News and success stories
Stay in the loop with news of ongoing campaigns and successes in the fight against rainforest destruction.
The Angry Mermaid Winner is...
The winner of the Angry Mermaid Award 2009, announced by award-winning journalist Naomi Klein at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen is the biotech giant Monsanto with 37% of the total vote. Oil giant Shell took second place (18%) in the Award for lobbying to sabotage effective action on climate change, followed by the American Petroleum Institute (14%). 10,000 people voted in the Award, named after the iconic Copenhagen mermaid who is angry about corporate lobbying on climate change.
New Copenhagen Draft Proposals Subsidize Forest Destruction and Land Grabs
The new draft proposals released yesterday at the Copenhagen Climate Conference will lead to large-scale destruction of ecosystems and unprecedented land grabs as spurious ‘offsets’ will allow Northern countries to burn ever more fossil fuels say civil society groups who have been tracking negotiations.
Leaders from the Global South protest against WWF International in Geneva
In front of the international head quarters of WWF (World Wildlife Fund) in Gland Geneva, participants of the Social and Climate Justice Caravan made their first protest action. Delegates from farming organisations, indigenous and fisher folk from the South denounced the greenwashing carried out by WWF in their respective countries.
New report: Soy and Agribusiness Expansion in Northwest Argentina - Legalized deforestation and community resistance
A new report has been launched titled "Soy and Agribusiness Expansion in Northwest Argentina - Legalized deforestation and community resistance. The cases of the Wichí communities of the Itiyuro River Basin and Misión Chaqueña, the Creole families of the Dorado River Basin and the Guaraní communities of El Talar". The report is published by CAPOMA (Argentina), La Soja Mata and Chaya Comunicación (Argentina), with the support of: BASE Investigaciones Sociales (Paraguay)
Climate activists blockade biomass plant in Port Talbot
Activists from Climate Camp Cymru have blockaded a biomass plant in Port Talbot to protest against plans to produce electricity from imported woodchips. Two protestors used bicycle locks to close off the plant’s entrance, stopping the hourly 20-tonne deliveries of woodchip needed to keep the power station operating. A large banner on the gates reads “Biomess”. Other activists climbed up the chimney to unfurl a giant banner in Welsh reading “Clean Energy: Dirty Joke”.
Protest against irresponsible soy - Vote against climate subsidy for Monsanto
Together with Toxic Soy, we sent 10.500 mails to the Dutch Government. This way we give 'responsible' soy the bad name it deserves. The Dutch Ministers Verburg and Koenders replied that they realise the RTRS has a long way to go, but they do see progress and keep supporting it. They don't want to accept that growing (GM) crops with massive use of herbicides can never be responsible. Soy export from South-America as animal feed for pigs and poultry in Europe can in itself never be responsible. Real solutions can be found in growing animal feed in Europe, strongy reducing the meat-industry and supporting the affected communities.
Lawsuit against copper mine in Ecuador headlines Canadian biggest newspaper Toronto Star
Since 1997 Rainforest Rescue supports local peasants and environmentalists in Ecuador against a planned copper mine in a pristine rainforest area Northwest of the capital Quito. Among other, with our funds 3,000 hectares of rainforest have been bought just above the copper deposit.
Killing Fields: the Battle to Feed Factory Farms
As part of the project Feeding and Fueling Europe, "Killing Fields: the Battle to Feed Factory Farms" seeks to illustrate the hidden chain of destruction from the factory farms in Europe to the forests of South America.
List of RSPO certificates and applications
This is a list of all RSPO certificates granted to palm oil producers and suppliers as of 1st November 2009, which also includes information about the plantation area which has been certified. The list should be read in conjunction with the Open Letter "Palm Oil Monocultures Will Never Be Sustainable"
Britain cuts down forests to keep ‘green’ power stations burning
Britain is set to plunder the lungs of the world to feed its growing hunger for wood to burn in power stations.
New report about biochar in Africa
"Biochar" - the seductive solution for carbon sequestration, soil fertilisation and development. This report by the African Biodiversity Network, Gaia Foundation and Biofuelwatch exposes the real situation in Africa, the risk of land-grabbing on a scale that dwarfs current land-grabs for agrofuels and agrcultural investment.
Palm oil monocultures will never be sustainable
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) held its Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, between 2-4th November. Organisations: please, sign on an Open Letter against oil palm expansion and greenwashing. To sign on, send a short email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNEP report slams biofuels
What the UNEP report actually says is this: "Increased biofuel production is expected to have large impacts on biological diversity in the coming decades, mostly as a result of habitat loss, increased invasive species and nutrient pollution."
Belém Letter: Joint declaration of the seminar “Climate and Forest - REDD and market-based mechanisms as a solution for the Amazon?
Joint declaration of the seminar “Climate and Forest - REDD and market-based mechanisms as a solution for the Amazon?" held in Belem, Brazil and signed by a lot of national social movements, networks and organizations of the Brazilian Amazon.
