Open Letter

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


September 2015

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

Open letter to the Commission on new genetic engineering methods

January 2015

Francesco Panella, Nina Holland, Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher, Andrea Ferrante, Mute Schimpf, Dr Helen Wallace, Saskia Richartz, Christoph Then

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

Letter to the members of the liaison group on Climate-Related GeoEngineering as it relates to the Convention on Biological Diversity

August 2011

Helena Paul & Almuth Ernsting

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

Statement of Concern from Civil Society Organizations Regarding Field Release of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

December 2010

EcoNexus as one of 87 civil society organisations

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.
We are equally concerned by news of the field releases in 2009 and 2010 of the same GM mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands and are calling for a transparent assessment of the health and environmental impacts of these trials, pending which, no further field releases of GM mosquitoes should occur. The Cayman trials have also been strongly criticized for being conducted without public consultation or ethical oversight and for not seeking the informed consent from local people.

Open Letter on the release of GM mosquitos in Malaysia

Open Letter from Civil Society Organizations in Response to the Field Release of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes in Malaysia

February 2011

EcoNexus as one of 74 civil society organizations around the world

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.
It has recently come to our attention that the field trials have actually happened, on 21 December 2010 and were completed on 5 January 2011. This was brought to light through a press statement dated 25 January 2011, issued by the proponent of the field experiments, the Institute for Medical Research (IMR). However, as late as 4 January 2011, there were press reports in the Malaysian media stating that the trials had been postponed. It therefore appears that neither the local communities nor the Malaysian public at large knew that these trials had occurred.

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