唔......這篇新聞好像沒人願意翻譯成中文

想看的人只好努力點了......

大意就是那些歐美的大企業開始把生質能源產業的歪腦筋動到非洲身上

特別是這塊大陸上的人的生活水準都在水平線下

統治者和政府又都很腐敗(unclear)

讓那些大財閥可以輕易的從不識字也不會書寫的村長手中拿到大片的土地

拿來種植可以產生高油量的植物

可是 目前為止國際糧食的價格並沒有因為得取非洲的土地而有下降的狀況

更糟的是

那些大財團連那些當地居民命根-他們僅有的水源地跟溼地都要搶走

特別是在乾季 非洲人沒有這樣的地方真的都要渴死了

而且那些自稱節能減碳愛環保的歐洲人

還繼續砍樹開地種他們要的油

可是那些歐洲來的大公司 荷蘭 瑞士 德國加上美國 加拿大 日本

給於當地居民的補償跟保障

好像有一點空虛

連販賣自己良心跟國家土地給大商人的官員都承認

到底這些承諾會不會落實是有疑問的

而這波搶糧搶土地的行動也被視為經濟殖民主義的再現


新聞原文

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,576548,00.html

標題:Africa Becoming a Biofuel Battleground

By Horand Knaup

Western companies are pushing to acquire vast stretches of African land to
meet the world's biofuel needs. Local farmers and governments are being
showered with promises. But is this just another form of economic colonialism?

Everything will turn out alright. Correction: everything is going to get
better. There will be new roads, a new school, a pharmacy, even a proper
water supply. Most of all, there will be jobs -- 5,000, at the very least.
"If there are jobs for us, then it's a good thing," says Juma Njagu, 26, who
hopes to be able to leave his meager existence as a planter and charburner
behind soon.

Njagu lives in Mtamba, a village of about 1,100 souls in Tanzania's Kisarawe
district, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) south-west of Dar es Salaam, the
capital and largest city. Mtamba, accessible by dirt road, is a place where
people scrape by on a bit of farming, a bit of fishing and the production of
charcoal. There isn't much else in Mtamba.

That could change if the British firm Sun Biofuels goes ahead with plans to
produce biodiesel fuel from "Jatropha curcas," an energy plant with a high
oil content, which it hopes to plant on Kisarawe's farmland.

The Tanzanian government has granted the British firm the use of 9,000
hectares (22,230 acres) of sparsely populated farmland, or enough land to
cover about 12,000 soccer fields, for a period of 99 years -- free of charge.
In return, the company will invest about $20 million (€13 million) to build
roads and schools, bringing a modicum of prosperity to the region.

Sun Biofuels is not alone. In fact, half a dozen other companies from the
Netherlands, the United States, Sweden, Japan, Canada and Germany have
already sent their scouts to Tanzania. Prokon, a German company known
primarily for its wind turbines, has already begun growing jatropha curcas on
a large scale. It expects to have 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres) -- an area
about the size of Luxembourg -- under cultivation throughout Tanzania soon.

A gold rush mentality has taken hold -- not just in East Africa but across
the entire continent. In Ghana, the Norwegian firm Biofuel Africa has secured
farming rights for 38,000 hectares (93,860 acres), and Sun Biofuels is also
doing business in Ethiopia and Mozambique.

Kavango BioEnergy, a British company, plans to invest millions of euros in
northern Namibia. Western companies are turning up in Malawi and Zambia,
where they plan to produce diesel fuel and ethanol from jatropha curcas, palm
oil or sugar cane. Foreign investors have their eye on 11 million hectares
(27 million acres) in Mozambique -- more than one-seventh of the country's
total area -- for growing energy plants. The government in Ethiopia has even
made 24 million hectares (59 million acres) available.

The consequences of this boom are dramatic. Experts agree that the worldwide
push to grow energy plants is on overwhelming factor in the global explosion
of food prices. According to one study by the World Bank, as much as 75
percent of the increase could be attributable to this change in the types of
crops being farmed. Many farmers in industrialized countries are more than
happy to accept government subsidies for corn or rapeseed, but this comes at
the cost of the cultivation of wheat, potatoes and legumes.

Oil plants are not competing with intensively farmed land in Africa -- yet.
Investors argue that the land they are using is uncultivated or underused.
But rising food prices and population growth will also increase pressure in
the southern hemisphere to convert unused land to agricultural use.

For investors, growing energy plants in Africa is highly profitable. Crude
oil will become scarce in the foreseeable future, so that easy-to-produce
biofuel comes at just the right time. At an estimated annual yield of 2,500
liters per hectare, Sun Biofuels is in it for the long haul in Tanzania.
Production becomes profitable as soon as the price of a barrel of crude oil
exceeds $100 (€69) on the world market. A barrel currently goes for just
over $100.

