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wto: hands off our natural environment

Trade talks might seem far away from our lives, but they have a very real impact on how we live and on our surrounding environment. Established in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a global commerce agency, which makes binding and enforceable rules on international trade, it has become one of the main mechanisms of corporate globalization. Friends of the Earth International will be making its presence felt at the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, China from 13 to 18 December 2005.

The current negotiations in the World Trade Organization, the body that governs world trade, could – if concluded - increase pressure on the natural environment, reduce the ability of impoverished countries to develop, and affect the livelihoods of small farmers and fisherfolk around the globe. They could also reduce national governments’ ability to implement domestic laws and regulations to protect the environment and promote health and safety.

did you know?

The WTO benefits big corporations at the expense of national and local economies, workers, farmers, indigenous peoples, women and other social groups all suffer.

Health and safety takes a back seat, along with the environment and animal welfare.

The WTO says its goal is to "help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business", but WTO agreements have marginalized the majority of the people all around the world.

read more about the wto and our trade campaign

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