- Published on Thursday, 21 November 2013 18:41
Peasant seeds, and seed diversity are at the root of food sovereingty
As countless farmers, farmworkers, urban growers, and consumers across the globe celebrated the International Day of Action for Food Sovereignty in October, an overwhelming number are celebrating seeds as pilar for food sovereignty. Afterall, according to ETC Group, 80-90% of seeds are sourced outside of commercial markets, that is to say through peasant seed systems, and farm-saved seeds. In the new publication, Our Seeds Our Future La Via Campesina chronicles ten experiences of peasant seed selection, saving, improvement, and re-use. These experiences in recovering and reproducing knowledge to improve peasant agricultural food production are mirrored by multitudes more in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
The experiences spotlighted in the publication are examples of true food sovereingty in action, in contrast to monoculture and industrial farming methods that, as stated in a recent UNCTAD report, are not providing sufficient affordable food where needed while causing mounting environmental damage.
- Published on Thursday, 21 November 2013 07:23
COP 19 statement signed by la Via Campesina among 155 signatories
COP 19 Climate Capture:
Stop the corporate takeover and expansion of carbon markets now!
For almost 20 years, multilateral climate policies have served to create profitable financial schemes that maintain fossil fuel dependent systems that are responsible for the climate crisis. November 11-22 in Warsaw, Poland, the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be no exception. The EU's agenda for the COP19 will be both to scale-up carbon trading mechanisms and find other ways of sustaining an industrial and financial system dependent on coal, oil and gas, which is facing a crisis of multiple dimensions.
EU’s agenda for COP19: more carbon markets
In an attempt to increase the reach of carbon markets, the EU will pledge its continued support to a set of failed policies that have been rejected by more than 140 organizations and social movements from around the world.1 The EU, Norway, Australia, the USA, and a host of corporate allies aim to establish more environmental markets under the UNFCCC to supplement the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which lies in shambles.2 The New Market Mechanism (NMM) would expand the scope of offset schemes like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). In addition, discussions on the Framework for Various Approaches (FVA) would involve an agreement to approve international trading from various existing national, regional and local carbon markets for compliance with the commitments under the Convention.
- Published on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 17:26
La Via Campesina – African Declaration on Peasant Seeds
(Harare, November 13, 2013) We, African men and women farmers, members of La Via Campesina, have gathered at the Fambidzanai permaculture centre in Zimbabwe from the 12th to the 14th November to discuss and prepare our work for the defence of African peasant seeds against the current corporate and institutional attacks.
For us, small-scale farmers, seeds are the foundation of life. They are a key part of cultures developed by past generations and carry the acquired knowledge of farming communities worldwide. They are part of a constant process of recreation. Peasant seeds are the heritage of the peasant communities who use them to feed the world. They are the basis of our food sovereignty. Without seeds farmers have no autonomy.
- Published on Friday, 15 November 2013 15:18
LVC Africa News from the continental meeting on seeds
(Harare, November 14, 2013) At the African seeds meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 12-14, peasant farmers held rich discussions about the growing threat of external investment in African agriculture, including multinational seed companies and ongoing efforts to exploit African land and resources for the production of food for other parts of the world.
Participants at the meeting expressed alarm about the push for industrial agriculture throughout Africa by corporations and their partners, including initiatives such as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the G8 New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition. Some African states are supporting similar initiatives through the African Union, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP). Africa was bypassed by the first Green Revolution – the introduction of hybrid seed, synthetic agri-chemicals, irrigation and credit – that resulted in massive loss of farmers’ seed diversity in other parts of the global South.