World Rainforest Movement

CBD’s inaction

The situation is much the same in many southern countries: people and supporting organizations are trying to protect the forests against government-corporate alliances. Well known causes of biodiversity loss such as industrial logging, fossil fuel exploration and exploitation, mining, hydroelectric dams, industrial monocrops, road opening and shrimp farming continue being promoted for the almost exclusive benefit of large corporations.

Furthermore, most of the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation not only have not been addressed but have been further promoted through international financial institutions’ impositions on southern governments. Even the World Bank has acknowledged this, but has continued business as usual.

And now forests are facing the most dangerous threat: the possible release of genetically engineered trees.

At this point of time, when the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is holding its Eighth Conference of the Parties, people have the right to ask it: what have you done about this situation over the last 14 years? Have you actually tried to stop those well known processes of biodiversity destruction –which is the mandate of this Convention- or have you turned a blind eye on them? Have you supported local peoples’ struggles to protect the forests or have you supported the governments you represent in their repression and/or eviction?

The articles below are some few examples of the many issues we would have liked the CBD to be actively addressing … and hasn’t. They include information about forest destruction and their socio-environmental implications –including biodiversity loss. More importantly, they show local peoples’ willingness and capacity to use and protect their forests. Those countless women and men are trying to achieve –in reality– what the CBD should have been implementing over all these years. They deserve –at least– strong support from this Convention for ensuring that their struggles are successful, because forest biodiversity conservation now depends almost exclusively on them.

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