Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on farm land beyond its borders, creating inequalities and threatening both the environment and rural communities, according to a new report released today by Friends of the Earth Europe.
Campaigners from across Europe gathered in Bulgaria recently to discuss plans to tackle resource use, consumption and waste, as part of our programme of European School of Sustainability* events. It proved an inspiring meeting that offered the opportunity to share ideas and experiences and build a united, strong movement, writes Meadhbh Bolger, resource use campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe.
A large number of forest fires have been discovered on Indonesian plantations owned by global palm oil companies Bumitama and Wilmar International. Despite new evidence that both companies violate their own ‘no deforestation’ policies, major U.S. and European investors have not taken significant steps to address these problems, according to a new report released today.
MEPs today sent a strong signal to the European Commission to back truly ambitious rules to reduce resource use, amid concerns that the Commission is planning on watering down its flagship piece of resource use and waste legislation.
Farmers in Uganda evicted by oil palm plantations are today presenting a lawsuit against a joint venture co-owned by the oil palm giant Wilmar International . They are claiming restitution for their grabbed land and fair compensation for damages, three years after their land was taken for plantation development.
Friends of the Earth International is backing the communities' land grab case, filed after three years of dialogue with the government and the company which has failed to bring them justice.
In January, Anne van Schaik, accountable finance campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe visited Uganda to talk with local communities and leaders on the effect of a palm oil plantation project in two islands in Lake Victoria and plan the next steps in a Friends of the Earth campaign against the financiers of landgrabbing.
Indonesian palm oil company Bumitama announced in September 2014 that it has terminated its contract with an illegal palm oil plantation in Borneo, from which it is no longer purchasing palm oil.
“Doing what we been doing for the last 50 years is no longer an option.” That’s how Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe, expressed the urgency of changing our relationship with the Earth’s resources at a conference in Brussels today.
In the Kalangala islands on Lake Victoria, Uganda, communities are being forced off their lands by a powerful alliance of corporations, international organisations and government power, all set on using the land for destructive oil palm production. Many of the citizens who comprise these communities have lost their livelihoods, and feel powerless to challenge the land-grabs.