On the 10th of December, the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) read out its statement urging Parties at COP15 to include Peasants’ Rights (UNDROP) and collective rights in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Tammi Jonas of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, who read out the statement on behalf of the IPC had this to say;
Here, you debate agroecology. On our farm, we practice agroecology. In our diverse, paddock to paddock, degrowth approach, we raise heritage breed livestock on diverse pastures that are spongy and alive with mycorrhizae and rich in carbon.
Like hundreds of millions of other smallholders and Indigenous Peoples around the world, we live a life in harmony with Nature, our Mother Earth. In our role as custodians, we conserve and sustainably use the biodiversity in our care, and as non-Indigenous Australians, we share the benefits of our use by paying a percentage of our income to local First Peoples.
This is the first biodiversity COP since the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants (UNDROP) was ratified, and small-scale food producers should be respected as rights holders by referencing UNDROP alongside UNDRIP in the new Global Biodiversity Framework and the CBD. Every time those in power fail to uphold the human and collective rights of the best custodians of biodiversity, you fail to uphold your duty to protect biodiversity.
We sit in these meetings as people of the land, for the land, listening to so-called debates about land and life, wondering what will happen if you continue to separate people from nature with false solutions? What is Nature to each of you here?
Some propose DSI to save biodiversity, as if you can just de-materialise our Mother and piece her back together and hope she functions better. Turning nature into capital is anything but ‘living in harmony with nature’. The ‘nature-based solutions’ debated here and at the climate COP put nature on a ledger and then sell her to polluters at the expense of biodiversity, land, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, small-scale food producers, and local communities.
We sit in these rooms bearing grim witness to the greed of a handful of big exporting countries and their corporations who seek to destroy 30 years of multilateral agreements. It is easy to see why the most powerful and least accountable prefer to set targets towards a so-called ‘nature-positive world’ than talk about Mother Earth. You don’t need to lock up land away from her careful custodians as proposed in the 30×30 target, you need to protect her from corporate and state greed.
We heard a hard truth on Monday from a member of the African Group, who said:
If we had just acted on what we agreed at the beginning of the Convention, we wouldn’t have the biodiversity crisis we’re in. We are not here to re-negotiate the Convention.
We ask you to stop playing games with brackets and meaningless phrases, and do your jobs like Mother told you.
For more updates visit the IPC website.