Oh Great...Less Rainforest, More Corn
Photo via belgianchocolate
Are they going to have to make a Madagascar 3 movie where a lion, zebra, giraffe and hippo work to rescue some crazy lepilemurs (and pygmy tarsiers) not from foosas, but from human destruction?
South Korea's Daewoo Logistics has signed a 99-year lease entitling them to half of all Madagascar's arable land. And, they will pay nothing to farm corn and palm oil there.
The goal is to boost Seoul's food security by planting up 1.3 million hectares of land on an island already needing help with habitat preservation.
"We want to plant corn there to ensure our food security. Food can be a weapon in this world," said Hong Jong-wan, a manager at Daewoo. "We can either export the harvests to other countries or ship them back to Korea in case of a food crisis."
Is planting land that should remain highly valuable resource really a great way to do so? The land they're going to farm has been totally untouched. They say that providing jobs via farming will help out Madagascar, but the frightening thing is how easily they're able to rip off the place.
Daewoo said it had agreed with Madagascar's government that it could cultivate 1.3m hectares of farmland for free when it signed a memorandum of understanding in May. When the company signed the contract in July, it agreed to discuss costs with Madagascar. But Daewoo now believes it will have to pay nothing.
Asian nations have increasingly looked to Africa to meet their resource needs in the past five years or so. China has been particularly aggressive in building up stakes in oilfields and mines on the continent, sometimes facing accusations of neo-colonialism.
Again, it's the raping of Africa. And this is not the only issue Madagascar faces. Other South Korean companies are investing in further destroying the place, putting money in things like nickel mines and power plants.
A better investment would be scientific research of species preservation, eco-webs, biodiversity, biomimicry, reforestation practices, medicinal herbs and plants .you know — things that actually help the planet.
Instead, we're getting less rainforest, more corn. Just what no one (except the impoverished people of Madagascar who won't benefit from the harvests) needs.
Via Financial Times, via MongaBay
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