Week of Events and Protest at CBD Meeting in Rome

Delegates representing governments attending the SBSTTA (subsidiary body) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Rome, Italy were greeted with a demonstration against genetically engineered trees and agrofuels as they entered the plenary session on February 21.  This CBD body is discussing those issues, and more, prior to the CBD’s Conference of the Parties in Bonn, Germany in May of this year.

Brief report on the five days of SBSTTA that Global Justice Ecology Project and the STOP GE Tree Campaign was involved in follows…

18 February

Global Forest Coalition Releases Independent Monitoring Report

On the first day of the SBSTTA meetings, Global Forest Coalition held a side event “Implementation of the CBD Work Program on Forest Biodiversity: What Progress Has Been Made?” releasing the findings of their independent monitoring project, which evaluated the compliance of 20 countries with the recommendations of the Convention on Biological  Diversity with regard to forests.

The full report will be released this May in Bonn, Germany during the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Conference of the Parties.

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19 February

SBSTTA-13: Groups Issue Joint Commentary on GE Trees

Groups from all over the world joined together at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s SBSTTA meeting in Rome, Italy to demand that the CBD issue a moratorium on the release of genetically engineered trees into the environment.

To read the joint commentary, click the link below.

CBD joint letter final.pdf:  https://globaljusticeecology.org/files/CBD joint letter final.pdf

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20 February  

Open letter to SBSTTA demanding a ban on the release of genetically engineered trees

In only one week, the letter was signed by 138 organizations in countries where research on the genetic engineering of trees is being carried out, (or has in recent years). Those countries are: Aotearoa / New Zealand, Australia, Belgium Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal , Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and USA.

Full letter and signatories available at:
http://www.wrm.org.uy/actors/BDC/SBSTTA13/GE_Trees_Campaign.html

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21 February

Protest of GE Trees and Agrofuels, etc.

A demonstration against genetically engineered trees and agrofuels greeted delegates representing governments attending the SBSTTA Convention on Biological Diversity.  This CBD body is discussing those issues prior to the major CBD meeting in Bonn, Germany this year.

World Rainforest Movement’s Ana Filippini, representing a majority of the Civil Society Organizations present at the SBSTTA read a statement on GE trees and agrofuels to the official plenary.

Global Justice Ecology Project, Global Forest Coalition, World Rainforest Movement and EcoNexus held a side event “The Impacts of GE Trees on Forest Biological Diversity” on the social and ecological threats of GE trees.  The side event featured Ana Filippini of World Rainforest Movement, Ricarda Steinbrecher of EcoNexus and Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project and Global Forest Coalition.

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22 February

Forests and Climate Change

Global Forest Coalition held a side event “Forests and Climate Change” featuring Isaac Rojas of Friends of the Earth Costa Rica, Sandy Gauntlett of Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition and Global Forest Coalition, Ana Filippini of World Rainforest Movement and Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project and Global Forest Coalition.

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Summary:  The official recommendations from the government delegates of this SBSTTA meeting will be taken up in Bonn, Germany at the CBD’s full Conference of the Parties this May.  This issues of GE trees, agrofuels, the distinction between forest and plantation and the approach to mitigating climate change were highly contentious in Rome.

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