By Gerry Albert Corpuz in Manila, Philippines and Ms Teresita Vistro in Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Rio de Janiero, Brazil- Philippine-based peasant organizations led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Amihan- National Federation of Peasant Women, the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and the members of the Philippine chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) are now in Rio de Janiero, Brazil to join other social activists in other parts of the world to denounce “ Green Economy” a reinvented development paradigm currently pushed by the United Nations and powerful economies of the United States and the European Union.
In a briefing paper entitled “Green Economy: A Recipe for Sustainable Exploitation”, KMP, Amihan and the ILPS said the :paradigm shift” for sustainable development is authored by the US and EU with the support of their junior partners and close associates, including governments amenable to unrestricted movement of goods and capital to underdeveloped nations like the Philippines and other poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The briefing paper was distributed to represenatives of various social movements and civil society organizations during the 10-day event that will constitute official and parallel activities and side events in this Latin American eco-tourism capital.
“ The chiefs, agents and apologists of the discredited world capitalist system are exploring and exploiting the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development otherwise known as Rio+ 20 to mislead and coerce the toiling people of the world to accept their long-running program of modern-day slavery and triple platinum oppression of humanity under the pretext of sustainable development, poverty eradication and promotion of food security,” the anti-Green Economy groups said.
Speaking in behalf the delegation of the Philippine peasant group to Rio+20, Amihan peasant women group spokesperson Lita Mariano noted that 20 years ago, capitalist exploiters made the use of the same recipe courtesy of the First Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
“The outcome was a global disaster with half of the global population now living on less than $ 2.50 a day. Nearly 1 billion people, mostly from underdeveloped countries are traumatized by daily hunger and close to 2 billion people are terrorized by abject poverty,” she said.
Mariano said amidst the widespread poverty, hunger and dispossession, big capitalist economies managed to amass 70 percent of the world income, and this wealth is sealed in the hands of 20 wealthiest people, majority of them are headquartered in the protected borders of the United States, the European Union and other nations comprising the imperialist bloc.
“The global reality depicts that the bottom 20 percent of the global population share only 1 percent of the global income, a lucid testimony to the widening gap between rich and poor countries under the current modern-day slavery of global monopoly capitalism,” she added.
Mariano added that the Green Economy agenda in Rio+20 will continue to and further intensify the policies of liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization of underdeveloped economies. It will usher an unprecedented era of global landgrabbing, food crisis, massive joblessness, environmental catastrophe and worldwide dispossession.
She also pointed out that Green Economy will further push wages of working people to rock bottom levels and more drastic cuts on social services, while providing super tax holidays, juicy contracts, corporate subsidies and grand bailouts to corporations.
Laguna lake plan exposed
For his part, Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap said the Green Economy deserves global rejection of the toiling people. The Group of 8 nations is syndicate headed by the United States and the European Union which will exploit the green economy catchphrase to convince underdeveloped economies to open their water resources including oceans and lakes, municipal waters and offshore waters to transnational investments for privatization, free entry of investments and denationalization.
According to Hicap, the mad rush for Green Economy prompted President Aquino to offer two of the major fishing areas—the 90,000 hectare freshwater Laguna Lake and Manila Bay to Green Economy investors. “Under the Green Economy inspired Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the Aquino government offered to financial investors 54 big ticket projects in Laguna Lake that would initially cost local taxpayers some P 400-billion,” the Pamalakaya leader said.
The Laguna Lake Master Plan, a “Green Economy” development program hopes to transform the lake fishing environment into a major industrial and commercial hub for foreign and local investments.
Initial plans include the dredging of 90,000 hectare lake, the conversion of lake water into a major source of potable water for industrial, commercial and residential users, the development of water transportation for eco-tourism, the construction of 100 kilometer road dike spanning several municipalities of Rizal and Laguna provinces and a few cities of the National Capital Region (NCR) along the lake, the reclamation of 7,000 hectares in Southern Metro Manila as support infrastructure for high end condominiums and hotels which will be built along the lake.
In Manila Bay, the Philippine state had embarked on a national reclamation plan consisting 38 land reclamation projects and will eat up 26,234 hectares of foreshore areas and coastal lands. Aside from fresh wave of demolition of fishing communities, the land reclamation projects will destroy the remaining 175 hectare of mangrove forest in Metro Manila.
“The bankruptcy and sinister agenda of Green Economy is further exposed by the widespread offshore mining activities in the Philippines. The Aquino administration has put in the bidding table over 10-million hectares of ocean waters in Visayas Sea, Palawan Sea, Sulu Sea and other areas in the disputed South China for oil and gas exploration,” Pamalakaya stressed.
Pamalakaya said offshore waters become threatened by gas and oil mining projects, coastal shores aside from reclamation, privatization and conversion have become targets of magnetite mining, particularly in the climate change and typhoon prone areas of Cagayan and Ilocos provinces in Northern Luzon, Negros Island in Western Philippines and the Eastern Visayas region.
“The Green Economy—the object of hard-sell escapade of capitalist powers under the machinations of the G8 syndicate in Rio+ 20 will never be a road map to economic progress, sustainable development and eradication of hunger and poverty. It is an open declaration of war by the imperialist camp against the working people of the world. It is a lifetime prescription for exploitation and modern-day slavery,” said Pamalakaya.