Africa offers oil farmers virtually ideal conditions for their purposes:
underused land in many places, low land prices, ownership that is often
unclear and, most of all, regimes capable of being influenced.

The land is unusable, says the Ethiopian energy and mining minister in Addis
Ababa, the country's capital. "It's just marginal land," say officials at the
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Dar es Salaam. "The whole thing
is nothing but positive," says the district administrator of Kisarawe, who is
responsible for the Sun Biofuels project. "We have convinced the people." In
his rudimentary office, which lacks both a computer and a copy machine, he
leafs through the planning documents.

In none of these places are the needs of local residents taken into account.
In Ghana, BioFuel Africa wrested away land clearing and usage rights from a
village chief who could neither read nor write. The man gave his consent with
his thumbprint. The weekly newspaper Public Agenda felt reminded of the
"darkest days of colonialism." The Ghanaian environmental protection agency
eventually put a stop to the clear-cutting, but only after 2,600 hectares
(6,422 acres) of forest had been cut down.

In Tanzania, while there are hopes, there is also plenty of reason to be
skeptical about promises that everything will improve. In April 2006, Sun
Biofuels claimed that it had received formal approval for cultivation from 10
of the 11 affected villages. At that point, however, several communities were
not even aware of the plans, while others had attached conditions to their
consent. A village head complained, in writing, to the district
administration that Sun Biofuels had cleared and marked off land without even
contacting the village elders.

In Dar es Salaam, Peter Auge, general manager of Sun Biofuels Tanzania, sits
in his office. He is a casual, straightforward South African. "It is true,"
he says, "that we were a little reserved with our information policy." There
are still many unknowns, says Auge, adding that he doesn't want to read in
the paper that "the project is two years behind schedule."

Auge promises social investments, although they are not part of the
agreements at this point. Even when it comes to compensation for the people
living on the land, which the government insists must be paid, the investors
are getting an exceedingly good deal. They offered the equivalent of about €
450,000, a ridiculous price for the 9,000 hectares (22,230 acres) that they
can now use for almost a century.

Seventy kilometers (43 miles) farther south, on the Rufiji River, thousands
of residents are being forced to move to make way for the Swedish company
Sekab's plans to grow sugarcane, a highly water-intensive crop, on at least
9,000 hectares (22,230 acres) and then distill it into ethanol. Five thousand
hectares (12,350 acres) have already been approved.

The river and the wetlands along its banks are the only source of drinking
water for thousands of people, especially during the dry season. Sekab also
plans to tap this reservoir to irrigate its plantations. Transparency?
Nonexistent. Compensation? None whatsoever. Information? A scarce commodity.
When residents attending an informational event asked about compensation
payments, they were told curtly: "You will get what you are entitled to."

The PR machine is all the more active, even in poor countries like Tanzania.
Naturally South African national Josephine Brennan, who is in charge of
public relations for Sekab in Dar es Salaam, sees only good things for
Tanzania's future. Farming for biofuel will enable the country to build new
schools and new roads, which translate into better opportunities for
Tanzanians, says Brennan. According to Brennan, small farmers will also be
able to earn more money in the future by growing biofuel-ready plants, and up
to three million people in Tanzania alone will be lifted out of poverty. With
its two million hectares of potential cropland, Tanzania, says Brennan, has
as much growth potential "as the Celtic Tiger, Ireland." Finally, she is
convinced that "the world needs Tanzania."

But Brennan's rosy predictions do not reflect opinions in East Africa. A
study on energy plants in Tanzania, conducted by the German Agency for
Technical Cooperation, lists a host of negative side effects. What is more,
this is not the first time that white investors have promised prosperity for
Tanzania.

With similarly enticing promises, small farmers were talked out of their land
several decades ago to make way for coffee plantations. In the 1990s, foreign
mining companies arrived in Tanzania to dig for gold. "They promised us jobs,
new roads, new wells and schools," says journalist Joseph Shayo. "And what
happened? No schools, no wells and few jobs, which were low-paying jobs, to
boot." To make matters worse, large mining zones were fenced off and became
inaccessible to the original residents.

In a recently published study on the "Biofuel Industry in Tanzania,"
journalist Khoti Kamanga of the University of Dar es Salaam warns against the
side effects of energy plantations. The population, Kamanga writes, is
usually uninformed, while the cultivation of energy plants usually goes
hand-in-hand with forced resettlement. According to Kamanga, it is very
likely that ethanol production will also affect food prices in Tanzania, with
the country's dependency on food imports growing even further.

In Dar es Salaam, the government has now recognized that the boom also comes
with problems. "Energy plants cannot be an alternative to food production,"
said President Jakaya Kikwete, responding to widespread resentment in his
country over high food prices.

But the energy farmers remain unimpressed. Sun Biofuels and Sekab each want
to expand their production to 50,000 hectares (124,000 acres) -- as soon as
possible.

-- Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan
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