Friday, 22 June 2012
Libertiamo, an Italian think tank, in a paper entitled “Taxpayer funding, NGO Collusion and Manufactured Crisis – A Case study of Malaysia and Palm Oil” has blown the cover of EU Governments who are openly funding green NGOs, ostensibly to improve environmental practices in developing countries, but in reality to prop up their indigenous edible oilseed crops like rapeseed and sunflower, who are otherwise unable to compete on an equal footing with the rampantly higher yielding palm oil!
To put it bluntly, these EU governments did not so much as flirt with the extortionists schemes of these green NGOs but have grasped their funding proposals with a full embrace as it helps erect artificial trade barriers against palm oil conveniently packaged as altruistic environmental campaigns!
It all began innocuously enough. First, in 2005, the oddly named Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) published a “report” called “Cruel Oil: How palm oil harms health, rainforest and wildlife” in which they made wild and unsubstantiated claims that palm oil cultivation was causing massive deforestation and threatening the extinction of biodiversity such as the orang utan.
The report was prepared with the assistance of Aid Environment listed as partners with Hivos — a Netherlands based civil society group with direct links to campaigns in Indonesia. Hivos, in turn, is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for up to 67% of its annual 100m Euro budget.
A report by researchers Caroline Boin and Andrea Marchesetti entitled “Friends of the EU.” (Vide: http://www.policynetwork.net/a... ) that the EU, through its environmental ministries and commissions is involved in funding up to 70% of the operating budgets of Friends of the Earth (EU).
Says Libertiamo: “NGOs have become peddlers of half truths to drive donations and attract government largesse. And donor governments support them, in the interest of uncompetitive domestic industries and neo colonial ambitions. They should both be held to account!”
“The promotion of these myths serves the interests of those NGOs who hold their fundraising cup to government and the public, with ever more alarming claims fuelling their fundraising…and donor governments support them, in the interest of uncompetitive domestic industries…”
“No better example illustrates this effort than the collaboration between the activist Sean Whyte and his fellow activists at WWF, RAN, Greenpeace and FOE. Operating from the UK, Mr Whyte in collaboration with these activits has taken it upon himself to advance distortions of the palm oil industry…His allies at RAN and Greenpeace call for the complete removal of palm oil from products, while WWF seeks to wrest control of the industry from the very producers who rely on it for prosperity!”
Kudos are due to Libertiamo for their very thorough and well researched investigative report which has provided overwhelming evidence that the real drivers for these covert anti-palm oil campaigns are green NGOs keen to exploit EU governments, desperate to protect their indigenous edible oil producers who cannot compete on a level playing field with the hyper-yielding palm oil.
With a yield of 4-5 metric tons per hectare which is already 10 times that of its nearest competitor like soy, rapeseed and sunflower, and a potential yield of 20 tons per hectare, the green NGOs anti-palm oil campaigns reads like a playbook for a giant extortion scheme normally associated with the moral porosity of lowlife con artistes that run such schemes rather than EU governments and green NGOs! They should be ashamed and “held to account” as Libertiamo so succinctly put it! THE END