Friend of Earth Essay

trade issue 109 the tyranny of free trade wasted natural wealth and lost livelihoods International Market in Kerala, India. water december 2005 International friends of the earth Friends of the Earth International is the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 71 diverse national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With approximately 1. million members and supporters around the world, we campaign on today’s most urgent social and environmental issues. We challenge the current model of economic and corporate globalization, and promote solutions that will help to create environmentally sustainable and socially just societies. © foe denmark 109 | issue 109 friends of the earth international secretariat P. O. Box 19199 1000 GD Amsterdam The Netherlands Tel: 31 20 622 1369 Fax: 31 20 639 2181 E-mail: [email protected] org Website: www. foei. org riends of the earth has groups in: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belgium (Flanders), Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curacao (Antilles), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, England/Wales/Northern Ireland, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada (West Indies), Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (former Yugoslav Republic of), Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Scotland, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, United States, and Uruguay. (Please contact the FoEI Secretariat or check our website for FoE groups’ contact info) Published December, 2005 in Hong Kong. ISBN: 90-0914913-9. link

Read about and get involved in the most urgent environmental and social campaigns around the world by subscribing to Friends of the Earth International’s link series of publications! editorial team Ronnie Hall (Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Damian Sullivan (Friends of the Earth Australia), Alberto Villareal (Friends of the Earth Uruguay), Simone Lovera (Friends of the Earth International), Ann Doherty (Friends of the Earth International). design Tania Dunster, KI Design, [email protected] co. uk printing Power Digital Printing Co. , Hong Kong. For payment details, please contact the FoEI Secretariat me up! subscription rates [an average of 4 publications per year including postage] individuals & ngos us$30 third world / local group rate us$15 corporate rate us$90 ith thanks to Marc Allain (World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers), Kokou Elorm Amegadze (Friends of the Earth Togo), Bente Hessellund Andersen (Friends of the Earth Denmark), Tatiana Roa Avendano (Friends of the Earth Colombia), Javier Baltodano and Isaac Rojas (Friends of the Earth Costa Rica), Alexandra Wandel (Friends of the Earth Europe), George Awudi Bright and Helen La Trobe (Friends of the Earth Ghana), Aldrin Calixte (Friends of the Earth Haiti), Ingrid Gorre and Lodel Magbanua (Friends of the Earth Philippines), Eve Mitchell (Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Meenakshi Raman (Friends of the Earth Malaysia), P. Raja Siregar (Friends of the Earth Indonesia), Markus Steigenberger (Friends of the Earth Germany), Sebastian Valdomir (Friends of the Earth Uruguay), David Waskow (Friends of the Earth United States). executive summary introduction making sense of the wto doha round negotiations 4 5 7 9 one biodiversity ntroduction biodiversity for sale: trade undermines indigenous and community rights the privatization of traditional knowledge, seeds and medicines trade liberalization and forests in central america trading away forests in indonesia 9 11 12 13 14 14 15 16 17 17 18 18 19 21 21 23 23 24 24 26 27 28 wasted natural wealth and lost livelihoods two fish introduction trade, fish and people’s livelihoods fish and folk threatened by liberalization in the seychelles privatizing fish harms the public good: lessons from canada opening markets punishes indonesian fisherfolk fishing: a dying tradition on the philippine islands the tyranny of free trade three food ntroduction food, seeds and free trade bacon and beans: how trade in pork and soy causes hunger, pollution and human rights violations genetically modified versus organic food: how the wto meddles in what we eat indonesian farmer sued by seed company molino santa rosa: production for and by local people in uruguay colombian agriculture and the andean free trade agreement four water introduction water: human right or commodity for trade? water woes in togo people’s water power in uruguay five minerals introduction diamond rings or community welfare? how the international mineral trade harms communities and environments ghana, gold and trade liberalization mining frenzy in the philippines 8 29 30 31 31 32 32 33 33 34 35 six desertification introduction trade, desertification and livelihoods expanding trade, expanding deserts in ghana small island states, food imports and desertification seven energy introduction energy, trade and climate change dark days of energy privatization in colombia © tatiana roa conclusion foei | 3 This publication exposes the danger that current trade negotiations pose to people and their environments around the world. The privatization of forests, traditional knowledge, seeds and medicines undermines indigenous and community rights, as shown by case studies from Central America and Indonesia (see pages 12 and 13).

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The 40 million small-scale fishers who depend on the ocean’s resources to feed their families could be outcompeted if the WTO cuts tariffs in fisheries as proposed, enabling commercial trawlers to further deplete marine resources, as examples from the Seychelles, the Philippines Islands and Indonesia make clear (see pages 15 and 17). Small farmers, particularly in developing countries, are being hurt by inequitable trade rules that allow the dumping of products from rich nations, undercutting the value of their local crops. They areoften forced from their land when it is converted to plantations or planted with crops for export. The pig industry in Denmark, for example, is responsible for the damaging spread of soy © gunnar album executive summary meena raman, friends of the earth international chair, malaysia These are critical times for environmental and social movements around the world.

Current and proposed trading arrangements are facilitating daylight robbery, with millions of already impoverished people losing their livelihoods and natural resources in order to enrich the wealthy. Those on the losing end include farmers, fisherfolk, women, indigenous peoples and literally millions of others around the world who depend on environmental resources in order to survive. Those on the winning end include corporations and those governments that profit from the drive to liberalize markets and privatize natural resources. plantations in Latin America, and poverty levels in fertile Colombia have skyrocketed with the opening of markets and tariff liberalization (see pages 19 and 23). Trade agreements are also being used to pry open water and energy markets, which could well decrease people’s access to these essential esources, as exemplified by the privatization of water and energy supplies in Togo (see page 26) and Colombia (see page 34). The negative consequences of the liberalization of the mining industry are being felt by indigenous peoples and communities in the Philippines and Ghana, among many other places. The effects of climate change and desertification, two of the most serious environmental threats to the planet, will continue to manifest themselves and impact the world’s most marginalized people as more trade agreements are cemented. Today, the World Trade Organization and regional trade agreements are on shaky ground, thanks to the massive outrage that their policies continue to invoke around the world.

