Suspend aerial spraying with glyphosate and other harmful chemicals
This petition had 24,908 supporters
I am a Colombian environmental lawyer. For the last 15 years I have been working alongside colleagues and affected communities to stop the aerial spraying of illicit crops with glyphosate and other chemicals. This spraying damages not only the environment, but also harms human health, and may cause cancer.
On May 14, Colombia's National Narcotics Council will decide if this practice will continue. Now is the moment to urge the government to immediately suspend aerial spraying with glyphosate and other harmful chemicals!
My work has enabled me to learn of the damage these toxic fumigations cause to people unassociated with illicit crops, as spraying is done indiscriminately over houses, farms and water resources.
Independent scientific studies show that aerial spraying is inefficient. It has not reduced the production of coca or poppy crops. To the contrary, it has contributed to the destruction of forests and has severely harmed affected populations, including indigenous communities. The highest courts in Colombia have ordered the suspension of spraying based on the precautionary principle, a promise so far unfulfilled.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation (WHO), determined that glyphosate used in spraying may cause cancer in humans. The Colombian Ministry of Health understood the risk and recommended that the National Narcotics Council immediately suspend spraying. The negative impacts of glyphosate are more than proven.
This damage done by the spraying is felt as far away as Ecuador. The issue reached the International Court of Justice and, as a result, the Colombian government was required to pay damages and stop spraying near the border in order to protect Ecuadorian ecosystems and habitats.Colombia, however, was not granted the same protection.
If the spraying persists, the damage to public health and the risk of cancer will continue. Ecosystems rich in biodiversity will continue to be impacted, as will the species that live in them (fish, amphibians, rodents, insects and native plants). Water systems will continue to be polluted and forests and food crops, the livelihood of many communities, destroyed. Families will continue to be displaced from their land due to the violent nature of the spraying, and the pressure to cultivate coca and poppy plants in the absence of a viable alternative. More sustainable and humane alternatives exist and should be implemented.
Sign now to ask President Juan Manuel Santos and the National Narcotics Council to immediately suspend the aerial spraying of illicit crops with glyphosate and other noxious chemicals, and to prioritize the health of the people and the natural habitat of Colombia!
Help us to stop the spraying that is harming Colombia's people and their environment!
Astrid Puentes Riaño
Co-Executive Director, AIDA
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