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Posts Tagged ‘Ecology’

ድንቅ ቪዲዮ በNYTimes | የኢትዮጵያ ቤተክርስቲያን ደኖች እንደ ኤደን ገነት ናቸው

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 4, 2019

ባለፈው ነሐሴ ወር ላይ መላው ዓለም በተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ላይ አትኩሮት በማድረግ ላይ ነውበማለት ይህኛውን ቪዲዮ አቅርቤ ነበር። ዛሬ ከኒው ዮርክ ከተማ ጋር ተያያዘ ፥ በኒው ዮርክ ታይምስ ጋዜጣ ቀረቧል።

The Church Forests of Ethiopia

On the Ethiopian highlands, church grounds have become accidental time capsules of biodiversity.

I wrestled with judging the Ethiopian Church for holding its beliefs imperfectly, like all things human. Why not save more of the forest than just a small patch around the church? Where was the church when 97 percent of Ethiopia’s primary forest was destroyed?

For me, these little blips of green forest rising out of vast swaths of deforested brown earth represent hope. They are a powerful intersection of faith and science doing some good in the world.

E.O. Wilson, in his book “Half-Earth,” declared the church forests of Ethiopia “one of the best places in the biosphere.” They are proof that when faith and science make common cause on ecological issues, it results in a model that bears repeating. We have the blueprint of life held in these tiny circles of faith, and that’s something to rejoice over and protect and expand with every resource we can muster.


ከጋዜጣው ተመርጠው የቀረቡ አስተያየቶች / Selected Comments:


Don’t think there was anything accidental about the survival of these forest. The church protected them.„

እነዚህ ደኖች መኖር በአጋጣሚ አይመስለኝም ፡፡ ቤተክርስቲያኗ ጠብቃቸዋለች፡፡”

Thank you for producing this story. If only the following priest’s quote could be taken to heart by all faith communities, “…when someone plants a tree, every time it moves, that tree prays for that person to live longer.” The world would be a more lush, peaceful place.„

ይህንን ታሪክ ስላቀረባችሁልን እናመሰግናለን። “… አንድ ሰው ዛፍ ሲተክል ፣ እያንዳንዱ ዛፍ በሚንቀሳቀስበት ጊዜ ያ ሰው ረጅም ዕድሜ እንዲኖረው ይጸልይለታል” የሚለውን ካህኑ ጥቅስ በሁሉም የእምነት ማኅበረሰቦች ዘንድ ልብ ተብሎ ሊወሰድ የሚችል ቢሆን ኖሮ ዓለም ይበልጥ ምቹና ሰላማዊ የሆነች ስፍራ ትሆን ነበር።”

The Ethiopian Church is one of the Oldest Christian Churches. They are humble, live frugally and have no scandals. God bless them.“

የኢትዮጵያ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ከጥንታዊ የክርስቲያን አብያተ ክርስቲያናት አን ናት ፡፡ እነሱ ትሁት ናቸው ፣ በአስተዋይነት ይኖራሉ ምንም ቅሌት የላቸውም ፡፡ እግዝአብሔር ይባርካቸው!

What a beautiful and inspiring film. I wish every church in America could see it.”

እንዴት የሚያምር እና አነቃቂ ፊልም ነው። በአሜሪካ ያሉ ሁሉም ቤተክርስቲያናት ያዩት ዘንድ እመኛለሁ።”

Thank you for this beautiful, sublime piece. I shed a tear, not only for the sentiment expressed for forest.preservation, but for the utter decimation of the surrounding landscape. Joni Mitchell’s lyrics in Big Yellow Taxi come to mind: “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved.Paradise and put up a parking lot.” As go the forests, so goes humanity.

ለዚህ የሚያምርና ማራኪ ቪዲዮ አመሰግናለሁ። ለደን ጥበቃ ሲባል ለተገለጹት ስሜቶች ብቻ ሳይሆን በዙሪያው የሚገኘው የመሬት ገጽታ በመጥፋቱ እንባየን አፈሳለሁ። ደኖች ሲጠፉ ፣ የሰው ልጅም እንዲሁ።”

This beautiful video leaves me saddened and hopeful at the same time. We’ve mostly lost the connection between our spirituality and creation. In the industrialized world we seem to think that we need sanctuary from nature rather than sanctuary within it. Could it be that declining spirituality can be at least partly explained by this? Even if you are not religious there should be room for wonder about the natural world around us and a desire to protect it so that it protects us.„

