FoE International News

Chain Reaction #115, August 2012,

Combating Monsanto

A FoE International report shows that around the world small-holder and organic farmers, local communities and social movements are increasingly resisting and rejecting Monsanto and the agro-industrial model that it represents. The report, jointly produced by FoE International, La Via Campesina and Combat Monsanto provides snapshots of frontline struggles against Monsanto and other agrochemical corporations pushing genetically modified (GM) crops onto farmers and into the environment.

The report is posted at:

Call on Norway pension fund to divest in Shell

28 Right Livelihood Award laureates have written to the Norway Government Pension Fund asking it to divest all its holdings in Shell due to the severe environmental harm caused by the company's negligence in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Please join the laureates, including FoE International's chair Nnimmo Bassey, in calling for the pension fund to act now. Visit:

Japanese nuclear evacuation zone

FoE Japan has been working with other NGOs and citizens in the district of Watari to pressure the government and TEPCO to provide funding for people who want to relocate. The government did not include Watari District in an official evacuation zone, although broad areas of the district recorded levels of nuclear contamination equalling and even exceeding the permissible limit that the government used to evacuate residents in other municipalities.

A FoE Japan report, 'Citizen's Movement for Establishing the Rights to Evacuate: Watari, Fukushima and Beyond', provides details on the campaign. It is posted at

Fukushima Poka-Poka Project

FoE Japan launched the Poka-Poka Project in early 2012 to help children, pregnant women, and their family members − more than 1,600 people in total between January and March − stay in Tsuchiyu Hot Springs to spend time away from their homes in the contaminated Watar District in Fukushima City. The second phase of the project began in May.

More information and to donate:

Attacks on communities resisting dam in Guatemala

FoE International strongly condemns the violence and repression against residents of the Santa Cruz Barillas in the Department of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, because of their opposition to the operations of the Spanish company Hydro Santa Cruz.

More information:

Land grabbing in Uganda

'Land, life and justice', a report by FoE Uganda and FoE International, investigates cases of land grabbing in Uganda, focusing on oil palm plantations in Kalangala, Lake Victoria. It assesses the impacts on rural communities and on the local environment, and questions who benefits from these projects.

The report is posted at:

To write or just sign an e-letter to the District Council of Kalangala and the Government of Uganda, visit:

Murder of fishermen in Brazil

On June 29, a FoE International delegation joined a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro to denounce the brutal murder of two fishermen from the Guanabara Bay.

The victims were Almir Nogueira de Amorim and João Luiz Telles Penetra, fishermen and members of Homens e Mulheres do Mar Association (AHOMAR) in Guanabara Bay.

On June 14, FoE International chair Nnimmo Bassey took part in a 'toxic tour' of Guanabara Bay near Rio de Janeiro where AHOMAR has been denouncing since 2007 the crimes and rights violations which took place during the construction of the Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex, one of the largest investments in the history of Brazilian energy giant Petrobras.

More information:

Rio+20 summit fails the planet and its people

FoE International condemned world leaders for selling out people and the planet in their Rio+20 declaration on June 22. The non-binding declaration falls well short of the action needed to tackle the planetary crisis, and does not include any of the real solutions demanded by the people at the alternative People's Summit.

FoE International chair Nnimmo Bassey said: "Once again corporate polluters have held UN decision-making hostage to furthering their economic interests, at the expense of peoples well-being and the planet. But real solutions to the crises exist and were presented by the alternative People's Summit. They include economic justice, climate justice, and food sovereignty."

Pressure from civil society movements and developing countries prevented world leaders from agreeing an even worse Rio+20 declaration that would have taken the world even further backwards than we were 20 years ago.

The People's Summit was supported by over 200 civil society groups. The solutions promoted at the People's Summit include: small scale and local renewable energy production; investing in energy efficiency; shifting from export oriented large scale food production to food sovereignty to serve local food needs; implementing a global financial transaction tax; and implementing internationally binding rules for companies and sanctions if they violate them.

FoE International's analysis of key issues on the table at the Rio+20 summit included the following:

Green economy: The European Union block tried to impose the corporate-driven green economy agenda − which is a front for our broken and unfair economic system and for selling out nature − as the main tool for achieving sustainable development. Civil society and developing countries managed to prevent this agenda from being adopted and partially stopped its imposition in the Rio+20 declaration, allowing, for now, individual countries to continue define their own vision of what a truly fair and sustainable economy might look like.

Unfortunately the declaration does not include any recognition that developed countries, whose unsustainable consumption patterns caused the bulk of our environmental problems, should take the lead on sustainable consumption and production. The declaration also fails to recognise that multinational corporations are a main cause of the multiple crises the world is facing.

The Rio Principles: The Rio+20 declaration reaffirms the so-called 'Rio Principles' first agreed at the 1992 Earth Summit but does not go any further. The declaration ignores the need of the industrialised world to repay its ecological debt through provision of new and additional public finance and through technology transfer. The declaration does not tackle the need to phase out fossil fuels through a just transition to clean and affordable energy.

Corporate capture of the UN: The Rio+20 declaration includes a voluntary approach to sustainability reporting, which is wholly insufficient to address corporate abuses and crimes. The declaration states that governments should support initiatives including "promoting the contribution of the private sector" and the only reference to mobilising public finance was made in connection to public-private partnerships.

The Rio+20 declaration does not include any of the steps raised in a statement issued on June 4 signed by more than 400 NGOs. The steps that should be taken include:

  • limiting the privileged status that business currently has in official UN negotiations and policy-making;
  • limits on the role of the "business and industry" major group;
  • disclosure of existing relations and links between the UN with the private sector;
  • a code of conduct for UN officials;
  • a review of existing partnerships with corporates and trade associations and a halt to entering into any new such partnerships;
  • increased transparency around lobbying; and
  • the establishment of a legally binding framework to hold companies accountable to environmental, human rights and labour rights law.

More information:

  • Rio People's Summit:
  • FoE International:
  • UN Rio+20 Summit:

Reclaim the UN from corporate capture

A new FoE International report, 'Reclaim the UN from Corporate Capture', presents case studies that reveal how UN policies and agencies are excessively influenced by the corporate sector, for instance oil company Shell, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, the Coca Cola company, and the Chinese oil giant PetroChina.

The report is posted at: