Global Civil society challenge world governments and the FAO on the food crisis and global warming


FAO Summit : Global Civil society challenge world governments and the FAO on the food crisis and global warming

Media Advisory

Hundreds of farmers, fisher folks pastoralists and activists from environmental groups and other civil society organisations are gathering in Rome (May 30 – June 5) for a parallel initiative to the FAO "High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy" to ask governments and the FAO to take up their responsibilities in today's food emergency.

At the World Food Summit in 1996, when there were an estimated 830 million hungry people, governments pledged to halve the number by 2015. Many now predict that the number will instead increase by 50% to 1.2 billion, further threatened by unpredictable climate chaos and the additional pressures of agrofuel production.

In the midst of collapsing farm and fish stocks, skyrocketing food and fuel prices, new policies, practices and structures are required to resolve the current food emergency and to prevent future -and greater – tragedies. Governments, including those in the global South, and intergovernmental organisations must now recognize their part in implementing policies that have undermined the agricultural sector and destroyed food sovereignty.

Industrialized countries and the industrialization of agriculture are the biggest sources of global warming gases, but it is farmers, fisher folks and rural communities – and especially small farmers and rural communities  in developing countries – that are among the first to suffer from climate change.

The organisations gathering in Rome are strongly committed to defend people's rights to eat and to feed themselves in a sustainable way. They reject  industrial agriculture and genetic engineering and defend food sovereignty and sustainable family farming and food production as the solution to the current environmental, social and economic crisis.

Media agenda


  • 30 May – 12 am – onwards : "Empty tables" permanent protest  against the lack of political will of the governments to solve the food crisis and global warming
    –  in front of the FAO – main gate (venue to be confirmed)
  • 1 June – 10 am: "Hunger strike brunch" for the media
    – in front of the FAO – main gate (venue to be confirmed)
  • 1 June – 16 pm: Opening of "Terra Preta" : Forum on the Food Crisis, Climate Change, Agrofuels and Food Sovereignty (1 May – 4 June)
    – Città dell’Altra Economia, Largo Dino Frisullo (in Testaccio, Rome) – map upon request.
  • 3 June – 12 am: Press conference and Ceremony to the Goddess Cerere – Latin goddess of cultivations and cereals at the former location of the Cerere temple, Bocca della Verità (Santa Maria de Cosmedin), Rome After the ceremony, people's march to the FAO building for the opening of the FAO summit.

 Social movement's leaders from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe will be available for interviews.

Contacts for the press:


The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) is a facilitation mechanism of some 800 NGOs/CSOs/Social Movements concerned with food sovereignty issues and programmes. It includes organisations that represent small farmers, fisher folk, Indigenous Peoples, pastoralists, women, youth, agricultural workers’ trade unions and NGOs.

  • La Via Campesina, Isabelle Delforge,  phone: +32498522163, e-mail:, (English, Français, Español) La Via Campesina is the international movement of peasants, small and medium sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers active in more than 56 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
  • ROPPA, Ousseini Ouédrago, phone: +22676614226, e-mail, www.  (Français)
    Le Réseau des organisations paysannes et de producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA)

Many more organisations will be represented and available to meet the press in Rome.