Handover of protest signatures to the FAO

Handover of signatures to FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva Handover to FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva

Jan 25, 2012

On January 21st, 2012, the protest signatures we collected during the campaign „Plantations are no forests“ were handed over to the director-general of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The press conference held during the International Green Week Berlin offered a great opportunity to talk to José Graziano da Silva.

On January 21st, 2012, the protest signatures we collected during the campaign „Plantations are no forests“ were handed over to the director-general of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The press conference held during the International Green Week Berlin offered a great opportunity to talk to José Graziano da Silva.

He admitted he was fairly impressed by the 27.000 signatures collected by Rainforest Rescue and World Rainforest Movement (WRM). The trigger for our specific activity concerning the FAO was a petition by 613 scientists who criticized the definition the FAO provides for ’forest’. Currently the FAO defines forest as land areas „with tree crown cover [...] of more than 10 percent and area of more than 0.5 hectares. The trees should be able to reach a minimum height of 5 meters.“ By applying this definition the FAO also describes monocultures for agrocultural practices as forest.

The definition presently used enables companies in the agrobusiness to label plantations as forest and even grants these companies subsidies for reforestation. Palmoil or acacia plantations which are cultivated for agrofuels and paper can even be labeled as environmental protection areas although very often real forest is being destroyed for these plantations.