This is part of a trial series


The online version of Chinese People's Daily focused on the report published by Greenpeace "Counting the Costs of genetic engineering". Polls show that 84.3 percent of the 50,000 asked had no sense of security in GE food.

GE crops have continuously brought problems to farmers and the environment all over the world where they have been grown. Greenpeace in China has called on the relevant Chinese government departments to re-examine the commercialization of GE rice and maize.

An anti GE action took place in Berlin yesterday, where around 550 Greenpeace activists unfolded a large banner outside the Brandenburg Gate. The Berliner Zeitung reported that the message read "Nein - zu gen-planzen!" (No to genetic plants!). Read more about the most recent developments on the battle against GE here.

Stirring in Spain

Spain's, La Razon have reacted to the meetings taking place in Brussels, discussing tuna fishing.

La Confederacion Espanola de Pesca (the Spanish Fishing Confederation) thinks it is unfair to black list tuna, saying that doing that would be unjust and out of proportion. Sebastian Losada of Greenpeace International has said that sustainable fishing strategies will most likely not work as the species is already near a complete collapse.

The main concern is that those fishing and trading with tuna must take responsibility for the future of the fish, and for their own industries, by seeking out tuna species and fishing methods that are truly sustainable.

Protest where taking place during the weekend when thousands of people in the Guadalajara region in Spain joined together to oppose the building of nuclear graveyard in the area. Greenpeace joined the protest together with other environmental groups and the local residents. Demonstrations where also taking place in Valencian towns Ayora, Jalance and Zarra, where the majority of people are against the nuclear graveyards a.k.a. storage of nuclear waste.

How we fuel things - the issue with palm oil

The Daily Mail reports that a new government study shows that the Department of Transport's aim to increase the level of biofuel in fuel sold across Britain will result in millions of acres of forest being burned down and turned into plantations.

The findings of the study showed that using palm oil instead of fossil fuel increase emissions by 31 percent, failing to meet the European Commission standard of each litre of biofuel reducing emissions by 35 percent.

Burning down a rainforest to build a biofuel plantation released carbon, stored in trees and earth, which then takes up to 840 years for a palm oil plantation to soak up.

BBC programme Panorama that investigates current affairs reported last week on the destruction of orangutan habitants in the Indonesian rainforest to clear areas for palm oil plantations.

Today BBC News discuss weather palm oil can actually help the poor people in Indonesia. It is claimed that some investigations say that a rural middle class is emerging thanks to the plantations, those villagers that do not have a plantation fall under the poverty line.

The economic benefits of owning a plantation in combination with the absence of laws to protect the environment and the people, brings many problems to the area. Some of the issues are corruption, marginalisation in the local communities and degradation of the habitats.

Laws have to be enforced, people and the environment need to be protected and the land rights of local communities must be respected. The system definitely needs to change says Achmad Surambo is the executive director of Sawit Watch - an Indonesian NGO.

Environmental News from around the world

Russian militia is said to have been pursuing eco-activists that are opposing the reopening of a paper and pulp mill that causes environmental damage in the Baikal area. The pursuits of the Baikal Ecological Wave group was reported to Greenpeace in Russia and posted on their website. The militia, whom are trained to combat extremism, is said to be going to peoples houses in the area to complain about the environmentalists.

The last major militia attack on the the Baikal Ecological Wave happened in January when their office was raided and computers and servers where taken away, the militias justification for this was claiming that the environmental group where using unlicensed software.

Reuters reports that an independent board of scientists is to review the works of the IPCC. Since December 2009 there has been a glut of stories challenging the science of climate change as represented by the IPCC. The review should be done by August and will have a plenary in South Korea in October, something that the UN Environment Programme is hoping will bring closure to the issues.

In China on Sunday the greenhouse gas emissions goals and monitoring rules for regions and sectors in its next five-year plan was released, with monitoring to show it is serious about curbing emissions.

The Chinese government said in November it would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from human activity, emitted to make each unit of national income by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels. That goal would let China's greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, but more slowly than its rapid economic growth.

(Photo credit:© Greenpeace/Kuang Yin. 04/28/2009 Greenpeace activists present a bowl of rice labelled with "Monsanto" and display a banner reading “Monsanto: Hands off China’s Food” in front of the company's Beijing office. Greenpeace is demanding that Monsanto keeps their genetically-engineered (GE) seeds out of China.)