Global Justice Ecology Project 

June Update

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Global Justice Media Program

Photo of the Month

GJEP co-founders Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle traveled to Montreal, Quebec on 11 June for the memorial services for GJEP Founding Board Member Aziz Choudry, who passed away unexpectedly last year in Johannesburg, South Africa. Aziz was previously a professor at McGill University in Montreal and had a large community of friends there. Petermann and Langelle met Aziz in 2000 in New Zealand at an international meeting of Native Forest Network. Aziz was a pioneer of the anti-globalization movement in the Pacific region, mobilizing extensively against the trade deals of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC). He was a globally respected activist and scholar. Langelle collaborated with Aziz on his book Learning Activism, providing all of the photos for it, and was working on a new book project with Aziz when he passed away. Photo: Langelle/GJEP.

Global Justice Media News

March for our Lives Buffalo

GJEP friend and ally, Bill Jungels posted this photo essay from the march in Buffalo at the site of the massacre of ten victims by a white supremacist in a Tops supermarket. The march was timed to coincide with the march in D.C. to demand that Congress enact gun controls. GJEP is headquartered in Buffalo, NY, with our main office there until 2020, and another office in Auburn, NY, home to one of the victims.

Heartwood 32nd Anniversary gathering

GJEP’s Orin Langelle and Steve Taylor attended the 30th gathering of the midwest forest protection organization Heartwood over Memorial Day weekend. Both also attended the original founding of Heartwood in 1990.

Andy Mahler, founder of Heartwood, addressing grassroots forest activists at Heartwood’s 32nd anniversary held at the Otter Creek Recreation Area in Kentucky. Photo: Langelle/GJEP.

Electric Cars and Lithium Extraction Threaten to Drive Even More Climate Harm

Adriana Daroqui, a graduate student at The New School, completed her capstone project with GJEP in 2021 with a detailed report on the social and ecological impacts of lithium mining in Chile. In May, Truthout posted this article she authored, based on the report, discussing green policies that promote “renewable energy” technologies, such as solar panels, wind turbines and electric batteries that threaten to do even more harm to ecosystems in extraction areas by destroying biodiversity, contaminating water, and causing social and environmental damage to local Indigenous communities.

Breaking Green Podcast

Global Justice Ecology Project’s Breaking Green podcast talks with activists and experts to examine the intertwined issues of social, ecological and economic injustice. Breaking Green also explores some of the more outrageous proposals to address climate and environmental crises that are falsely being sold as green.


In this new episode of Breaking Green, we speak with John Wallace, founding member of Shawnee Forest Defense and long time activist involved in protecting the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.

Along with Shawnee Forest Defense, Wallace is working to transfer the Shawnee National Forest out of the Department of Agriculture and into the Department of Interior to create a new Shawnee National Park and Climate Preserve. Wallace argues that this new designation will benefit wildlife, recreation, our rapidly changing climate and stimulate much needed economic development.

As a forest activist on the Shawnee National Forest and public land in and around the southern Illinois region for over 30 years, Wallace has taken on public awareness campaigns, tackled pro se litigation and participated in non-violent direct action in defense of the natural world.

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Campaign to STOP GE Trees

GJEP coordinates the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, a national and international alliance of organizations, scientists, Indigenous Peoples and other individuals that have united towards prohibiting the ecologically and socially devastating release of genetically engineered [GE or genetically modified] trees into the environment.

GE Trees in Brazil

Brazil Says NO GE trees! 

A new glyphosate-resistant GE eucalyptus tree, developed by Suzano Papel e Celulose, was approved in Brazil without broad public consultation. Groups in Brazil responded with an open letter signed by dozens of Brazilian organizations and endorsed by groups from organizations globally. These groups are looking into avenues to challenge the approval of the tree in Brazil. Earlier in June, GJEP put out a press release about the open letter, which continues to get response from reporters.

Organizational Spotlight

When GJEP identifies a group or organization whose non-for-profit work closely aligns with our mission, we may support their important work by becoming a fiscal sponsor. This helps them minimize bureaucracy so they can focus on their crucial work for ecological and social justice, forest protection and/or human rights. GJEP fiscally sponsors BiofuelWatchVermont Street Medics, Save the Pine Barrens, NH PANTHER, Center for Grassroots OrganizingStanding Trees VT and Shawnee Forest Defense.


Biofuelwatch provides information, advocacy and campaigning in relation to the climate, environmental, human rights and public health impacts of large-scale industrial bioenergy. Their campaigns include #AxeDrax, End Biomass Subsidies, Geoengineering, and Biotechnology for Biofuels. Biofuelwatch also opposes genetically engineered trees and is a founding steering committee member of the International Campaign to Stop GE Trees.

