Tuesday, 13 October 2015

La Via Campesina "Together we can cool the planet!" October 16

La Via Campesina calls for International Day of Action for Peoples' Food Sovereignty as the world marks World Food Day on the 16th October,
(Watch the trailer of the video "Together we can cool the planet!" to be launched this October 16) http://tv.viacampesina.org/Together-we-can-cool-the-planet?lang=en

calls its members and allies, and civil society organizations to mobilize and organize actions on October 16th, the International Day of Action for Peoples' Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations (TNCs). The current climate, hunger and migrant and refugee crises affecting millions of peasants, small farmers, families, especially women and youth show that corporate solutions are false and won't yield human dignity.

La Via Campsina calls for a radical transformation towards a fair and decent food system for all - through wider adoption of agroecology and the construction of people's food sovereignty - a system change that recognizes peoples' needs, accords dignity and respects nature.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Peasants’ movement in United Nations Human Rights Council

On the afternoon of October 1st 2015 the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution that the open-ended intergovernmental working group, with the mandate to negotiate, finalize and submit to the Human Rights Council a draft United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

The resolution was presented by the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba and South Africa and sponsored among others by Switzerland, Brazil, Eritrea and Argentina, in a joint effort from all regions to support this decisive step. In the final vote, the US government was the only one to vote against. The governments of Europe have abstained from voting and have continued with the same bloc-voting position as in June 2014, in the vote on resolution 26/26. In total, 31 countries voted in favor, 15 abstained, and only one voted against.*

La Via Campesina, an international movement which brings together more than 180 organizations from around the world and that represents approximately 200 million peasants, has together with FIAN and CETIM, taken a historic momentum to this process by positioning for the first time within a UN mechanism, a project intended to fill the gaps in human rights legislation of the rural population and rural fishing communities, nomadic peoples, pastoralists, rural workers, landless, rural women and indigenous peoples. The current draft statement submitted by the government of Bolivia in Geneva in February 2015 during the last working group, advocates for a universal charter containing a set of rights in order to improve the conditions of those who live in rural areas and produce 80% of the food in the world.

In the days before the vote, leaders from all continents were present in Geneva in order to alert governments about the growing conditions of exclusion, land grabbing, repression and criminalization faced by peasants' organizations and the devastating effects of agrochemicals on the health of rural and peasant population. Meanwhile, national organizations supported the work done in Geneva by carrying out lobbying activities in the capitals.

La Via Campesina and alliances redouble efforts to demonstrate that there is no North-South division in the violations of the rights of the peasants' population against the reluctance of many northern states to accept the need for such a statement. La Via Campesina advocates for a model of peasant agriculture in both the North and the Global South based on agroecology and equal relations between peasants.

The UN will continue the process for the next two years.

* Results of the vote on the resolution

In favor (31): Algeria, Botswana, Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, China, India,Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Vietnam, Argentina,Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, El Salvador, Paraguay, Venezuela, Russia / Votes abstention (15): France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, Macedonia, Montenegro, Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Mexico, Qatar, Japan, Korea / negative Feedback(1): United States

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Exploring Agroecology

A new publication and video explore the meaning and politics of agroecology from social movement perspectives. The publication is produced by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience of Coventry University and ILEIA, the Centre for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture.
"We see Agroecology as a key form of resistance to an economic system that puts profit before life. […] Our diverse forms of smallholder food production based on Agroecology generate local knowledge, promote social justice, nurture identity and culture, and strengthen the economic viability of rural areas. As smallholders, we defend our dignity when we choose to produce in an agroecological way."  
– Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology, 2015

A movement is growing. While agroecology has been practiced for millennia in diverse places around the world, today we are witnessing the mobilisation of transnational social movements to build, defend and strengthen agroecology as the pathway towards a more just, sustainable and viable food and agriculture system.
These social movements claim agroecology as a bottom up movement and practice that needs to be supported, rather than led, by science and policy. From this perspective, agroecology is inseparable from food sovereignty: the right of citizens to control food policy and practice.
"There is no food sovereignty without agroecology. And certainly, agroecology will not last without a food sovereignty policy that backs it up."  
– Ibrahima Coulibaly, CNOP (Coordination Nationale des Organisations Paysannes du Mali), from Mali

A new publication and video present this vision in more depth and explore agroecology through the perspectives of food producers involved in the food sovereignty movement. Food producers say in their own words why agroecology is a key pathway towards better food systems and food sovereignty.