Steering Committee & Staff

The Campaign to STOP GE Trees is a national and international alliance of organizations that have united toward the goal of prohibiting the ecologically and socially devastating release of genetically engineered trees into the environment.

Global Justice Ecology Project coordinates, administrates and fundraises for the campaign. World Rainforest Movement, based in Uruguay, is the Southern Contact for the Campaign and has materials in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Members of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees Steering Committee

Winne Overbeek & Teresa Perez, World Rainforest Movement

World Rainforest Movement has been involved in addressing the threats of GE trees since 2004, when they produced the report: “Genetically Modified Trees: The Ultimate Threat to Forests.”

In 2005 WRM, Global Forest Coalition, and Global Justice Ecology Project organized a joint workshop on GE trees for activists and Indigenous Peoples from across South America.  The workshop was held in Vitoria, Brazil and included field trips to Indigenous Guarani and Tupinikim communities who were taking their land back from industrial eucalyptus plantations operated by Aracruz Cellulose.

In 2007 WRM produced an updated report entitled Transgenic Trees.

They keep abreast of GE trees developments around the Global South, and have a network of hundreds of organizations throughout the Global South with whom they work to stop deforestation and monoculture timber plantations.  In 2008 they produced “GE Trees: A Country by country Overview” detailing current developments with GE trees.  This publication is currently being updated.

Winnie Overbeek, the Executive Secretary of World Rainforest Movement, sits on the Steering Committee of the Campaign. Winnie is a long-time Brazil-based activist and is an expert in the dangers of industrial eucalyptus plantations.  He has long been closely connected to the anti-plantation Green Deserts Movement in Brazil.  He speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.

BJ McManama, Indigenous Environmental Network

Brenda Jo McManama has been involved with Indigenous and environmental issues for the past 20 years. For the past nine years she has and currently works with IEN in different capacities ranging from graphic design/ web administration to media coordinator. BJ was also a member of two IEN delegations who traveled to the jungles of Peru and central Mexico to meet with Indigenous community leaders. The focus of these exchanges was to share cultural information and current shared mitigation, restoration, and subsistence challenges centered on forest and aquatic regions. When not working on national and global environmental issues, BJ participates with local environmental and social justice organizations whose focuses include maintaining food security and safety, and protecting water resources and forests from encroaching extractive industries.

The Indigenous Environmental Network has brought together and organized with Indigenous Peoples and communities globally on issues related to Indigenous land rights and autonomy. Most recently IEN has focused on the impacts of energy corporations on Indigenous communities in North America; and on the impacts of land grabbing and forest carbon offsets schemes on Indigenous communities in North America and globally.

Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
Lucy Sharratt, who works as the Coordinator for CBAN, is a long-time genetic engineering activist who formerly coordinated the international effort that won a moratorium on the commercialization of so-called Terminator Technology through the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity.
Lucy was on the original Steering Committee of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees beginning in 2004 and monitored developments with GE trees in Canada. Due in part to CBAN’s efforts, GE forest tree research in Canada became highly controversial and largely ended. CBAN’s current focus is on GE fruit trees, in particular the campaign to stop the GE “non-browning” apple (developed by a small Canadian company).
CBAN is a collaborative of 17 organizations that campaign for food sovereignty and environmental justice. Together, they promote democratic decision-making on science and technology issues in order to protect the integrity of the environment, health, food, and the livelihoods of people in Canada and around the world by facilitating, informing and organizing civil society action, researching, and providing information to government for policy development.

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator 
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) 
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Suite 206, 180 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 1P5 
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext. 25
Fax: 613 241 2506 

Dr. Rachel Smolker, BiofuelWatch

Rachel Smolker, co-director of Biofuelwatch (BFW) is an active member of the Campaign to Stop GE Trees Steering Committee. Smolker has a Ph.D. in biology.

Biofuelwatch works to oppose GE trees as part of their effort to resist industrial and commercial scale bioenergy, which seeks to use crops and trees as feedstocks in the manufacture of so-called renewable energy.  The massive amount of land needed to produce sufficient quantities of this alternative fuel, however, is driving massive deforestation and land grabs around the world.  GE trees are being engineered to facilitate production of these fuels.

BFW aims to provide a bridge to science that is useful to activists.

Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher, EcoNexus (Scientific Advisor)

Dr. Steinbrecher is the Co-Director of EcoNexus, and organization of scientists in Europe. She is a molecular geneticist and developmental biologist. She has a PhD from the University of London, UK, and a first class honors M.Sc. from the University of Kiel, Germany (1985).

