Documents menu

Date: Fri, 1 Nov 96 21:24:39 CST
Subject: Euro Parliament Resolution Against Logging In Amazonas

/** headlines: 110.0 **/
** Topic: Euro Parliament Resolution Against Logging In Amazonas **
** Written 2:06 PM Oct 28, 1996 by econet in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 1:03 PM Oct 25, 1996 by wrm@gn.UUCP in rainfor.general */
/* ---------- "Euro Parliament Adopts Resolution" ---------- */

From: Forest Peoples Programme

European Parliament adopts resolution to curb logging and mining in Amazonas

World Rainforest Movement press release, 25 October 1996

In recent weeks the Venezuelan President, Rafael Caldera, under heavy pressure from the mining lobby in Caracas and Puerto Ayacucho, the capital of the State of Amazonas, has indicated that he plans to revoke two decrees which presently ban logging and mining in the State. Local indigenous and conservation organisations in Venezuela, with the support of many congressmen and deputies, have protested against this move noting that it would have a devastating effect on the environment and indigenous peoples of the State, including the Yanomami Indians of the EC- financed Upper Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected area of tropical rainforest in the world.

According to FAO figures, Venezuela already suffers one of the highest rates of deforestation in the tropics, with an annual loss of 600,000 ha.. In Estado Bolivar, mining is devastating the lands of the Kapon and Pemon Indians, leading to widespread forest loss and mercury pollution. Earlier this year, several of the main marketed fish from the huge Guri reservoir had to be banned from human consumption because of the high levels of mercury contamination. Venezuela's Indians are among the least protected indigenous peoples in South America. Official figures show that 72% of Indian communities lack any form of legal title to their lands. Even these rights are often ignored in the handing out of logging and mining licences.

Fearing that these problems might spread south, the European Parliament adopted an emergency resolution in full session in Strasbourg yesterday afternoon, calling on Venezuela not to revoke the decrees.

Saskia Ozinga, Coordinator of the EU Forest Programme, an affiliate of the World Rainforest Movement, said today:

The fact that the European Parliament adopted this urgent resolution in plenary shows how deeply concerned the European Parliament is with the current trend to open up southern Venezuela to unregulated mining and logging. We welcome the resolution, which echoes clearly the concerns of many indigenous peoples and of Venezuela's foremost environmentalists.

The text follows.

Text of Resolution of the European Parliament adopted 24 October 1996:

The European Parliament,