Los Devastadores Planes sobre Plantaciones del Programa de Inversión del Banco Mundial

by Simone Lovera

A veces esperas lo peor y no quedas decepcionado.

Cuando el Programa de Inversión Forestal del Banco Mundial (FIP) fue establecido hace 6 años, la Coalición Mundial por los Bosques estábamos escépticos por decir lo menos. El Banco Mundial había financiado (y continúa financiando) numerosos proyectos con un impacto devastador sobre los bosques y las personas dependientes de los bosques, Ponerlos a cargo de lo que es hasta ahora el fondo mundial más grande en cuanto a inversión en proyectos para reducción de emisiones por deforestación y degradación de bosques y fortalecimiento de reservas de carbono (REDD+), sonaba como un caso clásico caso en donde se invita a los lobos al rebaño.

Por otra parte, el FIP no solo daría subvenciones sino también préstamos, y como algunos de los valores más importantes de los bosques no pueden ser reflejados en términos monetarios, la gran pregunta era y sigue siendo cómo estos préstamos serían pagados. Solo las actividades comercialmente rentables son capaces de generar los suficientes ingresos financieros para países para que puedan pagar los préstamos, pero la experiencia con casi cualquier actividad comercialmente rentable en un bosque es que conlleva – a corto o largo plazo – a la degradación forestal y deforestación subsecuente. De hecho, como la definición de bosques usada por el Banco Mundial incluye los monocultivos de árboles, una porción significante de fondos del BM son invertidos en tales plantaciones, simplemente porque son mucho más rentables comercialmente que cualquier otra actividad relacionada con los ‘bosques’. Continue reading

Comunicado sobre las Declaraciones del Ministro Gattini – Paraguay

A propósito de las declaraciones del Ministro Gattini…

Desde la campaña Ñamosêke Monsanto, que aglutina a las organizaciones abajo firmantes,

1.Saludamos la franqueza del ministro Gattini. Probablemente es el primer ministro que no intenta confundir a la opinión pública con un discurso ambiguo. Con determinación defiende un modelo de agricultura que intenta exterminar a la agricultura familiar campesina; claramente actúa como defensor de los sojeros y como portavoz de las grandes corporaciones internacionales.

2.Entendemos que es por causa del chip con el que está programado el Ministro Gattini, quien proviene del sector sojero y tiene sus intereses personales y familiares vinculados directamente a los agronegocios. Su formación de posgrado en Estados Unidos e Inglaterra estuvo orientada a mejorar sus capacidades relacionadas exclusivamente con el agronegocio. Su condición de director-propietario de la Consultora Integral en Agronegocios (CIA) pone en evidencia el interés profesional del ministro.

3.Le recordamos al Ministro que el art. 4° de la Constitución Nacional sobre el Derecho a la Vida, establece que éste es inherente a la persona humana y que toda persona será protegida por el Estado en su integridad física; que además, toda persona tiene derecho a habitar en un ambiente saludable y ecológicamente equilibrado; que constituyen objetivos prioritarios de interés social la preservación, la conservación, la recomposición y el mejoramiento del ambiente, así como su conciliación con el desarrollo humano integral y que estos propósitos orientarán la legislación y la política gubernamental (art. 7 de la Constitución Nacional); que entre las bases de la reforma agraria y el desarrollo rural se encuentra: la racionalización y la regularización del uso de la tierra y de las prácticas de cultivo para impedir su degradación, así como el fomento de la producción agropecuaria intensiva y diversificada (art. 115 inc. 2).

Que asimismo, de acuerdo con la ley 81/92, inc. e), como titular del Ministerio de Agricultura debe “Velar por la preservación, conservación y restauración de los recursos naturales renovables y del medio ambiente, a fin de lograr niveles de producción y productividad sostenibles y permanentes, y el mejoramiento de la calidad de vida de la población”; es decir, el cuidado de la tasa de ganancia del sector sojero NO DEBIERA SER su prioridad; sí lo es: cuidar que las tareas agrícolas no atenten contra la vida y la salud de la población.

