Civil society demands responsible decisions with regard of agrofuels, transgenic trees and the technology Terminator.

Press release -  Two open letters addressed to the delegations taking part in MOP and COP

The 9th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 4th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety are taking place this month in Bonn, Germany.

A great number of civil society organizations are taking advantage of the MOP and COP meetings in order to raise serious concerns about the impacts of agrofuels, transgenic trees and the technology Terminator (important issues regarding biosafety and the conservation of biodiversity) through two open letters addressed to government delegates attending those meetings.

Although the letters were produced separately, the organizations involved decided to jointly disseminate those letters during the CBD meetings and to issue a joint press release. The decision was taken due to the similarity of the concerns and demands raised in both, with regard of monoculture tree plantations, agrofuels, genetically modified trees and crops, and Terminator technology.

One of the letters, signed by more than 300 organizations worldwide, starts by expressing its "deep concern over the impacts of large-scale monoculture tree plantations on the planet’s biodiversity, as well as the more recent threat posed by the research on transgenic trees currently being conducted in a number of countries."

In addition, the letter stresses the need for the CBD to "also recognize the serious impacts on biodiversity of large-scale monocultures intended for the production of agrofuels and place limits on their expansion. It should also call for an immediate moratorium on all political and financial support for such agrofuel production."

The second letter opens with a request to strongly oppose any decision which facilitates or promotes agrofuels, transgenic trees and seeds produced with genetic use restriction technologies [GURTs], also called Terminator).

After providing evidence and arguments supporting the request, the letter summarizes the problem by stating that "agrofuels, GM trees and GURTs imply the weakening of food sovereignty, contamination and loss of local (agro) - biodiversity and its related traditional knowledge, concentration of power on transnational corporative firms, contamination of natural resources, and general degradation of the local ecological and socio-economic systems".

In summary, both letters claim the serious impacts that the further expansion of agrofuels, transgenic trees and the liberation of the Terminator technology will have on food sovereignty, natural environment, biodiversity and human health worldwide and demand an immediate stop to their promotion.