ይህ የሚያምር ቪዲዮ በጣም አዛኝ እና በተመሳሳይ ጊዜ ተስፈኛ ያደርገኛል ፡፡ በመንፈሳዊነታችን እና በፍጥረታችን መካከል ያለውን ትስስር አጥተናል በኢንዱስትሪ በበለጸገው ዓለም በውስጣችን ካለው መቅደስ ይልቅ በተፈጥሮው ውስጥ የሚገኘው ቅድስና ያስፈልገናል ብለን እናስባለን። ምናልባት እየቀነሰ የመጣው መንፈሳዊነት ቢያንስ በከፊል በዚህ ሊብራራ ይችል ይሆን? ሃይማኖተኞች ባንሆን እንኳ በዙሪያችን ስላለው ተፈጥሮአዊ አለም የምንደነቅበት እና እሱን ለመጠበቅ የሚያስችል ፍላጎት ሊኖረን ይገባል፡፡”

I am a nature lover. Beginning my day with a walk in nature and hugging a tree is my church. This story speaks to me and the video was a feast for the eyes! Thank you! I now want to add Ethiopia to my list of places to visit.„

እኔ ተፈጥሮ አፍቃሪ ነኝ ፡፡ ቀኔን የምጀምረው በተፈጥሮ ውስጥ በእግር መጓዝ እና ዛፍ በማቀፍ ነው፤ ዛፍ ቤተክርስቲያኔ ነው። ትረካው ያናግረኛል ቪዲዮው ለዓይኖች ድግስ ነበር! አመሰግናለሁ! አሁን ኢትዮጵያን ከምጎበኛቸው ቦታዎች ዝርዝር ውስጥ ማካተት እፈልጋለሁ፡፡”

That was beautiful. Thank you NYT, and thank you Mr Seifert.“

በጣም ቆንጆ ነው፤ አመሰግናለሁ!”

Source

ታዲያ… እባባዊ በሆነ መልክ… “አባቶችን አስታርቀናል፣ ችግኝም ተክለናል” እያሉ ይህችን ድንቅ ቤተክርስቲያን በመዋጋት ላይ ያሉት እነ ገዳይ አብይ ከዲያብሎስ አይደሉምን?

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Posted in Ethiopia, Faith, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

የምስራቅ ኦርቶዶክሱ ሊቅ | በኢትዮጵያ ቤተክርስቲያን ደኖች መንፈሳዊ ቅናት ይሰማኛል

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 19, 2019

ይህን የተናገሩት ካናዳዊው ኦርቶዶክስ ክርስቲያን ዶ/ር ዴቪድ ጉዲን ናቸው።

Christology and Eco-Theology: Safeguarding Ethiopian Tewahedo Church Forests

Dr. David Goodin (Canada) presents “Christology and Eco-Theology: The Centrality of Cyril of Alexandria in Safeguarding Ethiopian Tewahedo Church Forests” at the Inaugural Conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA), with the theme Pan-Orthodox Unity and Conciliarity, held January 9 to 12, 2019, in Iasi, Romania.

https://www.ancientfaith.com/specials/iota/50_christology_and_eco_theology_safeguarding_ethiopian_tewahedo_church_fore

+ አንዳንድ አብያተ ክርስቲያናት አሁን ማሕበረሰባቸውን ለማበረታት ደኖቻቸውን ለማስፋፋት እየሞከሩ ነው፤ይህም አበረታች የሆነ ተግባር ነው።

+ በኢትዮጵያ ጫካማ የሆነ ቦታ ካየን፥ መሀከል ላይ በርግጥ ቤተክርስቲያን እንዳለ የማወቅ እድል ይኖረናል።

+ ደኖቹ የመጠለያ፣ ፀሎት የማድረጊያ እና የመቃብር ቦታዎች ሆነው ያገለግላሉ።

+ አብዛኛው የአገሪቱ ጫካ እያደገ የመጣውን የአገሪቱን የሕዝብ ቁጥር ለመመገብ ሲባል ለግብርና መስዋእትነት ወስዷል። የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ቁጥር ከ 100 ሚሊዮን በላይ ነው፣ ይህም በዓለም 12 ኛ ደረጃ ትልቁ ነው። በተለይ ከ 1974-1991 .ም በሀገሪቱ የኮሚኒዝም ሥርዓት፡ በ “መሬት ለአራሹ” ዘመን፡ የደን ጭፍጨፋው አሳዛኝ የሆነ ደረጃ ላይ ደርሶ ነበር፤ በተለይም የቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱን ሰፋፊ ቦታዎች በመውረስ ደኖቻቸውን እየመነጠሩ ለእርሻ እንዲውሉ አድርገዋቸዋል። በአሁን ዘመን በአገሪቱ 5% ብቻ በደን የተሸፈነ ሲሆን፤ በሀያኛው ክፍለ ዘመን እስከ 45 በመቶ ነበር።

