Open Letter

Large-scale bioenergy must be excluded from the renewable energy definition

We, the signatories of this declaration, are calling on the European Union (EU) to exclude bioenergy from its next Renewable Energy Directive (RED), and thereby stop direct and indirect subsidies for renewable energy from biofuels and wood-burning.

New breeding techniques

In the interest of protecting the environment and public health, genetically modified crops are subject to risk assessment, an authorisation process and labelling rules under EU law. All non-traditional breeding processes that change the structure of DNA using genetic engineering technologies or interfere with gene regulation fall within the scope of these GM regulations. Some are now calling on the European Commission to exempt new genetic engineering techniques from GM rules. The undersigned groups argue that such an exception could threaten the environment and our health, and would violate EU law.

The liaison group on geo-engineering does not fulfil the CBD decision

As participants at the London meeting, we would like to share with you our comments on the liaison group process so far. We do not think the process to date responds well to the mandate from COP 10, in particular to those aspects of it which direct us to:
“Compile and synthesize available scientific information, and views and experiences of indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders on the possible impacts of geo-engineering techniques on biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural considerations, and options on definitions and understandings of climate-related geo-engineering relevant to the Convention on Biological Diversity”

Our main comments are as follows:

  • We are concerned that the report as drafted so far draws primarily on two previous reports, by the Royal Society and the IGBP, both of which were written by a group predominantly of people supportive of geo‐engineering. Reliance on those two reports was presented as a 'fact' at the meeting and not subject to discussion by participants.
  • The report does little to address the dearth of knowledge on the question of potential geoengineering impacts on biodiversity.
  • The mandate relates to the impact of geoengineering on biodiversity, yet few biodiversity specialists are involved, very few civil society groups and no indigenous and local communities (ILCs). This is unacceptable as this is a particular contribution that the CBD should make to the debate.

CSO statement on the planned field release of GM mosquitos

As civil society organizations from around the world, we write to you to respectfully put forward our views on the issue of the release of genetically modified (GM) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Malaysia. It is not clear when such releases will occur, but given the tremendous international interest in the issue, it would be regrettable if the field trials were to be shrouded in secrecy.

Open Letter on the release of GM mosquitos in Malaysia

Many of us were among the 87 civil society organizations from around the world that sent you, in December 2010, a statement of concern regarding the field release of genetically modified (GM) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Malaysia. At the time, we had stated that it was not clear when such releases would occur, but given the tremendous international interest in the issue, it would be regrettable if the field trials were to be shrouded in secrecy.

Subscribe to Open Letter