Parallel Forum brings together social movements for another kind of agrarian reform

Government representatives from all over the world will be meeting in Porto Alegre (RS) this week to discuss access to land and the future of more than 900 million people who live in rural areas. These make up 75% of the world´s population of poor people, including rural workers, the landless, fishermen and women, and indigenous people.

Directly affected by the models of agrarian reform that are being discussed during the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), they are also meeting in the capital of Rio Grande do Sul to put forward their proposals and give input about the direction of their lives.

The Forum on Land, Territory, and Dignity is taking place at the same time as the International Conference, from March 6th to 9th. It will bring together hundreds of representatives from social movements of every continent. For them, it will be a unique opportunity to put a check on the current dominant agricultural model and present principles and recommendations for a new, genuine, and integral agrarian reform, based on food sovereignty and human rights. Among the topics being discussed are agribusiness, governmental policies of exclusion, the entry of multinational corporations into poor countries, and privatization of natural resources of humanity such as land, biodiversity, and water..

Organization and discussions The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (the CIP) is the main group that is putting together the parallel Forum. The CIP brings together social organizations that have a long history of defending food sovereignty of the people. The Forum space will be independent and self-organizing. During these days, work groups will be formed about each of the themes listed below that will be discussed. A final report will be delivered to the official government Conference. In the evenings, there will be plenaries that will be open for the discussion of the same themes, which are:

1. Principles and recommendations for a new, genuine, and integral agrarian reform based on Food Sovereignty and Human Rights.

2. The concepts of Land vs Territory.

3. Strategies and tatctics of occupation, recovery and/or defense of land, territory, forests, rivers, and resources for fishing, housing, etc

4. Perspectives on gender, generations, and youth in the struggle for and in defense of land, territory, and natural resources.

5. Resistance to policies of the World Bank, governments, and other bodies—policies that include privatization, counter-agrarian reform and neoliberal policies on land and access to resources.

6. Resistance to the dominant model of production and development. 7. Resistance to repression, militarization, military occupations, the “war on terror”, and the criminalization of social movements. For more information: Maíra Kubík Mano: + 51 92828147 (

Isabelle Delforge
Minga Informativa-Via Campesina International

Porto Alegre, 6 March 2006