Int. Peasant Conference : Stop the land grab
UPDATE 19.11.2011 Center for Media and Democracy
Join the Food Rights Network in adding what you know about the „Secret Farm Bill“ to the SourceWatch article. http://sourcewatch.org/Secret Farm Bill
Contacts International Peasant Conference:
CNOP/VIA CAMPESINA Kalabancoura rue 200 porte 727 BP E 2169 Bamako/Mali
Chantal Jacovetti: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone : 00184.108.40.206.93/220.127.116.11
Lamine Coulibaly: email@example.com Phone: Tel: +223 76 17 09 79/ 66 83 63 14
Via Campesina (from Spanish la vía campesina, the campesino way, or the Peasants‘ Way) describes itself as „an international movement which coordinates peasant organizations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, Africa, America, and Europe“. It is a coalition of over 148 organizations, advocating family-farm-based sustainable agriculture and was the group that first coined the term „food sovereignty“. Food sovereignty refers to the right to produce food on one’s own territory. Via Campesina has carried out a Global Campaign for Agrarian Reform since 1999, in opposition to market-led agrarian reform. MORE
Food security hostage to trade in WTO negotiations: UN right to food expert
[16 November 2011] Geneva – „The world is in the midst of a food crisis which requires a rapid policy response. But the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agenda has failed to adapt, and developing countries are rightly concerned that their hands will be tied by trade rules.” http://www.srfood.org/index.php
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.
Affected populations from all over the world will have the opportunity to make their voices heard, and strategies will be developed to end the seizure of farmland at the expense of the rural family farming that feeds 80% of the African population.
The conference will conclude on 20 November with a visit by a delegation to the Office du Niger’s land in Kolongo, a year after the first farmers’ meeting about this matter. There, journalists will be able to speak to farmers engaged in the resistance, local authorities, and experts on land issues.
The Oakland Institute As farmer groups and civil society organizations from around the world gather at the International Conference on Land Grabs [DRAFT PROGRAMME http://viacampesina.org/en/index.php] from November 17-20 2011 in Nyeleni, Mali, The Oakland Institute and the National Farmers Organisation Coordination (CNOP) of Mali are releasing a new report on land grabs in the west African country.
Comprendre les Investissements Fonciers en Afrique: Rapport Mali [http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/comprendre-les-investissements-fonciers-en-afrique-rapport-mali] is an updated, French version of the Oakland Institute’s Understanding Land Investment in Africa: Mali report that was published earlier this year.
This comprehensive report analyses the current trend of agricultural land investments in Mali, revealing that by the end of 2010 at least 544,567 hectares of fertile land have been leased or were under negotiation for lease in Mali. Despite the limited availability of arable land in Mali and dramatic hunger figures, more than 40% of deals will devote land to agrofuel crops-which are unlikely to benefit those suffering from hunger in Mali. These land acquisitions involve violent and flagrant abuses of human rights and the report documents attacks on smallholder populations in the irrigated agricultural zones of the Office du Niger. Most of the large-scale land acquisitions are concentrated in state-owned lands within the large, riverine delta of the Office du Niger, where informal customary rights of the local people are not protected by law, and are not recognized by public officials.
Olivier De Schutter — UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food — recently released a report extolling the benefits of ecological agriculture. In this short radio interview, he explains how today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agro-ecological farming methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live — especially in unfavorable environments.
While the government of Mali justifies the massive leasing of lands with the need to „modernize“ Malian agriculture, plans for large-scale irrigated agriculture pose great risks to the survival of populations dependent on the water flows of the Niger River in Mali as well as in the rest of West Africa, where over 100 million people depend on the river for their livelihoods.
America, it’s your responsibility to decide who will emerge victorious from this battle of the bulge. Let’s meet the contestants — the American consumer, the independent farmer and the corporate fat cat. Watch Food & Water Watch’s The Biggest Farm Bill Loser and go to http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org to demand a Fair Farm Bill!