4.Informamos al ministro Gattini que sabemos, claramente mejor que él, que en nuestro país jamás se ha realizado un solo estudio oficial sobre la toxicidad de ningún agrotóxico; a lo sumo se realizan ensayos agronómicos de dudosa validez agronómica y solo se procede a permitir el uso de tecnologías potencialmente letales como las de la “revolución verde”, asintiendo positivamente a los estudios proveídos por las entidades propietarias e interesadas en vendernos la tecnología en cuestión y el material asociado a ella.

En esta lógica, los agrotóxicos solo son evaluados en base a su toxicidad aguda y no se considera lo más importante, su toxicidad crónica -los efectos que causan las enfermedades que pueden aparecer luego de muchos años respecto a la exposición-, ni de sus características químicas que lo pueden tornar más peligrosos aún. Los estudios realizados son aquellos pactados con las autoridades que tienen la obligación y el interés en la liberación comercial de los venenos, así, sus impactos sobre los seres humanos, sobre el ambiente o sobre la biodiversidad son ocultados o disfrazados para evitar traspiés comerciales.

5.Sus recientes declaraciones emitidas desde la ignorancia, el desprecio y la crueldad parecen indicar que el ministro padece de alguna dificultad para interpretar lo que ve. Cualquiera que recorra las rutas del país puede darse cuenta de que los sojales ocupan (y se fumigan) hasta el mismo borde de los caminos, y el incumplimiento de las normas por parte de los empresarios sojeros es evidente.

6.Sus declaraciones demuestran, además, que Jorge Gattini no es un lector muy asiduo; igualmente le sugerimos a continuación una breve lista de algunas de las principales investigaciones científicas de los últimos años, en las que se evidencian el daño que causan las fumigaciones con glifosato, 2,4D, paraquat y neonicotioides -entre otros- al ser humano, que consideramos le sería útil leer para no evidenciar de manera tan vergonzosa su extremo desconocimiento, y así evitar la propalación de tan irresponsables, temerarias y peligrosas sentencias.

a.Malformaciones congénitas asociadas a agrotóxicos (2008). Stela Benitez Leite, María Luisa Macchi, Marta Acosta. Paraguay. Resultado: Aquellos niños y niñas de San Pedro y San Pablo tenían mayor probabilidad de sufrir desórdenes celulares/genéticos, situación de riesgo para contraer enfermedades como el cáncer y otras degenerativas como diabetes e hipertensión. http://www.baseis.org.py/base/h_documentos.php?pagina=2

b.Glyphosate-based herbicides produce teratogenic effects on Vertebrates by impairing retinoic acid signaling. Alejandra Paganelli, Victoria Gnazzo, Helena Acosta, Silvia L. López and Andrés E. Carrasco. (2010). Argentina. Resultado: “El efecto directo del glifosato sobre los primeros mecanismos de morfogénesis en embriones de vertebrados abre las preocupaciones sobre los resultados clínicos de la descendencia humana en poblaciones expuestas a GBH en los campos agrícolas.”http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749

c.Daño celular en una población infantil potencialmente expuesta a pesticidas (2010). Dra. Stela Benítez Leite, Lic. Virginia Fernández, Lic. Deidamia Franco, Bioquimico Esteban Ferro, Lic. Andrés Mojoli, Lic. Fabiola Cuevas, Est. Jorge Alfonso, Luciana Sales. Paraguay. El trabajo concluyó que aquellas embarazadas que viven en un radio de un kilómetro en torno a campos fumigados de soja, tienen el riesgo de que sus fetos/bebés sufran malformaciones.http://www.baseis.org.py/base/h_documentos.php.

