pushing FAO to maintain its present policies — from dam builders and irrigation engineers to agrochemical corporations and farm machinery manufacturers. For them, the intensification of agriculture in the Third World is a bonanza — a bonanza mined at the expense of the poor and of future generations. Your job should surely be to fight the naked opportunism of such industrial lobbies, not to industrialize agriculture on their behalf. Third World farmers do not need FAO's expertise. They know more about farming their land than your "experts" do. If they have a need for an organization such as FAO it is to take up the cudgels against those who would undermine their livelihoods, to tackle those issues that they cannot tackle by themselves. You should be taking up the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not promoting an agriculture which will increase them. You should be fighting to prevent land and water resources being hijacked for non-agricultural uses, not pushing for
the expansion of industry. You should be fighting to prevent the food resources of the underfed being exported to feed the already overfed, not seeking to boost export crops.
But instead of making common cause with the farmers you say FAO seeks to support, you have consistently bowed to industrial interests. No doubt, their support — and particularly that of the multinationals — has gained FAO powerful political allies: no doubt, too, it has proved of great value in increasing your own personal power and influence. But it is not you, nor your employees, who have had to pay the price: it is the poor and hungry whose lives have been blighted — and, all too often, ended — as a result of your policies. That is why we we are launching this campaign.
for The Ecologist
This letter has been endorsed by the following groups. Animal Welfare Institute, USA Asia-Pacific Peoples' Environment Network (APPEN), Malaysia Bank Information Centre, USA Both Ends, Netherlands Campagna Nord-Sud, Italy Centre for Environment and Development, UK Centro de Estudios Uruguayos en Technologlas Apropiadas (CEUTA), Uruguay Centro Latino Americano de Ecologfa Social (CLAES), Uruguay Coalition for Environment and Development, Finland Consumers' Association of Penang, Malaysia The Development Group for Alternative Policies, USA Ecoropa, France Environmental Defense Fund, USA Environmental News Network, USA Friends of the Earth, Australia Friends of the Earth, USA Gaia Foundation, UK The Humane Society, USA Instituto de Antropologia e Meio Ambiente (IAMA), Brazil International Rivers Network, USA International Workgroup on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), Denmark
Ladakh Project, UK London Rainforest Action Group, UK Milieudefensie/Friends of the Earth, Netherlands Minewatch, UK Monitor, USA NOAH/Friends of the Earth, Denmark Permaculture International, Australia Pesticide Action Network-Latin America, Colombia Probe International, Canada Project for Ecological Recovery (PER), Thailand Rainforest Action Network, USA Rainforest Information Centre, Australia Red de Ecologia Social (REDES)/Friends of the Earth, Uruguay Regnskovsgruppen Nepenthes, Denmark Research Foundation fo r Science and Technology, India Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM)/Friends of the Earth, Malaysia Sierra Club, USA Third World First, UK Third World Network, Malaysia Transnational Institute, Netherlands World Economy, Ecology and Development Association (WO&E), Germany
We request others who wish to endorse this open letter to inform Th e Ecologist's editorial office (Corner House, Station Road, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 1BB, UK). The open letter may be translated and/or reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission, provided credit is given to Th e Ecologist. Please write letters in support of this campaign to: Mr Edouard Saouma; to your regional FAO liaison office; to relevant national government officials and politicians, especially in ministries of agriculture and development agencies and departments; to the media; and to environment, development, human rights and other relevant groups who may wish to join in the campaign. Mr Edouar d Saouma , Director-General, FAO, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy. FA O Regiona l Offic e fo r Africa , PO Box 1628, Accra, Ghana. FA O Regiona l Offic e fo r Asi a an d th e Pacific , Maliwan Mansion, Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand. FA O Regiona l Offic e for Europe , FAO Headquarters, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome. FA O Regiona l Offic e fo r Lati n Americ a an d th e Caribbean , Casilla 10095, Santiago, Chile. FA O Regiona l Offic e fo r th e Near East , FA O Headquarters , Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome. FA O Liaiso n Offic e fo r North America , 1001 22nd Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20437.
The Ecologist, Vol. 21, No. 2, March/April 1991