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The signing of the EU's new GMO law on 11th March 2015 in Strasbourg with EuroParl President Martin Schulz and Zanda Kalnina Lukasevica, Latvian Parliamentary State Secretary for the European Affairs. Photo: European Union 2014 (CC BY-NC-ND).

Can EU countries really be GMO-free? The new GM food law won't make it easy

Mary Dobbs

25th May 2015

In principle the EU's new rules on GMOs allow member states to opt out of GMO crops and foods, writes Mary Dobbs. But they can only do so on very limited grounds, and in a consistent and non-discriminatory way. Being GM-free may be a lot harder than some countries, and campaigners, suppose. more...
Now these Norwegian protestors against Monsanto are more likely to get their way, following the GMO 'national opt-out' proposals set out by EuroComm. Photo: Caroline Hargreaves via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

EuroComm proposes EU country opt-outs on GMO foods

Euractiv

23rd April 2015

The European Commission has proposed new rules on foods derived from GMOs that would allow EU countries to opt out from the Europe-wide approval system - a move that has attracted strong criticism from all parties in the GMO debate. more...
India's human rights and environment are going up in smoke - sacrificed to an aggressive coal-fired development path. Photo: coal power plant outside Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, by Reuben Stanton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Indian government sanctions Greenpeace to send a menacing message

Praful Bidwai

23rd April 2015

Prime Minister Modi's government has frozen the bank accounts of Greenpeace India, writes Praful Bidwai - provoking widespread protest from the environment and civil rights community. It's all part of a wider campaign against 'anti-national' movements that challenge India's development policies based on the aggressive exploitation of coal, minerals, big hydro and nuclear power. more...
A protest in Kafr ad Dik village in February 2012 against the theft of land by nearby 'settlers'. Now it's the village's soil that is being stolen. Photo: KafrAdDeek via Wikimedia Commons (CC Public Domain).

Israelis steal fertile soil from Palestinian farms

The Ecologist

22nd April 2015

Not satisfied with seizing Palestinian land and water, Israeli settlers in the West Bank have found a new way to enrich themselves at their neighbors' expense - by stealing their fertile soil and transporting it to their own farms and gardens. more...
By learning skills like composting, crop diversification, organic pesticide production, seed multiplication and agro-forestry farmers in Malawi are increasing their ability to feed their families over the long term. Photo: Find Your Feet via Flickr (CC BY

Sustainable agriculture in Malawi: a desperate struggle

Marc Crouch / Naturally Africa Volunteers

17th April 2015

Malawi, one of the Earth's poorest nations, faces a desperate struggle to feed its people without destroying the ecosystems it relies on, writes Marc Crouch. Poor agricultural practice has left the country with low crop yields and rampant food shortages, however the government and charities are fighting back. more...
A 2009 protest in Argentina's Santa Fe province against water privatization to Suez. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

TTIP won't stop public services being run for ordinary people? Tell that to Argentina

Nick Dearden

17th April 2015

Now it's Argentina's turn to be sued in a secret 'free trade' court run by the World Bank, writes Nick Dearden. After bringing a profiteering water company that was missing all its service and quality targets back into public ownership, the country has been ordered to pay $405 million 'compensation'. more...
A peaceful protest by the indigenous people fighting the flooding of their land and villages by the Kanhar dam. Photo: Vindhya Bacao (vindhyabachao.org/kanhar).

India: police shoot eight indigenous protestors against illegal dam

Jitendra & Kiran Pandey / Down to Earth

15th April 2015

Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state yesterday opened fire on a 'sit in' by tribal protestors at the construction site of the Kanhar dam, now under construction in open contempt of court orders. Tribal leader Akku Kharwar and eight others were seriously injured by the gun fire. more...
Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin collides with the Japanese whaling vessel Yushin Maru No. 3 in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, 6th February 2009. Photo: John via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Japan's 'scientific whaling' fail: experts reject plan to kill 4,000 Minke whales