d.La exposición materna y fetal a los pesticidas asociados a alimentos modificados genéticamente en municipios de este de Quebec, Canadá. (2011). Aziz Aris , Samuel Leblanc. Canadá. Resultado: La presencia de diferentes toxinas derivadas de los cultivos transgénicos en la sangre de mujeres, mujeres embarazadas, y fetos.http://www.journals.elsevier.com/reproductive-toxicology/

e.Roundup and birth defects Is the public being kept in the dark?. Antoniou Michael et al (2011). Reino Unido, Francia, EE.UU. Resultado: La aprobación vigente de glifosato y Roundup está vencida y es científicamente insostenible. La evaluación de seguridad empezó mal, con un dossier con pruebas patrocinadas por la industria de los obsoletos, y fue debilitada progresivamente en cada etapa.http://www.earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/Roundup-and-birth-defects/RoundupandBirthDefectsv5.pdf

f.Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Séralini GE et al (2012). Francia

g.Incremento de la mortalidad por cáncer en una población rural. Santo Domingo, provincia de Santa Fe, desde 1991 al 2010. 2013. Dr. Arturo Baltazar Serrano. Argentina. Aumento del cáncer en un 300% en la población.http://www.colmedicosantafe1.org.ar/images/PDFs/Publicaciones/Actas-Medicas-Santafesinas-N3-2013-08.pdf

Finalmente, invitamos al pleno del Poder Ejecutivo a debatir pública y abiertamente medidas urgentes para iniciar un registro adecuado de las dolencias que las fumigaciones producen en la población; límites efectivos a los abusos e ilegalidades cometidas por productores del agronegocio, así como la implementación de una reforma agraria integral, con la consecuente recuperación de tierras malhabidas, condición indispensable para la construcción de una convivencia pacífica en el Paraguay.

Atentamente,
Alter Vida; Axial Naturaleza y Cultura; Asociación de Agricultores del Alto Paraná – ASAGRAPA; Base Investigaciones Sociales; Centro de Estudiantes de Trabajo Social – CETS; Centro de Estudios Paraguayos Antonio Guasch – CEPAG; Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indígenas y Populares – CNOCIP; Colectivo de Liberación de Información y Producción – CLIP; Coord. Nacional de Organizaciones de Mujeres Trabajadoras Rurales e Indígenas – CONAMURI; Coordinación Nacional de Pastoral Indígena – CONAPI; Coordinadora de Organizaciones Campesinas e Indígenas del Paraguay – COCIP; CREAR Movimiento Estudiantil; Decidamos, Campaña por la Expresión Ciudadana; Espacio Orgánico; Federación Nacional Campesina, FNC; Jetyvyro Cultura y Participación; Juventud Comunista Paraguaya -JCP; Movimiento Agrario Popular – MAP; Mesa Coordinadora Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, MCNOC; Movimiento 15 de Junio; Organización Campesina Regional de Concepción – OCRC; Organización de Lucha por la Tierra, OLT; Organización Nacional Campesina – ONAC; Servicio Paz y Justicia – SERPAJ; Sobrevivencia, Amigos de la Tierra.

Aceh Plans to Clear 1.2 million Hectares of Protected Forest Trigger Alarm over Increase in Landslides, Floods and other Natural Disasters

[JAKARTA] An alarming admission from the chairman of the Aceh Government’s Spatial Planning Committee is fuelling serious concern over the potential illegal loss of 1.2 million hectares of Aceh’s protected forests, as was explained in detail at a press conference today in Jakarta.

Tgk. Anwar, today, in the Aceh Post, stated that the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry has accepted ‘almost 100%’ of the Aceh Government’s new spatial plan proposal. Earlier, he told the Sydney Morning Herald that Aceh was preparing to reduce its protected forest area from 68% to 45%, meaning the loss of 1.2 million hectares.