The people of Uruguay, voted in 2004, for example, to establish water as a basic human right and to put a stop to the privatization of the country’s water resources (see page 27). Many clear alternatives to trade liberalization exist, including small-scale fisheries like the one in the Canadian Atlantic (see page 16), and support for local farmers and markets, as can be seen in Uruguay’s Santa Rosa mill (see page 22). Friends of the Earth International believes that the days of unfettered free trade – and the environmental and social devastation left in its wake – are drawing to a close. We are proud to be part of local and global movements working to develop fair and sustainable economies. 4 | foei Prudence must be shown in the management of all living species and natural resources, in accordance with the precepts of sustainable development. Only in this way can the immeasurable riches provided to us by nature be preserved and passed on to our descendants. The current unsustainable patterns of production and consumption must be changed in the interest of our future welfare and that of our descendants. ” United Nations Millennium Declaration, 2000. introduction ronnie hall, friends of the earth england, wales and northern ireland © foe indonesia The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment recognizes that “the degradation of ecosystem services is harming many of the world’s poorest people and is sometimes the principal factor causing poverty. “The Wealth of the Poor: Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty”, a recent report from the World Resources Institute, the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Development Program, also argues that natural resources represent a route out of poverty for the impoverished: “Three-fourths of them live in rural areas; their environment is all they can depend on. Environmental resources are absolutely essential, rather than incidental, if we are to have any hope of meeting our goals of poverty reduction. ” just more pretty words? Have any World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiators read these reports? One could be forgiven for assuming they have not. The WTO’s current trade negotiations include proposals to completely liberalize markets in forest products, fish and fish products, gems and precious metals, primary aluminum, and oil, with barely a mention of the potential and possibly widespread environmental and social impacts that this could have.

Markets in energy exploration and distribution, water extraction and distribution, and the management of natural parks (including in biodiversity hotspots) are all also on the table, as are inconvenient environmental and health and safety standards and the fate of critical multilateral environmental agreements. The WTO’s existing Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPs) is preventing people’s access to and use of the natural resources on which they have traditionally depended. The livelihoods of literally millions of people are at stake. Women are especially vulnerable since they rely more heavily on access to natural resources and land for food, medicines and fuel for their families, and are responsible for resource management and food production in many cultures. nfair trade harms small farmers Current trade rules and negotiations are generating increasingly inequitable terms of trade for small farmers worldwide, especially in developing countries where up to half the population may be engaged in agriculture. These rules are forcing down farm-gate prices (although in-store prices often stay just the same), whilst allowing industrialized countries to continue to subsidize their products and dump them in southern markets, undercutting local producers. Increasing agricultural exports are also worsening desertification, which has long been recognized as a major environmental problem, with adverse impacts on the livelihoods of people in affected areas around the world. ish and forests suffer from tariff reductions Fisheries and forests also provide livelihoods and essential nutrition and medicines for millions across the world. Ninety percent of fishers worldwide – nearly 40 million people – are employed in small-scale artisanal fishing, and these men and women are overwhelmingly poor. A further 13 million are foei | 5 Overall, 70% of the world’s water is now used for irrigation (and 60% of that is wasted), 22% is used by industry and just 8% remains for human consumption. Contrast this with the fact that one billion people – one in every six people on the planet – lack access to safe drinking water, and 2. 4 billion still have no toilets or other forms of improved sanitation. rade and climate, a dangerous mix Furthermore, climate change, one of the most serious environmental threats facing the world today, could be worsened by current trade liberalization negotiations. Trade agreements and institutions such as the WTO have the very real potential to undermine both national and international action to address climate change through powerful mechanisms to restrict even those government actions legitimately designed to limit climate emissions. At a national level, trade agreements could limit the policy space governments have to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions. For example, trade rules could limit the use of a host of policies designed to promote sustainable domestic industries.

Trade agreements could also force governments to abandon laws or employed in the formal forestry sector, and 350 million rely almost entirely on forests for their livelihoods and income (for collecting fuelwood, medicinal plants, and food, for example). WTO proposals to fully eliminate tariffs in both of these sectors could have extremely serious consequences for these people, including loss of access to and destruction of the natural resources on which they traditionally depend. The tariff reductions currently proposed would increase incentives to fish internationally, especially for large commercial trawlers, fuelling the continued exploitation of an already seriously depleted resource.

Local fishers and poor fishing communities would increasingly suffer the impact of dying seas, as large commercial fleets take many of the highest quality fish. There is also a risk of cheap fish imports being dumped in coastal nations with strong domestic markets, making it impossible for fishers to sell their catch locally. Similarly, in the forest sector, an impact assessment prepared for the European Commission states that developing countries with forest industries protected by high tariffs could “incur considerable environmental and social costs due to downsizing of the industrial capacity and closing some industries entirely. ” diverting water to the wealthy Regional and bilateral trade agreements are even worse than the WTO.

New agreements in Central and Latin America, for example, are opening up underground water systems to powerful foreign bottled water and beverage companies. This will in all likelihood reduce local peoples’ access to these important water resources. regulations designed to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. International trade agreements, including the WTO, could also take precedence in disputes with the Kyoto Climate Protocol, and define how emissions trading schemes operate. but another world is possible We do not have to continue down this road. Some far-sighted joined-up thinking could go a long way in reversing current trends, if only trade negotiators and their governments could finally be persuaded to think outside of the ‘trade negotiations’ box.

International trade needs to be recognized for what it is: a means to an end. A coherent system of global governance in which trade regulation was firmly embedded in an improved UN system could significantly improve coordination and help to stop trade negotiations from undermining efforts to eradicate poverty, protect biodiversity, prevent climate change and ensure food sovereignty, at both the national and international level. Importantly, the myth of unfettered free trade as a solution to poverty needs to be exploded. Recognition of the role that our natural heritage plays in poverty eradication must be extended from the United Nations to the WTO.