Tony Press

15th April 2015

Japan's latest plans for 'scientific whaling' in the Southern Ocean have fallen at the first hurdle, writes Tony Press. The IWC's expert panel says Japan's proposal contains 'insufficient information' on which to judge its validity, in particular the need for the 'lethal sampling' of over 3,996 Minke whales that is central to the research plan. more...
The Sea Shepherd vessel the Bob Barker braving the waves of the Southern Ocean in pursuit of the Japanese whaling ship the Nisshin Maru in 2010. The same boat is now chasing illegal fishing vessels in the same waters. Photo: wietse? via Flickr (CC BY-NS-S

Fishing bandits arrested in Sea Shepherd's 'Operation Icefish'

The Ecologist

31st March 2015

The first year of Sea Shepherd's campaign to close down illegal fishing operations in the Southern Ocean, dubbed 'Operation Icefish' has already led to the detention of two 'bandit' fishing vessels while a third is under pursuit. more...
Waterfall in the Srayaku territory in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Photo: skifatenum via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Deep in the Amazon, one tribe is beating big oil

David Goodman

30th March 2014

The people of Sarayaku in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest are a leading force in 21st century indigenous resistance, writes David Goodman, resisting the incursion of oil exploration into their lands, winning legal victories, and inspiring other communities to follow their example. more...
Fighting the land grabs: peasant farmers on Ile-a-Vache, Haiti, refuse to be moved from their ancestral lands by the US puppet government, 28th February 2014. Photo: marie-chantalle via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

World Bank's Conference on Land & Poverty is a cruel farce

Oliver Tickell

20th March 2015

On Monday the World Bank's Conference on Land and Poverty begins in the US. But farmer organizations, indigenous groups, trade unions and others denounce the whole exercise as a sham that, in tandem with other Bank initiatives, is all about accelerating corporate land grabs and robbing the poor that the Bank was founded to assist. more...
A pack of Bayer's 'Calypso' pesticide that contains the bee-toxic neonicotinoid Thiacloprid, complete with the 'not harmful to bees' logo - as sold in Germany.

Bees victory in pesticide battle - Bayer libel action dismissed

Oliver Tickell

12th March 2015

Chemical giant Bayer has failed in its attempt to sue Friends of the Earth Germany over its claims that its pesticide Thiacloprid harms bees. Now pressure is growing on the EU to add the neonicotinoid to the three already banned. more...

Law: 25/50 of 197
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Cowslips (Primula veris). Photo: Donna JW via Flickr (CC BY).

The joys and sufferings of plants as sentient beings

Martin Spray

10th April 2015

Is it 'morally reprehensible' to arbitrarily decapitate roadside flowers? Yes it is, writes Martin Spray - at least in Switzerland. And now we know that plants have both senses and physiology, why not awareness and emotions too? Even legal standing to have their rights defended in court - at least if they are trees? more...
The Tetcott Hunt is now required to stay well clear of foxes and other wildlife. A future Labour government will keep it that way. Photo: Rob Franksdad via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Wildlife protection depends on enforcement

Angus Nurse

10th March 2015

The Labour Party has launched a new manifesto for wildlife protection, writes Angus Nurse - and a good thing too! But turning the tide for nature will take more than stricter laws and penalties. Ultimately it's about enforcement. And that means prioritising wildlife crime, committing expert officers, and providing resources. more...
Building Hinkley C will damage renewable energy projects like this: Greenpeace Energy's Buchhain wind park. Photo: © Marc-Oliver Schulz / Greenpeace Energy eG.

Greenpeace Energy to launch legal challenge to UK nuclear subsidies

Oliver Tickell

5th March 2015

The UK's troubled Hinkley C nuclear power station faces a legal challenge from Germany's biggest energy co-op, which claims that the subsidy package will distort energy markets across Europe and disadvantage renewable generators and vendors. more...
The show goes on at Loro Parque, Tenerife, Spain - the country which hosts 11 out of the EU's 33 dolphinaria. Photo: Oliver Clarke via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Call goes out for dolphinarium-free Europe

The Ecologist

4th March 2015

Whale and dolphin experts from across the world today launched a new campaign at the European Parliament to ban dolphin captivity in Europe, putting an end to a long saga of abuse and exploitation. more...
Protest rally against Kinder Morgan at Burnaby Mountain Park, 20th November 2014. Photo: Mark Klotz via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Tar sands campaigners are Canada's new 'terrorists'

Pete Dolack

5th March 2015

Canada's 'Anti-Terrorism Bill' proposes a massive increase in the power of security services, writes Pete Dolack - and in the crosshairs are campaigners against a tar sands industry that's intent on releasing 240 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, and those fighting the pipelines needed to get the heavy crude to market. Who are the real 'extremists'? more...
The Welsh government's plans for the M4 'bypass' around Newport across the Gwent Levels SSSIs represent a £1 billion orgy of destruction. Photo: FoE Cymru.

