- Published on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 20:46
Press release of La Via Campesina
(Oman, 24 September 2013). This week, from 24 to 28 September, witnesses the opening in Oman of the Fifth Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, also known as the seed treaty. The treaty was ratified to facilitate access for all to seed diversity. However, the hopes raised on the occasion of its adoption in 2001 have been dashed and have led only to failure.
Actually the treaty has allowed the seed industry to draw freely and without charge from the huge wealth of seeds accumulated through centuries of selection by peasants and to lock up this wealth in private collections. At the same time, public collections that are accessible to all are disappearing one after the other, and the fundamental right of peasants and small-scale farmers to access, use, exchange and sell their own seeds is being criminalized. If men and women farmers and peasants can no longer save and select their own seeds, their systems of production will lose their capacity to adapt to climate change. It is not only biodiversity but the food security of the entire planet that is at risk.
- Published on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 15:58
Side event organized during the seed treaty meeting in Muscat, Oman
- Published on Monday, 23 September 2013 19:17
Media release of La Via Campesina ∕ Grain ∕ ETC
(Harare, 23 September 2013) La Vía Campesina, GRAIN and ETC welcome a new UNCTAD report which states that farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift from monoculture towards greater varieties of crops, reduced use of fertilizers and other inputs, greater support for small-scale farmers, and more locally focused production and consumption of food. More than 60 international experts contributed to the report, launched last week.
UNCTAD's 2013 Trade and Environment Report ("Wake up before it is too late: make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate") states that monoculture and industrial farming methods are not providing sufficient affordable food where it is needed, while causing mounting and unsustainable environmental damage.
Statement to the Human Rights Council for a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations
- Published on Friday, 20 September 2013 08:28
September 13, 2013
The operations of many Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises cause the devastation of livelihoods, territories and the environment of the communities where they operate; they pursue the commodification of essential services and of nature itself. Many TNCs and other business enterprises also violate or are complicit in violations of human rights and labour rights, erode the basis of food sovereignty, pollute water sources and lands, and plunder natural resources.
The Vienna+20 CSO Conference with 140 participants was held in Vienna on June 25/26 this year to commemorate the Second World Conference on Human Rights and address current challenges for human rights. This Conference called on States to urgently develop and institute binding systems of international regulation and norms for TNCs. States have the obligation to ensure, by establishing strong legal systems of accountability for violations of rights and effective remedy and justice for all affected people, including along the supply chain. The Conference strongly urged States to hold accountable those transnational actors, TNCs and other business enterprises that violate human rights. At the occasion of the recent UN regional forum on business and human rights in Medellín more than 100 CSOs from Latin America and other regions expressed the same concerns and called for a binding instrument. Likewise during a Round Table in the European Parliament in Brussels on September 5th, governments were also urgently asked for a binding instrument to address the accountability of TNCs and end their impunity.