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Synthesis/Regeneration 16   (Summer 1998)

Worldwide Green

Federation of Green Parties of the Americas Is Formed

by Don Fitz, Gateway Green Alliance

The founding meeting of the Federation of Green Parties of the Americas took place in Ihla Bela (near Sao Paulo) Brazil, March 26-30, 1998. Delegates adopted governing statutes, approved eight resolutions and held a press conference to announce the Federation's formation to Brazilian and international media.

According to the founding declaration of the Federation of Green Parties of the Americas (FGPA),

"Recalling that in 1992 concern for the urgency of the Global situation and for the urgent need for action was expressed in the Green party document, the "Green Agenda," which was submitted to the UN Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED);

"Concerned that in the six years since Rio the governments of the member states of the United Nations have not demonstrated the political will to discharge obligations and act on commitments to address the global urgency;

"Concerned also that, in the six years since Rio, as a result of disregard by governments for the rule of international law...

  • there has been an increasing violation of human rights, including denial of social justice and disrespect for civil and political and cultural and ethnic rights;
  • the environment has increasingly deteriorated; and,
  • so-called development that destroys the environment and that is culturally inappropriate has been increasing in the lands of indigenous peoples;
"In March, 1998 the following Green Parties met in Ilha Bela, Brazil: Partido Verde de Brasil; The Green Party of Canada; Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico; Partido del Sol (Uruguay); The Greens/Green Party, USA; Association of State Green Parties (USA); and, Movimiento de Integridad Nacional (Venezuela).

"If the parties in power are incapable of dealing with the basic threats to life on this planet, it is time to elect parties which can."

"These parties formed the Federation of Green Parties of the Americas which is part of an international movement of Green Parties addressing the urgency of the Global situation.

"The Federation of Green Parties of the Americas believes that every day there is delay in resolving these urgent problems, these problems become much more destructive for ourselves and for future generations. If the parties in power are incapable of dealing with the basic threats to life on this planet, it is time to elect parties which can."

Delegates anticipate that many more Green Parties from South, Central and North America and the Caribbean will join in the next few years.

The adopted statutes create a biennial General Assembly (GA) with two delegates for each member party, a Council charged with implementing GA decisions, and an Executive Committee whose officers carry out the day-to-day work of the FGPA. The Federation office will be in Mexico City and its first President, Jorge Gonzales Torres of the Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico, was elected for a two year term.

The first resolution of the newly formed Federation addressed the most destructive fires which have ever occurred in the Amazon, in the northern Brazilian state of Roraima. The FGPA called on everyone to join in overcoming the catastrophe and making sure it does not happen again.

The second resolution addressed genetic engineering and cloning. It notes that genetically modified organisms have caused considerable worry over the environmental and health consequences of their uncontrollable spread. The FGPA is concerned with the interconnected issues of worldwide trade in human genetic material, genetic engineering, patenting of seeds and other life forms, and monopolization of food production.

The third resolution addressed North-South relations. It observes that policies of international organizations such as the UN and World Bank have contributed to widening the gap between rich and poor countries. The FGPA opposes intentions of industrialized countries to weaken international organizations which have wide representation. Instead, these organizations should be reorganized and democratized. The FGPA believes that citizen groups should have the right to participate directly in decisions which affect them.

The FGPA opposes intentions of industrialized countries to weaken international organizations which have wide representation.

A fourth resolution addressed indigenous peoples of the Americas. Indigenous nations have social, economic, political and religious traditions which are in harmony with nature. Western nations have imposed their customs on indigenous peoples. This practice continues today in the form of development projects which destroy native lands and exploit wood and minerals. The FGPA demands the right of indigenous peoples to be respected as nations and have social and economic development which is in harmony with their cultures.

The Federation of Green Parties of the Americas...

1. Calls for an immediate halt to harvesting genetic material of indigenous people and that these efforts be replaced with international dedication to preserving the existence of indigenous peoples.

2. Demands an immediate halt to research on increasing human fertility and the production of fertility drugs and that all money from these efforts be dedicated to finding parents for children without families.

3. Calls for the mandatory labeling of all products which contain genetically engineered components (including rBGH milk and soy bean products).

4. Calls for an immediate moratorium on research, development, release, and movement of genetically engineered organisms.

5. Opposes the extension of intellectual property rights to life forms, whether it be for humans, animals, plants, microorganisms, or their genes, cells or other parts.

6. Calls for countries to refuse to issue patents for life forms and to refuse to recognize life form patents issued elsewhere.

7. Affirms that each country has the right to restrict or ban the importation or sale of any commodity based on that country's own assessment of the danger of the commodity or the conditions under which the commodity was produced and calls for the embodiment of this principle in every international trade agreement.

A fifth resolution addressed biodiversity. It notes that the world's biodiversity has been seriously affected by el Niño, droughts, floods, and climate changes. The devastation of the Amazon forest is a result of the search for gold, farming and wood harvesting. These ecological disasters have destroyed over eight million hectares in the last decade. A sixth resolution dealt with disarmament and the nuclear budget. It advocates a halt in the transportation of nuclear waste. The FGPA calls for the elimination of nuclear arms by the year 2000. The FGPA also calls for an immediate reduction in the global military budget and its use for a peace dividend which would guarantee drinking water, public health and the quality of life.

The seventh resolution on endangered species advocates effective international mechanisms to prohibit traffic in species in danger of extinction and to preserve their habitat. The eighth resolution urges protection for sea fauna. It notes that sea life is threatened by climate changes, nuclear tests and devastating fishing practices by multinational companies which do not respect world fishing agreements. The FGPA calls for measures to prevent over-fishing and establish oversight systems to assure conformance to international fishing treaties.

For a full copy of resolutions, e-mail the office of the Federation of Green Parties of the Americas at the Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico (pve@infosel.net.mx) or look on PVEM's web page (www.fpva.org.mx).

Forest Fires in Brazil

by Claudio Turtelli, Secretário de Comunicação, Green Party of Brazil, São Paulo

More than 34,000 square kilometers of tropical forest and grassland have been destroyed in the Brazilian state of Roraima, with grave consequences not only for the local ecology but also for the native Indians living in the region, such as the Yanomami, Macuxi and Wapixana. "The Brazilian government has done almost nothing to stop these fires because there are big-money interests involved," said Patricia McKenna. "The fires are the quickest way to get rid of what they consider to be the 'indigenous problem.' The Indians have the right to use the land but no rights to what is below the surface, so they will not make a penny out of the mining which will occur." She criticized the economic model of plundering natural resources without regard for the effects upon the natural environment or human cultures.

web page: www.partidoverde.org.br, e-mail: turtelli@partidoverde.org.br

Green Party Governor

The new Governor of the Espirito Santo State is Green Party Member Vitor Buaiz-the word's first Green Party Governor. The state of Espirito Santo, approximately the size of Belgium, is one of 26 Brazilian States and mostly comprises the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest.

From European Federation of Green Parties, UPDATE-Newsletter. March, 1998

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