The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a highly secretive and expansive free trade agreement between the United States and twelve Pacific Rim countries, including Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. Leaked text reveals that the TPP would empower corporations to directly sue governments in private and non-transparent trade tribunals over laws and policies that corporations allege reduce their profits. Legislation designed to address climate change, curb fossil fuel expansion and reduce air pollution could all be subject to attack by corporations as a result of TPP.
Aotearoa / New Zealand
WRM information sheets on GE tree research First posted: 1 August 2008 Updated: 15 August 2008 Updated 7 August 2009 Last update August 2014 Tree species being manipulated:
Since 2003, New Zealand's Scion has been carrying out a field trial planting of genetically engineered (GE) Radiata pine and Norway spruce trees at its research facilities in Rotorua. The GE trees contain reporter genes, herbicide resistance genes and genes which according to Scion are "thought to affect floral development". The trial is planned to last 22 years, although none of the trees will be left in the ground for more than 10 years.
The weekend of the 21st and 22nd of September PIPEC (Pacific Indigenous People’s Environment Coalition) held a workshop on the Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation. The workshop was opened by the new Conservation Minister for New Zealand, Chris Carter, and had representatives from most of the Pacific nations' communities here in Aotearoa, along with Maori representation. Nearly all of the Pacific academics working in the tertiary sector attended, as did a representative of Siosiomaga Society from Samoa.
In April, the fifth edition of the Roger Award took place. This prize is given to the worst transnational corporation operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand and is organized by the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and GATT Watchdog, two local activist/campaign organizations.
In all of the debate over what is (or is not) a forest, the issue of an individual country’s commitment to the Convention on Biological diversity (CBD) has been overlooked by many. We need to remember that in signing and ratifying their commitment to the CBD, countries commit to increasing their forest cover as a measure of protecting biodiversity. The Global Forest Coalition produced a report on several countries' commitment to the CBD which was presented at the sixth Conference of the Parties in The Hague.
Commissioned by the Global Forest Coalition This report is based on 21 country case studies, including Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya,Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand/Aotearoa, Papua New Guinea, Russia, South Africa, Suriname, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Uruguay
The recent publication in the USA of a book, detailing a conspiracy between government, industry, and various public relations firms to discredit environmentalists in New Zealand, has produced surprise among environmental and official circles in that country.
While genetic engineering applied to food production is provoking concern among consumers and citizens and many scientists express their doubts and criticism in relation to it, big food, forestry and energy corporations are engaged in developing genetically modified trees, expected to be able to grow faster and to contain components desired by industry. (see WRM Bulletins 26 and 27)
A 30-year campaign led by environmentalist organizations in New Zealand (see WRM Bulletin 30) has at last reached its goal, since the new government has recently introduced legislation to stop the logging of publicly-owned temperate rainforests at the West Coast, and to transform them into national parks and other conservation reserves.