Note about MOP3 and COP8 outcomes

Original Publication Date: 
30 Marzo, 2006
Note of the Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for the Environment and the Development (FBOMS) about MOP3 and COP8 outcomes Social movements and NGOs characterize the debate on MOP3 and COP8: Multilateral system in dispute

March 31, 2006

The Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for the Environment and the Development (FBOMS) highlights during the Third Meeting of the Parties (MOP3) of the Protocol of Cartagena on Biossafety and the Eighth Conference of the Parties (COP8) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) the initiatives of civil society, with continuous mobilizations of Via Campesina and the activities of the Global Civil Society Forum. The responsibility of the social movements with the current and future generations mobilized the society and official delegations stressing the importance of the participation of civil society in the decision-making process that is vital for the future of humanity. Parallel to the official meetings, debates, seminars and manifestations were organized that involved a public of more than 6,000 people.

The huge presence of representatives of Brazilian and international social movements shows the importance of the debate on biodiversity and biossafety among these stakeholders. The farmers and traditional and indigenous populations are the key players who will effectively and daily care about biodiversity and be responsible of the implementation of the resolutions of the Convention.

The importance of the dialogue made possible between NGOs and social movements with Government representatives from the Ministry for External Relations and the Minister for the Environment, Marina Silva, should also be highlighted.

The adoption of the resolutions during MOP3 and COP8 is happening in a context that reflects the fragility of national states and of international decision-making spaces with respect to the power of transnational companies and commercial interests.

Consensus was finally reached about the identification of Living Modified Organisms destined to human and animal feeding or processing, main issue during MOP3. In spite of the limitations of the approved text at MOP3, the survival of the negotiations continues to affirm the need for the establishment of an international regime on biossafety, contrarily to the bet of the Brazilian agrobusiness and the transnational companies that were partially defeated at the end of the negotiations.

The re-affirmation of the moratorium for Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTS), known as sterile Terminator seeds, can be considered a victory.

In compensation, the two conferences were strongly characterized by an explicit presence of representatives of transnational companies for biotechnology, including in the delegations of several countries, that defended commercial interests contrary to the interests of indigenous people and environmental movements that defend social justice, cultural, spiritual and biological diversity, as well as the respect of the rights of indigenous people and local communities on their territories and their traditional knowledge. The continuous and growing pressure of the agrobusiness and of the big industry of biotechnology will not impede that the social movements continue rejecting the current regimes of intellectual property that promote biopiracy.

We denounce the behavior and the positions of Canada, New Zealand and Australia that bring commercial subjects reflecting the interests of transnational companies inside the CBD discussions, creating obstacles for the course of the negotiations. The posture of these countries and of their allies highlights the conflicts between the countries of the 'North' and the biodiversity-rich countries of the 'South'. The existent antagonism among the regimes of the CBD and the World Trade Organization (WTO) was also revealed, situation characterized by a crescent weakening of the first and invigoration of the second, through the imposition of a neoliberal economic agenda on the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of biodiversity.

We call the society in Brazil, Latin America and all across the world to get mobilized so that the interest of peoples in preserving biodiversity prevails about the interests of transnational corporations. Biodiversity is life and not a merchandise.