificación de explotación de los bienes de la naturaleza y grandes proyectos de infraestructura.
Finalmente es importante señalar, que las diversas jornadas de reflexión en torno a la Cuenca del Río Magdalena es un espacio que convoca a todos los actores y sectores interesados, para que expresen su puntos de vista y proyecten o socialicen algunas propuestas y alternativas que contribuyan a la soberanía de los pueblos y al buen vivir de los colombianos y colombianas.
FECHAS Y LUGARES
Foro Río Magdalena: Agua Dulce e inversión Extranjera.
Auditorio Boyacá – Congreso de la República de Colombia
Hora: 9 am a 2 p.m.
Entrada libre con inscripción previa hasta martes 23 de abril.
Transmisión en Directo por el Canal Institucional y Canal Congreso
Panel cuenca río Magdalena, Inversión Extranjera y Economía Global
Auditorio Camilo Torres. Facultad de derecho, Universidad Nacional, Bogotá
Hora: 02: 00 p.m. a 06 p.m.
Panel Río Magdalena, megaproyectos y culturas de agua.
IInstitución Educativa Laureano Gómez. San Agustín, Huila
Hora: 09 a 01 p.m.
Ríos vivos Colombia
Otros Mundos Colombia
Wilson Arias CAstillo
Censat Agua Viva
Baguio City, Philippines April 22, 2013
Today, on the 22nd day of April 2013, 36 delegates from indigenous peoples and communities worldwide and advocates gathered in Baguio City for an International Indigenous Peoples’ Workshop on Aid and Development Effectiveness. This statement is the synthesis and resolution of the workshop.
Indigenous peoples (IPs) through their organizations, pursue a movement for indigenous peoples rights and self determined sustainable development ,that is now a sustained presence in the global CSO (Civil society Organization) arena. Yet on current global processes and debates on development aid and effectiveness, IP participation is minimal, unofficial and usually by determined assertion; thus they are denied opportunity to benefit from such processes. This perpetuates the historical discrimination and marginalization of Indigenous Peoples since colonial times; on socio–political and economic benefits and advancement of society, or so called “development”.
A. Nature of Development Aid and Indigenous Peoples
At present, foreign aid and development cooperation exists between states, dominated by the ruling elite, and multilateral agencies; and CSOs like IP organizations are marginalized. Present official development cooperation primarily serves the interests of donor advanced capitalist countries and operates under the dominant global capitalist system. Fundamentally, it is a continuation of past colonial exploitation now imposed by donor countries under the scheme of neoliberal globalization. It is surplus capital out to generate more profit, rather than enable the self-reliance and sustainable development of IP communities and recipient countries. In fact “development funding” in the hands of multilateral agencies like the World Bank, or multinational corporations like Shell, and our very own governments; have been the scourge of indigenous peoples in development aggression. And supposed social development funding components in the hand of governments and big international NGOs, are self serving for them, and are usually tainted with corruption. Thus such funding that supposedly address poverty and other basic social needs, remain to be just mere rhetoric.
Mindful of this fundamental flaw and danger, IPs can view the development aid as an opportunity and should not default to states and big international NGOs to have monopoly over development funds. We must critique and continue to propagate our analysis in this global discourse; as we create our own spaces, assert our collective rights and advocacy on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and achieve gains for present and long term social well being. We engage based on our needs, and wherever possible and appropriate. We pursue our own alternative development framework that is self-determined and sustainable.
B. Indigenous Peoples Currently not engaged in development Aid Processes
While there is an active indigenous people’s movement advocating the defense of collective rights to life, land and cultural integrity, not many indigenous peoples organizations engage in the development funding discourse, or specifically on aid and development effectiveness; more so in the global arena. It is too far away from day to day community life and struggles. And the usual encounter with “development funding” has been with development aggression, that has been the target of our past and present struggles. So other views on development funding specifically on development aid, that maybe beneficial to indigenous peoples has yet to be widely understood.
The wide gap has then to be addressed, among indigenous peoples in the understanding and engagement on development discourse, specifically on aid and development effectiveness. This workshop on Aid and Development Effectiveness for Asia-Pacific with participants from Africa and Latin America is an effort towards levelling of understanding and global unification of IPs to engage in this undertaking.
There are a number of indigenous people’s organizations or IP advocate institutions at the national- global regional- and international levels, already engaged in the aid and development effectiveness process; with initial access to some development funding. The gap within the IP movement has to be bridged, through more information sharing and capability building. Community level organizations will have to be serviced by wider formations with relative capacity. That is why it is useful to build wider alliances at local, national, geographical regional, and international levels. Capability building shall also ensure understanding of the Indigenous Peoples agenda for self determined and sustainable development , whose details embody the richness of our diversity ; and united by common principles and aspirations.
C. CPDE as Opportunity for IP Engagement in Development Aid Processes
With the CSO Platform for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), there is organized opportunity for the Indigenous Peoples Movement to engage on development aid processes in the global arena, wherein other sectors are already actively engaged. As a people’s movement that seek unity with all other progressive forces for mutually beneficial endeavours, it is to the advantage of the IP movement that we engage in CPDE as a forum to advance our IP agenda – for self determined and sustainable development; that address both our immediate and long term socio-economic-political–cultural programs for empowerment and people’s welfare.