+ ምን ያህል ስብጥር እንደጠፋ በውል አናውቅም ፥ ነገር ግን ከጠበቅነው በላይ በጣም ጉልህ የሆነ የስብጥር መጠን መትረፉን እናውቃለን።

+ ደን ብዝሃህይወት ስብጥርን መጠበቅ ለእርሻ በጣም አስፈላጊ ነው ምክንያቱም በዓብያተ ክርስቲያናቱ ጫካዎች ውስጥ የሚኖሩት ብዙዎቹ ወፎች እና ነፍሳት ሰብሎችን ለማዳቀል እና ተባይን ለመቆጣጠር ከፍተኛ አስተዋጽዖ ያበረክታሉና ነው።

+ ከግማሽ በላይ ሚሆኑት ኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች እናት የሆነችው የኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን፣ ደኖቿ የሰማይ መንግስትን በምድር ላይ የሚወክሉ ናቸው፤ እያንዳንዱ ፍጥረት የእግዚአብሔር ስጦታ ስለሆነ መኖሪያ ይፈልጋል

+ የተፈጥሮ አካባቢዎች መንፈሳዊ ክልል አካል የሆኑት እነዚህ ደኖች በባህልና በሳይንሳዊ መልኩም በጣም አስፈላጊ ናቸው።”

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Posted in Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

የኢትዮጵያ ቤተክርስትያን ደኖችን የሚያሳዩት ምስሎች ዝነኛውን የዓለም-አቀፍ የፎቶግራፍ ሽልማት አገኙ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 18, 2019

በኢትዮጵያ እየቀነሰ ለመጣው የብዝሃ ሕይወት የኢትዮጵያ ቤተክርስትያን ደኖች የመጨረሻው መጠለያ መሆናቸውን የሚያሳዩት የሚያሳዩት ምስሎች የዘንድሮውን ሶኒ ዓለም አቀፍ የፎቶግራፍ ሽልማት አገኙ። በስኮትላንዳዊው ፎቶ አንሽ ኬይረን ዶድስ የተቀረጹት እነዚህ ምስሎች “ሄሮቶፒያ” በሚል ስያሜ በዚህ ከፍተኛ ደረጃ ባለው ዓለም አቀፍ የፎቶ ውድድር ላይ ቀርበው ነበር

መላው ዓለም በተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ላይ አትኩሮት በማድረግ ላይ ነው!

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Posted in Curiosity, Ethiopia, Faith, Photos & Videos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

አስገራሚ ገጠመኝ | የተቃጠለው የአቡነ ተክለ ሐይማቶት ቤተክርስቲያን ከ፯ ዓመት በፊት በተሠራ ቪዲዮ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 3, 2019

ቪዲዮው መጀመሪያ ክፍል ላይ የሚታየው ባለፈው ሳምንት ላይ የተቃጠለው የአቡነ ተክለ ሐይማኖት ቤተክርስቲያን ነውን? የተሻለ መረጃ ያላችሁ፣ ጉዳዩን የምታውቁና ማረጋገጥ የምትችሉ ወንድሞች እና እህቶች ባካችሁ ጠቁሙን፤ መረጃው በጣም አስፈላጊ ነው።

ቪዲዮው የተሠራው “የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ቤተክርስቲያን ደኖችን ማዳን” Saving Ethiopian Orthodox Church Forestsየሚለውን ዘመቻ ለዓመታት በምታካሂደው አሜሪካዊት፡ በ ዶ/ር ማርጋሬት ሎውማን ነው (ከምስጋና ጋር)

ነገሮች ሁሉ ተገጣጠሙብኝ፦ እንደ ዋልድባ ገዳማት በመሳሰሉት ጫካማ አካባቢ ፋብሪካዎች እንዲሠሩ ካዘዟቸው በኋላ የኢትዮጵያ ቤተከርስቲያን ደኖችን መጠበቅ አለብን የሚሉ ዘመቻዎችን ብዙ የውጭ ሰዎች በማካሄድ ላይ ናቸው። የዶ/ር ማርጋሬትን ሥራ ዝቅ ማድረጌ አይደለም፤ አስተዋፅኦ ታደርግ ይሆናል፣ ለበጎ ሊሆን ይችላል። ሆኖም ለሁለት ሺህ ዓመታት ያህል ደኖቿን ጠብቃ ያቆየችልን ቤተክርስቲያን እስከሆነች ድረስ ለምን ሙሉውን ኃላፊነት ለቤተክርስቲያኗ አይተውላትም?

