While current public policies in Columbia encourage palm tree plantations, thereby destroying the Pacific and the Bajo Atrato biodiversity, scientifics and ecologist movements around the world are questioning the positive effects of palm oil and its use as a biocombustible.
Deforestation, desertification and restructuring of eco-systems and of native and local farming communities are necessary and essential for extensive palm culture that will later be transformed in "planet-life-saving" biocombustibles. This is unfair and in opposition with the "altruistic" intentions of the speech in favor of biocombustibles. The ill effects of Palm culture were previously observed in both Malaysia and Indonesia. What can now be observed in Equator and Columbia is that the costly environmental dammages caused by palm plantations do not reduce carbon gaz emissions and cannot justify the effects of the environmental destruction.
In the illegal palm plantations of the Curvarado, to these ecological crimes must also be added the crimes of human life destruction and the risk of extinction of afro-columbian native communities through systematic persecution of these communities and the legalization of native community lands appropriation by tolerated and institutionalized paramilitary groups.
These ecological and environmental arguments will certainly affect American, Canadian and European private oil and energy industries’ economic interests and profit predictions with regards to biocombustibles, as well as raise public awareness to the facts of global warming.
Furthermore, the questionings surrounding the ecological and thus economical unsustainability of palm-derived biocombustibles from a world market perspective may force paramilitary groups and the Columbian government (who gave the go-ahead,kept unpunished the illegal appropriation of lands and stimulated the palm market in the Curvarado and the Catatumbo) to call on economical reasons (more than on humanitarian and ecological reasons that do not preoccupy them), to return the lands to their legitimate owners.
Bogota, February 5, 2007
COMISION INTERECLESIAL DE JUSTICIA Y PAZ
"Scientists are taking 2nd look at biofuels" By Elisabeth Rosenthal, International Herald Tribune, Wednesday, January 31, 2007 Scientists are taking 2nd look at biofuels
"La Palma africana: un proyecto mundial, social y ecológicamente destructor", François Houtart, Ecoportal.net La Palma africana
"La insostenibilidad de los monocultivos agro-industriales como la palma de aceite"; Tom Kuchar, Ecologistas en Acción La insostenibilidad de los monocultivos agro-industriales
Agronegocios de palma y banano en el Bajo Atrato - Impactos ambientales y socioeconómicos, Por Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz See spanish version