The proposed changes have been wholly rejected by Aceh’s community and environmental non-governmental organisations,” explained Efendi, spokesperson for the Coalition of people Concerned for Aceh’s Forests (KPHA), “Despite our best efforts, communities and NGO’s have been completely excluded from the development process of the new spatial plan, which has totally lacked transparency and accountability.  One week ago a coalition of 18 local and International NGO’s sent a letter to the Ministry of Forestry calling on him to reject the proposed downgrading of the protected status of several wildlife reserves, protected forests, and hunting parks, to “other land use”, which we naturally suspect is closely linked to planned expansion of palm oil plantations and mining. There is an inevitable belief that the proposal is simply to legalize illegal activities already taking place as several mining and palm oil concessions overlap the areas scheduled for downgrading. The plan also includes creating a new transmigration site within the UNESCO Sumatra Tropical Rainforest World Heritage Site. Furthermore, the new plan makes absolutely no mention of the legally and nationally protected Leuser Ecosystem, a National Strategic Area for its environmental function, and the abolishment of the Ulu Masen’s designation as a Provincial Strategic Area.”

The plan to transform huge areas of Aceh forest into mining and palm oil plantations has also been promoted by academic adviser to the Aceh government, Dr Irfan, who declared that under the new plan ”there are more areas given for the community”. Yet on further examination, the area to be allocated to community is only slightly over 1% of the planned new opening of forest (14,704 hectares), whilst by far the largest allocations go to mining (slightly less than 1,000,000 hectares) logging concessions (416,086 hectares), and palm oil concessions  (256,250 hectares). The latter also includes plans to remove the protected status of the entire Tripa Peat Swamp Forest, an area that has received massive international attention due to illegal activities by palm oil companies destroying a global priority habitat of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, which are  still subject to ongoing Ministry of Environment and National Police legal action. In addition to these proposed new  large-scale exploitive industrial developments, the new spatial plan also gives approval for an extensive new road network that will cut through currently protected forests, further disrupting wildlife and watersheds in the region and opening up even more forests for exploitation, both legal and illegal. Famously once known as the ‘Ladia Galaska’ road network, or the ‘Spider Web’, for its appearance, the plan is once again being resurrected, despite being rejected in the past by popular demand due to the severe environmental damage it would bring.

“Areas that had previously been identified as being too high or too steep for conversion, or as having inappropriate soil types and heavy rainfall, so that under existing Indonesian regulations they should be Protected Forests (Hutan Lindung), have now been identified as targets for logging concessions, roads, mining concessions and palm oil plantations, ” explained Graham Usher, a landscape protection specialist who has worked in Indonesia for almost 30 years and was previously involved in the Tipereska forest data review and mapping process for Aceh under the previous Governor. “Opening up such forests is an extremely dangerous move.  Aceh’s people know very well that removal of forests on such steep and unstable soils results in devastating landslides and floods during the heavy rains that Aceh receives every year. Taking three case studies, we can easily map and predict serious long term threats to communities from reduced food security, soil impacts, landslides and flooding. The plan to clear these forests is a serious mistake that will result in the loss of yet more innocent lives and huge economic losses for the province.”

Dr Ian Singleton, of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program added his concern, “Despite the ongoing legal action against palm oil companies brought by NGOs, the Ministry of the Environment and the National Police, it is now being proposed that Tripa lose its currently protected status altogether, and for this unique peat swamp ecosystem and all its biodiversity and potentially hugely valuable carbon stock to be handed over to the palm oil companies for final, total obliteration. And now its not just Tripa and orangutans either. The new spatial plan does not even acknowledge the existence of the world renowned Leuser Ecosystem protected area or the fact that the forests they intend to “unprotect” are the last main hope for the long-term survival of iconic Sumatran endemic species such as the sumatran tiger, elephant and rhinoceros. The future of each of these species, and countless others, will be placed in immediate jeopardy if the plans are allowed to proceed. The Leuser Ecosystem is protected by National Spatial Planning law as a National Strategic Area for it’s Environmental Function. Ignoring the Leuser Ecosystem and these species’ habitat is absurd, and must surely be rejected by the Ministry of Forestry, who had given such praise to the previous Spatial Plan for Aceh, that in contrast to the new one was based on sound scientific and community impact studies. Its ironic that Aceh’s forests have received tens of millions of dollars from donor countries over recent decades for their protection, including major funds from the Multi Donor Fund after the 2004 tsunami, and yet after all that the Provincial Government now plans to trash them for roads, new mines, timber and oil palm concessions.”

