The fiscal year 2006 of Global Justice Ecology Project was extremely eventful. Two things stand out in particular: we became the North American Focal Point of the Global Forest Coalition (based in Paraguay and The Netherlands, with Focal Points in regions all around the world); and World Rainforest Movement (based in Uruguay) agreed to become the Southern Hub of the STOP GE Trees Campaign.
Both of these important affiliations enable us to work more closely with rural and indigenous communities around the world that are fighting the social and ecological devastation of industrial timber plantations. They also enable us to work in non-English speaking countries and to spread more widely information about the social and ecological threats from genetically engineered trees.
Another exciting development was the launching of a new campaign on the unsustainable, industrial production of biofuels. While not shopping for a new campaign, biofuels was an issue we could not ignore, once we learned that the GE trees industry was using biofuels as a major excuse for the commercialization of plantations of GE trees, particularly in the U.S. South.
In addition, the rising chorus of voices of our Latin American partners warning of the social and ecological devastation that would accompany the industrial production of biofuels, meant it was an issue to which we had to pay attention.
Fortunately for us, at that very moment, Rachel Smolker, a locally based zoologist and researcher walked into our office looking to volunteer. She has taken over the research on the biofuels issue and has produced a short briefing paper, which has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and German. She is also in the process of writing a major report on the biofuels problem focusing on the impacts of biofuels on forests and forest-dwelling peoples. This report is being created in conjunction with our partners at World Rainforest Movement and Global Forest Coalition.
Since the 2006 fiscal year ended we have also hired an additional staff person, Phiona Hamilton-Gordon. Welcome aboard Phiona!
In conclusion, in FY 2006 Global Justice Ecology Project grew by leaps and bounds. These momentous gains were made possible with the generous contributions of our members, our fantastic Board of Directors and the foundations that support our cutting edge work.
Thank you all!
Top right: GJEP Co-Directors Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann speak at Concordia University