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Jul 22, 2008
Dear GCP Friends,
 
In the light of the  recent partnership between Canopy Capital and the Iwokrama International Centre in Guyana to measure and then place a value on the Ecosystem Services (ES of Iwokrama’s tropical rainforest, I thought you may be interested in the forthcoming BBC1 series on Guyana called the "Lost Land of the Jaguar".
 
This new three-part series brings an international team of scientists, climbers and film-makers to the Guyanese rainforest to search for the extraordinary animals that live there. The series starts transmission on BBC1 at 8pm on Sunday the 27th of July.
 
 
With best wishes,
 
Andrew Mitchell
Director
Global Canopy Programme
www.globalcanopy.org
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Posted: Jul 22, 2008 9:10am
Jul 15, 2008

http://www.embcol.or.at/boletines/2007/noviembre/bol-1611200701_ing.htm

In response to this:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am deeply concerned about the ongoing rainforest
destruction and human rights abuses in Chocó and other
regions in Colombia which are linked to the government's
support for agrofuel expansion. Large monoculture biofuel
plantations are already destroying some of the world's most
biodiverse ecosystems, such as in Chocó and Nariño, greatly
accelerating global warming and destroying both the present
and future livelihoods of the population. The National
Council for Political Economy and Social Affairs (CONPE
has recently announced new plans to promote agrofuel
production which will mean large-scale expansion of
plantations, particularly of oil palms and sugar cane. Such
policies will aggravate environmental destruction and human
rights abuses. If growing food for fuel is allowed to
expand it is bound to raise Colombian food prices and erode
food security as is happening around the world.

Since this matter was first brought to your government's
attention in September of 2007, threats and other human
rights abuses continue against community members who have
returned to their lands and resist the illegal occupation
of that land by palm oil companies. In Curvaradó and
Jiguamiandó basin, department of Chocó, community leaders
have been receiving death threats. In February 2008, the
representative of a palm oil company offered a large sum of
money to a gunman to kill community leaders Ligia Maria
Chaverra and Manuel Denis Blandon. Other local people have
been harassed by members of the paramilitary and military
forces. Last September, two people were shot and injured by
men believed to be members of the paramilitary group
"Aguilas Negras" (Black Eagles). Since 2001, 113 killings,
13 forced displacements, many death threats and illegal
land occupations have been reported in Curvaradó and
Jiguamiandó.

A moratorium on agrofuel developments from large-scale
monocultures and a review of the government's biofuel
policy are essential to prevent further human rights abuses
and to avoid catastrophic biodiversity losses, freshwater
pollution and depletion, soil erosion and accelerated
global warming. A full enquiry into social and
environmental impacts of large-scale monocultures must now
be carried out. The government must guarantee the safety,
human rights and land rights of the communities in Chocó
and elsewhere and investigate and all prosecute human
rights abuses, including the recent death threats and
attacks. Government officials should stop questioning the
legal status of the Humanitarian Zone before the
Interamerican Commission for Human Rights. Further, it is
essential that the Colombian government:

* Immediately returns the ancestral land to communities
affected by monoculture plantations, such as the Curvaradó
Afro-Colombian communities affected by oil palm
plantations, and to implement the 169 Convention of the
International Labor Organization;

* Stops further deforestation and exploitation of large-
scale oil palm plantations and the processing of palm oil
in the Curvaradó river basin and elsewhere in Colombia;

* Guarantees the reparation of human and environmental
damages generated by the imposition of large scale
monoculture;

* Recognizes and respects local civilian initiatives aimed
at protecting the environment such as the recent creation
of Biodiversity Zones.

Those measures are essential to ensure Colombia's long term
ecological sustainability and development potential, and to
avoid a preventable social and environmental disaster. The
world is watching and expecting you to act.

Yours faithfully,


Beatrice Baxter

 

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Posted: Jul 15, 2008 7:13am

 

 
 
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Author

Beatrice B.
, 2, 3 children
The Plains, VA, USA
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