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Global Justice Ecology Project

October Newsletter

Researchers want approval from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to use genetic engineering to alter our forests. Submit a comment today to tell the USDA to reject the unprecedented and dangerous release of genetically engineered (GE or genetically modified) American chestnut trees in our forests.

The public comment period closes on Monday, October 19th.

The GE American chestnut tree would be the first GE forest tree released in North America. If approved, these GE trees will spread their pollen and seeds freely across borders. It would also be the first-ever intentional release of a fertile genetically modified organism (GMO) into wild ecosystems, opening the door to other uncontrollable GMO releases.

Submit a comment to stop US government approval of the widespread release of GE American chestnut trees into our forests. If these GE trees receive approval to be planted in our forests without monitoring or regulation, not only would it unleash unknown ecological impacts for decades to come, it will open the door to other GE trees designed specifically for use in industrial plantations and set a precedent that will have global impacts for Indigenous peoples and rural communities fighting the disaster of industrial tree plantations around the world.

What you can do:

  • Learn more about the issues and concerns of the genetically engineered (GE) American chestnut tree
    Submit a public comment here.
  • View sample comments.
  • Encourage friends, family and colleagues to take action.

Scot Quaranda of Dogwood Alliance Discusses Their Opposition to GE American Chestnut

Scot Quaranda has been with Dogwood Alliance since 2000 and has served as a campaign organizer, field director, campaign director and is currently the communications director. In his role he is in charge of story telling, creative, media relations, and PR. He has a dual BA from Drew University in Psychology and Philosophy and has worked previously with the Fund for Public Interest and in music PR for artists such as Buddy Guy and Ani DiFranco.

Organic Grower Discusses Threats of GE American Chestnut

Brian Caldwell owner of Hemlock Grove Farm talks about his opposition to the GE American chestnut tree. There are increasing concerns by organic growers as to how the genetically engineered (GE or genetically modified) American chestnut tree may endanger their certified organic status as chestnut growers.

BJ McManama of Indigenous Environmental Network Discusses Opposition to GE Trees

BJ is a member of the Campaign to Stop GE Trees steering committee and works closely with both Indigenous and Front Line community organizations on forest protection, climate justice, and subsistence rights. When not working on national and global environmental issues, BJ participates with local organizations whose focuses include maintaining food security and safety, and protecting water resources and forests from encroaching extractive industries.

American chestnut tree located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo: Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)

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

September 21, 2020 marked the 16th International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations. The Day was created in 2004 by rural communities in Brazil in opposition to industrial monoculture tree plantations that drain natural resources, destroy biodiversity and negatively impact rural inhabitants and Indigenous Peoples. These plantations are known as Green Deserts in Brazil due to their devastating impacts.

Statement on International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations

Industrial monoculture tree plantations run by national and multinational corporations are ecological con jobs and human rights disasters. Industry, governments and organizations like the UN collude to pass off these biological deserts as planted forests. This serves the purpose of detracting from the global deforestation crisis by pretending these green deserts serve the same function as forests, which they clearly do not. Monoculture plantations, often composed of non-native invasive trees heavily inundated with toxic chemicals drain resources such as fresh water and displace biodiversity, local communities and Indigenous Peoples. Meanwhile in the Global North, they are presented as a ‘green solution’ to climate change and fossil fuel independence.

GJEP’s Guide to International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations

Global Justice Ecology Project compiled a list of resources to help stop the advance of tree plantations internationally and nationally.

Earth Watch Radio: Oliver Munnion on the International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations

Oliver Munnion is the Publications Coordinator and Plantations Campaigner for Global Forest Coalition. He is located in Portugal.

GJEP’s Earth Radio segments, the Earth Minute and the Earth Watch Interview, happen each week in partnership with Margaret Prescod’s nationally syndicated Sojourner Truth Radio show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles.

Earth Minute: Wildfires & Genetically Engineered Trees

Around the world historic and deadly wildfires are occuring. Poor forest management and industrial tree plantations, along with climate change are creating apocalyptic conditions.

Earth Minute: Monoculture Tree Plantations

Massive tree plantations are falsely promoted as a solution to climate change and fossil fuel consumption. Tree plantations coupled with accelerating climate change and poor forest management practices also exacerbate fire conditions.

Earth Minute: Censorship of Indigenous & Environmental Organizations

The organizations were co-hosts of an online rally targeting the U.S. private investment company KKR, a key backer of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. The rally was also in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation who have opposed the pipeline project, which would cut through their sovereign territory.

You can find all radio segments here: https://globaljusticeecology.org/category/earth-radio/

Photo of the Month

The Biscuit (1990) Woman with monkey wrench atop buried Chevrolet Biscayne, nicknamed “The Biscuit,” in a car blockade of the Fairview timber sale in the Shawnee. The car blocked the entrance to the Shawnee National Forest during the EF! occupation. The car blockade was a replica of a photo taken during the then-ongoing “Oka Crisis.” Read Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Remembering the Mohawk Uprising in Oka. To see more of Langelle Photography’s use of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice visit: https://photolangelle.org

Please support GJEP’s work with a donation today!