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Global Justice Ecology Project 

November Update

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Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees

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

On October 19th, the initial public comment period by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the petition for deregulation of the Darling 58 genetically engineered (GE or genetically modified) American Chestnut closed.

Historically, there has been strong public opposition to GE trees, a trend which continues to be seen with the current proposal. The public comment period closed with 109 organizations, representing millions of members, officially opposed to the proposal to plant Darling 58 in forests. 123,426 individuals have also registered opposition to the genetically engineered American chestnut. More than 400 organizations have previously endorsed a full global ban on the release of all GE trees into the environment.

Representatives of five organizations opposing the deregulation of Darling 58 spoke at a virtual press conference: Anne Petermann–GJEP Executive Director and International Coordinator, Campaign to STOP GE Trees; BJ McManama–Campaign Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network; Scot Quaranda–Communications Director, Dogwood Alliance; Dana Perls–Food and Technology Program Manager, Friends of the Earth; and Lucy Sharratt–Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

The representatives spoke against the attempt by researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) to gain regulatory approval for “Darling 58,” for which they seek permission for unrestricted planting in North American forests, which would make it the first genetically modified organism (GMO) designed to spread into ecosystems.

What you can do:

  • Read the full release: Public Comment on Darling 58 American Chestnut Closes
  • Watch Virtual Press Conference on Closing of Darling 58 Public Comment Period
  • Read the comments submitted by groups in the Campaign to STOP GE Trees and our allies here.
  • The process to stop the D58 GE tree is just in its beginning phase. There is much more to come. If you have not yet signed our petition demanding the USDA reject the request to release the Darling 58 tree into forests, please be sure to do so!


Restoring The American Chestnut With Genetic Engineering Splits The Conservation Community

The Allegheny Front is a public radio program covering environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania, Managing Editor, Julia Grant interviewed members of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees about their opposition to Darling 58. Click the above link to listen to excerpts from Grant’s interview with Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project, and BJ McManama of Indigenous Environmental Network.

Warming Oceans and Mega-Storms & the Fight Against GE Trees

Featured broadcast of our press conference about opposing the deregulation of genetically engineered American chestnut trees on A Rude Awakening, KPFA 94.1 FM (Berkeley, CA). Also featuring a brief interview with GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann on the link between GE trees and devastating wildfires.

For more news and media coverage from the Campaign to STOP GE Trees visit: https://stopgetrees.org/news/press-coverage/

Please support our work to stop GE trees with a donation today!

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Rocky Mountain National Park closed in October due to wildfires exploding across Colorado. Poor forest management and industrial tree plantations, along with climate change are leading to hotter, more destructive wildfires and creating uninhabitable conditions around the world. The potential inclusion of faster growing, water-draining GE trees in these plantations could greatly exacerbate future wildfires. Photo: Theresa Church, Global Justice Ecology Project.

Have a forest inspired photo you want us to share with us? Send it to theresa2@gjep2020.local or tag us! #stopgetrees #keepforestswild

Global Justice Media Program

Update from Chile: People Overwhelmingly Vote to Throw Out Pinochet-Era Constitution

Global Justice Ecology Project’s co-founders Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann spent nearly a month in Chile last year documenting the historic Peoples’ Uprising going on there and meeting with people about its origins and demands. One of these demands was a new Constitution to replace the existing Constitution written during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who came to power in a US-backed coup that assassinated democratically elected Socialist Salvador Allende. The dictatorship ushered Neoliberalism into Chile, which became an experiment for policies that advanced disastrous unregulated free-market capitalism.

GJEP Congratulates the People of Chile

On Sunday, 25 October 2020, the people of Chile overwhelmingly voted to throw out the Pinochet-era Constitution and write a new one. The hard work is just beginning, however, to create a new Constitution and a new system that will eliminate injustice and top-down Neoliberalism. A process that benefits all Chileans–especially the Indigenous Mapuche People who have suffered greatly under Neoliberalism-is being taken up.

Recognizing the historic achievements of our partner organizations in Chile, and inspired by our work on the ground in Chile last November which documented and supported the Peoples’ Uprising there, Global Justice Ecology Project and Biofuelwatch share this public statement and ongoing call to action to create the deep structural change required to respond to intensifying environmental and human rights crises in Chile.

For more of GJEP’s coverage from Chile’s Uprising visit: https://globaljusticeecology.org/category/news-and-analysis/

Highlighting History

International Day of Rural Women

For decades, rural women around the world have been on the front lines of the battles to stop the toxic and deadly impacts of both GMO monocultures and industrial tree plantations. Now, with the resurgence of the corporate effort to promote development of industrial plantations of genetically engineered (GE or genetically modified) trees in rural areas around the world, women are once again going to be forced to take a stand to stop this threat to their communities and the forests and ecosystems they depend on. Here in the United States, GE tree proponents are promoting the USDA deregulation of the genetically engineered American chestnut tree. If approved, this GE tree designed to be released into forests with no monitoring or oversight, would open the door to future approvals of GE trees designed for industrial tree plantations.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Remembering the Mohawk Rising in Oka

In commemoration of Indigenous Peoples Day this year and to highlight all of the struggles for land waged by the Mapuche and Indigenous Peoples around the planet that continue to this day, we offer the attached article and photo essay. Thirty years ago, from July through August of 1990, Mohawk warriors from Kanesatake inspired Indigenous Peoples and eco-activists across North America and around the world when they rose up to defend their ancestral lands. They inspired activists at Redwood Summer in California, which was organized by the late Judi Bari and others to save the last of the ancient redwoods from the chainsaw; and others at the 80-day occupation of the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois organized to stop logging in critical songbird habitat. GJEP co-founder Orin Langelle documented the uprising in the Shawnee including the above photo, which was staged to demonstrate solidarity with the uprising in Oka, inspired by the AP photo that appears at the beginning of the attached article from Mashable.

Langelle Photography: Photo of the Month

Mapuche men in Quilape López demonstrate the commitment of the re-occupation of their homeland with a traditional ceremony (2019). After the Peoples’ Uprising began in October 2019 in Chile, two Indigenous Mapuche communities, Liempi Colipi and Quilape López, began a re-occupation of 1500 hectares of their traditional territory in southern Chile. On U.S. Thanksgiving Day (known as the National Day of Mourning) in 2019, the Mapuche in Liempi Colipi were attacked by Carabineros (Chile National Police). The Carabineros fired rubber coated metal pellets and tear gas, injuring several people. Even after the recent vote for a new Constitution in Chile, the Mapuche continue to face militarization, criminalization, imprisonment and police violence, yet they are determined to maintain the struggle for their land.

Langelle Photography is a project of Global Justice Ecology Project. To see more of Langelle Photography’s use of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice visit: https://photolangelle.org

Please support our work to address the root causes of racism, oppression & ecological devastation with a secure donation today!