Written Paper

Agroenergy: myths and impacts in Latin America  [2007]

M., L. Mendonça M. Melo P. Júnior

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Biofuels (or agrofuels) production has increased dramatically in Latin America over recent years, as global concern over climate change grows and oil prices continue to rise. But are biofuels really a sustainable energy solution, and what are the costs? This publication is the result of a seminar on the expansion of sugarcane plantations in Latin America, which took place in So Paulo, Brazil in February 2007. It argues that there is a need to demystify the positive view of biofuels promoted by corporations andhighlights the negative impacts of biofuels production in Latin America, which include the destruction of the environment and the overexploitation of labour. <br /><br />The document includes a discussion of the following issues: trends inthe agrofuels industry in Latin America and the Caribbean impacts of ethanol production for land reform and for rural workers in Brazil biofuels production in Central America the sugarcane industry in the Dominican Republic the sugarcane industry in Colombia Bolivia: sugarcane production in Santa Cruz the impact of biofuels on food sovereignty and peasant agriculture The paper concludes with astatement made my participants of the workshop, in which they commit to: <br /> expanding and strengthening the struggles of social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean, through a network among existing workers organisations and support groups denouncing and combating any agrarian model based on monoculture
s and concentration of land and profit, destructive of the environment or responsible for overexploitation of the working force strengthening rural workers organisations, salaried workers, and farmworkers to construct a new model that is closely cemented to farmworker agriculture and agroecology, with diversified production and prioritising internal consumption. <br /><br /><br />