Legal challenge to SSSI wetland-bashing M4 bypass begins

The Ecologist

10th March 2015

A Friends of the Earth Cymru legal challenge to the Welsh Government's 'irrational' plan to drive a new branch of the M4 motorway across the highly protected Gwent Levels wetlands begins in the High Court today. more...
MPs may make the law - but that does not make them above the law. Photo: UK Parliament via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking: MPs and Lords have derelicted their legal duties - now they must pay the price!

Jojo Mehta

26th February 2015

The rushed passage of the Infrastructure Bill with all its pro-fracking provisions and toothless 'safeguards' is an abuse of democracy. And as it's manifestly against the national and public interest, it's also in breach of both MPs' and Lords' legally binding Codes of Conduct. Now Jojo Mehta intends to hold them to account - in Court. more...
Too good to frack? Spogen Lake lies in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Carbon County, Montana. Photo: Troy Smith via Flickr (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0).

Montana's Carbon County farmers sue for protection from fracking

The Ecologist

22nd February 2015

Montana legislators have brushed off the attempts of farmers, ranchers and landowners to effect 'zoning' regulations to protect them, their land, their water and their livestock from the toxic impacts of fracking. Now they say: 'See you in Court!'. more...
Houma, Louisiana: after the town of Venice was almost completely destroyed by Katrina, Houma became the service and transportation center for the offshore oil industry in this part of the Gulf. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Oil lawyer turned judge rules: industry not liable for $50bn Gulf Coast damage

Farron Cousins / DeSmogBlog

19th February 2015

The oil and gas industry has admitted that its canals and drilling rigs have destroyed 1,900 square miles of coastal wetlands on the US Gulf Coast, but a Federal Judge with deep industry ties has ruled that 97 companies off have no liability for the $50 billion damage. more...
Hinkley Point B nuclear power station. Photo: Robin Somes / Wikimedia Commons.

UK threatens Austria over Hinkley C legal challenge

The Ecologist

11th February 2015

The UK government has warned Austria that it will 'embrace any future opportunity that arises to sue or damage Austria' if it pursues its legal challenge to the the Hinkley point C nuclear plant, according to a leaked document.
more...
A submarine forest of kelp. Photo: NOAA.

Conserving the Great Blue - a new Law of the Sea to protect our oceans

Deborah Wright

11th February 2015

The rapid deterioration of the world's oceans and the life they contain calls for a breakthrough in their governance, writes Deborah Wright. The seas must be protected, respected and policed as the common heritage of all mankind, and of all generations present and future. more...
'No drills in our hills!' A powerful grassroots anti-fracking campaign has taken root in Wales hills and valleys. Photo: DailyWales.net.

Fracking company defies Wales's shale gas moratorium

The Ecologist

7th February 2015

This week the Welsh Assembly voted for a moratorium on fracking. But IGas company bosses insist that the Welsh Government is powerless to stop them pushing ahead with test drilling plans - as all the key decisions are made in Whitehall. more...
The Mirabar Resort Village, illegally built on the the land of Taiwan's 'Amis indigenous People, Shanyuan beach. Photo: Glenn Smith.

Taiwan indigenous activist - this illegal luxury hotel on our beach must go!

Glenn Smith

19th February 2015

A huge hotel development has been built on a pristine beach belonging to the 'Amis, one of Taiwan's indigenous tribes, despite numerous court rulings confirming its illegality. Glenn Smith met 'Amis campaigner Sinsing, whose fight for justice began when the government handed out eviction notices to her community - and will continue until the hotel is razed and the beach restored. more...

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