Climate change and agrofuels

The Heat Is On: Via Campesina and Allies Challenge Climate Capitalism

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_2015_lima_march_20142.jpg"There's absolutely nothing smart about it," said Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, a Haitian Via Campesina leader who coordinates the movement's work around climate change, in a critical workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture in Lima. "The climate crisis is rooted in capitalism, which is also in crisis as an economic system," he explained. "Entrepreneurs are trying to emerge from this crisis, and as a way of doing so are creating green capitalism, of which Climate-Smart Agriculture is typical." 

By: Salena Tramel

new report by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indisputably confirms what many scientists had predicted: 2014 is officially the hottest year on record. And this past year is not an anomaly -- the previous 10 hottest years on the books have all occurred since 1998. This announcement adds to the urgency expressed just last month in Lima, where political leaders and business tycoons from around the world met for the 20th yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The gathering in Peru was historic in that it was the last time the decision-making body would meet before COP 21 in Paris next December, where an international and legally binding agreement on climate will be signed.

However, growing movements of those on the frontlines of climate disruption argue that the high-level political remedies touted at venues such as the COP amount to false promises and leave out marginalized voices. Via Campesina is perhaps the most prominent of these movements, with more than 250 million peasant, pastoralist, and indigenous members from around the world. Along with allies ranging from labor to environmental networks, Via Campesina organized the Cumbre de los Pueblos (Peoples Summit) in its own grassroots rendition of the COP 20 process in Lima to promote bottom-up solutions to the climate crisis and refute the corporate-driven and exclusionary nature of the official negotiations.

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Peasant and Small-Scale Agriculture vs. Climate-Smart Agriculture

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_agricultura_campesina_ya_20141.JPGA delegation from the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organisations (CLOC) and the Via Campesina International participated in the Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change in Lima, which culminated, on December 10th, in a march of 10,000 people through the centre of the city.  At the closing ceremony, Diego Montón, the representative of the CLOC Secretariat, declared, “We, women and men, peasants and small farmers, have a long history of struggle. We have been struggling against evictions, against land clearances, against the large mining companies that pollute our water, against the contamination that is caused by toxic chemical inputs, against the destruction of our food production systems.” 

Furthermore, Montón added, “We leave here with a task ahead of us ... we have to see that all over the world our peoples are in the streets - saying No to capitalism and Yes to our proposal, which is Good Living (Buen Vivir), which is popular socialism, a model in which life, diversity, culture, and pluralism take precedence over capital and money.”

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Food sovereignty: 5 steps to cool the planet and feed its people

La Via Campesina and GRAIN

How the industrial food system contributes to the climate crisis

Between 44% and 57% of all GHG emissions come from the global food system

1. Deforestation: 15-18%

deforestation%202014.jpgBefore the planting starts, the bulldozers do their job. Worldwide, industrial agriculture is pushing into savannas, wetlands and forests, ploughing under huge amounts of land. The FAO says the expansion of the agricultural frontier accounts for 70-90% of global deforestation, at least half of that for the production of a few agricultural commodities for export. Agriculture's contribution to deforestation thus accounts for 15-18% of global GHG emissions.

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Presentation to the inaugural of PSAARC in Kathmandu, Nepal

Dated 22-24 November 2014

By Badrul Alam, Co-ordinator of the South Asian climate Justice Caravan and President of Bangladesh Krishok Federation; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Madam Chair, distinguished guests speakers and respectable audience. Heartiest congratulations to all of you on behalf of South Asian Climate Justice Caravan! I would like to share with you the experience of the caravan that we have already done.

The caravan started from Dhaka, Bangladesh on 10th of November 2014 with 160 participants from different countries like Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Sweden and New Zealand. We arrived in Kathmandu yesterday evening. Today is the 13th day of our long overland journey. The caravan hosts include Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Kishani Sabha, Bangladesh Adivasi Samity, Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labor Federation, Ekattra in Bangladesh; National Hawkers Federation, Informal Sector Workers' Action Alliance and Jana Sanghati Kendra in India; All Nepal Peasants Federation in Nepal.

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La Via Campesina at the People's Summit

cumbre-lima.jpgThe People's Summit on Climate Change began yesterday after a week of sessions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP20) that has turned this city into the current global capital of the climate crisis caused by an increase in industrial emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG).

COP20 is intergovernmental while the alternative summit joins together representatives from the community, social movements and civil society organizations concerned about the lack of understanding between governments on putting a halt to GHG emissions.

The People's Summit has been taking place alongside COP since 2009 when the intergovernmental negotiations failed to come up with an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

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Thailand’s New ‘Forestry Master Plan’: Same old strategy dressed up in new clothes

Source: World Rainforest Movement Bulletin Issue Nº 208 – November 2014

On 31 July 2014, the ‘Forestry Master Plan’ (FMP) was issued by Thailand’s Internal Security Operations Command and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. There was no consultation with the public or civil society before the drafting of this plan, nor was there any kind of referendum or public consultation after the plan was finalized.

The Forestry Plan aims to “resolve the problems of forest destruction, trespassing of public land and sustainable management of natural resources”. The over-arching goal of this plan is to “increase the forest cover” in Thailand from its current level of 33% of the country (17.1 million hectares) to 40% (20.5 million hectares) within 10 years.

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Fight climate change with food sovereignty

La Via Campesina and GRAIN release two new documents on food and climate change ahead of the People's Summit on Climate Change in Lima, Peru. 

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_2014_Peru_Dia-del-campesino_NyaReyes.jpgWith this year's UN Climate Change Conference under way in Lima, La Via Campesina and GRAIN announce the joint publication of two new documents that detail how a global programme to support food sovereignty can resolve the climate crisis and feed the world.

The documents show how the dispossession of peasants and indigenous peoples of their lands has laid the basis for destructive resource extraction and an industrial food system that is responsible for 44-57% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more: Fight climate change with food sovereignty

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