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If we want to protect biodiversity, local communities and indigenous peoples should be in charge. The use of traditional knowledge should be promoted as opposed to genetically modified organisms (GMO), said activist David Kureeba, of Friends of the Earth Uganda.
Real World Radio interviewed environmental activist after the end of the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity held in Hyderabad, India, from October 8 to 19.
Kureeba regretted that the official negotiations do not take into account the local and indigenous communities and considered the international talks are a space for corporations to analyze ways to obtain profits. He criticized corporate capture at UN spaces, largely exposed by Friends of the Earth International.
When talking about the main threats to forests in Uganda, Kureeba mentioned the promotion of palm oil to produce agrofuels and large-scale tree plantations.
The Ugandan activist referred Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in his country. He also talked about the need to respect the rights of local communities.
In early 2012 Friends of the Earth International published a video-testimony about land grabbing in Uganda. Farmer John Muyiisha, of Kalangala, talked about his hard experience enduring this situation.
Land grabbing by transnational corporations, in this case Wilmar International and BIDICO, whose projects have been funded by the World Bank, leave local communities with no right to land in Uganda.
Palm tree monoculture plantations to produce agrofuels forces communities to leave their life in the countryside as farmers, losing their livelihood and their source of food and water.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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