Friendly greetings from the International Campaign on the Patrimony of Seeds at the Service of Mankind.
We hope that the intense campaigns in Hong Kong, added to our many activities in the recent Forums in Mali and Venezuela, have left us with sufficient strength to confront the conference offensive that faces us in March. Two international conferences will be carried out in Brazil: from March 7 to 11, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in Porto Alegre and afterwards, from March 13 to 17, the meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Agreement on Biodiversity in Curitiba. And in Mexico City, the World Forum on Water will be held from March 16 to 22. In each one of these events, the discussion of the governments will be fixed on the key points that are of great importance and transcendence for the very existence of peasant life, indigenous communities, and for all of humanity. The weakness of the governments in negotiations, facing the pressure and the imposition of interests of the multinational institutions and large corporations, constitutes the major threat to the agreements that they intend to establish there. That is why Via Campesina has considered it necessary to participate in these events with active mobilizations, to take on those who support privatization and commodification of land, water, biodiversity, and the extermination of our seeds and territories. The International Commission on Biodiversity and the International Campaign on Seeds will be responsible for the activities around the Conference of the Parties to the Agreement on Biodiversity in Curitiba.
The main activities during the Conference on the Cartagena Protocol are being prepared by La Via Campesina Brazil and the environmental network of NGOs, activities that will be mainly centered on the opposition to transgenics. In particular regarding the meeting of the COP 8, the discussions about the international regime of distribution of benefits will be more intense around the proposal to regulate a just distribution of benefits among those who conserve biodiversity and those who exploit it commercially. Therefore, the vision that prevails is not the recognition or respect of the rights of indigenous people and the peasants who cared for and developed biodiversity; without a doubt, the discussions will be more associated with the distribution of benefits such as the patenting of diversity and related knowledge of the traditional communities in order to convert them to commodities and legitimize biopiracy.
On the 18th and 19th, the meeting of the International Commission on Biodiversity will take place. All comrades and should be arriving in Curitiba on the 16th at the latest and they should plan to stay there at least until the 26th. During the week of the 20th to the 26th, there will be a series of activities around the Conference discussions and the serious situation created by the moratorium on terminator seeds by the agreements of the group of experts in the Granada negotiations. This resolution will be discussed by the Conference early on the 22nd.
A tentative program was worked out and agreed upon by: Friends of the Earth, ETC, GRAIN, CBDC network, the Brazilian Committee and other friendly organizations that participated in the Venezuela Forum; this should be sufficient depending on the conditions in which the conference develops.
- On March 20th and 21st, activies centered on Terminator Seeds will be carried out in the Conference together with those friends and allies.
- On March 22nd activities and discussions will focus on protected areas and privatizations.
- On March 23rd, new forms of biopiracy
- On March 24th, International Campaign on Seeds
- On March 25th and 26th, Biodiversity Fair, a space for meeting and conversations on putting together common agendas with friends and other organizations.
We hope that the members of the Commission on Biodiversity can soon notify us of their participation and at the same time, the cost of their work.