The protests of Via Campesina and Brazils Landless Workers Movement (Movimento Sem Terra - MST) have been critical to the outcomes of this meeting. The protests continue this morning as 6000 peasant farmers are outside greeting buses of delegates as they come in. The protests have been so important in maintaining momentum and reminding delegates what was said last week against Terminator, reminding them how interventions from peasant farmers and Indigenous peoples made them understand the real impacts Terminator would have.
by Lucy Sharratt
Today Terminator was discussed again at COP8 - and the moratorium still holds! No country dared to challenge the consensus of last week.
Some governments made slight changes to a specific part of the text but this did not relate to the moratorium it was just enough to make us nervous!
by Lucy Sharratt
The debate over Terminator came and went in a flash. Well, sort of. The flash followed a week of intensive protest and lobbying after 8 years of consistent pressure and the most recent pressure of the Ban Terminator Campaign.
However, there is another week left to the UN meeting and there could still be trouble ahead. Ministers of the Environment from across the world will now also gather in Brazil (though many Ministers will be missing) and government delegations may look for ways out of what was agreed to on Friday.
by Lucy Sharratt
Discussions on Terminator at the UN COP started this afternoon - actually they started this morning as governments kept intervening to make statements on Terminator, even though the discussions were on another agenda item.
With a Chair who demonstrated great understanding and facilitation skills yesterday when he recognized and thanked the Via Campesina for thier protest in the negotiation hall, Indigenous Peoples were given time to fully express their stance on Terminator.
A group of approximately 40 women from the Via Campesina movement - mostly from across the Americas - staged a dignified protest against Terminator on the floor of the negotiations at COP 8 today. They received applause from delegates and the Chair of the meeting recognized their protest and remarked that it was "a heartfelt protest that many of us feel sympathy with.. This reminds us that we are citizens of the world not just of countries". He said the protest will help the discussion on GURTS later in the day.
So today is the day that Terminator is expected to come up in the Working Group and expectation and rumour is running high. Over 150 people are wandering around the conference room wearing distinctive white T-shirts which declare that suicide seeds are homicide seeds , there are posters and stickers, flags and placards - the front page of the Eco - the daily new service here - reminds Canada, New Zealand and Australia that 'The world is watching'. Governments are firming up their positions, issuing advance statements. We too are giving press conferences and interviews
As buses of delegates arrived this morning for day 2 of COP8 they were met by hundreds of protesting (and dancing) farmers, peasants, Indigenous People's and NGO's twirling flags, giving speeches, chanting and rallying against Terminator Technology - many of them organised through Via Campesina - the global movement of peasants. Banners with images of coffins proclaimed that "Case by Case = Coffin by Coffin' and that 'Suicide Seeds are Homicide Seeds" .
The Eighth Conference Of the Parties (COP8) to the Convention on Biological Diversity opened today, here in Curitiba Brazil, with an indigenous ceremony to Mother Earth, tupthumping speeches and around 3000 delegates frenetically pacing the corridors jostling and negotiating.
Yesterday the Ban Terminator Campaign announced that over 300 organisations have so far signed up calling for a ban on the sterile seed technology known as Terminator and that Monsanto seemed to be wriggling out of its 1999 pledge to abandon the technology.
While some ETC Group staff were in Caracas strategizing with partners to strengthen the global opposition to Terminator, others of us were subjected to the slog of the CBD meeting in Granada. And one of us was spending a few days with unlimited access to free chocolate at Swiss Re's opulent Centre for Global Dialogue near Zurich. Swiss Re, the world's largest re-insurer (an insurer of insurance companies) is concerned - no surprise - about those risks associated with nanotechnology that may result in financial losses for the company.