March 08, 2009

The better world we seek is not Geo-engineered! A Civil Society Statement against Ocean Fertilization

A Civil Society Statement against Ocean Fertilization
This statement was initiated at the World Social Forum in Belém, Brazil in January 2009. ETC Group released it on March 10, 2009 on the eve of a geo-engineering panel at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions.
Since the World Social Forum last met in Nairobi in January 2007, civil society organizations from around the globe have confronted an alarming new threat to our rights and biodiversity: the threat of unjust and high risk geo-engineering schemes and specifically ocean fertilization. We are facing off against several multimillion-dollar private and government-backed projects that aim to re-engineer our climate and oceans. We will soon face other attempts to intentionally alter our soils, deserts and other ecosystems on a large scale in the name of climate protection and profit-making, including the lucrative carbon trade.

In June 2007, we learned that Planktos Corporation of USA was planning to dump iron in the oceans west of the Galapagos Islands in order to fertilize the sea to spur the growth of plankton blooms. Concerted civil society action prevented this dump and forced Planktos out of business. In November 2007 we learned that another ocean fertilization outfit, Ocean Nourishment Corporation of Australia, was intending to dump hundreds of tons of industrially produced urea in the Sulu Sea in the Southern Philippines. Once again concerted action by hundreds of civil society groups put a stop to that dangerous experiment. Even as some of us meet in Belém, a German-Indian expedition, codenamed LOHAFEX, is dumping iron sulphate over 300 square kilometres of water in the Scotia Sea. LOHAFEX is flouting an international moratorium on such experiments and acting against the wishes of the German Environment Minister. We have also learned that geo-engineers closely linked to Ocean Nourishment Corporation will be trying again to dump urea – this time in the Tasman Sea near Australia – in early March and that Climos, Inc. of the USA are in the planning stages of another dump.

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