There is No “Sustainable Biofuel”

Small farmers that came together in Japan recently have come up with some very practical and do-able solutions. La Via Campesina–The International Peasant Movement–posted this press release from the biodiversity conference last month:

Small Farmers’ Solutions to the Biodiversity Crisis

(Nagoya, 26 October 2010) Small farmer delegates from different parts of the world who are members of the international peasant movement La Via Campesina are attending the Convention of Biodiversity conference in Nagoya, Japan. They represent hundreds of millions of small farmers and family farmers in the world.

Colleen Ross from the National Farmers Union of Canada following the process said

“We are disappointed in many of the initiatives discussed in the working groups of the conference, such as “sustainable biofuels”. What we call “agrofuels” are actually not sustainable and do not constitute a renewable source of energy. It is really no solution to climate change, or of any benefit to farmers, indigenous people or local communities, but just a way for agribusiness to make more money”.

Many small farmers in the Global South are facing exclusion and bankruptcy due to the expansion of agrofuel plantations. They loose their biodiversity due to monoculture plantations and they lose their land and territories. Hunger and poverty is everywhere in the rural areas. Worse, agroethanol and agrodiesel do not even solve the climate crisis, they actually increase it.

La Via Campesina farmers demand :

  • An end to the expansion of agroefuel plantations, and the reduction of consumption of agrofuel. There is no “sustainable biofuel”.
  • Mandatory information on the origin of biological resources used for each commercialization of all products.
  • A moratorium on Genetically Used Restriction Technologies such as “terminator” and transgenic seeds.
  • No patents or breeding rights on living organisms, their parts and derivatives and the cancellation of all existing property rights on these.
  • Access and use of biological resources and knowledge should be conditioned on the prior consent of indigenous and local communities.
  • No market mechanisms on biodiversity and climate change solutions.

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