Featured photo: FSC certified. Courtesy Timberwatch website
Note: Wally Menne was a great ally in the fight to stop genetically engineered trees from the early days. I attended the Durban Group for Climate Justice founding meeting as a representative of the GE trees issue–one that was and continues to be integral to fight for climate justice. GE Trees are promoted in many false solutions to climate change, including those noted in the piece by Wally Menne below in this post. Thank you Wally for everything you accomplished in your outstanding work. — Anne Petermann, for the Campaign.
Wally Menne: A Lion Among Men
The Loss of a Giant
(Courtesy Global Justice Ecology Project)
My partner Orin Langelle and I were shocked and saddened this morning to learn of the death of friend and colleague Wally Menne who passed away on Thursday 26 October.
We had known Wally for many years and his loss was like a dagger. I had met Wally when he organized the founding meeting of the Durban Group for Climate Justice in his hometown in 2004. Orin met him a couple of years later at a gathering of the Global Forest Coalition.
The loss of this important South African activist was sudden and surprising. Wally was a powerhouse, a giant. His force was impossible to ignore. He was dedicated and uncompromising with a seemingly endless supply of energy despite his years at the grindstone. Even now, it is difficult to imagine a movement without him.
I heard from Wally only a few days ago with information on a possible volunteer for GJEP—someone whose writings he had come across who impressed him with her no-nonsense critique on the problem of industrial tree plantations—his personal crusade.
Anyone who knew Wally knew this about him. He was passionate about ridding the Earth of the scourge of timber plantations and was one of the most knowledgeable on their extensive social and ecological impacts. He had no qualms about laying the blame for this devastating problem squarely at the feet of those responsible–not merely the corporations whose plantations they were, but the agencies and organizations who laid their groundwork and made up excuses to enable their expansion. In particular he targeted the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).