Download the report: In French: http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/comprendre-les-investissements-fonciers-en-afrique-rapport-mali In English: http://oaklandinstitute.org/understanding-land-investment-deals-africa-mali
Latest Articles – #farmlandgrab
Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All
The 2011 Human Development Report, Sustainability and Equity: a Better Future for All, says bold steps must be taken to reduce environmental risks and inequalities in Africa. http://allafrica.com/environment/
According to the 2011 Human Development Report, released by the United Nations Development Programme, Africa’s progress in human development over the next four decades could outpace any other region of the world, but environmental challenges could threaten the continent’s advancement, possibly reversing it.
UPDATE 19.11.2011 Final Declaration: Stop Land-Grabbing Now!
by The Oakland Institute – Nyeleni, November 19, 2011
We, women and men peasants, pastoralists, indigenous peoples and their allies, who gathered together in Nyeleni from 17-19 November 2011, are determined to defend food sovereignty, the commons and the rights of small scale food providers to natural resources. We supported the Kolongo Appeal from peasant organizations in Mali, who have taken the lead in organising local resistance to the take-over of peasants‘ lands in Africa. We came to Nyeleni in response to the Dakar Appeal, which calls for a global alliance against land-grabbing.
In the past three days, peasants, pastoralists and indigenous peoples have come together from across the world for the first time to share with each other their experiences and struggles against land-grabbing. In Mali, the Government has committed to give away 800 thousand hectares of land to business investors. These are lands of communities that have belonged to them for generations, even centuries, while the Malian State has only existed since the 1960-s. This situation is mirrored in many other countries where customary rights are not recognised. Taking away the lands of communities is a violation of both their customary and historical rights.
Secure access to and control over land and natural resources are inextricably linked to the enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and several regional and international human rights conventions, such as the rights to an adequate standard of living, housing, food, health, culture, property and participation. We note with grave concern that states are not meeting their obligations in this regard and putting the interests of business interests above the rights of peoples.
Land-grabbing is a global phenomenon led by local, national and transnational elites and investors, and governments with the aim of controlling the world’s most precious resources. The global financial, food and climate crises have triggered a rush among investors and wealthy governments to acquire and capture land and natural resources, since these are the only “safe havens” left that guarantee secure financial returns. Pension and other investment funds have become powerful actors in land-grabbing, while wars continue to be waged to seize control over natural wealth. The World Bank and regional development banks are facilitating land grabs by promoting corporate-friendly policies and laws, facilitating capital and guarantees for corporate investors, and fostering an extractive, destructive economic development model. The World Bank, IFAD, FAO and UNCTAD have proposed seven principles that legitimise farmland grabbing by corporate and state investors. Led by some of the world’s largest transnational corporations, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) aims to transform smallhold agriculture into industrial agriculture and integrate smallhold farmers to global value chains, greatly increasing their vulnerability to land-loss.
Land-grabbing goes beyond traditional North-South imperialist structures; transnational corporations can be based in the United States, Europe, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea, among others. It is also a crisis in both rural and urban areas. Land is being grabbed in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe for industrial agriculture, mining, infrastructure projects, dams, tourism, conservation parks, industry, urban expansion and military purposes. Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities are being expelled from their territories by armed forces, increasing their vulnerability and in some cases even leading to slavery. Market based, false solutions to climate change are creating more ways to alienate local communities from their lands and natural resources.
Despite the fact that women produce most of the world’s food, and are responsible for family and community well being, existing patriarchal structures continue to dispossess women from the lands that they cultivate and their rights to resources. Since most peasant women do not have secure, legally recognised land rights, they are particularly vulnerable to evictions.
The fight against land-grabbing is a fight against capitalism, neoliberalism and a destructive economic model. Through testimonies from our sisters and brothers in Burkina Faso, Columbia, Guatemala, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda, we learned how land-grabbing threatens small scale, family based farming, nature, the environment and food sovereignty. Land grabbing displaces and dislocates communities, destroys local economies and the social-cultural fabric, and jeopardizes the identities of communities, be they farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk, workers, dalits or indigenous peoples. Those who stand up for their rights are beaten, jailed and killed. There is no way to mitigate the impacts of this economic model and the power structures that promote it. Our lands are not for sale or lease.
