Written by Administrator Monday, 05 September 2011 08:53
Aug 22, 2011
Today, the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) launches the report of International Fact Finding Mission (IFFM) in San Mariano, Isabela, investigating whether the patterns of intensified land grabbing in the region are related to the development of the largest agrofuel project in the country by the Japanese-Filipino consortium Green Future Innovations Inc. (GFII). The IFFM was conducted by the PCFS and IBON International, in collaboration with the Asian Peasant Coalition and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, upon the request of the local organization of small-scale farmers, Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon ti Isabela, with the support of Action Solidarité Tiers Monde. Entitled “Not One Idle Hectare: Agrofuel Development Sparks Intensified Land Grabbing in Isabela, Philippines”, the report reveals that after only acquiring 3,000 hectares of land, the agrofuel project is already exacerbating land grabbing conflicts and socio-economic inequities as well as undermining food self-sufficiency by:
Based on the assessed ecological impact, the IFFM also finds it is highly questionable that the Japanese proponents of the project, ITOCHU Corporation and the JGC Group, would be seeking additional funding through the carbon credit mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Further investigative research and support on this issue is being offered by the Brussels-based CDM Watch, and other environmental watchdog organizations, while members of the San Mariano community are still awaiting an invitation by the proponent companies for a genuine stakeholder consultation as required by the UNFCCC process as well as by national and international law. An application for recognition as a Clean Development Mechanism project was submitted for prior consideration under the UNFCCC in April 2011.
The online petition campaign launched by the IFFM has been successful in applying pressure to the companies involved in the GFII consortium, elected government officials and responsible government agencies to seriously take account of the livelihood concerns of the subsistence farming communities and Agta indigenous people of San Mariano. Seven hundred and fifty people signed from sixty two countries, representing 275 organizations.
Following the release of the IFFM’s preliminary findings in June 2011, elected representatives of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines committed to support a public consultation in San Mariano with the affected communities and to convene a discussion on the IFFM results between the Departments of Agrarian Reform, Agriculture and Environment and Natural Resources. Officials from these agencies.
And internationally to the following corporations and institutional representatives:
The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty, IBON International, the Asian Peasant Coalition, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon ti Isabela and all seven hundred and fifty signatories of the petition continue to await an adequate response and action from implicated authorities and personnel.