Centrale Sanitaire Suisse Romande organized a round table to the IGWG on TNCs and Human Rights.
Thursday, October 27th 2016,
Maison des Associations, Geneva
Pablo FajardoAvocado UDAPT
Round table: Right to health - the fight of indigenous and peasants
for the future generations.The cases of Chevron and Syngenta
Mariana Jimenezpeasant representative of the UDAPTPablo Fajardolead lawyer of the Union of people affected by the oil operations of Texaco (UDAPT)
against Chevron in Ecuador
Hans SchĂ¤ppipresident of Solifonds and member of the comitee Multiwatch
ModeratorÂ : Melik Ă–zden director of the Center Europe - Third World (CETIM)
This roundtable aims at showing how polluting the environment affects the health of populations, would it be because of oil extraction as in the Ecuadorian Amazon (Chevron) or the use of agrochemical pesticides and fertilizers by transnational corporations (Syngenta). The means to fight on the ground and through justice will also be discussed. How to better access to justice and obtain reparation for the damages caused to the environment and people? How to protect our earth against the ravages of transnational corporations (TNC)? How can we build together a better future for the future generations?
This roundtable is part of the mobilization in the framework of the "Campaign to claim the sovereignty of People, dismantle corporate power and end TNCs' impunity" for the second session of the United Nations intergovernmental Working group on the liability of TNCs. The Centrale Sanitaire Suisse Romande (CSSR) has taken the intiative of this event, an organization currently running a participatory project with the UDAPT in the Amazon in order to establish a global health diagnose and find solutions to improve the health of the communities living in the areas affected by the pollution caused by the oil extraction activities of Chevron.
The Chevron case
This case is emblematic due to the scope of contamination in one of the areas with most biodiversity in the world, but also the battle of 30'000 peasants and indigenous peoples during 23 years at the national and international level for their rights to be recognized and the sentence issued by the Ecuadorian courts to be executed (notably the 2013 sentence condemning Chevron to pay 9.5 billon $ for the reparation of the environmental, social and cultural damages caused in the Ecuadorian Amazon). Moreover, theirclaim against the Chevron CEO before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague raises the issue of the TNCs officials' criminal accountability and the acknowledgement of environmental crimes as crimes against humanity.
The Syngenta case
Likewise Monsanto, the Swiss TNC Syngenta produces pesticides, chemical fertilizers and GM seeds. The practices of this iconic representative of the industrial farming industry influence massively the peasants' production methods, their health and their environment. Indeed, their techniques are incompatible with proximity and ecological farming, which aims at food sovereignty and the respect of the environment. The Multiwatch platform, which has recently released a collective work on Syngenta, is a member of the coalition fostering the popular initiative for responsible TNC freshly submitted in Switzerland.
CSSR - Centrale sanitaire suisse romande, CETIM - Centre Europe-Tiers Monde, UDAPT - Union of People Affected by Texaco (now Chevron), Coordination Climat Justice Sociale, Multiwatch, Global Campaign to Claim the Sovereignty of the Peoples, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity