Farmers mobilise to find solutions against land grabbing

Sélingué, Mali, 17 November 2011 – Today, more than 250 participants, mainly representatives of farmers’ organisations, from thirty different countries gathered in Nyéléni Village, a centre for agro-ecology training built in a rural area near Sélingué, in Mali, to participate into the first International farmers’ conference to stop land grabbing. The Nyéléni village is a symbolic place, where the first international conference on Food Sovereignty was held in 2007. For three days, from the 17 to the 20 of November, participants are exchanging their experiences and creating alliances to stop the global land grab.

Land grabbing is happening everywhere, making the daily struggle of rural communities worldwide for survival even more difficult. Rights of family farmers, as well as pastoralists, artisanal fishers and indigenous communities, are violated constantly and their territories are being increasingly militarised. Small scale food production is replaced by large monoculture plantations for export and local farmers are left without land, without jobs, without food. This is why peasant organisations decided to mobilise together against this problem and create a space for exchanging experiences and finding common solutions.

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“Without the land we cannot live”

Interview with Maria Luiza Agusta Clodé


Photo: Philippe Revelli

Sélingué, Mali – 19 November 2011 – My name is Maria Luiza Agusta Clodé. I am 35 years old and I am from a small village called Pelando in the Cacheu region of the Canchungo province in Guinea Bassau. I am member of the association Grupo Juro, that is part of the platform of the Associations and organisations of Guinea Bissau (QNCOCPA – Quadro Nacional de concertação des organisaçoĕs Camponesas e productoras agricolas). The name of my association: Grupo Juro means “to promise, to give your word, to resist and stand firm”.

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International Peasant Conference : Stop the land grab

Press invitation

17-19 November, Mali

(Bamako, 28 October 2011) The farmers of the National Coordination of Farming Organizations (CNOP) in Mali and the international farmers’ movement Via Campesina hereby invite the press to cover the first international farmers’ conference whose objective is tostrengthen the fight against the land grabs which are rife in Africa and other parts of the world.

The conference will be held in Sélingué from 17 to 19 November 2011, and will bring together almost 200 farmers affected by land grabs as well as numerous other participants, including researchers, political figures, and NGOs resisting the unprecedented land-grab offensive by large businesses and hedge funds, among others, that compromises the ability of people to feed themselves.

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Brazil: Government of Minas Gerais permissively facilitates environmental license for Canadian mining

The Secretary of State for the Environment and Sustainable Development of the State of Minas Gerais, Brasil, Adriano Magalhães Chaves, granted ad referendum (later granted the license to be reviewed and voted on by the Council for Environmental Policy - COPAM), reported on September 21, license to install Canadian company Carpathian Gold for gold exploration in the municipality of Riacho dos Machados, in the Gorutuba River bay, north of Minas Gerais. At the same enterprise, in August, the secretary gave grants, also ad referendum, to build a tailings dam near the mining dam (water reservoir) of Bico da Pedra, which supplies the city and all Janaúba region, including the irrigated perimeter of Gorutuba (with large agricultural production).

On September 13, in the city of Montes Claros, the meeting of the Northern Regional of COPAM, with the aim of analyze the license application installation was canceled due to the strike by technicians of the State System of Environment - SISEMA, technical advisers of this kind of process. The counselor Ezio Darioli, representative of the Federation of Industries of Minas Gerais - FIEMG, was the first to request the withdrawal of the agenda of the mining license, arguing that the company Carpathian Gold (that currently tries financing at Macquarie Bank) did not feel comfortable have your license with that assessed disability. The following week the secretary signed the license via ad referendum.

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