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Friends of the Earth International is one of the 180 organizations that this March 21st, International Day of Forests, will submit to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) a letter demanding it to urgently change its definition of forests. The organizations consider that this definition is "misleading" since it includes large-scale tree plantations that do not aim at an environmental benefit, but at the profit of multinational companies.
To know more about the organizations´ views, Real World Radio interviewed Winfridus Overbeek, international coordinator at the World Rainforests Movement (WRM).
Overbeek said it is "urgent" that the FAO changes its definition, because in the context of climate change, governments and the UN propose to plant tree monocultures as a tactic to withdraw carbon from the atmosphere. He explained that "there are millions and millions of hectares of tree monoculture plantations, there is one in Africa covering 6 million hectares, one in Latin America covering 20 million hectares, and we know they are a false solution to climate change which will bring further problems for many peasant and indigenous communities in the areas where the companies want to grow these plantations". Overbeek made reference to social, environmental and cultural impacts of eucalyptus, pine tree, acacia and rubber trees, which have displaced populations from their lands and destroyed natural resources such as water.
The World Bank has made available 1 billion dollars for the development of a reforestation plan, said the WRM coordinator. He added that the FAO has an Advisory Committee on Forestry, but that there are no community representatives included, and he regretted the huge influence exerted by companies in that space. Overbeek invited all organizations to join the campaign.
More information: www.wrm.org.uy.
Imagen: WRM - International Day of Forests
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