Two weeks ago, the Monsanto Tribunal took place in The Hague. With this civil tribunal, activists from all over the world aim to add 'ecocide' as a crime in international laws. Zinaba Rasmane from Burkina Faso states that "currently we can't sue multinationals like Monsanto in our country for the damage they are causing."
In the beginning of October 2011, Tim Senden travelled to Tanzania for Both ENDS. In Tanzania he interviewd a number of organisations that are working on small-scale jatropha production. Thousands of small-scale farmers grow the jatropha seeds - which give a rich oil that can be used for energy production - along sides their food crops. Most of the seeds are sold to a company that exports the oil to Europe. From the remaining seeds they make soap which is sold on the local market. Is this a sustainable production model - unlike the big jatropha plantations - from which Tanzanian small-scale farmers can profit? Watch the clips and place your reactions on our Youtube channel, or on our Facebook or Twitter page.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to give multinational Monsanto 40 million dollars to sell seeds and pesticides in Eastern Europe. Farmers and environmental groups from all around the world are shocked, since Monsanto is known for promoting genetically modified crops and pesticides. Today Both ENDS and partners from Eastern Europe requested the EBRD to stop this project.
Syngenta , global producer of seeds and agrochemicals, will become an ' observer ' within the UN Convention to Combat Desertification ( UNCCD ). This was decided last week during the annual meeting in Windhoek , Namibia and caused indignation among civil society groups. Groups that were present started a joint diplomatic protest. Our Both ENDS-colleague Nathalie van Haren took a leading role in this protest and was the spokeswoman towards the media. She explains what it was all about.
At the beginning of this century, Jatropha Curcas made its name as the miracle tree. Jatropha was easy to grow in dry areas, the seeds could be used for biofuel and since Jatropha trees - like all trees and plants - absorb CO2, growing the tree would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In one stroke the solution to climate change, energy scarcity and underdevelopment would be within reach. Investors lined up to invest in large-scale Jatropha cultivation, especially in Africa. Ten years later, the miracle turned out to be a mirage.