For the GM tree free world - GLOBAL BAN ON GM-TREES

For the GM tree free world

Open petition for the UN


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List of signatories

The petition for global ban on GM trees will next be presented there for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in its 10th session COP10 in December year 2004.

We the signatories
wish to point out that in the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity world leaders declared they were conscious "of the intrinsic value of biological diversity and of the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components,

Conscious also of the importance of biological diversity for evolution and for maintaining life sustaining systems of the biosphere,

Affirming that the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind."

We recognize that
forests are a key factor sustaining the climate and the composition of the atmosphere.

We state that forests, along with the oceans, are key to the diversity of life on the planet - this diversity being the result of millions of years of evolution enabling the species to adapt to their surrounding ecosystems and the ecosystems to adapt to the surrounding climate.

We further wish to point out that genetic diversity within a species is part of the evolutionary original capital helping the species to survive in changing conditions, while species diversity within ecosystems is part of the capital helping the ecosystems to adapt to climate change.

We state that
the decision made in the context of the UN-lead Kyoto process to allow the use of genetically modified trees to tackle climate change is in contravention of the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Trying to fight climate change by growing GM-trees would lead to the creation of vast plantations of cloned GM-trees on our planet. It would mean enormous losses in terms of diversity, while exposing these GM monocultures to disease, pests - and the effects of the ongoing climate change itself.

We believe that
the risks for biosafety involved in the introduction of genetically modified trees are such that they extend over state borders as well as generations, and should therefore not be taken at the present state of knowledge. Studies in population genetics show that genetic exchanges between trees can extend over whole continents. There is a real risk that by introducing GM-trees we would trigger a series of GM-contaminations spreading all over the forest cover on our planet. Other dangerous ecological scenarios include the potential metabolic incompatibility of GM-trees with their ecological surroundings, as well as genetically modified material being transferred to viruses and bacteria.

On the grounds of what has been stated above, we demand that the world reject the introduction of genetically modified trees.

In our view, we should be heading in the opposite direction. Instead of establishing plantations of genetically modified trees, we should strive to restore the forest cover of our planet towards its former riches and abundance.

Diverse, healthy and vital forests can best safeguard the ability of our living planet to adapt to the ongoing climate change. They also form the best basis for a diverse, healthy and vital forest economy, now and in the future.


Latest press releases

We are happy to tell that there is just now 2382 persons and 269 organisations and groups which have signed the demand for UN!

Great thanks for all of you for your great support!

The next stage for the campaign is now at hand.

The UN Kyoto meeting, Cop10, will be held 6-13 December in Buenos Aires. We ask you to join to start with us some of these actions:

1. Reaching the people - campaign poster on the walls!
We are happy to present the first campaign posters:
All signed ngo's and individual can freely produce prints for noncommercial distribution.

Let´s put the posters on walls, in good and suitable places. The poster campaign continues also after the Kyoto meeting but we would like to hear and see that this poster campaign would start just now, when Kyoto meeting is going to start.

2. Reaching the parlamentarians - letter to parliament houses!
In that next Kyoto meeting there will arrive a lot of parlamentarians from different countries.

We suggest urgent action and cooperation to reach those people on next days before the UN meeting

Behalf of our campaign we have produced a nice letter for parlamentarians. Look here:

( High resolution, 4 mb )

http://elonmerkki.net/forestforum/uk/posters/ff-letter_a4_LR.pdf, ( Low resolution, 907 Kb )

We hope that there will be at least one group or organisation from every country, who would print and distribute this letter for your parliament house.

We hope that as many as possible of the parlamentarians on the Earth can get this letter on their table, as soon as possible.

If you or your organisation can take part this work, please let us know by replying to this message.

3. Country working groups watching GM trees
In many countries there already exists activists who have expressed their willingness for GM tree watch networking.

The idea is to support together mutual news change and reporting, open and interactive database, to be really aware what is going on with GM trees on the Earth.

If you or your organisation is interested on this kind of cooperation please dont hesitate to contact us.

One way for supporting the campaign and your local work there is that you order for sale our campaign posters. We send them by 5 euros when you order at least 20 copyes. More information by graphist and producer: hannes@kettukallio.fi

One of the most famous thinker and criticist on GM issue, Dr Mae Van Ho, had a four days journey in Finland and it was a real success. We shall soon produce videoreports on that highly inspirating visit on the address: http://elonmerkki.net/dyn/forum/topic/?catid=69

If you have some interesting videoreports on forest and/or GM issue, please visit on the site and open a discussion for that and give the link for video.

Hannu Hyvönen
campaign coordinator
Union of Ecoforestry in Finland

Global Ban on GM trees


Press release 12th december 2004

GM trees are a false option
Biodiversity is the solution

In the beginning of this year three environmental organisations launched the Internet action for protesting the GM trees supportive decision made in UN Kyoto meeting in Milano, last December. Look the press release here:

Today there is about 300 ngo's and almost 3000 individuals supporting the demand.

-The basic idea to reward with emission rights those western countries which would be putting up tree plantations in third world is simply false, even without GM trees, says campaigner Hannu Hyvönen by the Union of Ecoforestry in Finland.

-Instead of that kind of carbon offset imperialism, we should just strive to restore the forest cover of our planet towards its former riches and abundance. GM trees would be the last step in the destructive course of industrial forestry. The campaign also argues that the introduction of genetically modified trees with their unpredictable and irreversible risk for forest ecosystems is breaking the national sovereighnity of those countries which would be contaminated by pollen of GM plantations.

-Actually the introduction of GM trees in open environment is breaking the Convention on Biodiversity, Cartagena Biosafety protocoll and several other international threaties. States have the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, says lawyer and activist of People´s Biosafety Association, Mikko Vartiainen.

Tree plantations are not forests

-Seeking the alternative solutions
The forest cover of the Earth has however a great role in global carbon balance. The campaign is now continuing to open discussion on alternative solutions and strategies for preventing climate change.

- The recent findings on boreal silvicultural alternatives show that this mainstream forest management, with monoculture plantations and clearcuttings is not at all the most efficient in binding carbon and maintaining carbon strorages.

-Also the good examples on agroforestry solutions tell us that there are much more better solutions to work with trees than monocultures, invites Leo Stranius, chair of Friends of Earth Finland to continue the discussion for alternatives on People´s Forest Forum: http://elonmerkki.net/forestforum

For more information:

Global Ban on GM trees

Hannu Hyvönen
The Union of Ecoforestry
tel +358-408317733
e-mail:hannu AT elonmerkki.net

Leo Stranius
Friends of the Earth Finland
tel +358-40-754 7371
email:leo.stranius AT maanystavat.fi

Mikko Vartiainen
People´s Biosafety Association
email:mikko.vartiainen AT nic.fi


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November 2004

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