በተለይ የ ግራኝ አብዮት አህመድ የ”ችግኝ ተከላ” ዘመቻ ተንኮል ያለበት መሆኑን ብዙዎች አሁን እየተረዱት ነው። ደን የምትንከባከበው ቤተክርስቲያን ሆና የምትቃጠለውም ቤተክርስቲያን ናት። እንደ አብዮት አህመድ ከሆነ፦

ለዋቄዮአላህ መስዋዕት ከማድረጌ በፊት ለዛፉ ችግኝ መትከል አለበኝ፤ ለዚህም በብዙ ሚሊየን የሚቆጠሩትን ኢትዮጵያውያን ማንቀሳቀስ እችላለሁ፤ ንጉስ ነኝ፣ ጁፒተር ነኝ ፥ ልጆቿ የተገደሉባትና የዕምነት ቦታዎቿ የተቃጠሉባት ቤተክርስቲያን ግን በጎቿን ማዘዝ እንኳን አትችልም፤ ዛፎቹና ደኖቹ የኛ/ኬኛ ናቸው”።

አዎ! ለዋቄዮ-አላህ ብዙ መስዋዕት በማቅረብ ላይ ስላሉ አምላካቸው ጊዜያዊ ድፍረቱን ሰጥቷቸዋል፤ ለዚህም ነው በቤተክርስቲያን ላይ ዕብደት የተሞላባቸውን ድርጊቶች በመፈጸም ላይ ያሉት።

ኦሮሞ ነን” የምትሉ የተዋሕዶ ልጆች ከክርስቶስ ተቃዋሚው ፍዬል ጋር መደመር ካልፈለጋችሁ፡ ፈጥናችሁ “ኦሮሞነታችሁን” ካዱ!

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Posted in Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How/Why The Luciferians Caused The Ethiopian Famine

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 2, 2013

famine-in-Ethiopia

My Note: This article, which describes how genetically modified seeds granted as “food aid” was instrumental in triggering famine. It was first published in The Ecologist in September 2000.My previous post on the subject Here

Ethiopia’s Famine courtesy of GM seed Laundering

The “economic therapy” imposed under IMF-World Bank jurisdiction is in large part responsible for triggering famine and social devastation in Ethiopia and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, wreaking the peasant economy and impoverishing millions of people.

With the complicity of branches of the US government, it has also opened the door for the appropriation of traditional seeds and landraces by US biotech corporations, which behind the scenes have been peddling the adoption of their own genetically modified seeds under the disguise of emergency aid and famine relief.

Moreover, under WTO rules, the agri-biotech conglomerates can manipulate market forces to their advantage as well as exact royalties from farmers. The WTO provides legitimacy to the food giants to dismantle State programmes including emergency grain stocks, seed banks, extension services and agricultural credit, etc.), plunder peasant economies and trigger the outbreak of periodic famines.

Crisis in the Horn

More than 8 million people in Ethiopia – representing 15% of the country’s population – had been locked into “famine zones”. Urban wages have collapsed and unemployed seasonal farm workers and landless peasants have been driven into abysmal poverty. The international relief agencies concur without further examination that climatic factors are the sole and inevitable cause of crop failure and the ensuing humanitarian disaster. What the media tabloids fails to disclose is that – despite the drought and the border war with Eritrea – several million people in the most prosperous agricultural regions have also been driven into starvation. Their predicament is not the consequence of grain shortages but of “free markets” and “bitter economic medicine” imposed under the IMF-World Bank sponsored Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).

