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9 September 2010 | |

Not Now, Not Never

Interview with Guadalupe Rodriguez from Rainforest Rescue: the World Bank and oil palm

Download: MP3 (1.8 Mb)

“Oil palm monoculture plantations are not and will never be sustainable” say environmentalist organizations such as Biofuelwatch, Rainforest Rescue, Ecologistas en Accion and the World Rainforest Movement, after the review process –more formal than real- of the World Bank investments in oil palm.

Oil palm plantations, that is, huge monoculture plantations produced for the food, cosmetics, chemicals and agrofuels industry, has devastating consequences for the population, the environment and the climate. Nevertheless, they have been funded by the World Bank for decades.

In the past ten years, the criticism to this agribusiness has increased alarmingly, which has forced the WB to open a “consultation” process about their investments.

This is why, from August 31st to September 1st, a consultation session was carried out in Frankfurt, Germany, with disappointing outcomes for the communities, said Guadalupe Rodriguez from Rainforest Rescue, to Real World Radio.

According to the organizations that are opposing the expansion of this crop, the consultation process by the WB is a “front” that doesn’t take into account the rights of the countries and the affected peoples.

“We demand the WB to immediately stop funding palm oil projects”, said the activist. “Despite the WB presents itself as an institution to fight poverty, our opinion is just the opposite: poverty conditions are worsened and the opportunities for a true development fade whenever the WB is present”.

“The interest of the WB in funding this kind of projects is to expand the crop”, in order to make palm oil less and less expensive, and this implies an “uncontrolled and unsustainable growth”.

Palm oil multinational companies, such as Wilmar, cause serious human rights violations, are responsible for the displacement of people who live and depend on rainforests, cause destruction of forests and their biodiversity, pollute lands and water sources and worsen climate change.

However, these claims are not heard in the “debates” promoted by the World Bank. “The ethical implications of this agribusiness are simply not discussed”, said Guadalupe.

Photo: bocadepolen.org

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