Legal scrutiny of the new Aceh Spatial Plan and the process of its promotion to date also indicates that shortcuts have been made and people are being misled, such that it is highly likely that a number of national laws have been breached. If found to be true, this would put Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah and others within his government at risk of legal repercussions. The local community of Aceh Tamiang have in fact already expressed their alarm and issued a legal warning letter, or ‘somasi’, threatening legal action if the plans are allowed to go ahead. This illustrates very clearly that the new plan does not have the support of Aceh’s people.

2013 Future for Nature Award winner, Rudi Putra, the first Indonesian citizen to win this major international award in it’s 30-year history, has been working with the community of Aceh Tamiang and the local police on law enforcement activities to seize and destroy oil palms illegally planted in the protected Leuser Ecosystem. “In the last 3 years we’ve shut down 24 illegal palm oil plantations, and cut down the  illegal palms themselves and restore and regenerate the natural forest, to restore the natural function of the forest to protect the communities, with great success. The community understand very well from previous devastating flash floods in the area, most notably in 2006, that clearing the forests upstream has a direct impact on the river flow and their own safety downstream. The people of Aceh are no fools, we know that when these unstable areas are cut, it directly leads to increasing natural disasters. If even the villagers know this why do the Aceh Government’s advisors not comprehend this simple connection. To protect the communities of Aceh, their safety and their livelihoods, we must protect the forests of Aceh and keep watersheds intact. It is not difficult to understand.” He reiterated.

“Aceh’s forests and the Leuser Ecosystem are the only place in the world where we have Sumatran rhinos, tigers, elephants and orangutans all living in the same area. Next week there is a major international conference on Asian Tropical Biodiversity taking place in Banda Aceh too, with hundreds of international and national scientists attending. How can this be happening at the same time that our provincial government is planning to wipe out our rich and unique biodiversity with this new spatial plan. It simply MUST be rejected immediately for the benefit of all of us.” he added.

For further question or comment:

Dr Ian Singleton, Director of Conservation, PanEco Foundation/Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. Tel: +62-811-650491, Email mokko123@gmail.com.

Graham Usher, Lanscape Protection Specialist

Tel: +62-877-66394260, Email kimabajo1@gmail.com

Rudy Putra, 2013 Future for Nature Award Winner

Tel: +62-812-6435929, Email: rhinoleuser@gmail.com

Effendi Isma, KPHA Spokeperson

Tel: +62-813-60160055, Email: elang030108@gmail.com

Note to editors:

To download both presentation material and hi-res images please use this link:   https://www.dropbox.com/sm/create/Press%20Conference%20Jakarta%20March%2013%202013

Ironically Gender in the Fossil Patriarchy

Press statement by GenderCC–Women for Climate Justice – Doha, December 8th, 2012

The UNFCCC talks again failed to deliver an adequate response on the climate challenge. However, often unnoticed by the public, small steps are being taken to improve the international climate regime. Among others, a decision on gender balance has been adopted in Doha to improve the participation of women.

However welcome this decision, GenderCC must express its deep disappointment at the watering down of the wording, from the initial insistence on gender equality to its present position on gender balance. Gender balance, though important from an equity and human rights perspective, falls far short of the substantial gender equality needed to accomplish fundamental changes in human behaviour. Gender equality moves us beyond the numbers to deal with issues of substantive equality. Substantive equality would require us to begin to rephrase both climate science and climate politics from a gendered perspective, making true empowerment of women an issue, according to Gotelind Alber, co-founder and board member of GenderCC. “The decision on gender balance, though only a very first step, offers opportunities to strengthen the gender agenda in the UNFCCC process”.