Ethiopia produces more than 90% of its consumption needs. Yet at the height of the crisis, the nationwide food deficit for 2000 was estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at 764,000 metric tons of grain representing a shortfall of 13 kilos per person per annum.1 In Amhara, grain production (1999-2000) was twenty percent in excess of consumption needs. Yet 2.8 million people in Amhara (representing 17% of the region’s population) became locked into famine zones and are “at risk” according to the FAO. 2 Whereas Amhara’s grain surpluses were in excess of 500,000 tons (1999-2000), its “relief food needs” had been tagged by the international community at close to 300,000 tons.3 A similar pattern prevailed in Oromiya, the country’s most populated state where 1.6 million people were classified “at risk”, despite the availability of more than 600,000 metric tons of surplus grain.4 In both these regions, which include more than 25% of the country’s population, scarcity of food was clearly not the cause of hunger, poverty and social destitution. Yet no explanations are given by the panoply of international relief agencies and agricultural research institutes.

The Promise of the “Free Market”

In Ethiopia, a transitional government came into power in 1991 in the wake of a protracted and destructive civil war. After the pro-Soviet Dergue regime of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam was unseated, a multi-donor financed Emergency Recovery and Reconstruction Project (ERRP) was hastily put in place to deal with an external debt of close to 9 billion dollars that had accumulated during the Mengistu government. Ethiopia’s outstanding debts with the Paris Club of official creditors were rescheduled in exchange for far-reaching macro-economic reforms. Upheld by US foreign policy, the usual doses of bitter IMF economic medicine were prescribed. Caught in the straightjacket of debt and structural adjustment, the new Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE), led by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) – largely formed from the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (PLF) – had committed itself to far-reaching “free market reforms”, despite its leaders’ Marxist leanings. Washington soon tagged Ethiopia alongside Uganda as Africa’s post Cold War free market showpiece.

While social budgets were slashed under the structural adjustment programme (SAP), military expenditure – in part financed by the gush of fresh development loans – quadrupled since 1989.5 With Washington supporting both sides in the Eritrea-Ethiopia border war, US arms sales spiralled. The bounty was being shared between the arms manufacturers and the agribusiness conglomerates. In the post-Cold War era, the latter positioned themselves in the lucrative procurement of emergency aid to war-torn countries. With mounting military spending financed on borrowed money, almost half of Ethiopia’s export revenues was earmarked to meet debt-servicing obligations.

A Policy Framework Paper (PFP) stipulating the precise changes to be carried out in Ethiopia had been carefully drafted in Washington by IMF and World Bank officials on behalf of the transitional government, and was forwarded to Addis Ababa for the signature of the Minister of Finance. The enforcement of severe austerity measures virtually foreclosed the possibility of a meaningful post-war reconstruction and the rebuilding of the country’s shattered infrastructure. The creditors demanded trade liberalization and the full-scale privatization of public utilities, financial institutions, State farms and factories. Civil servants including teachers and health workers were fired, wages were frozen and the labor laws were rescinded to enable State enterprises “to shed their surplus workers”. Meanwhile, corruption became rampant. State assets were auctioned off to foreign capital at bargain prices and Price Waterhouse Cooper was entrusted with the task of coordinating the sale of State property.

In turn, the reforms had led to the fracture of the federal fiscal system. Budget transfers to the State governments were slashed leaving the regions to their own devices. Supported by several donors, “regionalization” was heralded as a “devolution of powers from the federal to the regional governments”. The Bretton Woods institutions knew exactly what they were doing. In the words of the IMF, “[the regions] capacity to deliver effective and efficient development interventions varies widely, as does their capacity for revenue collection”.

Wrecking the Peasant Economy

Patterned on the reforms adopted in Kenya in 1991 (see Box 9.1 ), agricultural markets were willfully manipulated on behalf of the agribusiness conglomerates. The World Bank demanded the rapid removal of price controls and all subsidies to farmers. Transportation and freight prices were deregulated serving to boost food prices in remote areas affected by drought. In turn, the markets for farm inputs including fertilizer and seeds were handed over to private traders including Pioneer Hi-Bred International which entered into a lucrative partnership with Ethiopia Seed Enterprise (ESE), the government’s seed monopoly.7

At the outset of the reforms in 1992, USAID under its Title III program “donated” large quantities of US fertilizer “in exchange for free market reforms”:

[V]arious agricultural commodities [will be provided] in exchange for reforms of grain marketing… and [the] elimination of food subsidies…The reform agenda focuses on liberalization and privatization in the fertilizer and transport sectors in return for financing fertilizer and truck imports…. These program initiatives have given us [an] “entrée” …in defining major [policy] issues…

While the stocks of donated US fertiliser were rapidly exhausted; the imported chemicals contributed to displacing local fertiliser producers. The same companies involved in the fertilizer import business were also in control of the domestic wholesale distribution of fertilizer using local level merchants as intermediaries.

