Main Issues

Seed Caravan through France, Switzerland, Germany | 3rd - 12th June

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-05-25_Seed_Caravan_Route.pngUpdate from Junge AbL’s

At a time where seed markets are dominated by large corporations, it is essential to focus on local peasant seed production. In the seeds sector hybrids are becoming the norm and we face an increased effort to declare genetically modified plants as safe, or to give the impression, with the help of “new breeding techniques”, that we are not talking about genetic engineering at all. Against these developments it is necessary to find possibilities to maintain and increase a peasant seed supply that is locally adapted. Extreme weather due to climate change, such as long lasting droughts, increase the need for locally adapted seeds that can react flexibly in uncertain conditions. Every farmer should have the possibility of a self-determined use of such seeds. Frequently though, the required varieties for the certain location of a farm are not bred, or are not permitted for sale. This is also due to the seeds legislation that contributes to a restriction of available seeds on the market.

Read more: Seed Caravan through France, Switzerland,...

Article 19-Right to Land and Other Natural Resources- absolutely unnegotiable

An intervention by David Jelinek of ÖBV- Via Campesina Austria, during the third session of the intergovernmental working group on a United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas

Geneva, May 19, 2016

Dear Chairperson,

As member of La Via Campesina Austria, and as a young entrant into peasant farming, I would like to express my concern about some of the arguments brought forward, which are doubting the need for article 19, the right to land. Indeed, from my perspective, from the perspective of a young person who is working and living on and from the land, I see this article as absolutely unnegotiable. In fact, I think that if we delete or weaken it in any way, we might as well dump this entire declaration as a whole, because what are my, what are our rights worth, when we cannot execute them on the soil, on our workplace. This would be like being granted the right for free movement but at the same time being surrounded by border fences. Thus l see Article 19 as it is now, as a very important and indispensable component of this Declaration.

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Food Otherwise Conference 2016

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-05-19_Jyoti_Food_Othewrise.jpgOn February 12th and 13th 2016, the second edition of the Voedsel Anders Conference took place in Wageningen. Over a 1000 people visited this two-day program about the transition to fair and sustainable food systems. It included 60 well visited workshops on issues and alternatives related to agroecology, soils, local food systems, urban farming, agriculture and trade policies, access to land and land rights. 

Read more: Food Otherwise Conference 2016

Accra to March Against Monsanto this Saturday

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-05-18-March_Against_Monsanto.jpgFood Sovereignty Ghana

May 16, 2016

This year's international March Against Monsanto falls on Saturday, 21st March, 2016.

Food Sovereignty Ghana and March Against Monsanto - Accra, have the pleasure to invite you to a silent march through some of the principal streets of Accra to highlight our desire for public awareness and participation in decisions regarding biotechnology in agriculture.

We believe that such decisions must not be left in the hands of multi-national corporations and their diplomatic enablers using their GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, and seed monopoly lobby to influence the outcome of government policy.

We shall be assembling in front of TV3 at 7.30 am.

Read more: Accra to March Against Monsanto this Saturday

What is at stake in the negotiations for a peasant rights' declaration

Statement by Vincent Delobel, member of La Via Campesina, during the third session of the intergovernmental working group on a United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas

2016-05-18-PeasantsRights.jpgGeneva, Palais des Nations

17th May 2016

Madame Chair-Rapporteur, Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is an honour and a pleasure for me to be here and speak on behalf of young European peasant men and women, to convey our message. As an organic goat herder in Belgium, I grow the feed for the goats and make their milk into different cheeses.

Today, in Europe, our profession as farmers, and especially as breeders, is under threat. Only ten per cent of us are farmers under forty years of age. In fact, many of my counterparts produce at a loss; their economic margin and their bargaining power reduced to nothing. Many of us are trapped in a development trajectory which is not only very risky in financial terms, but which also leads us to do our work, treat our soil, crops and animals in a way that does not correspond to our values.

Read more: What is at stake in the negotiations for a...

Honduras: Statement from the CLOC-La Via Campesina Central America in reaction to the increasing criminalisation of the peasant movement

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-05-18-Honduras_reunin_Mayo.jpg(Tegucigalpa, May 17th, 2016)  Having made a thorough analysis of the social situation in Honduras, particularly with regard to the peasant and indigenous movements, the Political Coordination Committee of the CLOC-La Vía Campesina Central America, composed of representatives from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, meeting together in Tegucigalpa, issued the following statement: 

1.- We are Central American women and men who share the ideals that inspired the struggles of Francisco Morazán Quezada and other Central American heroes, ideals which include the full integration of the Central American region.

2.- We are extremely troubled by the repeated violations of the human rights of thousands of peasants, indigenous women and men, and Afro-Hondurans. Problems over land ownership and use have resulted in the criminalisation of more than 5,000 peasant activists, including at least 1,700 women, who have been put on trial because of their activism. Many of them are subjected to systematic persecution, and some 200 women and men peasants have been assassinated.

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Via Campesina and allies in Geneva for next round negotiations on Peasant Rights

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Media Release

Geneva, May 16, 2016

Delegates from La Vía Campesina, representing 200 millions of peasants and small scale farmers, rural women, rural workers have started their two preparatory days in Geneva on the 15th an 16th may, before their participation inside the third Intergovernmental Working Group for a UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas that will take place on this week inside the Human Rights Council. LVC together with FIAN and CETIM have been working on this issue since 2002 in order to bring inside the international human rights system the recognition of peasants and rural communities as rights holders.

Read more: Via Campesina and allies in Geneva for next...

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