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The cover illustration of the September/ October, 1990 issue o/The Ecologist by the

renowned Austrian artist Friedrich Hundertwasser, has generously been

donated to Ecoropa, Paris and the

World Rainforest Movement It is available as a paster tram The Ecologist's

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Africa and £3.50/US$5.50 to the rest of the world. Payment by cheque/postal order to The Ecologist.

All proceeds go to Ecoropa, Paris and the World Rainforest Movement

Th e Ecologis t i s published by Ecosystem s Ltd . Editorial Office: Corner House , Station Road , Sturminster Newton , Dorset, DT10 1BB , England . Te l 025 8 7347 6 Fax 025 8 7374 8 E-Mail gmecologist. Editorial Assistant : Sally Snow. Subscriptions : RE D Computing , 29 A High Street, New Maiden, Surrey, KT3 4BY , England. Te l 040 3 78264 4 Fax 081 94 2 9385 . Book s an d Bac k Issues : WE C Books, Worthyvale Manor, Camelford , Cornwall , PL32 9TT , England . Te l 084 0 212711 . Fax 084 0 212808 .

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Contribution s

The Editors welcome contributions, which should be typed, double spaced, on one side of the paper only. Two copies should be sent with original. Word processed contributions should be on a 3.5 inch disk (MS-DOS or Macintosh) in text file (ASCII) format. Illustrations (B/W or colour prints or transparencies, line drawings, tables, maps etc.) should be included where appropriate. Detailed guidelines for contributors are available on request. Manuscripts should be addressed to The Editors and sent to the Editorial Office. While every care is taken with manuscripts submitted for publication, the editors cannot guarantee to return those not accepted. Articles published in The Ecologist do not necessarily express the views of the Editors. The Ecologist International Serial Number is: ISSN 0261-3131. Printed by Penwell Ltd., Parkwood, Dupath, Callington, Cornwall, PL17 8AD. Tel 0579 50522. Computer output and equipment supplied by Windsorgraphics, Kings House, Kings Arms Lane, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH1 1AH. Tel 0425 474936. ©Th e Ecologist 1990 Editors EDWARD GOLDSMITH NICHOLAS HILDYARD


Associate Editors

PATRICIA ADAMS Probe International

(Canada) MARCUS COLCHESTER World Rainforest Movement

(England) RAYMOND DASMANN University of California,


University of Illinois


(USA) SANDY IRVINE The Green Party

(England) MICK KELLY University of East Anglia


Consumers Association of

Penang (Malaysia) SMITHU KOTHARI Lokayan Social Action


University of Oslo




African Environmental

Network (Kenya) JOHN PAPWORTH Fourth World Review


PAD ATA (Canada) JOHN SEED Rainforest Information Centre

(Australia) VANDANA SHIVA Research Centre for Science

and Ecology (India) HENRYK SKOLIMOWSKI

University of Michigan

(USA) ROBERT WALLER Commonwealth Human Ecology Centre


(England) DONALD WORSTER University of Kansas




TEL +44-258-73476 FAX +44-258-73748 E-MAIL GN:ECOLOGIST


Ecologist Vol. 21, No. 2, March/April 1991


Editorial An Open Letter to Edouard Saouma, Director-General of FAO. Nicholas Hildyard


Feature Articles

N.B. The authors of feature articles do not necessarily endorse the open letter.

FAO: An Insider's View Khalil Sesmou Founded during the colonial era, FAO still has a colonial attitude to agricultural development. It promotes export crops and the application of pesticides and fertilizers, and derides the potential of traditional agriculture. The organization's Director-General is notoriously autocratic and allows no internal criticism of FAO's policies. FAO's structures and policies need to be drastically overhauled.

The Failure of the Green Revolution: A Case Study of the Punjab Vandana Shiva The Green Revolution was promoted by Western institutions, multinationals, aid agencies and Third World governments as a technical answer to the socioeconomic problem of hunger. The Revolution has had catastrophic social and environmental consequences and much of the evidence produced in its favour is little more than myth.

FAO and Pesticides: Promotion or Proscription? Barbara Dinham Since the late 1950s, FAO, which has close links with the agrochemical industry, has been committed to increasing the use of pesticides in the Third World. Recently, pressure from NGOs has resulted in FAO drawing up a voluntary code of conduct on the marketing and use of pesticides. The code is widely flouted. FAO and Forestry George Marshall FAO's forestry policies have encouraged the commercial development of the rainforests, accelerating their destruction. FAO coordinated the much-criticized Tropical Forestry Action Plan, which it continues to defend, and it is now drawing up a global forest convention which appears to be set to repeat the mistakes of the past.

FAO and Aquaculture: Ponds and Politics in Africa Douglas Cross The promotion of modern fish farming techniques in the Third World has been a hugely expensive failure. A study of some of the totally unsuitable, high-tech fish farms established by FAO shows how agricultural development policies favour bureaucrats and politicians rather than the rural poor. FAO and Fisheries Development Patrick McCully The fisheries policies espoused by FAO have contributed to the depletion of fish stocks and the impoverishment of traditional fishing communities. FAO remains optimistic that the continuation of past policies can reverse current trends.







The Ecologist, Vol. 21, No. 2, March/April 1991