More than sixty activists blocked the Noordersluis in IJmuiden on Tuesday evening, Greenpeace Netherlands reported in a press release. Activists in Brazil and Europe want to work with Greenpeace to stop the Crimson Ace megaship from being able to unload 60 million soybeans from Brazil. More than 85% of the cargo is destined for animal feed, according to Greenpeace.
On the lock gate of IJmuiden hangs a banner 40 meters long with the text: “EU: Stop Nature Destruction Now”. Rubber dinghies sail on the water on which activists display banners in their own language. Large cubes float in front of the lock gates with the message ‘Protect Nature’ and the names of over ten thousand Greenpeace supporters from all over Europe who support the action.
“Europe is partly responsible for the devastation of Brazil”
Indigenous leaders from Brazil are aboard Greenpeace’s Beluga sailboat. “We have been driven from our lands and our rivers have been polluted with poisons, all to make way for large-scale agriculture,” said Alberto França Dias, leader of the Brazilian Terena people of Mato Grosso do state. Sul.
Europe is partly responsible for the devastation of Brazil, believes Terena. He calls on European ministers to propose legislation that could change this situation. “…not only to secure the rights of indigenous peoples, but also for the future of our planet.”
“Nature is dying for our bangers, when we need it so badly to keep the earth livable,” said Andy Palmen, director of Greenpeace Netherlands. “The Netherlands is the gateway to Europe for the import of products such as soy, for which nature is destroyed and human rights are violated.”
Palmen is committed to new legislation. “Destructive products can enter Europe unhindered via Dutch ports. The supply of Russian oil continues as usual, but soy for which nature disappears is also welcomed with open arms. We need a European law on the strong forests that puts an end to this.”
Forest law must trace the entire chain
Greenpeace wants the law to fully track where soy, rubber, corn and other products are produced, processed and traded. The law should protect not just forests, but all critical ecosystems, the conservation organization said. The human rights of indigenous peoples and local communities must also be guaranteed.
Greenpeace further demands that European investors do not fund companies that break the rules. The European Environment Council will meet on June 28 to discuss a draft law for deforestation-free products. The Netherlands is represented there by Minister Christianne van der Wal for Nature and Nitrogen.