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WE WANT FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, NOT BIOFUELS

An open letter was sent
yesterday to the European Parliament, The European Commission, The
Governments and Citizens of The European Union, in which several
networks from Latin American countries expressed their "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".
Biofuels : A clear message from theSouth

From: Ana Filippini
World Rainforest Movement

For Inmediate Release

A clear message from the South: WE WANT FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, NOT
BIOFUELS

(January 6, 2007) An open letter (please see attachment) was sent
yesterday to the European Parliament, The European Commission, The
Governments and Citizens of The European Union, in which several
networks from Latin American countries expressed their "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".

They point out :

· Increasing use of
individual automobiles and their associated oil consumption as one of
the main causes of global warming, and biofuels might appear to be a
positive alternative. However, serious negative impacts are being
experienced by the people and natural resources of the South.


· Europe will never achieve
self-sufficiency in the production of biofuel from national production
of energy crops. The EU Biofuels directive being announced by the
EU Commissioners next week, will drive a massive market expansion in
biofuels in Europe that will come at the expense of lands on which the
food sovereignty of Southern 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.

Energy crops grown in Latin America for the European market :

· will increase the level
of destruction of the rainforest in Argentina, of the Amazon
rainforest in Brazil and Bolivia and of the Mata Atlāntica in Brazil
and Paraguay, and genetically modified
soybean crops, that are already being planted, affect 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 decisions on the EU Biofuels directive being made by the EU
commissioners on January 10th are critical to the future of many in
the Southern nations. The Latin American networks appealed 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.

Some European organizations, organized a campaign to support the
Latin American Network position and also sent their own message to the
Commission. The commission are urged to act to prevent further
deforestation, biodiversity losses, and evictions and impoverishment
of local communities by placing a moratorium on the EU biofuel targets
and obligations until the sustainable sourcing of biofuels can be
guaranteed; and taking all possible measures to stop imports of
biofuel feedstocks for bioenergy where crop production is linked to
deforestation, peat drainage, biodiversity loss, pollution or human
rights abuses.

Note:

Additional information about this issues can be found in the
signatories' web pages: Alert Against the Green Desert Network,
 http://www.desertoverde.org/
; Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations,
 http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/RECOMA.html ; Network for a GM
free Latin America,
 http://www.rallt.org/ ;
Oilwatch South America,
 link to www.oilwatch.org ;

Some good in-depth articles on the impact of biofuels to
communities people, biodiversity and resources in Latin America can be
found at:
 http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/112/viewpoint.html on the
World Rainforest Movement website.

Contact details:

In Latin America:
Ana Filippini, World Rainforest Movement. Email:  anafili@wrm.org.uy , Telephone:
598 2 4132989 Cell phone: 598 99367966

Elizabeth Bravo, Email:
 ebravo@rallt.org Telephone: 593 22 547516

In Europe:Jutta Kill, Email:
 jutta@fern.org , Telephone: +44 1608 652 895

Andrew Boswell, Large Scale Biofuel Action Group. Email:
 andrew.boswell@yahoo.co.uk , Telephone: +44-1603-613798, Mobile:
+44- 7787-127881;

Maldonado 1858, CP 11200
Montevideo Uruguay
Tel:598 2 4132989 Fax: 598 2 4100985
 http://www.wrm.org.uy

homepage: homepage: http://www.nwrage.org


Biofuels vs. Food Crops 30.Jan.2007 17:22

Morgan Langan

Why can't we use genetically modified crops to fuel our autos and support small organic farmers to grow our food? It appears that we are playing right into the hands of big oil and corporate farms by fighting against one another. Look at the confusing message this is sending to world leaders.