Increased output was recorded in commercial farms and in irrigated areas (where fertilizer and high yielding seeds had been applied). The overall tendency, however, was towards greater economic and social polarisation in the countryside, marked by significantly lower yields in less productive marginal lands occupied by the poor peasantry. Even in areas where output had increased, farmers were caught in the clutch of the seed and fertilizer merchants.

In 1997, the Atlanta based Carter Center – which was actively promoting the use of biotechnology tools in maize breeding – proudly announced that “Ethiopia [had] become a food exporter for the first time”.9 Yet in a cruel irony, the donors ordered the dismantling of the emergency grain reserves (set up in the wake of the 1984-85 famine) and the authorities acquiesced.

Instead of replenishing the country’s emergency food stocks, grain was exported to meet Ethiopia’s debt servicing obligations. Close to one million tons of the 1996 harvest was exported, an amount which would have been amply sufficient (according to FAO figures) to meet the 1999-2000 emergency. In fact the same food staple which had been exported (namely maize) was re-imported barely a few months later. The world market had confiscated Ethiopia’s grain reserves.

In return, US surpluses of genetically engineered maize (banned by the European Union) were being dumped on the horn of Africa in the form of emergency aid. The US had found a convenient mechanism for “laundering its stocks of dirty grain”. The agribusiness conglomerates not only cornered Ethiopia’s commodity exports, they were also involved in the procurement of emergency shipments of grain back into Ethiopia. During the 1998-2000 famine, lucrative maize contracts were awarded to giant grain merchants such as Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Cargill Inc.

Laundering America’s GM Grain Surpluses

US grain surpluses peddled in war-torn countries also served to weaken the agricultural system. Some 500,000 tons of maize and maize products were “donated” in 1999-2000 by USAID to relief agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP) which in turn collaborates closely with the US Department of Agriculture. At least 30% of these shipments (procured under contract with US agribusiness firms) were surplus genetically modified grain stocks.

Boosted by the border war with Eritrea and the plight of thousands of refugees, the influx of contaminated food aid had contributed to the pollution of Ethiopia’s genetic pool of indigenous seeds and landraces. In a cruel irony, the food giants were at the same time gaining control – through the procurement of contaminated food aid – over Ethiopia’s seed banks. According to South Africa’s Biowatch: “Africa is treated as the dustbin of the world…To donate untested food and seed to Africa is not an act of kindness but an attempt to lure Africa into further dependence on foreign aid.”

Moreover, part of the “food aid” had been channelled under the “food for work” program which served to further discourage domestic production in favour of grain imports. Under this scheme, impoverished and landless farmers were contracted to work on rural infrastructural programmes in exchange for “donated” US corn.

Meanwhile, the cash earnings of coffee smallholders plummeted. Whereas Pioneer Hi-Bred positioned itself in seed distribution and marketing, Cargill Inc established itself in the markets for grain and coffee through its subsidiary Ethiopian Commodities.12 For the more than 700,000 smallholders with less than 2 hectares that produce between 90 and 95% of the country’s coffee output, the deregulation of agricultural credit combined with low farmgate prices of coffee had triggered increased indebtedness and landlessness, particularly in East Gojam (Ethiopia’s breadbasket).

Biodiversity up for Sale

The country’s extensive reserves of traditional seed varieties (barley, teff, chick peas, sorghum, etc) were being appropriated, genetically manipulated and patented by the agribusiness conglomerates: “Instead of compensation and respect, Ethiopians today are …getting bills from foreign companies that have “patented” native species and now demand payment for their use.”13 The foundations of a “competitive seed industry” were laid under IMF and World Bank auspices.14 The Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE), the government’s seed monopoly joined hands with Pioneer Hi-Bred in the distribution of hi-bred and genetically modified (GM) seeds (together with hybrid resistant herbicide) to smallholders. In turn, the marketing of seeds had been transferred to a network of private contractors and “seed enterprises” with financial support and technical assistance from the World Bank. The “informal” farmer-to-farmer seed exchange was slated to be converted under the World Bank programme into a “formal” market oriented system of “private seed producer-sellers.” 15

In turn, the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute (EARI) was collaborating with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in the development of new hybrids between Mexican and Ethiopian maize varieties.16 Initially established in the 1940s by Pioneer Hi-Bred International with support from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations, CIMMYT developed a cosy relationship with US agribusiness. Together with the UK based Norman Borlaug Institute, CIMMYT constitutes a research arm as well as a mouthpiece of the seed conglomerates. According to the Rural Advancement Foundation (RAFI) “US farmers already earn $150 million annually by growing varieties of barley developed from Ethiopian strains. Yet nobody in Ethiopia is sending them a bill.”

