Farmers address the head of state: “Our farms are not for sale on the climate market”

Press release: La Via Campesina – Copenhagen 15 December 2009

The international peasants movement La Via Campesina representing millions of small farmers, landless people, rural men and women from around the world demand that the heads of state coming to Copenhagen for the Climate conference do not trade on the future of agriculture.

Small farmers are severely affected by the current climate crisis; suffering from floods, droughts, changes in weather patterns and increased pests and disease. The current climate chaos, as well as the combined food and financial crises are the direct results of the capitalist mode of production and consumption over recent decades. Industrial agriculture, represented by large monocultures, plantations and intensive livestock production is responsible for around half of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. However, the mechanisms currently discussed within the UNFCCC serve only to further support for industrial agriculture and exclude small producers.

Under the concept of mitigation currently in negotiation at the UNFCCC agrofuels are encouraged and “responsibly” certified GM soya is a suitable recipient of  “clean development mechanism” support. As a result, unsustainable, intensive production is rewarded along with systems which result in direct environmental pollution. Meanwhile the positive contribution of sustainable farming to the climate, the environment and employment is overlooked by the Climate talks.

More than 150 Via Campesina farmers have come to Copenhagen to claim that a radical change in the food system has the potential to achieve reductions of between 50-75 per-cent of current global emissions. This would include returning organic matter to the soil, developing local markets and reversing intensive livestock production. Farmers are not begging for carbon credits or other trade based solutions, they are offering a solution to the current crisis; a diverse food system that supports local markets and promotes food sovereignty.

In order to save the climate we must change the current production and consumption models.

Information and Interviews with farmers’ leaders from around the world:
Boaventura Monjane and Isabelle Delforge: + 45 50598325
Fergal Anderson: + 45 50598429
More on