La Via Campesina opposes land grabbing at the UN Committee on Food Security

During the week of July 11-15, 2011, members of La Via Campesina will participate in the United Nations Committee on World Food Security negotiations on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests that are taking place at the FAO headquarters in Rome. La Via Campesina is part of the broader Civil Society Mechanism which has recently been included as participants in the Committee on World Food Security along with FAO member states, international institutions as well as the private sector. These are the final negotiations of the guidelines which are expected to be adopted by the CFS in October. The guidelines cover issues of land tenure, reform and redistribution, as well as markets and investment which all have serious impacts for peasants, small farmers, rural and indigenous peoples worldwide.

La Via Campesina welcomes this opportunity to participate in the process of negotiating the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests and we reaffirm our commitment to strengthen this process so that the Guidelines provide a clear framework for the protection of peasants, small holder family farmers and communities that live and work on the land, as well as the protection of land rights and the protection of all people against land grabbing.

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1st Encounter of Agroecology Trainers in Africa Region 1 of La Via Campesina

12-20 June 2011

Shashe Declaration

We are 47 people from 22 organizations in 18 countries (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Central African Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Portugal, USA, France, and Germany).We are farmers and staff representing member organizations of La Via Campesina, along with allies from other farmer organizations and networks, NGOs, academics, researchers, interpreters and others.

We have been meeting at the Shashe Endogenous Development Training Centre in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe to plan how to promote agroecology in our Region (Southern, Eastern & Central Africa). Here we have been privileged to witness firsthand the successful combination of agrarian reform with organic farming and agroecology carried out by local small holder farming families.In what were once large cattle ranches owned by three large farmers who owned 800 head of cattle and produced no grain or anything else, there are now more than 365 small holder peasant farming families with more than 3,400 head of cattle, who also produce a yearly average of 1 to 2 tonnes of grain per family plus vegetables and other products, in many cases using agroecological methods and local peasant seeds.This experience strengthens our commitment to and belief in agroecology and agrarian reform as fundamental pillars in the construction of Food Sovereignty.

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The World Bank funding land grabbing in South America

Open letter to the International Finance Corporation about CalyxAgo

30th of June 2011

Dear Mr Thunell,

The official documents1 of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)2 indicate that the IFC is considering providing Calyx Agro with a loan of up to $30 million.

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G20-Agriculture: Hundreds of organizations say STOP farm land grabbing

Press release

(Paris, June 20, 2011) Hundreds of civil society organisations, including farmers' movements, women's groups and non-governmental organisations, will launch a global appeal against farmland grabbing during the G20 meeting on Agriculture in Paris on June 22 and 23.

Over 500 organizations from around the world (1) have joined the "Dakar Appeal Against Land Grabbing" that was originally drawn up at the World Social Forum in Dakar last February (2).

While agriculture ministers from the world's 20 richest countries are discussing what to do about food price volatility and the growing hunger crisis, millions of hectares of fertile land, along with their water resources, are being grabbed from peasants, pastoralists, herders, fisherfolk and indigenous peoples to be converted into massive agribusiness operations by private investors who want to produce food supplies or agro-fuels for international markets. As a consequence, millions of peasant families and other rural and indigenous folk are being thrown off their lands and deprived of their livelihoods.

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