Since 1995 she has been working on GMOs, their risks and potential consequences on health, food security, agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystems, with a particular focus on GE trees, mosquitoes and terminator technology.  She co-authored several reports and documents on GE trees which are found on the EcoNexus website.

She is advisor and consultant to many national and international organizations and processes and has acted as scientific expert in governmental and public consultations and court cases. She collaborates and works alongside civil society organizations, women’s organizations and farmers’ groups in the global North and South, in particular Asia.

She has been closely involved with the UN-led international negotiations and implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety of genetically modified organisms since 1995 and serves on its Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Genetically Modified Organisms.

She is a member of the Federation of German Scientists and a founder member of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility.

Lauren Caulfield, Friends of the Earth, Melbourne

Lauren Caulfield is a forest campaigner affiliated with Friends of the Earth Melbourne (AUS).

A former family violence crisis support worker, she was among 23 Victorians to receive the Churchill Fellowship award this year to pursue innovative initiatives and research projects internationally.

Ms. Caulfield said high-profile cases of violence against women – including rape and murder – provided a unique opportunity to talk about gender violence and its causes and to “strategize a suit of responses to tackle it.”

“We know that violence against women occurs and is more prevalent in communities that permit it by their attitudes and their level of willingness to actively intervene and prevent it,” Ms. Caulfield said.

“It is about communities reclaiming safety, rather than wholly relying on agencies or police to enforce it or services to pick up the pieces after the fact.”

Ruddy Turnstone, Global Justice Ecology Project's GE Trees Coordinator

Ruddy Turnstone is a GE trees campaigner for Global Justice Ecology Project, working to ban genetically engineered trees from commercialization globally. When she is not fighting mutant trees she loves tree climbing. Ruddy provides direct action climb trainings for the Earth First! Climbers Guild, Greenpeace, the Backbone Campaign and at Trans and Women’s Action Camps, and tree climbing to the public as recreation.

Ruddy has also been an Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) community organizer since 2007. Through EEF! She provides direct action trainings for and is organizing with Seminole Tribal Members and Independent Traditional Seminole Nation supporting their efforts to fight one of the largest fossil fuel power plants in the country, which is slated to be built right next to the Seminole Tribe’s Big Cypress Reservation in south Florida. Since 2010 through EEF! and the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition she has also been working to stop a 682 acre forest from turning into a biotech city in South Florida.

Orin Langelle, Global Justice Ecology Project and Langelle Photography

Orin Langelle is a photojournalist and the Director of Langelle Photography.

Since 1972, Langelle has documented peoples’ resistance to war, corporate globalization, ecological destruction, and human rights abuses as a concerned photographer.

He also co-founded Global Justice Ecology Project, and is now the Chair of its board of directors, In 2004 he co-founded the Campaign to Stop GE Trees.


Campaign Coordinator

Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project

Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. She is also the Coordinator of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees; the North American Focal Point for the Global Forest Coalition; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series.

She has been involved in movements for forest protection and Indigenous rights since 1991, and the international and national climate justice movements since 2004. She co-founded the Eastern North American Resource Center of the Native Forest Network in 1993, and the STOP GE Trees Campaign in 2004. She also participated in the founding of the Durban Group for Climate Justice in 2004 and Climate Justice Now! in 2007 at the Bali UN Climate Conference. In 2008, Global Justice Ecology Project spearheaded the founding of the North American Mobilization for Climate Justice.

Anne speaks around the world about climate justice and against socially and environmentally destructive “false solutions” to climate change. She is also a foremost expert on the destructive social, ecological and climatological impacts of genetically engineered trees, and also speaks about the impacts of second generation biofuels made from wood.

She presents on these subjects at capacity-building trainings for indigenous peoples, and at conferences including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Forum on Forests, and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

She is the author of several reports detailing the dangers of genetically engineered trees, and second generation cellulosic biofuels agrofuels, including their impacts on forests and forest dependent peoples. She is also a frequent contributor to Z Magazine.

She was adopted as an honorary member of the Saint Francis-Sokoki band of the Abenaki in 1992 due to her work in support of their struggle for state recognition.

In 2000 she received the Wild Nature Award for Activist of the year.

Kip Doyle, Media Coordinator

Kip Doyle is the media coordinator for Global Justice Ecology Project, The Campaign to STO102f0c2P GE Trees and Langelle Photography. Previously, Doyle was content publisher with Synacor, managing editor at the Salamanca Press and a reporter with the Olean Times Herald.

Doyle has volunteered on a number of community building projects with the Cuba (NY) Friends of Architecture and he is the web administrator for the Cuba Palmer Opera House. His writing credits include,,, and Doyle is a 2005 graduate of Buffalo State College.

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