Governments need to stop and review the real impacts that the Doha Work Program could have on the world’s most impoverished people and the environment upon which we all depend. We cannot continue to work towards the Millennium Development Goals on the one hand while undoing all efforts through the WTO and other free trade agreements with the other hand. 6 | foei © foe uruguay Governments tend to refer to the Doha talks as a ‘round’ because all the negotiations are supposed to be completed at the same time (the idea is that countries’ losses in one sector will be made up by gains in another). However, what this means in practice is that countries are forced to make trade-offs between different negotiating areas.

So developing countries might be persuaded, for example, to open up sensitive public service and natural resource-based sectors if they thought it would bring export opportunities in agriculture. In addition, smaller countries are often put under extreme pressure to liberalize in a range of sectors that they do not want to open up. A major problem with the WTO is its decision-making process. In theory, decisions are supposed to be made by consensus. However, there is evidence of a great deal of arm-twisting behind the scenes. More powerful countries such as the EU, the US and Japan exert whatever influence they can to open up markets for powerful corporate lobbies based in their countries.

Furthermore, smaller countries are often excluded from key negotiations until the deals have been done, and are expected to sign up afterwards. © foei making sense of the wto doha round negotiations damian sullivan, friends of the earth australia and ronnie hall, friends of the earth england, wales and northern ireland Trade talks might seem far away from our lives, but they have a very real impact on how we live and on our surrounding environment. The current negotiations in the World Trade Organization, the body that governs world trade, could (if concluded) increase pressure on our natural environment, reduce impoverished countries’ ability to develop, and affect the livelihoods of small farmers and fisherfolk around the globe.

They could also reduce national governments’ ability to implement domestic laws and regulations to protect the environment and local jobs and promote health and safety. The WTO’s ‘Doha’ negotiations (so called because they were initiated at the WTO’s 4th Ministerial in Doha, Qatar in 2001) focus on agriculture, industrial products and raw materials, services and intellectual property rights (the ownership of ideas). Industrialized countries promised developing countries that the Doha ‘Work Program’ and other trade negotiations would focus first and foremost on development issues. In reality, it is increasingly clear that the negotiations threaten to undermine development, the environment, and the livelihoods and employment of tens of millions of people.

In addition, many developing country proposals relating to development (focusing on special and differential treatment and implementation issues) are being consistently ignored. Because the talks cover so many areas they are frequently difficult to follow, even for trade negotiators themselves. This can put many developing country governments, who have only one trade negotiator present in Geneva, in a very difficult position. Key aspects of the Doha round include: Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) negotiations, which are focused on reducing tariffs in all goods that are not included in the agriculture negotiations. NAMA includes proposals that focus on natural resource-based sectors including minerals, forest products and fisheries. Tariffs are the taxes countries place on imports and exports.

They provide a means for developing countries to protect and promote domestic industries and local employment (especially since they cannot afford to do this using subsidies). Tariffs help to protect small farmers and fisherfolk who are essential to local economies and societies but may be unable to compete with huge transnational corporations. Tariff cuts are also likely to lead to increased forest destruction across the globe, the further depletion of dwindling fish stocks, and increased mining. NAMA negotiations may also be used to restrict the ability of governments to legislate and regulate at the national level. Friends of the Earth International has identified 212 laws and regulations relating to the environment and health standards that have been notified by governments as barriers to trade. The

Agreement on Agriculture (AOA) tends to always be at the centre of WTO negotiations as this is the key sector in which developing countries think they might gain something. foei | 7 bureaucrats at their side, the EU and US are often able to make it look as if they are reforming their agriculture policies when they are not making any substantial changes. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations are of special interest because they relate to some of the essential aspects of life: water, energy, health and biodiversity (all of which are proposed for market opening). Services negotiations have proceeded very slowly because many countries do not want to open up these services, many of which are currently publicly provided.

In GATS, countries currently have more flexibility about what they are willing to negotiate on, although the EU tried to reduce this flexibility by requiring a set number of sub-sectors to be included by each country. GATS also includes negotiations on domestic regulation, which could limit governments’ ability to implement national policies. The Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement is also up for review. TRIPs works very much in favor of Northern transnational corporations and was initially included in the WTO’s agreements at the insistence of the US. It obstructs people’s access to essential medicines, seeds and vital necessities, by increasing and even introducing costs. It also © frederic castell Most developing countries want more access to markets in the EU and the US.

At the WTO’s 2003 Ministerial in Cancun, a number of the major developing countries united in a group called the G20, which was strong enough to resist pressure from the EU and the US and insist that developing countries weren’t being offered enough. This was an important step, even though it has become increasingly evident that the G20 consists of countries with strong transnational agribusiness interests (such companies are likely to be the primary beneficiaries of increased exports). The G20 includes Brazil and India. Many also want to use the negotiations to ensure that their small farmers and rural communities are protected. They want the EU and US to reduce farming subsidies, and they want to be able to use trade restrictions to keep subsidized products out of their own markets. Countries focusing on keeping products out are grouped together in the G33, coordinated by Indonesia.

These countries are less influential and more likely to find themselves excluded from important negotiations. A further group consist of some of the smallest countries that are worried that the special trade agreements they already have with particular partners could be eroded if other developing countries start to get more market access (this is known as ‘preference erosion’). The EU and the US want to lever open developing country agricultural markets while maintaining the huge subsidies they pay to farmers in their own countries – most of which go to agribusiness, not small farmers. With hundreds of trade promotes the patenting of life forms, leading to the destruction of biodiversity and the appropriation of traditional knowledge.

