PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, April 18 (Xinhua)
-- Bolivia's President Evo Morales said Saturday that he will not sign the final
declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas, if leaders do not agree to review
clauses aimed at stimulating the development of biofuel.
The meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, which brought together leaders from 34 countries across the Americas, concludes on Sunday with the signing of the Declaration of Port of Spain.
Bolivian President Evo Morales (C) speaks at a press conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 18, 2009.(Xinhua/Juan Carlos Hernandez)
"If the issue of biofuel is not reviewed, the
government of Bolivia will not sign this document. Introducing biofuel policies
means to privilege the machines over human life. What will we pick, human life
or U.S. machines?" Morales told a press conference.
The declaration draft states that "we will encourage
the development, manufacture and use of both current and next-generation
biofuels including sugar-based, cellulosic, algal and bacterial biofuels..."
Morales did not elaborate on the reasons for his
opposition to pro-biofuel policies, but critics of biofuel widely say they fear
the rapid expansion of crops of sugar cane and other raw material for biofuel
will occupy agricultural land destined to the production of food.
To alleviate the concern, the draft says that
strategies will be developed "for sustainable biomass cultivation and
production, with particular regard to the need to ensure food security."
It calls for "a strategy for second-generation and more advanced biofuels that will ensure that they do not compete directly with other agricultural crops for land, water or fertilizer."