Published October 28, 2008 11:02 AM

Food for fuel policy may result in deforestation

MANILA, Philippines - Using agrofuel to mitigate effects of climate change may bring about “massive losses of biodiversity, crop conversion, [and] deforestation brought about by industrial monoculture to help in policy formulation," an international group said. 

As a result, the Southeast Asia Regional Initiative for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) urges a moratorium to agrofuel development in the light of the food and climate crises. 


“Our government recklessly jumped into the global frenzy for agrofuel without clear parameter on its implications to the people’s growing demand for food. The government has to stop agrofuel expansion and instead launch intelligent debates about the subject," said Wilhelmina Pelegrina, SEARICE Executive Director.

In a press briefing held in Manila, Camilla Moreno hit the developed countries led by the United States in establishing a global emissions market for agrofuels and promoting global warming mitigation polices and trade in carbon credits based on agrofuel production.

Moreno is a lawyer and post-graduate degree holder in Development, Agriculture and Society from the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She is the author of the book "Food and Energy Sovereignty
Now: Brazilian Grassroots Position on Agroenergy" published by the Oakland Institute in February 2008.

“Thousands of hectares of traditional ecosystems, arable lands, and local livelihoods are being irreversibly affected by the expansion of agrofuel crops. Urban industrialized lives and ever-increasing energy demands are buying into the alleged greening of energy sector and paving the way for corporate takeover in natural resources, such as land, water, forests, biodiversity, oil and gas," explained Moreno.

Brazil is the global leader in ethanol exports, providing 70 percent of the world's supply in 2006.

According to Moreno, a drive through Brazil's countryside reveals the expansion of agribusiness, turning millions of hectares of formerly natural ecosystems, including the Cerrado (grasslands) and the Amazon, into one major monoculture.

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