African countries are currently seeking to remove the TRIPs requirements relating to patents on life (although their proposal does not exclude from TRIPs all other forms of intellectual property rights). A further group of developing countries, led by India, is also seeking amendments to the TRIPs Agreement to prevent biopiracy, which would allow developing countries to benefit financially from the use of traditional knowledge and biodiversity (although this would not necessarily or automatically conserve and protect that knowledge and biodiversity). Trade and the environment is also a formal negotiating area in the Doha Work Program. Paragraph 31(i) of the WTO Doha Ministerial Declaration may allow the WTO to set limits on the extent to and the way in which governments can implement multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

These negotiations have so far been very technical, but could nevertheless have extremely important consequences for MEAs. The WTO might limit the use of those trade measures left to the discretion of MEA members. Paragraph 32 of the WTO Declaration deals with environmental goods and services. Environmental goods are not yet defined, and tend to focus on products that northern corporations want to export. They could include, for example, nuclear power plants and waste incinerators. Environmental services proposed for liberalization also tend to focus on end-of-pipe technologies only (pollution-abating technologies, for example). 8 | foei © ingrid macdonald, oxfam photographic design by martha sakellariou/image photodisc part one | biodiversity one biodiversity biodiversity for sale: trade undermines indigenous and community rights simone lovera, friends of the earth international community-based ecosystem management In countries such as Colombia, large biodiversity-rich areas like the Amazon forest have been handed over to indigenous peoples. It has been acknowledged that these peoples’ traditional knowledge and methodologies are preserving biodiversity in a much more effective manner than are the artificial management plans drawn up in distant environmental ministries and conservation institutions.

Likewise, it is broadly recognized in international instruments like the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Biodiversity Convention – that communities need to participate fully in the management of their ecosystems, if such management is to be equitable and effective. This is particularly important for women, who depend even more than men on resources such as fuelwood, freshwater and medicinal plants. Women are recognized as very important biodiversity managers, including in the Biodiversity Convention’s preamble. Recognition of and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities regarding the forests and other ecosystems they live in is a pre-condition for sustainable development. It is also widely recognized nowadays that indigenous peoples and local communities are very effective managers of the surrounding natural resources. foei | 9 one biodiversity dditional threats posed by nama and trips Other important threats to the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities are posed by negotiations on NonAgricultural Market Access (NAMA). For example, export bans on raw logs, which were put in place to address the almost incurable problem of unsustainable and often illegal logging in countries such as Indonesia, would be made impossible if current NAMA notifications were accepted. It is also possible that regulations to protect local communities and indigenous peoples against the social and environmental impacts of largescale mining and logging could be challenged by multinational companies as unjustified barriers to trade and investment.

Add to that the devastation of traditional knowledge caused by the WTO Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPS, see page 8) and the destruction of forests and other ecosystems caused by large-scale soy expansion and other monocultures promoted by the Agreement on Agriculture (see page 7), and it is clear that indigenous peoples, local communities, and the ecosystems they have been managing for generations have nothing to gain from the so-called ‘Doha Development Agenda’. It is for these reasons that more and more governments and conservation institutions are implementing policies and projects that encourage community-based management of ecosystems.

As well as handing over large tracts of land to indigenous peoples, they are putting in place various incentive structures to strengthen community governance over natural resources. They are also supporting the need for more attention to be paid to the role and needs of women in natural resource management. trade could undermine rights However, there is a serious risk that trade agreements promoted by the World Trade Organization will undermine many of these policies. For example, the European Union is including “landscape and ecosystem management services” as a sector to be liberalized under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS, see page 8).

The EU has requested such liberalization from numerous countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Kenya, the Philippines and South Africa. All of these countries have important indigenous populations, and many of them have specific laws and policies to give indigenous and other communities priority rights regarding the management of forests and other ecosystems. However, if these countries accept the EU’s proposals, foreign companies and/or conservation organizations could enter and demand equal rights to access and manage these natural resources. Giving priority rights to indigenous peoples and local communities would be classified as being “discriminatory”towards foreign “competitors” in the “ecosystem management market”. This may seem far-fetched, but regretfully it isn’t.

This new trend towards market-based conservation mechanisms – such as eco-tourism, carbon sinks and biodiversity offsets – has made it more and more attractive for large companies and profitoriented conservation organizations to “invest” in the management of protected areas and other precious ecosystems. They may thus argue that they have been “discriminated against” if the management of a protected area is put in the hands of a local community. 10 | foei © foe england, wales and northern ireland © frederic castell * the privatization of traditional knowledge, seeds and medicines [simone lovera, friends of the earth international] traditions being tripped up However, these traditions are currently threatened by the WTO’s Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPS), similar intellectual roperty rights (IPR) clauses in regional and bilateral trade agreements, and so-called systems designed to ensure access to and equitable sharing of genetic resources. Through these various agreements, industrialized countries, led by the United States, are trying to impose a very rigid system of IPRs upon developing countries. This forces developing countries to accept and respect patents and other IPRs granted by northern patent offices, which have little interest in either the development needs or the rights of indigenous peoples, farming communities and people in developing countries. Developing countries are also being forced to expand their own IPR systems to cover seeds and related knowledge. The results are devastating.

Patents and other forms of intellectual property rights are totally inadequate for these traditional forms of innovation. Northern countries tend to have little respect for the fact that traditional knowledge was, is, and continues to be shared by communities and generations, so it can never be claimed as property. In a classically neo-colonial style, they have allowed their industries to apply for patents on seeds and traditional medicines that were “discovered” by industries in the North after having been developed by communities in the South. Trade agreements are used to ensure that these intellectual property restrictions also apply in southern countries.

This leads to situations in which the farmers and traditional healers that originally developed seeds and traditional medicines can be prevented from using them for free, as this would “infringe” upon the patents of companies like Monsanto, Bayer and Merck. Women are no longer able to use the agricultural varieties they have developed, and indigenous peoples cannot use the traditional medicines they have used for centuries. Add to that the devastating impacts of patents on the prices and accessibility of regular medicines like AIDS blockers and vaccinations, and it becomes clear that TRIPs is one of the greatest threats to human health and food sovereignty and security the world is currently facing.

