On June 5th, World Environment Day, community members at the southern coast of Guatemala protested against the rapid spread of large-scale palm oil, sugar cane and banana plantations in their region. Utz Che', our local partner organisation, joined the march.
Last month, our partner Utz Che' filed a lawsuit against the Guatemalan state on behalf of some communities along the Madre Vieja River. The communities demand, among other things, that their right to water is respected and that they are protected against water abuse and pollution by large-scale agriculture.
All over the world countries conclude agreements with each other in order to receive access to foreign markets. The Member States of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)* want to establish a common market in 2015 to promote economic growth. Officially ASEAN has formulated the goal of making this growth as sustainable, fair and inclusive as possible. However, in many cases local communities that depend on natural resources such as forests will be the victims of this agreement.