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We recently discussed Barack Obama’s increasing interest in ‘helping feed the people of Africa and the world’ by US and foreign investments in African farming.
Today, just a couple days later, the author finds Greenpeace circulating a petition letter asking people to mobilize in opposition to the potentially devastatingly destructive Herakles Farm’s project, which seeks to clear massive swathes of irreplaceable African rainforest to make room for still more unsustainable palm oil plantations.
While this may, or may not, be a particular project that would be among those Obama seeks to invest in, it is absolutely the kind of project that spotlights just why the prospect of foreign and US investment in African farming is raising alarm bells.
Why does it seem that big business is almost always so damaging to our living planet? Is it simply impossible to have a thriving economy and a thriving ecology at the same time?
The Herakles Farm’s project, through its subsidiary Sithe Global Sustainable Oil Cameroon (SGSOC), is poised to destroy critical Cameroon rainforest to make way for a mono-culture palm oil plantation. The loss of biodiversity and suffering/death of wildlife, not to mention loss of home and livelihood of indigenous peoples and local communities, would be unconscionable.
Elephants, chimpanzees and other species trying to hang on in the last vestiges of these old growth forests would likely be tipped over the edge to extinction if projects like this are allowed to move forward.
The petition from Greenpeace is directed to the CEO of Herakles Farms, Mr. Wrobel. Facebook users, please sign and share the Greenpeace petition here.
Cathy Taibbi | July 9th, 2013 The Examiner.com