Actions and Events

No More Toxic Chemicals in Agriculture!

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Farmworker Association of Florida

December 3, 1984 was a day of infamy that resounded around the world.  Today, we say "No more" to poisoning of people and the planet!

Thirty-two years ago, on this day, a leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India resulted in a horrendous tragedy that poisoned hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the middle of the night and early morning hours of December 3rd.  More than 30 tons of the pesticide methyl isocyanate were released into the air, causing widespread panic and suffering, as some 600,000 men, women and children experienced severe symptoms from exposure to the toxic gas and several thousand victims died.   In the ensuing years, there have been another estimated 15,000 deaths related to the pesticide accident, and an untold number of children born with physical and/or mental health problems.

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"System Change, Not Climate Change", Moroccan Activists Globalize Their Struggle

This is an excerpt of an article by Salena Tramel, which appeared in the Huffington Post on 15th November 2016.

As the 22nd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) opened in Marrakesh this week, social justice movements have gathered in a village on its outskirts at the gateway to the Sahara to define their own proposals to combat the increasing threat of climate change. Vía Campesina, hosted by Morocco’s National Federation of Agricultural Unions (FNSA), has strategically chosen this political moment to hold a climate justice training for its constituencies and close allies with a focus on youth and women, and on strengthening its understanding of issues in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Our land is worth more than carbon: Civil Society Statement | COP 22

b_350_0_16777215_00_.._fr_images_stories_climatechange_marche13oct.jpgThe Paris Agreement required the 196 Parties to the UN Climate Convention to limit temperature increases to 2° or 1.5°C below preindustrial levels. While COP21 benefitted from a high degree of mobilization linked to the adoption of an international agreement, COP 22 on the other hand has received rather less attention. 

Yet the stakes remain significant. 

In its haste, COP 22, being called the “action COP” or the “agriculture COP”, is in danger of adopting various misguided solutions for agriculture. Last May at the Climate Convention HQ in Bonn, discussion on this sector was a source of tension between countries. They studiously avoided the key question of differentiating between agricultural models according to their impact on climate change and their ability to provide food sovereignty to people. At the same time, and outside official negotiating channels, voluntary initiatives, especially in the private sector, have expanded and may well become incorporated in countries’ future public policies. 

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Via Campesina at COP 22: false solutions to the climate crisis may constitute crimes against humanity

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-01-27-NFU_pic.jpgPress Release

From November 7th to November 18th, 2016, the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Marrakech, Morocco. It is there that the 196 signatories to the Paris Agreement will decide upon steps to implement the Agreement that they adopted in December 2015. Peasants and small-scale farmers from Via Campesina will be in Marrakech for the duration of the Conference; they will draw attention to the disastrous effects that application of the Agreement could have, both on peasant agriculture and on the climate.

Approximately 40 people, from Morocco and all over the world, the majority of which are youth, will make up the Via Campesina delegation in Marrakech. The international peasant movement has decided to hold a training course on climate justice for its membership, with a focus on young people, from November 8th to November 12th.  Some close allies from NGOs and social movements have also been invited to participate. It will serve as a great opportunity for Via Campesina to strengthen its links with small-scale farmers organizations from North African and Middle Eastern countries and to better understand the reality of peasant agriculture in that region. This decision is a clear way of stating that forward-looking solutions to the climate crisis are in the hands of young peasants and small-scale food providers whose farming practices reflect their interest in agroecology and peasant agriculture.

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