International Peasant Conference : Stop the land grab

Press invitation

17-19 November, Mali

(Bamako, 28 October 2011) The farmers of the National Coordination of Farming Organizations (CNOP) in Mali and the international farmers’ movement Via Campesina hereby invite the press to cover the first international farmers’ conference whose objective is tostrengthen the fight against the land grabs which are rife in Africa and other parts of the world.

The conference will be held in Sélingué from 17 to 19 November 2011, and will bring together almost 200 farmers affected by land grabs as well as numerous other participants, including researchers, political figures, and NGOs resisting the unprecedented land-grab offensive by large businesses and hedge funds, among others, that compromises the ability of people to feed themselves.

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Brazil: Government of Minas Gerais permissively facilitates environmental license for Canadian mining

The Secretary of State for the Environment and Sustainable Development of the State of Minas Gerais, Brasil, Adriano Magalhães Chaves, granted ad referendum (later granted the license to be reviewed and voted on by the Council for Environmental Policy - COPAM), reported on September 21, license to install Canadian company Carpathian Gold for gold exploration in the municipality of Riacho dos Machados, in the Gorutuba River bay, north of Minas Gerais. At the same enterprise, in August, the secretary gave grants, also ad referendum, to build a tailings dam near the mining dam (water reservoir) of Bico da Pedra, which supplies the city and all Janaúba region, including the irrigated perimeter of Gorutuba (with large agricultural production).

On September 13, in the city of Montes Claros, the meeting of the Northern Regional of COPAM, with the aim of analyze the license application installation was canceled due to the strike by technicians of the State System of Environment - SISEMA, technical advisers of this kind of process. The counselor Ezio Darioli, representative of the Federation of Industries of Minas Gerais - FIEMG, was the first to request the withdrawal of the agenda of the mining license, arguing that the company Carpathian Gold (that currently tries financing at Macquarie Bank) did not feel comfortable have your license with that assessed disability. The following week the secretary signed the license via ad referendum.

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Protect people´s lands, water and forests

Civil Society Urges the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to Adopt Effective Land Tenure Guidelines to Ensure Food Security and Respect for Human Rights

Rome, Italy, 7 October, 2011 -- As the final round of intergovernmental negotiations on the Guide-lines on Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Octo-ber 10-14, approaches, CSOs remind all governments of their immense responsibilities in reaching an agreement on one of the most pressing issues of our time: how to secure and sustain equitable access and tenure rights to land, fisheries, forests and natural resources for indigenous peoples and small-scale producers, particularly women. These responsibilities stem from the legal obligations of States to uphold human rights - the rights to adequate food, housing, health and work - and the rights of indigenous peoples.

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Indonesia: Peasants march to Presidential Palace to demand rights to land

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Seven thousand members of Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI) organize action to commemorate the National Farmers' Day in Jakarta on Saturday (24/9). Among the participants are peasants coming from West Java and Banten province. People have to travel around 4 to 6 hours from their village to Jakarta.

"We are in a good spirit to come to the capital to celebrate this big day for peasants, and we need to voice our concerns to the government," Abay Haetami from Banten says.

Meanwhile Fauzan Kreyo from Cirebon, West Java reiterates the need for agrarian reform. "Agrarian reform was mandated 51 years ago today by the enactment of Basic Agrarian Law, the government need to really implement that now," he exclaims to the mass.

The action started at 8 in the morning, completed with singing the national anthem and other movement-related chants.

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