Public Declaration Against the Process of Certification of Industrial Shrimp Aquaculture
Made the 3rd of November 2008 in the city of Changwon, South Korea, during the COP10 of Ramsar.
WWF, in agreement with the shrimp aquaculture industry, the World Bank, shrimp buyers, and NGOs, has been promoting a series of “principles” that allow the certification of the shrimp aquaculture industry. To this end, they are carrying out meetings between producers, buyers, and NGOs, under the scheme of SHRIMIP DIALOGUES.
In virtue of this process, which openly excludes the millions of victims of industrial shrimp aquaculture, Red Manglar Internacional (RMI), a solidarity organization which groups Community Grassroots, Academic, and Research Organizations from 11 countries in Latin America, declares:
1. Any attempt at certification or legalization of industrial shrimp aquaculture in Latin America and the world is environmentally, legally, and ethically inadmissible, given the extensive occurrence of:
- Systematic violation of human rights on the part of this industry in the coastal zone where it has developed; and in countries such as Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Brazil, in which it have been responsible for murders, tortures, and threats to local community members who have attempted to defend their rights to a healthy environment, to work, food sovereignty, to free movement, among other social, cultural, and economic rights.
- Damage and destruction of mangrove ecosystems and their areas of influence which this industry has been occupying and intervening in illegally and with impunity.
- Displacement of entire communities from their
sites of origin and as a consequence, loss of source of sustenance, food
sovereignty, and work for millions of people.
2. The certification
of industrial shrimp aquaculture, promoted by WWF, is an artifice which would impose
upon the legal mechanisms existing in each country and in the international
legal order, preventing the application of sanctions on environmental crimes
and human rights violations, generated by this activity.
3. We urge WWF to revise, as well as carry out an articulate and systematic analysis of the industrial circuits of shrimp farming activity on the planet, which will permit it to redimension the position which it currently maintains concerning the “certification of industrial shrimp aquaculture;” we are sure that WWF will not delay in reassuming its role as an environmental NGO, widely known throughout the world, and faced with the evidence, are convinced that it will desist from its intent to certify industrial shrimp aquaculture.
4. We urge that all NGOs, free governments, Community Grassroots Organizations, and Academic and Research Institutions to pronounce against any process of CERTIFICATION of said industry. This initiative favors and supports the loss of natural and strategic buffers, such as mangroves, against phenomena such as climate change.
5. Certifying the shrimp farming industry would be guaranteeing a series of violations of human rights, the lack of access to local sustenance, the degradation and destruction of important ecosystems, such as mangroves; it would institutionalize and support an industrial practice which already has generated ecological and social impacts in many countries around the world.
Translated from the Spanish by Elaine Corets.
Submitted by: Redmanglar