For years, developing countries have pointed out these gross injustices. Some developing countries are now demanding, as a minimum, that TRIPs be reviewed and that patent offices be obliged to disclose the origin of the plant varieties and medicinal plants that pharmaceutical companies and seed giants try to patent. This would make it easier for developing countries to track whether these varieties are traditionally used or were invented by their farmers and healers, and thus demand payment from the companies wanting to patent them. Other developing countries, particularly in Africa, have gone further and demanded an end to patents on life forms, though not on all forms of IPRs.

They point out that abolishing patents on life is a precondition for combating the practice of so-called “biopiracy”, the expropriation and exploitation of the rich African heritage of traditional seeds and medicines by northern corporations and northern-driven trade agreements. Friends of the Earth International is calling for governments to amend all relevant international agreements so that countries cannot be forced into introducing intellectual property rights on life forms. Governments also need to fully protect farmers’, indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ rights to their traditional resources and knowledge, in particular allowing farmers to conserve, exchange and reproduce seeds.

Public access to medicines and governments’ rights to regulate to protect people and the environment must be guaranteed as well. Cultural and biological diversity are intrinsically linked. Many cultural expressions and traditions have their origin in people’s natural surroundings, while different peoples have also created a wide diversity of landscapes and agricultural crops. Furthermore, traditional knowledge about ecosystem management and plant breeding plays a very important role in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. Over the past centuries, women and men created a rich variety of food and other agricultural crops through sharing seeds and knowlege. At one time there were over 7,000 varieties of rice in Indonesia alone.

Indigenous peoples and traditional communities also tend to have extensive knowledge about the medicinal plants in their surroundings. For many of the world’s most impoverished people, these plants are the only medicine they can afford: it is estimated that 80% of all Africans depend almost completely on traditional medicinal plants for their health care, for example. © tatiana roa foei | 11 * trade liberalization and forests in central america [javier baltodano and isaac rojas, coecoceiba/friends of the earth costa rica] frustrating community management Trade liberalization as presented in such free trade agreements favors international trade above local trade, and facilitates the operations of large corporations wanting to invest in and sell forest resources.

Free trade agreements put pressure on traditional community and artisanal practices relating to the use of resources, including community forest management, which is generally developed on a small scale to satisfy local markets. In Costa Rica, peasants, environmentalists and indigenous groups have proposed schemes to produce the amount of wood required in the country through practices that respect the forest and ensure a fair distribution of the wealth generated. Such techniques have difficulties surviving competition from incoming investors. Corporations use the forest’s resources in a much more destructive manner even when they do operate within regulatory and legal frameworks, relying on heavy machinery and generating serious negative impacts on ecosystems. onocultures destroying diversity Free trade agreements are also linked to the expansion of tree monocultures. In order to manage significant quantities of forest resources, corporations have homogenized, standardized and simplified their operations. Monocultures, including trees for wood production, paper or carbon credits, and soy, banana and pineapple plantations, are a key component of this approach. Monocultures destroy huge swathes of forest, provoke or worsen land conflicts, and thwart local land distribution processes and agrarian reform in the ‘developing’ world. Free trade agreements are based on an economic model that promotes the functioning of international markets and status of foreign investors.

They are the last stage of a neoliberal scheme that, since the 1980s, has been responsible for the disappearance of local markets, small ecoagricultural initiatives, and food security in many countries. Small farmers, whose practices ensured the diversity of systems and the stability and sustainability of species, have seen their land and local forests being taken over by large banana, orange and pineapple plantations. getting worse under nama Recent moves in the World Trade Organization to pursue the liberalization of wood and forest products though the NonAgricultural Market Access agreement (NAMA, see page 7) will likely place further pressure on forest resources in Central America. Big corporations will have greater access to local markets, placing more pressure on community-based forest management initiatives.

At the same time, demand for large-scale plantations is likely to increase, accompanied by the necessary clearing of land and the heightened use of chemicals. There are a host of ongoing trade negotiations and agreements between Latin American countries and the United States and other developed countries that are likely to have negative impacts on forests. For example, the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, the United States and the Dominican Republic has a number of specific provisions that will impact negatively on forests. Firstly, signatory governments are compelled to introduce intellectual property rights protection for plants.

This places pressure on forests, which are rich in biological diversity and likely to be the target of companies seeking new genetic material. Secondly, the agreement will lead to increased infrastructure, such as roads, hydroelectric plants and large tourism developments, to satisfy the needs of incoming corporations and investors. This will also contribute to the destruction and degradation of forests. Thirdly, in Costa Rica, the agreement would mean that the current Forest Law, which regulates all extractive and trade activities taking place in the forest, would have to be revoked, as would the human rights component of this law which allows anyone to speak up for the need to protect forests.

Finally, bioprospecting could be regulated under the agreement by a range of specific provisions benefiting prospectors, including an “expropriation” clause that allows companies to sue for lost profits if their activities are restricted (even for environmental reasons). © foe england, wales and northern ireland 12 | foei © frederic castell * trading away forests in indonesia [friends of the earth england, wales and northern ireland and walhi/friends of the earth indonesia] “This forest was previously used for farming, hunting, collecting rattan, fruits, timber from the forest, and fishing in the streams. Now the forest is gone, there are no animals to hunt. ” Angkasa villager, Indonesia (Human Rights Watch, 2003).

Indonesia contains 10% of the world’s remaining tropical forest cover, and is home to many threatened species including the Orangutan, the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran rhino and the Asian elephant. Indonesia is also an important center of genetic variation for tropical fruit trees, including mango, breadfruit and durian, and its forests store large quantities of carbon. Deforestation, forest degradation and habitat fragmentation are significant problems in Indonesia. More than 70% of original frontier forests have been lost, and over half of those that remain are under threat. The rate of forest loss is accelerating: the current deforestation rate is 2. 8 million hectares per year, 1. 27 times the rate of five years ago, and almost four times the rate in the 1980s. oot causes of forest loss Although the causes of deforestation in Indonesia are many and various, increased export trade has played a key role. Alongside population growth, political and economic instability, climate factors and increased agricultural production and resettlement, inappropriate government policies have promoted the unsustainable expansion of forest industries. Forest products trade doubled in 20 years from about 0. 3 billion cubic metres per year in 1980 to over 0. 6 billion cubic metres in 2000. The importance of international trade has increased year by year. In 2001, the export value of forest products, the majority of which were harvested from natural forests, accounted for US$4. 45 billion, representing 10. 2% of the total value of Indonesian exports.

