La Via Campesina press spokespersons for Durban

The international peasant’s movement La Via Campesina and its South African member, the Landless Peoples Movement, are in Durban to make the voice of small-scale farmers and rural people to be heard, during the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that is taking place in Durban, from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

Bellow is the list of keys spokespersons for press in Durban


Name: Alberto Gomez Flores ( UNORCA, Mexico)
Description of work: Alberto Gomez, of the National Union of Regaional Autonomas Peasant Organizations (UNORCA) is the co-coordinator of Via Campesina North America. He played a key role or organizing WTO protests in Cancún, in the historic mobilization “El Campo No Aguanta Mas” and most recently at the COP-16 in Cancún, in December 2010. He is involved in current campaigns to protect native seeds in Mexico, and promote food sovereignty as an alternative. He also coordinates the International Working Comission on Biodiversity of La Via Campesina.

Climate justice, COP climate negotiations from peasant perspective, REDD++, GMOs and corn, seeds, biodiversity, free trade agreements, NAFTA, Transnational Corporations

Language: Spanish (Interpretation available)

Name: Renaldo Chingore João (UNAC, Mozambique)
Description of work: Renaldo Chingore João is one of the prominent leaders of the Mozambican Union of Farmers. He led this movement for more than 10 years. He is member of the International Coordination Committee of La Via Campesina, representing Southern, Eastern and Central Africa.
Expertise: Land reform, land grabbing, peasant agriculture, agroecology, GMOs, AGRA
Language: Portuguese (Interpretation available)

Name: Chavannes JEAN-BAPTISTE ( Peasant Movement of Papaye, MPP – Haiti)

Description of work: Chavannes Jean-Baptiste is one of the historic leaders of the Peasant Movement of Papaye and co-coordinator of La Via Campesina in the Carribean. He is an expert in peasant agriculture methods. Recently, he is a key leader in the Hatian food sovereignty movement and against military occupation of Haiti. The food sovereignty campaign in Haiti mobilized thousands of peasants to oppose the Monsanto donation of hybrid seeds to Haiti in response to the disaster.

COP climate negotiations, climate justice, peasant agriculture, agroecology, seeds, soils, forests, militarization/ occupation
Languages: French, Spanish, English

Name: Elizabeth Mpofu (ZIMSOFF, ZImbabwe)
Description of work: Elizabeth Mpofu, has a strong expression on the arena of Women leaders in Zimbabwe. She is the lady chair of the Eastern and Southern Small Scale Farmers (ESAFF) coalition.
Expertise: Land Reform, Agroecology, peasant agriculture
Languages: English

Name: Davine Witbooi
Description of work: Davine Witbooi lives in an informal settlement in the rural town Lutzville in the Western Caper. Former activist in the unions for agricultural workers. She is former convenor of the campaign, leading the struggle against Monsanto and Syngenta in the Lutzville area
Expertise: GMO´s, multinational seed companies, Agrarian reform
Languages: English

Name: Marco Fernandes (Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign, South Africa)
Description of work: Marco is member of the Landless Peoples Movement of Brazil (MST).
Expertise: Land Reform, Land Occupation, Monocultures, GMOs, Food Sovereignty
Languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish

Name: Alexander Heubuch ( jABL, German)
Description of work: Alexander Heubuch is a mechanical engineer and dairy farmer from the southern part of Germany. He is member of junge ABL, the youth organization of a German famers Organization of small family famers
Expertise: Farming, renewable energies, combustion related processes of energy productio
Language: English, Germany

Name: Johan Jantjies  (Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign, South Africa)
Description of work: Johan Jantjies is currently the convenor of the campaign. Part of Ithemba progressive farmers association who occupied land for agricultural purpose in the City of Cape Town. With his family, Johan Jantjies also backyard dweller. His was an activist during the anti apartheid struggle.
Expertise: Land and Agrarian Reform, Food Sovereignty, Climate Issue
Language: English

Name: Africa Mtombene
Description of work: Africa Mtombeni is the Chairperson of the Landless Peoples Movement, members of LVC in South Africa.
Expertise: Land Reform, Agroecology
Language: English

For interviews, please contact:

Boaventura Monjane
+27(0)736509229 (Local number)

Cassia Bechara