情人節的廉價血玫瑰 榨乾大地之水 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

情人節的廉價血玫瑰 榨乾大地之水

2009年02月19日
摘譯自2009年2月13日ENS英國,萊斯特報導;鄭佳宜編譯;蔡麗伶、禾引審校

肯亞廉價血玫瑰 圖片提供: Moira英國人在情人節買到的廉價肯亞進口玫瑰,在萊斯特大學保育生物學家哈普(David Harper)看來,是「榨乾肯亞的血玫瑰」。

哈普博士是萊斯特大學的資深講師,研究肯亞園藝重心奈瓦夏(Naivasha)湖已有25年。他說,缺乏環境意識的業者所生產的廉價玫瑰,對奈瓦夏湖的生態環境正造成極負面影響。

因此,哈普博士鼓勵英國消費者購買公平貿易玫瑰──那是由具有環境意識、且將產銷通路透明化的公司所生產。

「銷售便宜玫瑰的公司不僅不重視環境,鑽法律漏洞便宜行事,還將花卉在阿姆斯特丹拍賣,使下游買家誤以為花卉來自荷蘭。」「實際上,這些在阿姆斯特丹拍賣出售的花卉是來自肯亞,而這些公司的經營手法幾乎搾乾肯亞的水。」

所幸仍有業者願意採較取負責任的策略,他們將花卉直接售入英國超市,其中不少公司持有公平交易證照。哈普博士表示:「這些公司在生產玫瑰時仍重視環境、野生生物和人類的永續生存,可惜的是,像這樣的業者還不夠多。」

「有良心的業者在奈瓦夏湖約佔一半,這個比例無法阻擋花卉業吞噬奈瓦夏湖的速度。肯亞對此有嚴峻法律規範,但執法孱弱無力,讓有志藉此獲利的公司有機可乘。」

英國在情人節和母親節大概會銷售1萬公噸的玫瑰,這個需求卻對奈瓦夏湖的生態系造成很大的負擔。

目前,受花卉業吸引居住在奈瓦夏湖畔的人口約有50萬,這些雨後春筍冒出的「淘花小鎮」缺乏公共衛生設備,飲用湖水,也將廢棄物排入湖中,未受規範的灌溉用水已使湖面節節下降。

位於東非大裂谷的奈瓦夏湖座落在首都奈洛比西北方奈瓦夏鎮旁,超過400種鳥和河馬棲息於此。

環保團體在2002年便向聯合國糧食及農業組織反應,因花卉的農藥殘留標準不若食物嚴格,為生產完美無暇的花苞,花卉業者可以使用高濃度殺蟲劑—對當地農工和野生生物(例如河馬)都是種傷害。

2002年,肯亞剛通過用水新法案,當時哈普博士和來自英國、丹麥等大學的合作夥伴首次示警,而奈瓦夏湖面也從當時持續下降至今。

Cheap Valentine's Day Roses Cost the Earth
LEICESTER, England, February 13, 2009 (ENS) -

Cut-price Valentine's Day roses exported from Kenya for sale in the UK are "bleeding that country dry," says Dr. David Harper, an ecology and conservation biologist at the University of Leicester

A senior lecturer at the university's Department of Biology, Dr. Harper has conducted research for over 25 years at Lake Naivasha, the center of Kenya's horticultural industry.

He warns that cheap roses grown by companies that have no concern for the environment are having a devastating effect on the ecology of Lake Naivasha.

Instead, Dr. Harper is urging UK shoppers to buy Fair Trade roses, produced by companies that are conscientious and have a transparent supply chain.

"Roses that come cheap are grown by companies that have no concern for the environment, who cut corners and avoid legislation, who sell their flowers into the auction in Amsterdam so that all the buyer knows is the flowers "come from Holland."

"In reality, they have come from Kenya where the industry is, literally, draining that country dry."

However, some companies are taking a more responsible approach and selling directly to British supermarkets and many of them are Fair Trade certified.

Said Dr. Harper, "These companies want a sustainable future for the wildlife and the environment, as well as the people, where they grow their roses. Sadly, there are not enough of them."

"At Lake Naivasha, the good companies make up about half of the total. That is not enough; together, the industry is sucking the lake dry. The country's legislation is strong, but its enforcement is weak so companies whose only interest is profit take advantage of that."

Dr. Harper says the demand for the 10,000 metric tonnes of roses sold in the UK for Valentine's Day and for Mother's Day have contributed to the devastation of the ecosystem at the lake.

Almost half a million people now live around the shores of the lake, drawn there by the flower trade. The shantytowns that have sprung up have no sanitation - water comes from the lake and sewage returns to it. The largely unregulated use of lake water for irrigation is reducing the level of the lake.

Part of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha lies northwest of the capital Nairobi, outside the town of Naivasha. More than 400 different species of birds have been reported at the lake and hippos inhabit the lake as well.

Flowers are not held to the same standards for chemical residues as food products. Strong chemical pesticides can be used on the flowers to produce the perfect, pest-free bloom, and this could pose a health risk to workers and local wildlife, including the lake's population of hippos, environmental groups told the UN Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2002.

Harper and his colleagues from other British and Dutch universities first raised the alarm about the situation in 2002, just as the new Kenyan Water Act was passed. Since then, the lake has continued to shrink.