Climate change and agrofuels

"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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UAWC conducts workshop about climate change adaptation mechanisms

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-03-07-climate-uawc.jpg(Ramallah, March 2016) - the Union of Agricultural Work Committees conducted workshop about climate change adaptation mechanisms with the participation of representatives from the agriculture directorate, women's cooperatives and students of Arroub College and a number of volunteers in the Arroub agricultural station in the governorate of Hebron.

Seed Bank project manager, Doa'a Zayed, presented the main concept of climate change adaptation, the main impacts of climate change on the Palestinian farmer, and coping mechanisms that can be used by a simple farmer. In addition, she explained the role of UAWC's project "Seed Bank" to help Palestinian farmers to adapt with climate change.

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Land and Ocean Grabs Not the Solution to Climate Change

First published by The WorldPost on 02/18/2016

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When Hiba Al-Jibeihi stepped off her flight in Paris in early December, it was her first time outside the occupied Palestinian territories where she had lived all of her 24 years. She wasn't quite sure how she would relate to her fellow international social movement delegates in parallel meetings to the climate negotiations taking place during the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21).

The daughter of a sheep breeder and teacher, Hiba works as an advocacy officer for the Union of Agricultural Works Committees, a well-organized group of small-scale farmers in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. She steadied herself after her first flight and headed to the gritty Parisian suburb of Bagnolet where she would join in powerful solidarity with a group of peasant activists from around the world.

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National Farmers Union to be part of climate change solutions in Manitoba

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-15_NFU.pngMedia Release

(Deleau, MB, February 1, 2016) - The National Farmer Union (NFU) is working with the Manitoba government to develop new ways for the province’s farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, and to reduce the impacts of climate change on our farms. The NFU, along with other organizations and sectors, is participating in a wide-ranging project to address climate change, initiated by the Manitoba Department of Conservation and Water Stewardship and funded by the provincial government through the Climate Change Action Fund.

“The research we are about to undertake will provide a solid foundation for policy recommendations to support farmers’ role in making agriculture more climate-friendly,” said Ian Robson, NFU Region 5 (Manitoba) Coordinator. “We are in an excellent position to look at the big picture of climate and agriculture and help make agriculture policy that addresses the farm, the community, rural and urban people so that the food system supports a vibrant standard of living that is environmentally sustainable.”

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System Change Grounded in Food Sovereignty at the 2015 Climate Talks in Paris

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-01-27-NFU_pic.jpgFirst published by NFU blog January 24, 2016

by Terran Giacomini, NFU Associate Member

I participated in La Vía Campesina’s international delegation to the United Nations climate meeting (COP21) in Paris, France, from December 5 to 12, 2015.  It was evident that social movement activism is helping us move swiftly and peacefully away from fossil capitalism, with its climate crises, and toward a new social order that prioritizes food and energy sovereignty.

The activism in Paris emphasized three key themes:

(1) social movements are focused on system change and not on ‘green’ capitalist reform;

(2) the movements are converging and strengthening unity with one another and;

(3) women are widely recognized to be on the frontlines of the system-change struggle, especially indigenous women and women of colour.

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