The G4 world trade talks, which focus on further liberalising world markets, were described by Friends of the Earth as having the capacity to 'further impoverish the world's poorest people' and cause 'irreparable damage to the environment'.
In their current form, the talks focussed on opening up forests and fisheries worldwide to trans-national business. But Friends of the Earth warn that this will threaten the 96 million people who are completely dependent on forests and small-scale fishing for their livelihoods.
'The collapse of these secretive trade talks is a good opportunity to develop an alternative approach to trade that works for developing countries and the environment,' said Joe Zacune, Trade Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. 'The proposals on the table have been driven primarily by the EU and the US which put the commercial interests of their corporations before the needs of poor communities and their natural resources.'
This article first appeared in the Ecologist June 2007