At a recent meeting in Ghana, Friends of the Earth (FoE) Africa outlined what they believe are the most pressing global issues facing their continent, and called upon African countries to take certain steps toward solving these problems. Among the most dire problems are land-grabbing and corporate control of Africa’s natural resources, as well as the imposition of Genetically Modified food on the continent. FoE Africa also called into question the nature of corporate “green-washing” or using marketing to deceptively promote a business or economic system as green, when it is, in fact, not sustainable. They noted in their statement that ” Green economy is a cover to introduce harmful technology and does not provide agenda to move away from the fossil fuel or emission reduction.”
Friends of the Earth Africa
Saturday 12th May 2012
Statement by Friends of the Earth Africa at her Annual General Meeting held in Accra,Ghana, from 9-12th May 2012.
Members of FoE Africa from Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Swaziland Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda met and reviewed global issues with particular focus on those that confront the African continent.
The politics of scrambling for African natural resources, intense oil and gas extraction, land grabbing, forest and biodiversity degradation and dangerous climate change are among the issues that continue to confront the continent. Other issues are the continued imposition of genetically modified food and other organisms on the continent. Political crisis continues with Mali, Guinea Bissau, Swaziland, being just examples of the latest hotspots.
FoE Africa groups reject the outcomes of the UNFCCC COP17 in Durban and the false solutions still being projected as means of tackling climate change. The inability of the COP17 to achieve ambitious emission targets for developed countries, but instead trying to water- down the key principles underlining equity and historical responsibility have detrimental consequences for Africa and other developing countries. We affirm and endorse the Peoples Agreement reached at the people’s climate summit in April 2010 at Cochabamba, Bolivia, as a suitable political platform for reaching an equitable climate regime with full recognition of historical responsibilities.
We call on African governments and institutions to reject and take steps to halt the cancer of land grabbing and corporate control of Africa’s natural resources.
The diversion of arable lands and food crops for agrofuels; licencing polluter to carry on polluting under the cover of REDD and similar mechanisms only serve to push Africa into more precarious positions and must be resisted as they erode political, social, economic and environmental justice on the continent.
The upcoming Rio +20 must ensure sustainable development framework that delivers social and economic justice as well as environmental protection. The Rio +20 must look at fundamental problems but not the greening of the existing economic system which is not sustainable.
Green economy, is a diversion from the principles of the Earth Summit of 1992, setting out to increase poverty through promoting resource grabbing, promote false solutions to environmental crisis, blocking genuine solutions and promote market environmentalism or commodification of nature. Green economy is a cover
to introduce harmful technology and does not provide agenda to move away from the fossil fuel or emission reduction.
Following from the above, FoE Africa calls on all to join us and:
1. Support popular demands for true and participatory democracy on the continent with full respect of human rights and social equity
2. We condemn in the strongest terms, the military and foreign intervention and destruction of democratic structures in countries in Africa
3. Work together for the attainment of land rights, energy and food sovereignty on the continent
4. Demand a shift from fossil fuels as energy sources to renewable energy sources such as solar
5. Call on African countries to leave the fossil fuels in the soil: say no to crude oil, gas (including
fracking), tar sands and coal extraction.
6. We demand equity and justice principles in the Rio +20 Summit
Africa calls on all Africans to join hands to mobilize, resist and work for the
transformation of our societies and the world.
Friends of the Earth-Ghana
Sustainable Development Institute
Citizens for Justice
Environmental Rights Action
Leone: Friends of the Earth
Lawyers Environmental Action Team
Association Tunisseinne Pour La Protection de la Nature et de L’environnment
National Association of Professional Environmentalists