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The Biodiversity Alliance, made up by Latin American social movements and organizations, is promoting a document titled “12 reasons why we say NO to the MERCOSUR – European Union Free Trade Agreement” while a new round of negotiations that could end up with a signed treaty is taking place in Asunción, capital of Paraguay.
The agreement “would imply the consolidation, for the first time in the history of MERCOSUR, of a framework of obligations that would negatively restrict economic development and transformation possibilities in the future”, said Viviana Barreto, BA in international relations, in an interview with Real World Radio. “It would also negatively restrict the potential to consolidate a regional integration system. It seems quite concerning, I´d say even alarming, that the only offensive position of MERCOSUR is focused on the agro-export sector”, added the member of REDES – Friends of the Earth Uruguay.
The Biodiversity Alliance is made up by Action for the Biodiversity of Argentina, REDES – Friends of the Earth Uruguay, the Seed Group of Colombia, Acción Ecológica of Ecuador, the National Association of Rural and Indigenous Women of Chile (ANAMURI), BASE – Social Investigations of Paraguay (BASE-IS), the Collective for Autonomy of Mexico, the Latin American Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC-Via Campesina), the Biodiversity Coordination Network of Costa Rica, the Ecological Center of Brazil, ETC Group of Mexico and GRAIN of Argentina and Chile.
Marielle Palau, researcher at BASE-IS, said to Real World Radio that the document “12 reasons why we say NO to the MERCOSUR-European Union Free Trade Agreement” (see link below) which has been endorsed by over 500 individuals and organizations, is a synthesis of the different reasons why social movements and organizations consider it is necessary to oppose the new agreement.
According to an analysis carried out on the leaked texts, social organizations are worried especially about how the agreement would affect agriculture and would consolidate the extractivist model in the region.
The fact that “our governments are signing an agreement that deeply endangers the future of our countries without a prior consultation is key”, said Marielle Palau. Then she added that the signing of a MERCOSUR-EU agreement would imply the need for Latin American governments to sign the UPOV Convention (of the International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties), and approve the so-called “Monsanto Laws”, “that criminalize the circulation and exchange of native seeds”.
Meanwhile, Barreto explained that the position of MERCOSUR in the official negotiations “accounts for a perspective that is absolutely restricted to the agro-exporter sector, particularly extensive farming and soy”. “In exchange, they forego other elements that could enable an alternative development path, with less dependence”, she said. Viviana shared Marielle´s views: “If the agreement as it exists now is signed, a pattern of global economy insertion would be consolidated. And for our economies and peoples, it will mean a deepening of the problems agribusiness represents today: expulsion of family farmers, peasants, deforestation, contamination with agrotoxics, destruction of regional economies and the loss of food sovereignty, and therefore, a growing vulnerability in terms of food”.
To read and sign the document please visit: http://accionesbiodiversidad.org/archivos/186
Imagen: Prensa Latina
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