Indonesia exports a range of forest products to countries including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United States and the European Union. Logs from Indonesia are also smuggled to international markets in trading centres such as Malaysia, Singapore and China. problematic plantations Plantations have also become a major source of wood supply for the Indonesian forest industry. Large-scale plantation owners have turned to the use of fire as a cheap and easy means of clearing the land in order to plant palm oil, rubber, and other export crops. Natural forest fires are rare in Indonesia, but the past decade has seen an unprecedented increase in fires resulting from human activity. ama could turn bad to worse The WTO’s Non-Agricultural Market Access negotiations (NAMA, see page 7) are likely to lead to decreased tariffs in wood, forest and paper products. In addition, NAMA could lead to the removal of legitimate national laws and regulations related to wood products, which would create further pressure on forest resources. The European Commission’s 2005 Sustainability Impact Assessment of the proposed WTO negotiations in the forest sector states that: “Indonesia’s forest sector suffers from serious sustainability problems. Trade liberalization, or almost any measure that would increase the forest products production from current levels, would likely have primarily negative sustainability impacts amplifying the current negative trends. In Indonesia, the expansion of exportoriented agriculture is also a major cause of deforestation and forest degradation. The negative impacts of agricultural liberalization on forests are pronounced, and according to some assessments, could even exceed the impacts of forest product liberalization. © walhi/foe indonesia © miguel lovera foei | 13 © dan writer part two | fish two fish trade, fish and people’s livelihoods david waskow, friends of the earth united states 14 | foei © martin galea de giovanni The fishing industry provides livelihoods and essential nutrition for millions of people across the globe. Fish account for over 15% of animal protein intake globally, and is an important factor in national food security for many developing countries.

Furthermore, developing countries provide 70% of all of the fish consumed by people worldwide, although most of it is channeled to wealthy nations. Ninety percent of fisherfolk worldwide – nearly 40 million people – are employed in small-scale artisanal fishing and are responsible for 45% of global fish production. However, these small-scale fisher men and women are overwhelmingly poor. * fish and folk threatened by liberalization in the seychelles [friends of the earth united states] The Seychelles earns a considerable amount of foreign income by selling fishing licenses for its waters. The EU, in particular, pays the Seychelles 2. 3 million euros per year for fishing access, and contributes another 3. 8 million euros through general expenditures. The EU is also the largest importer of canned tuna from the country. This lucrative partnership is made possible by preferential treatment from the EU, which allows duty-free imports so long as certain Rules of Origin are adhered to. Liberalization of the global fisheries sector through NAMA (see page 7) would devastate the Seychelles’ economy, as the country would lose its desperately needed preferential treatment and probably Indian Ocean Tuna as well. If tariffs go, the country also stands to lose 70% of its total customs revenue and could experience increased dumping of fish on local markets.

The Seychelles might try to compensate by selling more fishing licenses to foreign fleets, leading to further exploitation of its already fragile marine resources. Fishing is a key industry in the Seychelles, particularly because of the country’s extremely large Economic Exclusive Zone. Fourteen percent of the population works in the fish sector, over half of them in the tuna cannery owned by Indian Ocean Tuna Ltd (in turn partly owned by the US food giant Heinz). Meanwhile, fishing stocks are being depleted globally due to increased fishing by fleets from industrialized countries, some of which have commercial agreements with developing countries to fish in their waters.

Although fish capture from the wild has stagnated in the past ten years, even decreasing in the last recorded years (2001-2002), the world’s supply of fish is nearly exhausted, with over 70% of wild fish stocks fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted, Any additional overfishing – which could be triggered through trade liberalization agreements – will cause species to become commercially extinct and seriously hinder the process of their regeneration. trade liberalization hurts fish and people Proposals put forth in the WTO’s NAMA negotiations (see page 7) to eliminate tariffs on fish and fish products will have serious negative impacts on both fish and fisherpeople. Almost 70% of tradable fish is still obtained from wild harvest, which already places extreme pressure on the oceans’ resources. The proposed tariff reductions in the NAMA negotiations will increase incentives to fish internationally, especially with large commercial trawlers, in turn fuelling further exploitation.

If coastal nations with strong domestic markets such as Ghana and Cameroon are forced to lower tariffs under liberalization, the likelihood exists that imports could be forced upon them, undermining local fishing industries and food security. Artisanal fisheries are more rational and equitable than industrial fishing fleets in their exploitation of fish resources. The cumulative loss of local ecological knowledge will seriously undermine the appropriate management of fish resources. Small-scale fishers will lose their livelihoods as the decline of fisheries accelerates and as large commercial trawlers suck up all the high-quality fish for export. Only low-quality fish will be left for artisanal fishers to feed their communities.

This will have serious financial reverberations in many developing countries, where fishing is an important revenue generator for fishers and their family members, who are often indirectly involved in the process. Ultimately, local fisherfolk and poor fishing communities will be the first to suffer from dying seas. foei | 15 © gunnar album * privatizing fish harms the public good: lessons from canada [marc allain, policy advisor, world forum of fish harvesters and fish workers] Now, two studies suggest that the government’s market-driven solutions created just as many economic, social and ecological problems as they solved. Rural ownership of licences and quota declined precipitously. Traditional fishing communities – including aboriginal communities, which were particularly hard hit – lost 45% of all major licences.

