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14 June 2010 | |


Agreement between WWF and questioned businessman exposed in Honduras

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Quimicas Dinant – owned by the controversial businessman Miguel Facusse – and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) signed an agreement last week for the certification of the so called Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Facusse has not only been questioned for his role in the promotion of agribusiness but also in his role in terms of human rights: last April, security guards of the businesman armed with Ak-47s threatened and hit people who were coming back from the inauguration of the community radio “La Voz de Zacate Grande". The incident was reported as an attempt to intimidate the community to give up on having their own radio.

The information about the agreement circulated in the Honduran media. The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) criticized WWF for supporting this businessman, who is involved in a major social conflict with the communities of the northern region of Honduras called Bajo Aguan.

Besides, the organization claims that it is widely known that Miguel Facusse uses a huge amount of agrotoxics in his plantations, and the bad effect that has on the MesoAmerican Barrier Riff System.

“Despite the ’purported good intentions’ of the agreement there is serious doubt about the role played by RSPO, especially its role of greenwashing of the palm oil corporations in Papua New Guinea. The Principles and Criteria used by RSPO lack a legal framework, and the accountability systems are quite blurry, according to the Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR) of Papua New Guinea. They also claim that nearly 11 or 12 corporations from that country registered with the RSPO fail to comply with the regulations”, says OFRANEH’s press release.

The organization also criticizes WWF for its alliances with questioned corporations, and quotes Torry Kuswardono, agrofuels campaigner of Walhi - Friends of the Earth Indonesia, who said “it is hard to know what is the role of WWF, because it always operates in a very grey area between the government and the palm oil corporations”.

OFRANEH also says that Facusse’s activities imply dissecating wetlands, which will cause CO2 emissions of between 3,750 and 5,400 tons per dissecated hectare.

“Facusse’s dream as mentioned in the video portrayed by La Prensa newspaper’s website, is to turn Honduras into a palm oil plantation. Or at least that is what he said in his National Development Plan that circulated in the 90s, which seems to be the same plan he is selling to the current administration”, says the organization’s press release.

Photo: www.ofraneh.org

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