Impacts of Famine

The 1984-85 famine had seriously threatened Ethiopia’s reserves of landraces of traditional seeds. In response to the famine, the Dergue government through its Plant Genetic Resource Centre –in collaboration with Seeds of Survival (SoS)– had implemented a programme to preserve Ethiopia’s biodiversity.18 This programme – which was continued under the transitional government – skilfully “linked on-farm conservation and crop improvement by rural communities with government support services”. 19 An extensive network of in-farm sites and conservation plots was established involving some 30,000 farmers. In 1998, coinciding chronologically with the onslaught of the 1998-2000 famine, the government clamped down on seeds of Survival (SoS) and ordered the programme to be closed down.

The hidden agenda was to eventually displace the traditional varieties and landraces reproduced in village-level nurseries. The latter were supplying more than 90 percent of the peasantry through a system of farmer-to-farmer exchange. Without fail, the 1998-2000 famine led to a further depletion of local level seed banks: “The reserves of grains [the farmer] normally stores to see him through difficult times are empty. Like 30,000 other households in the [Galga] area, his family have also eaten their stocks of seeds for the next harvest.”21 And a similar process was unfolding in the production of coffee where the genetic base of the arabica beans was threatened as a result of the collapse of farmgate prices and the impoverishment of small-holders.

In other words, the famine – itself in large part a product of the economic reforms imposed to the advantage of large corporations by the IMF, World Bank and the US Government – served to undermine Ethiopia’s genetic diversity to the benefit of the biotech companies. With the weakening of the system of traditional exchange, village level seed banks were being replenished with commercial hi-bred and genetically modified seeds. In turn, the distribution of seeds to impoverished farmers had been integrated with the “food aid” programmes. WPF and USAID relief packages often include “donations” of seeds and fertiliser, thereby favouring the inroad of the agribusiness-biotech companies into Ethiopia’s agricultural heartland. The emergency programs are not the “solution” but the “cause” of famine. By deliberately creating a dependency on GM seeds, they had set the stage for the outbreak of future famines.

This destructive pattern – invariably resulting in famine – is replicated throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. From the onslaught of the debt crisis of the early 1980s, the IMF-World Bank had set the stage for the demise of the peasant economy across the region with devastating results. Now, in Ethiopia, fifteen years after the last famine left nearly one million dead, hunger is once again stalking the land. This time, as eight million people face the risk of starvation, we know that it isn’t just the weather that is to blame.

Source

Biodiversity22May2

Million Belay: Ethiopia doesn’t need or want Bill Gates

Ecological campaigner Million Belay talks about why protecting Ethiopia’s biodiversity is so important and why he opposes the intervention of philanthropists like Bill Gates

Ethiopia’s culture and forests are gradually being eroded. The younger generation is taught to admire western consumer-driven culture and to ignore the traditional heritage of their birthplace.

As director of the Movement for Ecological Learning and Community Action (MELCA) Million Belay works with local communities to protect their local biodiversity and lifestyles

Continue reading…

Two Million March Against Monsanto in Worldwide Protest of GM Foods

On Saturday, May 25, an estimated two million protesters turned out in 436 cities in 52 countries to protest genetically-modified (GM) foods and their primary developer, Monsanto Company, Inc. This far exceeded anything Tami Canal could have imagined when she created a Facebook page entitled “The March against Monsanto” back in February.

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Parasite Gulf States Abuse Mother Nature Worst

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 22, 2012

The three tiny Gulf states – Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – hold among the not so prestigious top places in a recent listing of the world’s nations’ Ecological Footprints.

According to the 2012 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report, if everyone lived like an average resident of Qatar, more than six Earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature.

We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal. We are using 50 per cent more resources that the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast – by 2030 even two planets will not be enough,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.

Unsurprisingly, the massive Ecological Footprints of Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE are the result of very large carbon footprints.

The report also notes that the residents of these countries are very dependent on the resources of other nations to meet their needs, which is highly likely to have strong geopolitical implications as resources become more strained in the future.

