Call to action towards CBD, Bonn, 17-19th May 2008

Sustainable family farming keeps diversity alive and cools down the earth!  Stop the privatisation of natural resources!

Faced with  climate change,  the destruction of biodiversity and an energy crisis, transnational companies pretend they have the magic solutions to permit business as usual. They promote many « miracle-technologies » – GM plants and trees, synthetic germoplasm, nanotechnologies, Terminator, Transcontainer, agrofuels, « carbon traps » –  that they claim will tackle the environmental crisis.  
Hidden behind their paternalistis claims, however, is their wish to privatise all Earth’s resources: land, fresh water, germoplasm, oceans, knowledge and, soon, even the air that we breathe. In the name of the environment, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other international treaties concerning the  environment provide, in fact,  legal legitimacy for this global robbery. For example, the only practical use for GMOs, Terminator and other hybrid seeds is to enforce intellectual property rights on resources, seeds, that have been bred, kept and improved during millenia by indigenous and farmers’ communities. These communities have never improved seeds as  goods for sale.

As soon as they are developed by the industry, these technologies destroy land, biodiversity and farmers. By promoting industrial agriculture and the erosion of all natural ressources, industry and industries’ technologies  impound social and environmental crisis.

As opposed to this devastating model, Vía Campesina insists that the world’s farmers, men and women, are themselves able to deal with environmental challenges: by fixing carbon in the soils sustainable family farming cools down the earth, farm seed needs less carbon-greedy inputs and can adapt to climate change, local markets eliminate the need for  long distance transport and thus reduce CO2 emissions and save fossil energy.

Thus, the destruction of rural communities must be stopped immediately, whilst  food sovereignty and farmers’ rights be respected. The priorities are an immediate end to  privatisation of those resources need for farming and their redistribution and market regulation.

We call to mobilize from the 17th to the 19th May in Bonn, Germany, to stop the pirates. We will defend the diversity of our cultures and our collective rights to use natural resources against private appropriation with colour and music.

For more information :
Guy Kastler  +33 603945721  (French)
José Oviedo  (Spanish)
Heike Schiebeck   +43-423887053  (German, English)