The big winners were urban investors both corporate and individual – who had better access to the capital needed to purchase the quotas and fishing licences that increased rapidly in value as more buyers entered the market. Rural residents, hobbled by lower incomes, reduced economic opportunities and lower property values that limited their borrowing ability, simply could not match the prices urban dwellers and corporations were willing to pay for licences and quotas. Another notable consequence was the negative impact on conservation. Advocates of fisheries privatization often argue that private property rights are a boon to conservation because they are supposed to foster resource stewardship and a conservation ethic in the property owner. But the Canadian experiment with privatization is producing the opposite effect. The ncreased capital costs of fishing and concentration of ownership are having a pernicious effect on conservation. Urban investors who now control quotas and licences often lease them back to working fishermen, who have to fish harder and cut corners on conservation by over-fishing to make their lease payments and make ends meet. a way forward in atlantic inshore fisheries So if freely-traded private property rights in fisheries create more problems than they solve, what policy alternatives are there to foster sustainable fisheries? The WTO’s foray into the liberalization of trade in fish and fish products under the NAMA process (see page 7) makes this question all the more urgent. Ironically, Canada might have a promising alternative to propose.

In what is known as the Atlantic “inshore fisheries”, Canada limits access to valuable species like lobster and crab to small boats, issues licences only to individual fish harvesters, limits each individual to one licence per species, and requires each individual licence holder to fish their licences personally. It also explicitly prohibits processing companies from holding inshore fishing licences, thereby blocking the vertical integration of fish harvesting and fish processing operations. These policies have created an inshore fleet of approximately 15,000 independent licence holders and an additional 30,000 crew members who generate 75% of the landed value and 99% of the employment in Atlantic Canada’s annual $1. 8 billion fishery.

Moreover, these licences are distributed over hundreds of small coastal communities, making the inshore fishery in Atlantic Canada an important source of rural employment. Under WTO rules, it is not clear whether fishing countries like Canada, India or Brazil will be able to adopt or keep fisheries policies that discriminate in favor of small independent fish harvesters living in rural areas, or pursue other measures that foster food security or food sovereignty. In the ongoing NAMA negotiations however, countries that have already privatized their fisheries are pushing definitions of subsidies that if adopted would straightjacket other countries and force them down the path of privatization and corporate concentration. This can’t be allowed to happen.

Simplistic, private property rights regimes based on capital investment aren’t the solution to the world’s fisheries problems. Private property rights and market mechanisms will not ensure that fishing is sustainable, nor provide the quality of life that rural people seek. The market doesn’t care about conservation, fishing families, fishing communities or whether there should be fish in the water for future generations. There are places the WTO shouldn’t be going, and a country’s fisheries policies are among them. more information: www. pcffa. org/wff. htm What happens when you establish private property rights in a fishery and let the market decide who should own the right to fish?

Fishing communities, traditional fishing families and conservation all lose out. At least that’s what the Canadian experience shows. In the mid-1990s, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans decided that establishing private property rights and allowing the concentration of ownership was the most efficient way to deal with a perceived over-capitalization problem in its Pacific fishery. The Department introduced a series of policy reforms that established tradable fishing quotas and encouraged investors to accumulate both quotas and licences. © dominic morissette and catherine pappas, 2005 © © dominic morissette and catherine pappas, 2005 © © dominic morissette and catherine pappas, 2005 16 | foei * ishing: a dying tradition on the philippine islands [friends of the earth united states and friends of the earth philippines] Over the past decade, the Philippines has liberalized its economy by slashing tariffs in the fish sector from 30 percent to 5 percent. These tariff reductions have paved the way for foreign fishing fleets to increasingly operate off the coast and bring imports into port. As a result, both the supply of fish and the income of fishers have declined due to resource depletion and lowered productivity. The government attempted to limit the dumping of fish imports with its Fisheries Code of 1998, which banned the sale of imported fish on wet markets, only allowing imports for canneries and processing. Unfortunately this law is rarely enforced and smuggling is common, especially of cheap frozen fish from China and Taiwan.

In addition, the legal yet unsustainable activities of Japanese trawlers fishing in Filipino waters, combined with polluted waters and the spread of aquaculture (leading to further pollution and loss of access to both the sea and the productive waters of mangrove forests), has caused artisanal fish catches to shrink significantly over the years. As a result of trade liberalization, an estimated 20% of small and mediumscale commercial fishers have lost their livelihoods in the Philippines. Poverty rates among fishers are higher than among the total population, and the majority of the poorest provinces are coastal ones. On the Philippine islands, fish stocks and the artisanal fishing industry have already fared extremely poorly in the face of trade liberalization. The Filipino fishing sector employs 1. 6 million subsistence artisanal fishers, and approximately 6 million people depend upon the industry for their livelihoods. * pening markets punishes indonesian fisherfolk [p. raja siregar, walhi/friends of the earth indonesia] The most common processed fish product is fish powder, which is used as feed in shrimp and fish farms. Promoting the fish powder industry could be a particularly useful way of allowing fisherfolk to benefit from damaged and unwanted fish that would otherwise go to waste. Currently, however, Indonesia imports enormous and increasing quantities of fish powder. In 2002, 61,301 tons of fish powder worth US$37. 6 million were imported (27% more than in 1998). Fish powder, most of it from Latin America, constitutes 60% of Indonesia’s fish imports. ish and shrimp dumping Tariff escalation, which means that the most highly processed products attract the highest tariffs, discourages the development of domestic processing industries in exporting countries. The EU, for example, imposes escalating tariffs on Indonesia’s processed fish products. EU tariffs on processed fish products may reach 40%, while those on raw materials are only around 5%. In addition, Indonesia’s own import tariffs on fish are very low – between 0% and 3% – while domestic fish are taxed at 5%. This encourages national businesses and the processing industry to buy cheap imported fish, leaving fisherfolk with even more unsold catch. Low tariffs have made Indonesia a magnet for dumped products.

Since 2004, for example, Indonesia has been flooded with shrimp imports from China and Vietnam that have been rejected by the United States. Indonesian shrimp farmers are understandably up in arms about this dumping of shrimp that have been rejected elsewhere. Indonesia should be able to apply tariffs and other trade restrictions to fish (especially those small-sized species caught by fisherfolk) and fish powder imports, and EU tariff escalation must stop. These measures would protect fisherfolk and encourage domestic processing. For fisherfolk in Indonesia, a small catch always means small returns, but a big catch doesn’t always mean increased incomes. It may be that there are too many fish being sold in the market and prices drop.

