This World Environment Day, La Via Campesina calls for actions to protect Mother Earth and demand the urgent implementation of the UN Declaration for the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas.
Life Over Profits – This Planet is our Only Home!
(Harare: June 2, 2021) By now it is evident that the capitalist system causes predatory actions against the environment, leading to severe damage to our planet. The extractive industrial model, together with increased militarization to keep imperialist hegemony, destroys our lands and rivers, forests and seas, reduces biodiversity, pillages our territories and criminalizes our struggles. The effects of this model are becoming more and more serious: violent storms, cyclones, droughts, heat waves, floods, migrations, over-consumption and food waste, as well as toxic foods that cause illness and kill across the world.
Moreover, high-cost diseases (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome [SARS] such the current COVID-19 pandemic with over 3.3 million deaths so far) seem to be linked to contaminated food and livestock, and particularly affecting people with underlying health conditions such as malnutrition, obesity, and diabetes.
We can affirm that industrial farming methods have led to untold environmental and social destruction globally as they oversimplify complex systems. This has nothing to do with feeding people, since the number of people affected by hunger and malnutrition continues to raise, but it’s about accumulation of power and control by a few.
Worldwide, we the peasant and indigenous communities of every nation feed 70% of the world’s population while having access only to 25% of agricultural resources. Women and migrants represent more than 60% of labourers in agricultural production, yet they continue to suffer exploitation, racism, violence and a systematic violation of their human rights.
Enough is Enough!
We, peasants, indigenous peoples, women, migrants and rural communities want food sovereignty based peasant agroecology to reduce emissions and achieve social justice. The fight for food sovereignty is a social, political and ecological vision that brings together multiple groups within a single movement to challenge capital, build relationships with nature and defend systems of shared control over and access to the requirements of life.
No to False Solutions!
We denounce and reject all the false solutions being put on the table to face the environmental and climate crisis by our governments working closely with transnational corporations (TNCs). Climate Smart agriculture, soil sequestration programs, Nature based solutions, payments for environmental services (PES), etc., allow capitalism to keep polluting to the detriment of the environment and our rights.
These false solutions increase the risk of land grabbing the control of seed diversity by transnational corporations and the use of agrotoxics and expanded genetic manipulation. All this has led, among other things, to the emergence of superweeds and superbugs, putting the survival of life as we know it on a cliff’s edge.
Time to Transform! No Future without Food Sovereignty!
As La Via Campesina, we believe that action must be taken without delay for a complete turnaround, transforming our societies, changing the capitalist system that exploits, pollutes and uses up our commons, which are the heritage of peoples throughout the world. This urgent and much needed change must be implemented through a real social transformation that will only be possible if the rights of peasants, indigenous peoples, women, migrants and all those working in rural areas are fully respected. This means ending all forms of violence against all people and having access and democratically controlling land, water, territories and other common resources
We, therefore, call our members, activists and ally movements and organizations, on June 5th the World Environment Day, to support our actions to protect Mother Earth and our efforts to ensure the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) by national governments.
We must also urgently unite against the forthcoming corporate led UN Food System Summit as it promotes false solutions which will not only worsen the current climate and environmental crisis but will also constitute a serious attack to our rights as peasants, indigenous communities, women, migrants and rural communities.
Let’s organize solidarity actions on June 5th at 12.00 midday #InDefenseOfThePlanet, including planting trees.
Globalise the Struggle, Globalise Hope