Using ever more nature, while having less is a dangerous strategy, yet most countries continue to pursue this path. Until countries begin tracking and managing their biocapacity deficits, they not only put the planet at risk, but more importantly, themselves,” said Mathis Wackernagel, President of Global Footprint Network.

NATURE-ABUSER states ranked higher:

Rank

Countries

Amount

1

United Arab Emirates

15.99

1

Qatar

15.99

2

United States

12.22

3

Kuwait

10.31

4

Denmark

9.88

5

New Zealand

9.54

6

Ireland

9.43

7

Australia

8.49

8

Finland

8.45

9

Canada

7.66

10

Sweden

7.53

11

France

7.27

12

Estonia

7.12

13

Switzerland

6.63

14

Germany

6.31

15

Czech Republic

6.3

16

United Kingdom

6.29

17

Saudi Arabia

6.15

18

Norway

6.13

19

Iceland

6.02

20

Japan

5.94

21

Belgium

5.88

22

Netherlands

5.75

23

Korea, South

5.6

24

Greece

5.58

25

Italy

5.51

26

Spain

5.5

27

Austria

5.45

28

Slovenia

5.4

28

Poland

5.4

28

Israel

5.4

31

Russia

5.36

32

Belarus

5.27

33

Hungary

5.01

34

Portugal

4.99

35

Uruguay

4.91

36

Lithuania

4.76

36

Ukraine

4.76

38

Kazakhstan

4.45

39

Libya

4.36

40

Mongolia

4.3

41

South Africa

4.04

42

Slovakia

3.94

43

Bulgaria

3.81

44

Argentina

3.79

45

Latvia

3.74

46

Malaysia

3.68

47

Turkmenistan

3.62

48

Romania

3.49

49

Oman

3.39

49

Chile

3.39

51

Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of

3.24

52

Lebanon

3.19

53

Venezuela

2.88

54

Paraguay

2.84

55

Costa Rica

2.77

56

Turkey

2.73

57

Thailand

2.7

58

Mexico

2.69

59

Jamaica

2.68

60

Uzbekistan

2.65

61

Brazil

2.6

62

Syria

2.56

63

Iran

2.47

63

Moldova

2.47

65

Trinidad and Tobago

2.43

66

Croatia

2.35

66

Panama

2.35

68

Tunisia

2.27

69

Ecuador

2.26

70

Azerbaijan

2.18

71

Cuba

2.1

72

Gabon

2.06

73

Korea, North

1.92

74

Colombia

1.9

75

Kyrgyzstan

1.87

76

Albania

1.86

77

China

1.84

78

Algeria

1.79

79

Iraq

1.73

80

Jordan

1.71

81

Egypt

1.7

82

Botswana

1.68

83

Morocco

1.56

84

El Salvador

1.55

85

Indonesia

1.48

86

Zimbabwe

1.45

87

Honduras

1.43

88

Philippines

1.42

89

Papua New Guinea

1.4

89

Guatemala

1.4

91

Dominica

1.37

92

Peru

1.33

93

Nigeria

1.31

94

Bosnia and Herzegovina

1.29

94

Bolivia

1.29

96

Nicaragua

1.26

97

Mauritania

1.22

98

Zambia

1.21

99

Liberia

1.16

99

Armenia

1.16

101

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

1.15

101

Kenya

1.15

103

Sudan

1.14

104

Ghana

1.12

104

Central African Republic

1.12

106

Pakistan

1.09

107

Burma

1.07

108

Senegal

1.06

108

India

1.06

110

Tanzania

1.02

111

Nepal

1.01

112

Gambia, The

0.99

113

Somalia

0.97

113

Niger

0.97

113

Benin

0.97

116

Cote d’Ivoire

0.95

116

Sri Lanka

0.95

116

Vietnam

0.95

119

Madagascar

0.93

120

Laos

0.91

121

Tajikistan

0.9

121

Rwanda

0.9

121

Burkina Faso

0.9

124

Cameroon

0.89

125

Uganda

0.88

126

Malawi

0.87

127

Mali

0.86

128

Ethiopia

0.85

128

Guinea

0.85

130

Cambodia

0.83

131

Angola

0.82

131

Togo

0.82

133

Guinea-Bissau

0.8

134

Bhutan

0.79

135

Haiti

0.78

136

Mozambique

0.76

137

Burundi

0.75

137

Chad

0.75

139

Sierra Leone

0.73

140

Namibia

0.66

SOURCE: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

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