Another outcome of the Doha meeting, the final document of the working group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (LCA) has finally been stripped of any mention of human rights and gender aspects which have previously enriched this document. At the various stages of development of this document, Women and Gender organisations had made major, and often successful, efforts to make this the first UNFCCC document that acknowledges the gender dimensions in all relevant fields, including adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building. Yvette Abrahams of GenderCC South Africa: “Having acknowledged that climate change is caused by human behaviour, the UNFCCC must
acknowledge that human behaviour is gendered. If we wish to achieve the profound changes required to move human society onto a low carbon development path, we are going to have to deal with the question of gender in a serious and systematic manner.”

GenderCC is also disappointed by the overall outcomes of Doha. Yvette Abrahams of GenderCC South Africa: “How useful gender parity will be in the absence of a highly ambitious legally binding agreement, proper pledges for climate finance which match the anticipated need, as well as real progress on loss and damages, is a question which we need to ask ourselves.”

GenderCC-Women for Climate Justice is the global network of women, gender activists and experts from all world regions working for gender and climate justice.

Contact: Gotelind Alber, g.alber@gendercc.net
+49-151-15240802
http://www.gendercc.net

WOMEN AND GENDER NGOs AT COP 18 TO HOLD “NOT IN MY NAME ACTION” DEMAND “FIERCE URGENCY AND AMBITION NOW”

4 December 2012

For Immediate Release

Doha, Qatar:  Women and Gender NGOs at COP 18 representing hundreds of women’s organizations and women environmental leaders around the world are calling on all NGOs and delegates present in Doha to 1) sign on to a group letter/online petition to governmental representatives and https://www.change.org/petitions/commit-to-fierce-urgency-and-ambition-in-solving-the-climate-crisis

The letter (complete text below) decries the lack of sincere and effective actions on the part of the countries from the Global North and says that the COP has no legitimacy to speak on behalf of the people of the world unless they make real progress.

The letter states:

“So far, your lack of urgency to work towards the common goal of saving people and the planet has left us angered and dismayed….. Countries, when you commit to take actions, you commit to the fierce urgency and ambition needed not only for our lives and well-being but the well-being and livelihoods of all the generations to come. Only then can you truly speak for us.”

Women will be holding signs with the message “NOT IN MY NAME” emphasizing the lack of legitimacy and progress at the Doha UNFCCC talks so far.

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNMENTS PRESENT AT THE UNFCCC COP 18 / CMP 8 IN DOHA, QATAR

4 December 2012

Dear Parties,

We need a signal from you that you care about the women, men and youth of this world. So far, your lack of urgency to work towards the common goal of saving people and the planet has left us angered and dismayed.

When you fail to make concrete commitments to scaled up and continued financing; when you cater to the interests of the fossil fuel industry over the interests of people; when you fail to stand on the side of innovation and progress and share sustainable, safe and equitable technologies; when you fail to ensure countries are enabled to adapt to and pay for the losses and damages resulting from climate change; when you fail to speak up for our rights; you do NOT speak for us.

For too long now you’ve let complacency in saving this process override ambition in saving the planet.  We are talking about 2020 but ignoring what’s happening right now!  Eight years is too long to wait. While you’re crunching numbers communities around the world are already paying.

Now is the time to act to close the finance gap; act to close the gigaton gap; to respect and embrace our shared knowledge not as commodities to own or exploit but as tools to transition to a safe, sustainable, low-carbon world; to support resilience and acknowledge and compensate the cultural and ecosystem losses that our inaction has already failed to save.

Countries, when you commit to take these actions, you commit to the fierce urgency and ambition needed not only for our lives and well-being but the well-being and livelihoods of all the generations to come.

Only then can you truly speak for us.

 

Sign on to this letter at

https://www.change.org/petitions/commit-to-fierce-urgency-and-ambition-in-solving-the-climate-crisis

Contact:           Bridget Burns              +1.914.310.3270        bridget@wedo.org

                         Ulrike Roehr               +49.179.203.1511      roehr@life-online.de

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