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Country index  >  Africa  > campaigns

An African Call for a Moratorium on Agrofuel Developments

We, the undersigned members of African civil society organisations, as well as organisations from other parts of the world, do urgently call for a moratorium on new agrofuel developments on our continent. We need to protect our food security, forests, water, land rights, farmers and indigenous peoples from the aggressive march of agrofuel developments, which are devouring our land and resources at an unbelievable scale and speed.

We call for:

- A moratorium on new agrofuel developments in Africa. Our governments urgently need to stop and think before delivering our continent to the fuel demand of foreign investors.
- No agrofuel targets for Governments in Europe and the rest of the world.
- An international moratorium on agrofuel exports, until the true social and environmental costs can be assessed, and disaster averted.

We have chosen to name this problem “agrofuels” instead of the more common term “biofuels” to make clear that we are talking about the large-scale growing of crops specifically to produce liquid fuels. We are not talking about the use of wood, dung or waste matter. Nor are we talking about small-scale production that is integrated into food production and used for household and local energy supplies. We wish to make clear that the agrofuels push is about large-scale fuel production on massive privatised plantations, driven by the fuel demands of export markets. more

Put a stop to "blood diamonds"

« Blood diamonds » have been used by rebel groups to fuel brutal wars in Africa. These conflicts have resulted in over 4 million deaths and the displacement of millions of people in Angola, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and now in Ivory Coast. These diamonds have been sold to international diamond dealers giving rebels profits to buy large quantities of small arms.

In 1998, the NGO Global Witness began a campaign to expose the role of diamonds in funding conflicts. As the largest grassroots human rights organization in the world, Amnesty International has been instrumental in educating the public about the problem, and pressing governments and industry to take action. Over the years, international pressure has increased from a large coalition of NGOs.

In 2003, the government-run Kimberley Process scheme was launched to stop the trade in conflict diamonds. Over seventy governments taking part in the process are required to certify that diamond shipments through their countries are conflict-free, and they are required to set up diamond control systems to ensure this is true. Governments must pass national laws implementing the Kimberley Process and they must only trade with other participants in the process.

The diamond industry agreed to police itself to support the Kimberley Process by tracking diamonds from mines all the way to retail stores - this is generally referred to as the « system of warranties » or the « system of self regulation ». But this isn’t fully implemented. Every company dealing in diamonds should have a policy in place to ensure their diamonds are conflict-free.

Amnesty International and Global Witness urge you to call for the governments to better enforce its diamond law and for all sectors of the diamond industry to develop a credible, independently-verified tracking system to make sure that conflict diamonds don’t enter diamond markets.

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