To learn more go to

Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle spent a week in Vermont meeting with old friends and colleagues about ongoing collaborations.  Orin met with several people about a potential photography book project based on his Portraits of Struggle exhibit.  The two also met with GJEP’s fiscally sponsored projects that are based in Vermont, including Biofuelwatch and the Center for Grassroots Organizing. Cisco (left), Biofuelwatch co-director Rachel Smolker (center) and GJEP’s Anne Petermann (right). Photo: Langelle/GJEP.

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Photo: Claudio Nogueira

The Role of Eucalyptus in Brazil comes under the Crosshairs of the International Anti-Transgenic Tree Network (June 2, 2023)

Impact of monoculture in territories was the subject of visits led by FASE in Espírito Santo


Note: FASE were co-organizers of the tour to the communities of Espírito Santo.

The article (included below in full) is written by Claudio Nogueira (FASE Communications Coordinator) and originally appeared June 2nd, 2023, on FASE’s website. It is available in both Portugese and English through Google Translate.


The pulp industry writes a sad story in Brazil. Its role in land occupation with eucalyptus monoculture imprints a perverse logic that suffocates traditional communities and goes far beyond false ideas of reforestation and environmental concern. This was the scenario encountered by members of the campaign “Stop GM Trees” (No to Transgenic Trees) and the Alert Against Green Deserts Network, in a tour organized by the FASE Espírito Santo team, visiting locations in the north of Espírito Santo and the extreme south in Bahia, between the 24th and 29th of May.

In all, around 25 people, including popular educators, quilombola and landless leaders, environmentalists and foreign researchers from Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Argentina and Chile were able to verify the impact of eucalyptus plantations on the way of life of family farmers and traditional communities in the region. For three days, the group got to know the experiences of agroecological practices in areas taken over by the Landless Workers Movement (MST) at the Egídio Brunetto Training School and at the Índio Galdino settlement, in addition to hearing reports of the difficulties faced by the quilombola communities of Volta Miúda and Angelim 2 with monoculture plantations. After the visits,

eucalyptus espirito santo

Photo: Claudio Nogueira

For Beto Loureiro, educator at FASE in Espírito Santo, the tour was important for the researchers to realize that the impacts are already terrible, and the transgenic trees are going to be one more aggression in the historical series that monoculture causes in the territories, “since the expulsion of traditional communities, passing through the depletion of water resources and the enormous amount of poisons that they apply now, even by air”. “They are spraying the monocultures by drone, and this poison is spreading, falling on the communities’ plantations, falling on their homes, on their schools. In short, a real chemical war, which takes place here in the green desert, ”he explains.

Transgenic trees, a new threat

Brazil was chosen to host the meeting due to the extension of activities in the paper industry and approval by the company Suzano, in 2021, for the planting of genetically modified eucalyptus trees to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate. This follows the previous approval, in 2015, of FuturaGene’s fast-growing transgenic eucalyptus tree, which was not planted commercially. The country is the only one in Latin America where field tests seem to be taking place today with genetically modified trees.

Genetic engineering directly changes the genetic makeup (DNA) of an organism, bypassing normal plant or animal reproduction to create new traits. Genetic engineering includes techniques that make changes to DNA by inserting genetic material from the same, similar or wholly unrelated organisms, or, with genome editing (also called gene editing), by introducing genetic material that acts as “editor” to change the DNA. Genetic engineering applied to trees is a technical challenge fraught with serious environmental and social risks.

Photo: Claudio Nogueira

Most research is focused on increasing the productivity of planted trees for various industrial purposes. These objectives include pulp, paper and wood production; as well as the use of trees as “bioenergy” crops – to produce biomass and liquid “cellulosic biofuel”. There is also some interest in genetically modifying trees to produce other industrial materials such as pharmaceuticals, using the trees as “biofactories”, as well as experiments to sell carbon credits and proposals to release these trees into the wild to “restor” endangered species. of extinction.

“It made us realize that it is another problem that we will have to deal with”, ponders Beto. “These transgenic eucalyptus trees grow very quickly. Therefore, they must also suck water very quickly, they are resistant to poisons. We can imagine that the burden of poisons in monocultures will increase, and that is what we expect from these researchers: that they return to their countries also understanding that non-transgenic eucalyptus is already a tragedy”, he concludes.

The foreign delegation continued its tour of Brazil with audiences at UnB and Esplanada dos Ministérios, in Brasília, and will continue to Mato Grosso do Sul, also to verify the role of eucalyptus plantations in the environmental imbalance in the state.