Thousands of Tanzanian farmers growing rice and maize are already being evicted from fertile areas of land with good access to water for agrofuel
sugar cane and jatropha plantations on newly privatised land.
Horrific impacts from the agrofuels
push are nowhere more evident than in Southeast Asia's palm oil sector, where deforestation and peatland degradation are so severe they make a mockery of the whole concept of growing plant biomass to mitigate climate change.
AUGUST 2008, THE GAIA FOUNDATION, BIOFUELWATCH, THE AFRICAN BIODIVERSITY NETWORK, SALVA LA SELVA, WATCH INDONESIA & ECONEXUS -- It's claimed growing agrofuels
on marginal lands will bring development benefits to Southern countries and avoid negative impacts of agrofuels
on forests, food security, climate change and land rights.
The potential to mix fossil fuels and agrofuels
will prevent a rapid phase-out of the oil-based infrastructure and economy, and postpone the required structural changes in way of life and consumption patterns in the developed world.
The NGO justifies its position by referring to recent research, according to which the assumptions on the value of agrofuels
as a means of fighting climate change should be revised, in particular to take account of direct and indirect land-use change.
The sugar economy and technology convergence Multilateral institutions involved in food, agriculture and biodiversity have recently been forced to examine the disastrous socio-economic, environmental and human rights implications of industrial agrofuels
. Instead of calling for a moratorium and dismantling targets and subsidies, many governments are ducking for cover and calling for 'next generation' liquid bio fuels purportedly to rely on non-edible cellulosic biomass made possible by future advances in biotechnology which may or may not come to pass.
There's no evidence to support large-scale, second-generation agrofuels
being either sustainable or climate-friendly, instead they are likely to accelerate biodiversity loss and reduce carbon storage in forests, amongst many other serious dangers.
If the vision of a sugar economy advances, "next generation" agrofuels
threaten to repeat the mistakes of first-generation agrofuels
on a more massive scale.
Barari Nyari, una ONG ghanensa, describe como la empresa noruega de agrocombustibles, Agrofuel
Africa, aprovecho el sistema tradicional de tenencia de la tierra comunitario en el norte de Ghana para apropiarse y desforestar grandes extensiones de terreno y crear la plantacion de jatropha mas grande del mundo.
(19) Melanie Pichler, "Legal Dispossession: State Strategies and Selectivities in the Expansion of Indonesian Palm Oil and Agrofuel
Production", Development and Change 46, no.
dos Santo Dias, "Chromosome numbers of Jatropha curcas L.: an important agrofuel
plant," Crop Breeding and Applied Biotechnology, vol.