But we are not defeated. Through organisation, mobilisation and community cohesiveness, we have been able to stop land-grabbing in many places. Furthermore, our societies are recognising that small-scale, family based agriculture and food production is the most socially, economically and environmentally sustainable model of using resources.
Recalling the Dakar Appeal, we reiterate our commitment to resist land-grabbing by all means possible, to support all those who fight land-grabs, and to put pressure on national governments and international institutions to fulfill their obligations to defend and uphold the rights of peoples. Specifically, we commit to:
- Organise rural and urban communities against land-grabs in every form.
- Strengthen the capacities of our communities and movements to reclaim and defend our rights, lands and resources.
- Win and secure the rights of women in our communities to land and natural resources.
- Create public awareness about how land grabbing is creating crises for all society.
- Build alliances across different sectors, constituencies, regions, and mobilise our societies to stop land-grabbing
- Strengthen our movements to achieve and promote food sovereignty and genuine agrarian reform
In order to meet the above commitments, we will develop the following actions:
- Report back to our communities the deliberations and commitments of this Conference.
- Institutionalise April 17 as the day of global mobilisation against land-grabbing; also identify additional appropriate dates that can be used for such mobilisations to defend land and the commons.
- Develop our political arguments to expose and discredit the economic model that spurs land-grabbing, and the various actors and initiatives that promote and legitimise it.
- Build our own databases about land-grabbing by documenting cases, and gathering the needed information and evidence about processes, actors, impacts, etc.
- Ensure that communities have the information they need about laws, rights, companies, contracts, etc., so that they can resist more effectively the business investors and governments who try to take their lands and natural resources.
- Set up early warning systems to alert communities to risks and threats.
- Establish a Peoples‘ Observatory on land-grabbing to facilitate and centralise data gathering, communications, planning actions, advocacy, research and analysis, etc.
- Strengthen our communities through political and technical training, and restore our pride in being food producers and providers.
- Secure land and resource rights for women by conscientising our communities and movements, targeted re-distribution of land for women, and other actions make laws and policies responsive to the particular needs of women.
- Build strong organisational networks and alliances at various levels–local, regional and international–building on the Dakar Appeal and with small-scale food producers/providers at the centre of these alliances.
- Build alliances with members of pension schemes in order to prevent pension fund managers from investing in projects that result in land grabbing.
- Make our leaders abide by the rules set by our communities and compel them to be accountable to us, and our communities and organisations.
- Develop our own systems of legal aid and liaise with legal and human rights experts.
- Condemn all forms of violence and criminalisation of our struggles and our mobilizations in defense of our rights.
- Work for the immediate release of all those jailed as a result of their struggles for their lands and territories, and urgently develop campaigns of solidarity with all those facing conflicts.
- Build strategic alliances with press and media, so that they report accurately our messages and realities; counter the prejudices spread by the mainstream media about the land struggles in Zimbabwe.
- Develop and use local media to organise members of our and other communities, and share with them information about land-grabbing.
- Take our messages and demands to parliaments, governments and international institutions.
- Identify and target local, national and international spaces for actions, mobilizations and building broad-based societal resistance to land-grabbing.
- Plan actions that target corporations, (including financial corporations), the World Bank and other multilateral development banks that benefit from, drive and promote land and natural resource grabs.
- Expand and strengthen our actions to achieve and promote food sovereignty and agrarian reform.
- Support peoples‘ enclosures of their resources through land occupations, occupations of the offices of corporate investors, protests and other actions to reclaim their commons.
- Demands that our governments fulfill their human rights obligations, immediately stop land and natural resource transfers to business investors, cancel contracts already made, and protect rural and urban communities from ongoing and future land-grabs.
We call all organizations committed to these principles and actions to join our Global Alliance against Land-Grabbing, which we solemnly launch today here in Nyeleni. Globalise the struggle! Globalise hope!
#anatolia #turkey #growth #jobs 14.11.2011
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