Palm oil plantations and illegal loggers are THE DESTRUCTION TWIN OF ORANGUTANS’ HABITAT
Sampit, West Kalimantan – The Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) and the people of Tumbang Koling village stand up today to fight for illegal loggers and palm oil companies that damage their traditional forests located at Cempaga upriver.
Activists condemn court ruling against peaceful protest against Virgin Atlantic's push for biofuels
Members of Action Against Agrofuels and Plane Stupid are dismayed at today's court decision to fine eleven activists nearly £3000..- in total for holding banners during a peaceful protest against Virgin Atlantic's push for aviation biofuels on 22nd June.
Stop the expansion of monoculture tree plantations !
This coming 21 September is the International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations. Listen to the Declaration on YouTube, set to music, video clips and photo images. The clip was produced by Roy MacGregor from EcoDoc Africa.
Copenhagen: Get back to basics of avoiding deforestation and degradation
Rainforest Rescue urges all Copenhagen bound climate parties to get back to basics of avoiding deforestation and degradation as a keystone climate change response. The focus must be upon ending first time industrial logging of primary forests, while providing local peoples alternative incomes based upon fully intact standing old forests. Anything less is unworthy of green support.
Global Day of Action Against Open-Pit Mining
The Frente Amplio Opositor a la Minera San Xavier (FAO), Cerro de San Pedro, San Luís de Potosí, México, call for a Global Day of Action against Open-pit Mining on July 22nd. Given Canada’s leading role in the global mining industry, we call for peaceful demonstrations in front of Canadian embassies across the world in order to show our condemnation of these mining projects that only leave behind desolation, poverty, and death for our people while enriching the few.
Plane Stupid and AAA crash Virgin Atlantic 25th birthday party
Activists from Plane Stupid and AAA (Action Against Agrofuels) have gate crashed Virgin Atlantic’s 25th birthday party at Heathrow airport, to highlight plans to allow the aviation industry to continue to expand if it uses biofuels instead of conventional aviation fuel. Read more
ALERT UPDATE! Malaysian Govt. Denies Well Documented Oil Palm Development Plans in Brazilian Amazon
TAKE CONTINUED ACTION NOW! In a startling yet welcome announcement, Malaysian government's land agency now denies plans to produce oil palm in the Amazon. While the prospect of a Malaysian government agency funding Amazonian oil palm has been dealt a serious setback, it is likely this project will re-emerge. Let's get formal commitment from the Malaysian government that this project is canceled, and to stop all Malaysian government and private industry funding of oil palm expansion overseas. Maybe, just maybe, we are winning this one!
Indonesian Orangutan Habitat Wiped Out for Airport and Brothels
Agence France-Presse reports that part of a national park on Borneo island, home to hundreds of endangered orangutans, has been turned into a development zone complete with an airport and brothel. Some 600 orangutan have disappeared from Kutai National Park, East Kalimantan province, over the past seven years due to unchecked construction. It really makes you wonder – just how callous can humanity be towards sister species, and if this is going on with government complicity, just how willing is Indonesia's government to limit deforestation? Or is REDD carbon finance proposal just about the carbon money?
Peru army moves into Amazon after tribes blockade rivers and roads
The Guardian reports that Peru's army is poised to deploy in the Amazon rainforest to lift blockades across rivers and roads by indigenous people opposed to oil, gas, logging and mining projects. The Peruvian rainforest is the largest swath of Amazon outside Brazil. Ecology and culture are at stake as government plans to exploit 70% of the rainforest for oil, gas and timber.
Reports on Agrofuels in Africa
Biofuelwatch has important new reports on biofuel in Africa including: "Profit at any Cost: A battle between big business and sustainable lifestyles - Northern Ghana".
Oil Palm in Your Food: Rainforest's and Climate's Greatest Scourge
Palm oil is very likely to be found in your margarine, bread, biscuits and candy bars -- frequently listed as "vegetable oil" in the ingredients. Thirty square miles of carbon and biodiversity rich habitat are being cleared a day to provide you these products, largely in Malaysia and Indonesia, but increasingly threatening primary forests wherever they are found, including in the Amazon.
Major Victory for Ivory Coast's Rainforests as Oil Palm Successfully Resisted
Finally the oil palm scourge threatening primary rainforests and life giving ecosystems worldwide faces a setback as local protests are again successfully supported internationally by Rainforest Rescue and others.
VICTORY! California Leads in Saying No to Deforestation Biofuels
California is setting the precedent of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuels. Critically, as our recent alert demanded, biofuel's indirect land use impacts, starting with corn ethanol, are to be considered when determining a fuel's net impact upon emissions.
