MADRE News

Choose a news category:

New Proposal for Five-Year Ban on Agrofuels Seeks to End Global Hunger

Posted on: Saturday, October 6, 2007

Keywords: Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, Food Sovereignty

October 25, 2007—New York—The link between the expanding agrofuel industry, also known as “biofuels,” and the dangers posed to global food security will move into the spotlight today, with the call by Jean Ziegler, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, for a five-year moratorium on the production of agrofuels. The proposal to be submitted to the UN General Assembly expresses fears that billions of dollars of support for the agrofuel industry will drive up food prices and further limit resources available to combat hunger.

MADRE, whose Food for Life campaign links issues of environmental sustainability and global justice, today stressed that the global push for alternative energy sources must not come at the expense of human rights, particularly the right to food.

Agrofuel production is currently celebrated as one of the best responses to overdependence on finite supplies of polluting fossil fuels. However, reports increasingly indicate that the new focus on agrofuels does more to benefit agribusiness interests than to reduce carbon emissions and stop climate change.

Yifat Susskind, Communications Director of MADRE, said today, “The need for a serious approach to the dangers of climate change as a result of fossil fuel emissions is undeniable. Yet the response to this challenge has been co-opted by agribusiness that sees this global crisis as an opportunity to expand their industry. This approach shows little regard for human rights, protection of the environment, or the imperative to combat hunger.”

Ziegler’s proposal—to ban the conversion of land for the production of agrofuels—seeks to counter the substantial increase in food prices that has accompanied the demand for agrofuels. Ziegler further encourages using the five-year moratorium to develop “second generation” agrofuels, that will use non-food plants and will not compromise food security.

The effect of these price hikes is already in evidence, particularly in connection with US food aid levels. The primary US program for the delivery of food aid saw a drop in volume of more than 50% between 2000 and 2007, as a result of increasing prices. MADRE also pointed out that this marked decrease in aid reveals a failing in the US system for the delivery of food supplies, which allows only the purchase of food aid from domestic sources. MADRE emphasizes that this measure, designed to protect US producers, drives up transportation costs and limits the availability of food.

More information on agrofuels can be found in the MADRE statement “Feed People, Not Cars: Agrofuels are no Solution to Climate Change,” located here: http://www.madre.org/index.php?s=4&news=101.

Available for interviews:

Victoria Tauli Corpuz is Executive Director of the Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples' International Center for Policy Research & Education), which has United Nations ECOSOC NGO consultative status and is based in Baguio City, Philippines. Ms. Tauli Corpuz has served as the Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples (UNPFII) from 2005-2007 and was the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations from 1996 to 2003; she is the founder and convener of the Asia Indigenous Women's Network. She has a Nursing degree; is an Indigenous activist who is committed to the recognition, protection, and promotion of Indigenous Peoples' rights worldwide; and has been defending the rights and cultures of Indigenous Peoples for more than 30 years.

Yifat Susskind, MADRE’s Communications Director and Coordinator of MADRE’s Food for Life Campaign, worked for several years as part of a joint Israeli-Palestinian human rights organization in Jerusalem before joining MADRE. She has written extensively on US foreign policy and women’s human rights; her critical analysis has appeared in online and print publications such as TomPaine.com, Foreign Policy in Focus, and The W Effect: Bush’s War on Women, published by the Feminist Press in 2004. Ms. Susskind has been featured as a commentator on CNN, National Public Radio, and BBC Radio.


« Back to "Press Room" Next Article »



Article Tools
Increase Font Decrease Font Reset Font Print Page Email Page


Archives

"Press Room" Home September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001

Contact

Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
EMAIL: media@madre.org

To sign up to receive MADRE media alerts, click here.

Bring MADRE to You