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Ecologist Vol. 21, No. 2, March/April 1991
FAO SPECIAL ISSUE
Editorial An Open Letter to Edouard Saouma, Director-General of FAO. Nicholas Hildyard
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