CAP/SAM: ‘Ladang bukan hutan’

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Deforestation in Malaysian Borneo - Photograph: Rhett Butler/mongabay.com.

Pertubuhan sosial dari beberapa negara di Latin Amerika dan Asia menandatangani Deklarasi bersama pada 21 September sempena Hari Antarabangsa Perjuangan menentang Penanaman Pokok Monokultur.

“Sejak 2006, setiap 21 September kami memperingati Hari Antarabangsa Perjuangan menentang Penanaman Pokok Monokultur, sebagai satu cara bagi memecahkan kesenyapan terhadap pencabulan yang dihadapi oleh komuniti di mana wilayahnya dicerobohi dan dikelilingi oleh industri perladangan pokok – termasuklah eucalyptus, pain, akasia, getah dan kelapa sawit.

“Perladangan pokok monokultur atau tunggal berskala besar memerlukan penggunaan air, racun pertanian dan baja kimia yang signifikan serta meliputi kawasan yang luas di mana ramai orang hidup atau bergantung kepadanya,” kata Winfridus Overbeek, Koordinator World Rainforest Movement, salah sebuah pertubuhan yang menandatangani deklarasi tersebut.

Tahun ini tumpuannya adalah kepada kesan ladang kelapa sawit memandangkan “ia merupakan yang paling cepat berkembang dalam beberapa dekad lalu”. Menurut pertubuhan-pertubuhan yang menandatangani deklarasi itu, “beberapa siri perjanjian perdagangan bebas telah menghapuskan perlindungan domestik di banyak negara” dan “peningkatan permintaan bahanapi pertanian di Eropah”, “perkembangan bukan sahaja di Indonesia dan Malaysia tetapi juga di negara-negara di Afrika dan Latin Amerika, yang berdekatan dengan garisan khatulistiwa yang keadaan iklimnya sesuai untuk menanam kelapa sawit”.

Tambahan pula, “usaha semasa untuk “menghijaukan” sektor industri kelapa sawit dan juga ladang berskala besar lain dengan komitmen ‘penebangan hutan sifar’ memburukkan lagi keadaan. Bagaimanapun “kepentingan korporat dalam melindungi hutan bukan atas alasan menjaga kebajikan penduduk tempatan atau pemuliharaan habitat dan spesies” tetapi kerana kepentingan dalam “hutan sebagai stor karbon dan biodiversiti, berpotensi sebagai sumber kredit bagi karbon dan biodiversiti yang boleh dijual kepada negara dan syarikat yang mencemar alam sekitar,” jelas pertubuhan itu lagi.

Sebaliknya, dalam Deklarasi itu pertubuhan-pertubuhan mengecam yang “penekanan dalam penebangan hutan cenderung diberikan kurang perhatian kepada seluruh kesan yang disebabkan oleh industri ladang kelapa sawit di banyak negara seperti kemusnahan kehidupan dan pengusiran penduduk tempatan, kemusnahan akibat pembalakan dan pencabulan hak asasi manusia, keistimewaan akses tanah bagi syarikat korporat dan bukannya komuniti, keadaan kerja yang menyedihkan dan peningkatan menjenayahkan pergerakan sosial dan pembangkang tempatan”.

Menurut pertubuhan ini lagi, “skim pensijilan seperti RSPO dan dan skim baharu yang berkaitan cuba untuk ‘menambahbaik ladang’ dengan mengekalkan logik pengembangan tidak terbatas”. Mereka juga menyatakan bahawa “tiada cara untuk menjadikan industri tanaman pokok monokultur berskala besar boleh diterima, sama ada bagi komuniti tempatan mahupun bagi dunia yang kini berdepan krisis teruk dengan bermacam-macam simptom, termasuklah perubahan iklim, ekonomi dan kemerosotan alam sekitar dan peningkatan ketenteraan serta pencabulan hak asasi manusia”.

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Pertubuhan yang menandatangani deklarasi itu juga “mengutuk model berorientasikan eksport dan pertumbuhan berskala besar yang mendorong pengembangan ladang kelapa sawit di peringkat global”. Dengan rancangan untuk meningkatkannya dengan lebih banyak, ia akan terus menyumbang kepada kemusnahan iklim dan bukannya memberikan sebarang penyelesaian sebenar kepada perubahan iklim.

Dan mereka yang paling terjejas oleh dasar seperti ini adalah penduduk dan komuniti asli di kawasan hutan yang akan melihat ladang kelapa sawit terus berkembang, dan akses mereka terhadap tanah dan hutan semakin terbatas”.

“Di negara di mana industri ladang kelapa sawit merangkumi kawasan tanah yang luas, kerajaan seharusnya memberikan keutamaan sepenuhnya terhadap permintaan komuniti, menyokong kawalan mereka terhadap tanah dan hutan yang mereka bergantung daripada melaksanakan dasar yang memudahkan penyerahan wilayah mereka kepada syarikat transnasional,” tuntut pertubuhan itu lagi.

