Time is running out for our national forest

Statement by the Head of the Environment Bureau of the C.C. of AKEL Christina Nicolaou

AKEL C.C. Press Office, 15th November 2019, Nicosia

 

Eighty malicious fires in and near the Akamas Forest Park have been recorded by the Forest Department over the last three years. These fires have destroyed precious parts of our national forest and for which no one has been prosecuted.

Unless a comprehensive plan for the area is elaborated, these phenomena will continue and indeed will destroy Akamas. AKEL has repeatedly stressed that management plans are demanded to explain in detail how Akamas will be protected, how owners of land will be compensated and how local communities will be supported. These matters were all foreseen in the decision approved in 2009. The current government has not only annulled the 2009 decision, but has also proceeded to draw up plans that shrink the protection area and give the possibility for development within AKAMA.

The government has to provide answers to specific questions:

 Why has only state land been included in the plan for the National Forest Park?

 Why hasn’t the government ruling forces made any efforts whatsoever to find a solution with the owners of land within the state forest?

 Do they perhaps have any other plans for the area and is that the reason why they are delaying any action in this direction?

The Auditor General’s report on the change of planning zones in Kouklia demonstrates the government’s criminal indifference to environmental protection. It also shows that the list of interests it wants to serve is long.

Time is running out for our national forest.

Announcements expressing sadness and visits to the area by the government ruling forces are not enough.

Citizens are demanding that the government really protect Akamas.

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TELL THE EPA: GET GLYPHOSATE OUT OF OUR FOOD!

DEADLINE: June 5

Monsanto's cancer-causing glyphosate shouldn't be anywhere near our food. But we only have until June 5 to convince the EPA to get this hazardous chemical out of our food.

Corporate agribusinesses are spraying glyphosate directly on crops right before they're harvested, putting our health at risk. The result is shockingly high levels of glyphosate in our foods!

Outrageous! This practice is unsafe and unnecessary. It's time for the EPA to stand up for public health and get glyphosate out of our food.

Add your name to Just Label It’s petition calling on the EPA to protect Americans from glyphosate in food!

I urge you to prohibit the pre-harvest use of glyphosate as a desiccant.

Monsanto's cancer-causing chemical shouldn't be anywhere near my food. Here in the U.S. more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are dumped on American farmland each year and now recent tests have shown shockingly high levels of glyphosate in food.

This is unacceptable. The agency has a responsibility under the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 to make special considerations for protecting children's health from pesticides, as well as limiting the overall negative impacts of pesticides on human health and the environment.

Spraying glyphosate on crops right before harvest is unsafe and unnecessary. Already, many farmers use alternative methods to prepare their crop for harvest.

I urge you to immediately take action to get glyphosate out of our food.

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ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS

Modern capitalism is being engulfed by an environmental crisis of its own making. Without concerted effort and global economic planning the crisis of global climate will mean a world with a 6 to 8º C rise in average temperature within a century. Associated with this change will be a general worsening of weather with unpredictable drought and storms which will turn what was once fertile agricultural land into desert. Seas will rise with the melting of the arctic ice-cap, covering exposed coastal lands. Climate change is an irrefutable fact of our time. The monthly average temperature worldwide has been higher than the twentieth century average for 329 straight months. Global annual mean temperatures have broken records in 11 out of the last 13 years. By 2012 the polar ice cap was smaller than it has ever been in recorded history. Even now, 97% of the ice cover in Greenland is melting. The scientific community is essentially unanimous in its call for immediate and sustained action on the part of the world community to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, gases that are driving the increasingly calamitous extremes in the Earth’s climate.

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change already projects that much of the United States will no longer be arable for food crops by the end of this century if current trends continue. Industrial capitalism has profited greatly from the emergence of the machine; its entire system of production and distribution has arisen through the application of human work to the technological succession of increasingly great machines and their proliferation. As Marx observed, it is only through application to nature (and the increasing technologizing of it) that human work has brought forth value.

For centuries capitalism has collected great profits while producing greenhouse gases which has slowly, gradually been transforming nature and not to the benefit of mankind. Greenhouse gases have been the great externality – the most persistent pollution arising from capitalism – now this pollution has affected the carrying capacity of the earth. One might think that capitalism might have taken this danger to heart, but the ruthless need to extract as much value from production has blinded capitalism to the danger. Capital will poison the last producer with its pollution, carefree only to extract enough value until the entire edifice of humanity is consumed. In this way is the dilemma presented: the slow descent to barbarism provided by capitalism. Or socialism, because only the concerted effort and economic planning of socialism will allow us to escape the environmental crisis.

First and foremost, we must reduce the level of greenhouse gases. A significant portion of this results from the coal and other fossil-fuels we use to power factories, to heat our homes. Only a fundamental commitment to vastly reduce dependence on coal and other fossil-fuels. The elimination of coal production will have an effect on U.S. miners. We propose the establishment of a national “green jobs” program which will help place workers in new jobs. Among the most urgent need is a program to weatherize American homes and businesses. This will produce millions of jobs in the intermediate term.

We must also acknowledge that the developing world is only beginning to achieve the first benefit of industry. We cannot condemn the developing world to a future without the benefit of industry. The industrial world must shoulder the burden of reduced greenhouse gases. We solemnly commit to use our technology to assist the developing world to reach the full prosperity of socialism. 

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