U.S. Industrial Agriculture and Biofuel/Biomass Campaign
Securing world food security while maintaining operable global ecosystems may be one of the biggest challenges humanity faces this century. Biomass for agrofuel and biochar from increased industrial plantations is suddenly being proposed as the universal answer to our climate and energy problems. But the world's land and forests are already past their carrying capacity, and terrestrial ecosystems, upon which all life depends, are crashing. Biomass based climate and energy plans dependent upon further intensification of industrial agriculture are premature, almost certainly will be ecologically devastating, and no one knows if they will work. It is more likely they will continue the processes that are leading to global ecosystem collapse.
Activists storm Bath energy firm's HQ
AA occupied Blue NG offices on Friday 17th, Via Campesina Day, in solidarity with millions of peasant land-workers demonstrating globally against agrofuels. Blue NG are committing a crime against humanity and the planet by using misinformation* to win support for the new market of agrofuel power stations, when virtually all agrofuels have been shown to cause ecosystem destruction, accelerated climate change & food poverty.
Briefing Roundtable on Responsible Soy: Can Monoculture Soy be Responsible?
What is the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS)?
Letter of critical opposition to the “Round Table on Responsible Soy”
We, the undersigned, call for the abandonment of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), on the following grounds:
Rainforest Destroyer of the month -- Malaysian Oil Palm Threatens Brazilian Amazon
Rainforest destroyer of the month award for April goes to Malaysia's Land Development Authority (FELDA), who will soon break ground on a joint venture with a Brazilian firm to establish 30,000-100,000 hectares (75,000 – 250,000 acres) of oil palm plantations in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
Climate, Rainforest and Other Environmental Impacts of Corn Ethanol Gaining Prominence
Over a year ago, the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring massive increases in the production of ethanol and other biofuels. The Renewable Fuel Standard, passed as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, requires the nation to produce 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022.
Globally, Land Degrading Faster Than Expected
A fascinating yet terrifying new study finds that 24% of the Earth's land is degrading, some of it formerly quite productive. This is the first accurate satellite based quantification of land degradation.
Declaration: ‘Biochar’, a new big threat to people, land, and ecosystems
Keep ‘biochar’ and soils out of carbon trading Caution urged against proposals for large scale use of charcoal in soils for climate change mitigation and soil reclamation Read the declaration, supported by more than 120 organisations from around the world.
New Threat to Amazon from Oil Palm Plantations
An important new study in the open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science highlights that oil palm expansion presents a major emerging threat to the Amazon.
Corn Agrofuel and Obama's Science Pledge
We are beginning to see the Obama administration playing fast and loose with ecological science, letting political necessities overwhelm ecological concerns regarding corn based ethanol agrofuels.
Rainforest Destroyer of the Month -- Neste's Fuel from Rainforests
Finland's Neste Oil will soon be making diesel from palm oil, vegetable oil and animal fat in Singapore, to power cars in Europe and North America. This is wrong for so many reasons: palm oil destroys rainforests, food should not be fuel, and industrial agrofuels falsely claim to reduce carbon emissions.
Obama's Hard Choices on Biofuels
A Time Magazine article late last year highlighted well Rainforest Rescue's objections to industrial agrofuels, indicating there are some hard choices to be made on ethanol by President Obama and his Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
WRM Video: Women raise their voices against tree plantations
Industrial tree plantations rapidly spread in the global South.
Palm Oil expansion in Indonesia: 10.000 EU-citizens demand release of environmental defender M. Rusdi in Jambi
Press Release by Watch Indonesia!, Rettet den Regenwald e.V., Borneo Orangutan Survival Germany:
Indonesian ecolabeling initiative providing cover for rainforest destruction
The Indonesian Ecolabel Institute is facilitating rainforest destruction by issuing "sustainable forest management certificates" to companies that convert natural and peatlands into industrial timber estates, allege national environmental groups.
Charcoal disguised as “biochar” sold as another profitable climate tech-fix
In the last issue of WRM Bulletin (Nr. 138), there is an article that warns about concerted lobbying for carbon finance and government support to fund 'biochar', i.e. charcoal used as a soil amendment as another profitable climate fix as well as a false solution to the climate crisis. Read it here.
EU decision on biofuel targets
Renewable Energy Directive agreed, EU endorses high mandatory biofuel target Climate, communities, rainforests and other ecosystems to be sacrificed In December 2008, the European Union reached an agreement on the Renewable Energy Directive. Detailed analysis of what was decided regarding biofuels and solid biomass…
A land grab in Colombia
Socialist Worker (US) David Goodner and Megan Felt report on the struggle of indigenous people in Colombia to stop Muriel Mining from exploiting their ancestral land.
"Next Generation Biofuels": Bursting The New "Green" Bubble
Letter challenges unrealistic promises from an unsustainable industry United States – A diverse alliance of organizations published an open letter today in the U.S. and internationally warning of the dangers of industrially produced biofuels (called agrofuels by critics). The letter explains why large-scale industrial production of transport fuels and other energy from plants such as corn, sugar cane, oilseeds, trees, grasses, or so-called agricultural and woodland waste threatens forests, biodiversity, food sovereignty, community-based land rights and will worsen climate change.