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UK - Jan 28

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UK Government Classifies Eco Activists as 'Extremists' Alongside Al Qaeda

Brian Merchant, treehugger
Some disturbing news has just surfaced in the UK--it appears that its Ministry of Justice has taken to listing environmental protesters and activists alongside al Qaeda terrorists in its system for classifying 'extremists'. The British newspaper the Guardian made the unsettling discovery when it gained access to some internal documents from the government.

Guidance Document Lists Eco Activists as Extremists
According to the paper,

The guidance [document] on extremism, produced by the Ministry of Justice, says: "The United Kingdom like many other countries faces a continuing threat from extremists who believe they can advance their aims by committing acts of terrorism." It was sent to probation staff who were writing court reports or supervising a range of activists, including environmental protesters.
This 'guidance' evidently highlights "environmental extremists" as belonging to the same group as dissident Irish republicans, loyalist paramilitaries, and al-Qaeda-inspired extremists...
(26 Jan 2010)


UK call for European CAP farming subsidies reform

BBC News
Conservationists and landowners have united, in a rare show of solidarity, to campaign for changes in the way UK farming subsidies are distributed.
The RSPB wildlife charity and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) want the focus to shift from food to biodiversity and sustainability.
They say any changes made to the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) need an "environmental focus".

Representatives from both are heading to Brussels to lobby for the changes.

CLA policy director Allan Buckwell told BBC News: "With a huge debate in Europe and a potential CAP reform in 2013, we need to work together."
The CLA, has 36,000 members, while the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has more than one million...
(27 Jan 2010)


Moorlands and hills targeted to grow crops for biomass and biofuels

Tim Webb, The Guardian
One tenth of Britain, including moorlands and hillsides, could be used to grow crops for biomass and biofuels. Countryside protection groups warned that this would turn large swaths of the countryside into monocultural landscapes and pose a threat to wildlife.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a £1bn public-private investment body, said it was launching a project to map all the "under-utilised" land in Britain to find out how much could be turned over to growing bioenergy crops.

Research funded by the Natural Environment Research Council estimates that in England alone almost five million hectares could be used. David Clarke, chief executive of the ETI, said that the body had made the conservative estimate that 2.4m hectares could be used in Britain to grow bioenergy crops, used as substitutes for fossil fuels such as petrol and coal to reduce carbon emissions.

The 12- to 18-month project will find out what this land, which also includes semi-industrial sites and is unsuitable for growing food crops, is specifically used for, who owns it and the suitability of the soil for growing the bioenergy crops that include willow trees. Pilot projects could follow...
(28 Jan 2010)

Editorial Notes: flickr/Richard Carter

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