Or that the fish are not sold, and perish. Or that the fish are discarded at sea. Trawl boats in the Mollucas and Seram, for example, currently throw 90% of their catch back into the ocean in their search for profitable shrimp and tuna. encouraging local industry and minimizing fish waste By making use of this surplus and low quality fish, a viable fish processing industry could reduce these risks and at the same time increase fisherfolks’ incomes. The Indonesian processing industry is however struggling to develop in the face of unhelpful national policies and international trade regulations. © foe indonesia © foe indonesia foei | 17 three food food, seeds and free trade lberto villareal, redes/friends of the earth uruguay Free trade rules and enforcement mechanisms support a corporate assault on the world’s peasantry, farming indigenous peoples and small-scale family farmers, threatening the very biodiversity and environment that they have historically depended upon, cared for, and enriched. Food has been bought, sold and exchanged throughout history, and has almost always been grown and consumed locally. International trade in food is just a fraction of global agricultural output. Yet since the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture was signed in 1994, food is increasingly treated as just another industrial good to be produced and sold anywhere to those who can afford to pay for it. In addition, trade rules – on subsidies, import restrictions and intellectual property rights – combine to work in favor of transnational agribusiness and against the interests of small farmers. umping on small farmers and the environment Current trade rules are generating increasingly inequitable terms of trade for small farmers worldwide, especially in developing countries where up to half of the population may be engaged in agriculture. These rules are forcing down farm-gate prices (though not in-store prices) for agricultural products and commodities, which benefits the corporations that increasingly control food production and trade worldwide. At the same time however, the rules also allow industrialized countries to subsidize their products and dump them in southern markets where they undercut local producers. Expanding trade in export-oriented monoculture plantations is also placing an immense burden on the environment.

Again this is especially problematic in the South, where it leads to extensive deforestation and biodiversity loss, the contamination and reduced availability of fresh water, air pollution, soil degradation and desertification. All of these further increase the social and ecological debt that northern countries owe to the South. The drive to export means that extraordinarily high numbers of small farms in both South and North are failing or being bought out by larger farms and agribusiness. Communities without legal ‘ownership’ of their land are being evicted, sometimes violently, to make way for industrial-scale agriculture. Yet smallscale farming is vital for food sovereignty and security, robust rural economies and the production of healthy local food.

Everyone has the right, as enshrined in the 1996 Rome Declaration on World Food Security, to have “safe and nutritious food” and “be free from hunger”. Those who promote free trade in agriculture ignore the importance of food, in all its diverse forms, to cultures around the world. rules and profits for the food giants In fact, ‘free trade’ rules in agriculture are clearly designed to benefit large-scale, capital-intensive, export-oriented producers. They also favor the interests of transnational agrochemical firms, companies selling genetically modified seeds, commodity traders, giant food and feed processing firms and the leading food retailers that increasingly control global food supply.

These same rules are locking developing countries into providing lowcost natural resources and goods to the rest of the world in order to earn hard currency with which to pay off ‘official’ debts. Ten years after the creation of the WTO, it is clear that EU and US promises of agricultural liberalization are an illusion used to tempt the poorest countries into opening other sectors, particularly in industrial goods and services. Wherever there have been increased export opportunities for agricultural products from the South to the North, most if not all of the benefits have gone to a small elite in the exporting countries and the transnational corporations involved.

The Agreement on Agriculture has also allowed the EU and the US to continue to subsidize their largest and most influential farmers heavily (in the UK, for example, 80% of subsidies go to just 20% of farmers). Free trade rules in agriculture also discriminate against organic farming and other more environmentally-friendly forms of agriculture. They discourage labelling requirements that give consumers a choice about what they buy. Trade rules also work against the introduction of high food standards, which are important to the development of sustainable agriculture. people’s food sovereignty is the future The inclusion of agriculture in the WTO and other trade agreements cannot work for farmers, consumers or the environment.

Together with consumers’, indigenous, peasant and small farmers’ organizations, Friends of the Earth International is working for diverse farmer-based, localized and organic agriculture systems that grow food for local consumption. Trade in agriculture and food products should and will continue, but as an option rather than an obligation, and regulated by an improved and strengthened United Nations. Existing rules that prioritize corporate profits and export rights need to be replaced by peoples’ food sovereignty – that is the right of peoples, communities and nations to decide upon their own sustainable agriculture and food policies. 18 | foei © tatiana roa part three | food * acon and beans: how trade in pork and soy causes hunger, pollution and human rights violations [bente hessellund andersen, friends of the earth denmark] soy stresses in latin america Soy production results in a gradual transfer of critical nutrients from Argentina to Denmark, causing problems in both countries. Argentinean soil is depleted, as most of the above-soil organic matter is removed during soybean harvest. Soy is also particularly efficient in extracting nutrients from the soil, meaning it can be grown without expensive fertilizers for several years. This is cost-effective in the short-term, but eventually leads to soil erosion and desertification.

Increasing soy production is also leading to dramatically increased rates of deforestation at the core of the Amazon forest in the centre-west region of Brazil, in the Interior Atlantic forest in the Misiones Province in Argentina, in the Chiquitano forests in Bolivia, and in the Parana forest in Paraguay among other places. The soy boom has turned highly varied landscapes consisting of small farms, forests, grasslands and other biologically and culturally diverse ecosystems into oceans of monoculture. As soy production is not labor intensive, its expansion has led to the depopulation of the countryside. All over the region, small family farms are being taken over, often forcefully, contributing to the erosion of rural traditions, unemployment and poverty.

The soy bean boom has hit women (who play a central role in running family farms) and indigenous peoples (whose lands are often impacted) the hardest. Some 60 million indigenous people around the world are almost entirely dependent on forests to supply key elements needed for their survival, including food, fuelwood and me


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