Deklarasi itu berakhir dengan menggesa kerajaan “supaya melabur dalam mempelbagaikan pengeluaran makanan tempatan dan kedaulatan/jaminan makanan, sebagai satu cara yang terbaik untuk menyokong komuniti dan juga ekonomi negara dan tempatan serta untuk mempromosikan keadilan sosial dan alam sekitar”.

S M Mohamed Idris ialah presiden Persatuan Pengguna Pulau Pinang dan Sahabat Alam Malaysia


“Plantations are not Forests”

Social organizations from several countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia signed a joint Declaration on the occasion of 21 September, the International Day of Struggle against Tree Monocultures.

“Since 2006, every 21 September, we commemorate the International Day of Struggle against Tree Monocultures, as a way of breaking the circle of silence around the violations faced by the communities whose territories are invaded and surrounded by industrial tree plantations – including eucalyptus, pine, acacia, rubber and oil palm.

“Those large scale monoculture tree plantations require significant use of water, agrotoxins and chemical fertilisers, occupying huge areas where many people lived or depended upon”, states Winfridus Overbeek, coordinator of World Rainforest Movement, one of the signing organisations.

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This year the focus is on the impact of oil palm plantations as they “are those that have expanded fastest in the past few decades”. According to the signing organisations, “a series of free trade agreements have removed most of these protections in many countries” and “the increasing European agrofuel demand”, “expansion not only in Indonesia and Malaysia but also in those countries in Africa and Latin America, close to the equator with the climatic conditions to grow oil palm”.

Furthermore, “the current attempts of ‘greening’ the industrial oil palm sector and also other large-scale plantations with ‘zero deforestation’ commitments” make matters worse. However, “the interest of corporations in protecting forests is not the welfare of local populations or the genuine conservation of habitats and species” but in the forest “as a carbon and biodiversity store, a potential source of carbon and biodiversity credits that can be sold to polluting countries and companies”, say the organisations.

On the other hand, they denounce in their Declaration that “the emphasis in deforestation tends to give less attention to the whole range of impacts industrial oil palm plantations cause in many countries, such as: destruction of local livelihoods and displacement, destructive logging and human rights violations, privileged land access for corporations, not communities, miserable working conditions and increasing criminalisation of social movements and local opposition.

According to these organisations, “certification schemes, such as RSPO and related new schemes try to ‘improve plantations’ while maintaining the logic of unlimited expansion”. They also state that “there is no way to make large-scale industrial tree monocultures acceptable, neither for local communities nor for a world facing a severe crisis with manifold symptoms, including climate change, economic and environmental deterioration and increasing militarisation and human rights violations”.

The signing organisations “condemn the large-scale, growth- and export-oriented model that drives oil palm expansion globally”. “With plans to increase more and more, and therefore it will continue to contribute to climate destruction rather than presenting any real solution to climate change. And who will be most affected by such policies are forest peoples and peasant communities who will see oil palm plantations continue to expand, and their access to their lands and forests increasingly restricted”.

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“In the countries where industrial oil palm plantations occupy large areas of land, governments should give absolute priority to the demands of the communities, support their control over the lands and forests they depend on rather than adopting policies that facilitate handing these territories over to transnational companies,” demand the organisations.

The Declaration ends up urging governments “to invest in local diversified food production and food sovereignty, as the best way to support communities and also local and national economies as well as to promote more environmental and social justice”.

S M Mohamed Idris is president of the Consumers’ Association of Penang and Sahabat Alam Malaysia.

The declaration was signed by:

– Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
– Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)
– Brainforest, Gabon
– Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG), Philippines
– Censat Agua Viva, Colombia
– Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement (CED, Cameroon)
– COECOCEIBA – Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica
– Colectivo de Reservas Campesinas y Comunitarias de Santander, Colombia
– Consumers’ Association of Penang, Malaysia
– ERA/FoE Nigeria
– FASE/ES, Brasil
– Friends of the Earth International
– Fundaexpresión, Colombia
– Grain
– JA!/FOE Moçambique
– Kilusang Magbubukid Ng Pilipinas (KMP), Philippines
– Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA)
– Organización Ambiental Chinampa, Colombia
– Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (Ofraneh, Honduras)
– Otros Mundos, México
– People Common Struggle Centre (PCSC), Pakistan
– Red latinoamericana contra los monocultivos de árboles (Recoma)
– Sahabat Alam Malaysia/FOE Malaysia
– Savia, Guatemala
– Sawit Watch, Indonesia
– School of Democratic Economics (SDE), Indonesia
– Struggle to Economise Future Environment (SEFE), Cameroon
– Third World Network, Malaysia
– World Rainforest Movement (WRM)

 

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