- Published on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 17:52
International Solidarity Statement Issued by La Via Campesina South East and East Asia
The farmers in Culianin, in the town of Plaridel, Bulacan province are currently struggling against massive agricultural land conversions done by Vista Land Properties, owned by former Philippine Senator Manuel Villar. Named “Lumina Plaridel,” the housing project severely affected local farming livelihoods: damaging installed irrigation systems, caused flooding to nearby farms as well as disrupting farmers’ planting and harvesting routines in the area. So far, around 12.47 hectares of agriculturally viable land in Culianin are being converted, directly affecting as much as 85% of the entire community. Irrigated farmlands are being bulldozed, and farmers are constantly threatened to have their livelihoods destroyed. This was despite the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) prohibiting the land use conversion of all irrigated and irrigable lands.
- Published on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 17:28
Report on the Solidarity Mission to Stop Land Grabbing
(Philippines, April 2013) Land grabbing is a political-economic issue that happens internationally and nationally, and has historically not only threatened food sovereignty but also people’s everyday life. Land grabbing as well as natural resources grabbing has been happening over a century, since Philipines’ colonization by the Spanish in 1500s. Since then lands were taken away from the local farmers and given to the catholic authorities, private companies and “big” rich families with ties to the Spanish colonial officials. Thus, the local farmers were deprived of their key livelihood source. Consequently, this made the issue of the redistribution of land and the broader Agrarian Reform urgent and a vital issue of concern to the Filipino farmers and PARAGOS. The establishment of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Agrarian Reform Special Account Fund in 1971 and the promulgation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) in 1988 were attempts to address the land issue. Under Marcos regime, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was ratified as the land redistribution program. Under the CARL, both public lands and private agricultural lands were targeted for redistribution to the farmers. However, large tracts of land have not yet been allocated two decades after the implementation of the program. Moreover, some lands instead of being redistributed to the farmers have been privatized and titled, thus exempting them from the program. The Yulo Sugar Estate in Calamba is one such case among many others. The poor redistribution of land in the Philippines is thus a result of the nature of its colonial history and the inefficient implementation of Agrarian Reform (by DAR) in the last three decades.
- Published on Monday, 10 March 2014 17:37
Declaration of La Via Campesina South East and East Asia on International Women’s Day
(March 8, 2014, Seoul) During the Asia-Pacific War, which took place from the early 1930s to the end of World WarⅡ, the Japanese forcefully mobilized women to the battlefield for sex slavery purposes from many Asia-Pacific countries such as China, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Guam, and so on, and thus violated their human rights.
After the war, these young girls and women were either slaughtered or abandoned in the battlefield and left to die. Even if they did manage to make it home, they have not been provided with reparations because the Japanese government has concealed and distorted its own war crimes. The survivors from these battlefields were forced to live silently and endure their suffering for more than 60 years.
- Published on Friday, 07 March 2014 14:32
Press release of La Via Campesina for the 8TH March 2014
(Harare, March 7, 2014) Tomorrow, the 8th of March, International Women's Day, La Via Campesina reaffirms its anti-capitalistic and anti-patriarchal stance. We express our firm decision to fight and to take the streets and protest for a new vision of the world, based on the principles of respect, equality, justice, solidarity, peace and freedom. We are committed to continuing the struggle together with the working women of the rural and urban areas.
The first celebration of International Working Women’s Day (now International Women’s Day) took place on the 19th March 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland, with rallies in which women demanded the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to work and an end to gender discrimination.
- Published on Thursday, 06 March 2014 14:43
(Evenstad, March 6, 2014) In this year 2014 – declared the year of family farming by the UN – the women of the member organizations of the European Coordination Via Campesina are gathered in Evenstad (Norway) in the International Women's Day. We want to demonstrate our firm commitment to the right to healthy, adequate and good quality food for all citizens, within the framework of an agro-ecological and social mode of production and distribution.
We want the right of farmers to the equal participation within this mode, the legal recognition as producers of food, the access to land, seeds and other resources guaranteed.
Thousands of women farmers across Europe and worldwide work on projects of small scale farming, that are the basis of rich and diverse food systems, we are historical guardians of knowledge and biodiversity, and we ensure the conservation of land and a living countryside.
- Published on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 23:20
(Evenstad, 4 March 2014 ) The peasants gathered together in Norway for the Annual General Assembly of European Coordination Via Campesina and their allies present Seven measures for strengthening peasant family farming, now!
At present, peasant family farming is and remains the most widespread model to produce food in Europe and the world.
For several decades now European farmers have faced a “sink or swim” situation. Costly investments and equipment and increasing farm size have dragged producers into a never-ending downward spiral. Forced “modernisation” is no longer a way to gain access to an improved way of life and comfort, but an end in itself and an obligation. Debts weigh heavily on all, and the most vulnerable are left by the wayside. Food has become just another commodity, and peasants just producers of raw materials. All control has been wrested from their grasp.
- Published on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 21:58
To kick off the 2014 International Year of Family Farming the European Commission (EU) recently organized a conference in Brussels. La Via Campesina (LVC) sent men and women farmer leaders from India, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Argentina, the US, Mali, Morocco, Italy, France, Croatia, Romania, Spain and Norway. LVC leaders defended our vision of a peasant- based family farming model and highlighted its vital importance to the European and global economy and its crucial social and environmental benefits. LVC’s vision of family farming is based on agroecological principles and labor intensiveness – and not capital. Our family farms are able to adapt to the infinite diversity of natural, social and economic conditions. Peasant–based, agroecological, small-scale family farms guarantee security and diversity of food for the majority of the people across the globe. They are living examples of social, economic and ecological sustainability. Our model of agriculture provides chemical-free food for local consumption and not for export - to support life, and not speculation