***Graduates 3rd School of Ecology
The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has called on Nigerian and African governments to maintain moratorium on extreme genetic engineering as imposed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
This according to the Foundation is because “it threatens to wipe out species. Adding that extreme and even old fashion genetic engineering threatens the continents biodiversity, overall ecological health and the continents food sovereignty”
HOMEF, Director, Nnimmo Bassey made the call in his welcome remarks at the School of Ecology on Eco –Colonialism which held in Abuja yesterday
In his words ‘ We join in the call for the maintenance of the moratorium on extreme genetic engineering as imposed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as they threaten to wipe out species. We also join the call for a ban of all geoengineering experiments and deployment as they threaten our very lives
He said Geoengineering’s side effects will obviously be deflected to already vulnerable regions and territories and Africa will be among the worst hot as present computer models show.
The Activist said ‘Respect for peasant rights, lands and territories, acknowledging that their livelihoods, including indigenous peoples communities, forest dwellers, artisanal fishers and pastoralists are a vital source of food for most of the world’s population, pave the way for food sovereignty, contribute to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions among others
We call for total decolonization of nature and for the global measures for the securing of justice and allocation of responsibilities for outlaws of neo-colonial laws, he said
Speaking on the school of ecology, which he said, was in its 3rd year, he said our school of ecology provides spaces for the interrogation of colonialism in the framework of the colonization of nature. We look at the exploitation and commodification of nature in ways that subvert natural evolution and creates economic levers for the domination and control of species and planetary systems.
He said “This is the 3rd school of ecology we have had, the first two were on life after oil and the need for Nigeria to shift away from oil dependency and look at renewable energy and other ways of development and revenue. While this one, we looking at new technologies, food system and the lacks manner in which government is looking at the Nigerian environment and food”.
In this meeting, we looked at synthetic biology, old fashion genetic engineered crops, new and extreme genetic engineering biology, gene drives, and planetary controls to geo engineering.
He said “HOMEF is an ecological think tank which challenge people to think and at each session, participants decide what they want to do and they have resolved today to promote a GMO free Nigeria, set up an African assessment platform. We have also seen that there are alternatives to genetic engineering.
One of the participants, who spoke with LEADERSHIP, Mustapha Ibrahim, said he was inspired to join the programme having participated in a previous course on School of Ecology.
“I was overwhelmed by the teachings and concerned about the growing issues surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) with little or no efforts from government to tackle them. I feel it is really affecting the health of our population and there is need for intervention”
He said “The most important thing is awareness and it is unfortunate to say most people dealing with GMOs are not even aware of the dangers, so my next step of action is to promote awareness to ensure local farmers are taught on its effects on health and the environment as a whole”.