As a people’s movement, we participate in the CPDE:
1. To project our views and criticism of development aid,
2. To advocate on our position that development funds should support self determined and sustainable development of Indigenous peoples and other sectors of society,
3. To access development funding for our needs to further build self reliance, and that such funds be directly released to IP organizations, and
4. To continuously build unity with other sectors on development funds and effectiveness.
As we engage on development aid discourse through the broad CPDE forum, and may even access official development aid funds; we do not forget the reality of inequality and exploitation engendered by development aid. In fact, it is now time to collect the historical debt due us.
D. Coordinating Group for IP Constituency and Immediate Activities
Towards representative and broad participation of Indigenous peoples, and meaningful engagement in the Aid and Development Effectiveness agenda, an international coordinating group for the Indigenous Peoples Constituency of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness(CPDE) is gradually being composed, to be finalized within April –June,2013. The Coordinating Group shall be composed of representatives from grassroots based Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and networks from Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America and the Arctic region; where most indigenous peoples are concentrated. From this International Indigenous Peoples Workshop on Aid and Development Effectiveness, representatives from Africa and Latin America will join the initial composition of the Coordinating group from Asia –Pacific, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), and from international – Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL).
For wider participation and continued education sessions of indigenous peoples on Aid and Development Effectiveness initiatives and processes, activities are proposed on occasions of big international indigenous peoples’ meetings and gatherings. These include an indigenous peoples’ caucus and side event on “Effectiveness of Development Aid” during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) from May 20-31, 2013 in New York, USA; and a “Global Indigenous Peoples’ Workshop on Aid and Development Effectiveness” shall be held during the Global Preparatory Meeting on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in Alta, Norway from June 8-14, 2013.***
The following statement was made on behalf of the following major groups: NGO, Women, Farmer’s, Workers and Trade Unions, and IPs, Youth and Children on April 23rd, 2013.
We thank the Chair and the Secretariat for their hard work.
We express our disappointment with the failure to agree a strong outcome document in the Asia-Pacific Regional Implementation Meeting on Rio+20. The Chair’s Summary is the weakest outcome. We regret that member states did not use the opportunity to set a regional plan for implementation of the sustainable development agenda and Rio+20 outcomes.
While we recognize that the Chair’s Summary reflects the various views that came out of the meeting, we emphasize that the following issues are not adequately reflected.
Human Rights are recognized but we reaffirm that these are guiding principles for sustainable development and the sustainable development goals must be firmly grounded in a human rights-based approach. We welcome the recognition of gender equality and women’s autonomy of their bodies and sexual health and reproductive rights. We also emphasize that Indigenous People’s Rights as enumerated in UNDRIP must also be respected, protected and realized. We strongly emphasise that peace and security are highly important issues in the Asia-Pacific Region and are an integral element for sustainable development.
High Level Political Forum: We reiterate that the HLPF should be the highest political and decision making forum for the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner. Governments at the highest level agreed in Rio+20 to establish an universal intergovernmental HLPF which means that universal membership must allow for the participation of all states on an equal basis, in particular in decision-making. Member states must have a role in negotiating and drafting outcomes containing recommendations and decisions.
Means of Implementation: We recall that the Rio+20 outcome established a sustainable development financing strategy for mobilizing additional resources. It also established a technology facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of environmentally sound technologies. We regret that these two outcomes are not mentioned in the Chair’s Summary. Concern about the current intellectual property rights regime were raised by both governments and major groups but is regrettably not reflected. We also recall the polluter pays and precautionary principles, technology assessment and taxes for polluters in addition to a financial transaction tax are critical elements for means of implementation.
Agriculture: We welcome the recognition of food sovereignty and agrarian reform but we reiterate that agrarian reform must be genuine and farmer centered. We express serious concern with the recommendation of “doubling agricultural production without increasing land use” unless clearly stated that this excludes large-scale industrial, chemical, energy and water and grain-intensive agricultural, livestock and food production. We strongly call on governments to adopt biodiverse, ecological agriculture. There should be recognition and measures to address the alarming global trend of land, resource and ocean grabbing and exploitation.
Inclusion: Asia- Pacific is very diverse and vulnerable countries including SIDS and LDCs should be fully and meaningfully included and not relegated to annexes. Special efforts should be made to include marginalized and vulnerable groups within sustainable development.
Participation: We welcome the support for multi-stakeholder processes throughout the Chair’s Summary but emphasize that engagement with the private sector must be complemented by accountability. We call on the governments to recognize the contributions that civil society is making and call for our participation to be formalized. There can be no sustainable development without full, meaningful and effective participation of civil society and people’s movements.
We appreciate the inclusion of the need for a transformative development agenda which rethinks the concept of growth and tackles the root structural causes of inequality alongside reform of economic governance and within our strained planetary boundaries. We challenge governments in the region to be bold and embrace this agenda as an example to other regions of an alternative way forward to achieve sustainable development.
1] The Open Letter can be found at http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/DRAX-AGM-signon.pdf. It is supported by 48 non-UK organizations, including Friends of the Earth International, Global Forest Coalition and World Rainforest Movement. Separately from the letter, 16 UK-based groups are supporting a protest outside the Drax AGM today: http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2013/drax-agm-targeted-over-biomass-conversion-plans/.
 For a list of studies, please see http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/resources-on-biomass/. Note: UK coal cofiring is in part driven by the introduction of new regulations on sulphur dioxide emissions. Coal plants that would otherwise have to shut down, can meet the new standards by partial substitution of wood, thus perpetuating the lifespan of these polluting facilities.
 Arborgen is a joint initiative of timber companies International Paper, MeadWestvaco and Rubicon.