Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The EU FTA should be called FTH: Feed the Hydra

"Indonesia is a major producer of palm oil, used for biofuels and cosmetics, among other things. Global industrial demand for palm oil continues to drive the destruction of massive tracts of the Indonesian rainforest by a few huge corporations. Local communities who’ve lived on the land for generations are often forced into urban slums, or else they become low-paid labour for the large palm oil producers themselves. This also includes small-scale farmers, whose land is taken over by large corporate enterprises which are either foreign-owned or suppliers of foreign multinationals. Sometimes, small farmers are forced to switch from their own crops to producing palm oil.[1]

“The EU Commission agreed on a biofuels policy in which they explicitly said it is better to produce in tropical countries because of cheap labour and resources.”

“Then in 2006 there was a presidential decree stating that production would increase, and [the Indonesian government] would guarantee distribution.” Palm oil plantations in the country underwent a 1.3 million-hectare expansion.

“There are many conflicts with small farmers; they are indiginous, and have no official certificate for the land; the companies claim it is their land.”

SPI has documented many cases of forced expropriations. The police and military are often involved, and in the last two years 15 farmers have been shot. Other human rights violations include intimidation and wrongful imprisonment."


See also

"The neoliberal FTAs pursued by the EU with Colombia and Peru threaten to exacerbate human rights abuses - which include killings of trade unionists, forced expropriations of indigenous people from land, and environmental destruction - for the sake of corporate profit."

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