Day 2 -Tuesday 21st March - the World says No to Terminator..
Mardi 21 Mars 2006
As buses of delegates arrived this morning for day 2 of COP8 they were met by hundreds of protesting (and dancing) farmers, peasants, Indigenous People's and NGO's twirling flags, giving speeches, chanting and rallying against Terminator Technology - many of them organised through Via Campesina - the global movement of peasants. Banners with images of coffins proclaimed that "Case by Case = Coffin by Coffin' and that 'Suicide Seeds are Homicide Seeds" . Up until now the farmers and peasants have been kept out of the conference centre and relegated to a tent hidden around the back of the expotrade. By bringing their resistance so colourfully to the gates they ensured that every delegate arriving this morning could see and hear the strength of opposition to Terminator Technology.
and its not just in Curitiba...
Yesterday, In Hyderabad India, half a million signatures were handed to the Indian Government on a Petition against Terminator organised by SAGE 'South Against Genetic Engineering. India has a Ban on Terminator but there are whispers that they may not defend it strongly here at the COP and would thereby allow the 'case by case' clause that would undermine the Terminator moratorium.
Meanwhile in Ottawa (Canada) last night over a thousand people gathered to put Terminator on Trial and voted overwhelmingly that the technology should be banned. they heard speeches from Indian Activist Vandana Shiva and Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser. Canadian government speakers pulled out at the last moment but farmers and indigenous people were able to join the event by live link from Curitiba.
We also learned yesterday of another overwhelming vote on Terminator - this time in the European Parliament who have passed a resolution calling on the EU negotiators not to support the case by case risk assesment proposed by Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The resolution (P6_TA-PROV(2006)0098) ,which was passed by 419 MEPs of all parties with only 5 opposing, urges the European commission and member states to "reject any proposals to undermine the moratorium on the field-testing and marketing of so-called terminator technologies set by CBD Decision V/5 through a 'case-by-case' assessment or approval of Genetic Use Restriction Technologies" and to "defend robustly an EU policy to require that no open-air growing of crops involving Genetic Use Restriction Technologies can be permitted until thorough research on ecological and socio-economic impacts and on any adverse effects for biodiversity, food security and human health has been carried out in a transparent manner;"
Then this morning, as negotiations were just getting underway we learned that petitions and protests had occurred at the Canadian Embassies in UK and Germany - asking that the Canadian delegation to CBD come to their senses on Terminator. As for the canadian delegation themselves? well they seem to have gone to ground - not answering emails and suddenly hard to find. Instead CropLife (the pesticide and seed industry lobby group) and the Canadian Seed Trade have taken to the press to defend terminator instead. We had heard there was a CropLife representative on the Canadian Delegation this past week so maybe the Canadian government is using industry lobby groups to handle its press relations?? That might explain a few things...