WE WANT FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, NOT BIOFUELS

Jan 3, 2007

Open Letter to the European Commission, Parliament, Union and citizens WE WANT FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, NOT BIOFUELS

Open Letter to the European Commission, Parliament, Union and citizens WE WANT FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, NOT BIOFUELS We, the undersigned organizations express before the European Parliament, the European Commission, the governments and citizens of the European Union, our deep concern over the policies that are probably to be adopted to favour the use and import of biofuel as an alternative to fossil fuels, whose disproportionate use is one of the main causes of global warming. The increasing use of individual automobiles and their associated oil consumption as one of the main causes of global warming, makes fossil fuels use grow day by day. In this context, the use of biofuels would appear to be a positive alternative. However, everything seems to indicate that this will generate serious negative impacts, especially on the people of the South. In fact, it is most unlikely that Europe will ever achieve self-sufficiency in the production of biofuel from national production of energy crops and therefore it is very possible that this will be done at the expense of lands on which the food sovereignty of our countries depend. While Europeans maintain their lifestyle based on automobile culture, the population of Southern countries will have less and less land for food crops and will loose its food sovereignty. We will have to base our diet on imported food, possibly from Europe. In other cases, energy crops will be grown in Latin America, as well as in Asian and African countries, at the expense of our natural ecosystems. Soybeans are forecasted to be one of the principal sources of biodiesel production, but it is a fact that monoculture soybean plantations are one of the main causes of the destruction of the rainforest in Argentina, of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Bolivia and of the Mata Atlântica in Brazil and Paraguay. Indigenous territories have also been affected. The Enwene Nawe indigenous people in the Matto Grosso declared, "Soybeans are killing us." At this time, some scant 429 Enawene Nawe people still survive. Their territory has been reduced to half its size and they are surrounded by soybean plantations. Their health is declining and the children suffer from malnutrition. In order to serve the soybean business, the governments of the Southern countries are building dams, waterways, bridges and highways with the consequent negative impacts on the environment. At the same time, the expansion of soybean crops is affecting the health of surrounding populations, where the levels of cancer and other diseases associated with agro toxic chemicals used on these monoculture plantations are increasing day by day. Sugar cane plantations and the production of ethanol in Brazil are the business of an agricultural monopoly using slave labour, and oil palm plantations are expanding at the expense of forests and the territories of the indigenous and other traditional communities of Colombia, Ecuador and other countries, increasingly geared to biodiesel production. The situation is even more serious if we consider that soybean crops in the Southern countries genetically modified and that private companies in Brazil are planning to launch genetically modified varieties of sugar cane on the market in the year 2010. Rejection of genetically modified crops in Latin America is widespread, and the expansion of crops to produce and export biofuels to Europe only exacerbates these conflicts. The problem of climate change generated by the countries of the North cannot be solved by creating new problems in our region. We are therefore appealing to the governments and people of the European Union countries to seek solutions that do not worsen the already dramatic social and environmental situation of the peoples of Latin America, Asia and Africa. IT IS TIME FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY LAND MUST BE USED TO FEED PEOPLE, NOT CARS Alert Against the Green Desert Network, Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations, Network for a GM free Latin America, Oilwatch South America, World Rainforest Movement Maldonado 1858, CP 11200 Montevideo Uruguay Tel:598 2 4132989 Fax: 598 2 4100985 http://www.wrm.org.uy Weitre Infos Die Umweltorganisation Sawit Watch, die wir finanziell unterstützen, in der Studie "Promised Land" nachgewiesen, wie verheerend die explosionsartige Ausdehnung immer neuer Palmöl-Plantagen für die Ureinwohner und ihre Regenwälder sind. "Promised Land" finden Sie online unter: http://www.sawitwatch.or.id/index.php?option=com_content Die Gier nach Soja frisst den Regenwald http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/0,1518,456376,00.html