We are in Varanasi now and wish all of you. We are happy to inform you that our tour for Europe this year will be in October/ November 2012. So we are starting now for booking the Concert dates of Europe and just like to inform you that if you want to book any concert of us then please contact us soon as now we are booking the dates.
We are coming three musician Pandit Shivnath Mishra, myself Deobrat Mishra on Sitar and Prashant Mishra on Tabla. So please contact us soon for any information you need.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Yours, Deobrat Mishra
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: we are also sending you a attachment of recent concert photos and Video Link on youtube we did with 108 Sitar players in Varanasi to save holy River Ganges. Please have a look. You can see more picture of it on my facebook account: Deobrat Mishra
My father Pandit. Shivnath Mishra made a history in Varanasi-India to conduct a orchestra of 108 sitar players. Total musician where 151 including Tabla players and Flute players.
Varanasi (Sanskrit: वाराणसी ) is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (199 mi) southeast of state capital Lucknow. It is regarded as a holy city by Buddhists and Jains, and is the holiest place in the world in Hinduism (and center of earth in Hindu Cosmology). It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest of India. The Kashi Naresh (Maharaja of Kashi) is the chief cultural patron of Varanasi and an essential part of all religious celebrations.The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganges and the river’s religious importance. The city has been a cultural and religious centre in North India for several thousand years.
The Benares Gharana form of Indian classical music developed in Varanasi, and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians resided or reside in Varanasi, including Kabir, Ravidas Their Guru Swami Ramanand, Trailanga Swami, Munshi Premchand, Jaishankar Prasad, Acharya Shukla, Ravi Shankar, Girija Devi, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Bismillah Khan. Tulsidas wrote Ramacharitamanas here, and Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath located near Varanasi (Kashi). Varanasi is home to four universities: Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Residents mainly speak Hindi and Kashika Bhojpuri, which is closely related to the Hindi language. People often refer to Varanasi as “the city of temples”, “the holy city of India”, “the religious capital of India”, “the city of lights”, and “the city of learning.”
Mishras Press release:
Very rare to see three generation master musician’s on same stage.
11th GENERATION FATHER AND SON SITAR MASTERS of Benares Gharana
From their home city of Benares, an ancient spiritual centre of traditional music and Indian culture, “The Mishras” are bringing classical North Indian Ragas and meditative music to the world audience, gifting the audience with a fabulous performance and a spiritual experience. Join this father and son duet of two of the worlds finest Sitar Artist and Prashant Mishra on Tabla grandson of Pandit Shivnath Mishra as they inspire one another to new levels of loving interplay.
PANDIT SHIVNATH MISHRA
Pandit Shivnath Mishra was born on the 12th of October 1943, in Varanasi (North India). Also known as “Legend of the Sitar”, he is the 10th generation of the prominent Benares Gharana lineage of top class singers including Pandit Bade Ramdas Mishra and Panditji Great Grand Father. Since childhood, his highly musical family could see signs of a masterful musician in him. When Panditji was five years old, he began studying vocal music with his father, Badri Prashad Mishra, and his uncle-guru, Pandit Mahadev Prashad Mishra. However, when he was eight his musical inclination led him to study the sitar. In a family of great classical Indian vocalists, he was the first one who mastered the sitar.
Due to the vocal influence from his family as well as the Benares Gharana tradition, he is one among few artists in Contemporary India who ‘sing inside’ while playing a musical instrument. His lively, powerful and unique style has praised him with innumerous titles by the most representative authorities and institutions of music in and outside India. In 1966, when he was only twenty-three, he received a gold medal in the All India Music Conference, in Calcutta.
1979 marks the beginning of his performances abroad. Sine then, he has been constantly on tour in many foreign countries, among them Germany, Italy, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Holland etc. In 1999, he gave his first concert in the USA and Canada. During his tours, he has performed with several international jazz artists such as John Handy, Paul Horn, David Freezen, Ben Conrad, Berred Kworrase, George Figgler Aimester among others. Moreover, he participated in many conferences and recitals including the Condolence Metal of Late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, in Germany. He also took part in programs broadcast by the BBC Television and the German Radio.
Being one of India’s premiere sitar artists of all times, Pandit Shivnath Mishra was the Head of the Music Department at the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University of Benares, in Varanasi, for 36 years. At this time, in 1994, he formed the “Music of Benares” which consists of a group of North Indian (Hindustani) classical musicians whose aim is to familiarize audiences all over the world with Hindustani music in general and the Benares Gharana in particular. What is characteristic of the Benares Gharana is exactly the singing of the Thumri, a light Indian classical music that is highly ornamental and thus very emotional and expressive. At a time when many different Gharanas mix with each other, the “Music of Benares” group keeps this ancient tradition alive.
Incorporation of this style with the “Jugalbandi” presentation, in which there are two solo artists sharing the stage, has created a unique synthesis of classical and folk that appeals to audiences everywhere. But this is not just Jugalbandi, this is a duet between a Guru and his Shishya (disciple) and, in this case, between father and son. Seeing this special interaction on stage is no doubt an unforgettable and mesmerizing experience.
Deobrat Mishra – biography
Deobrat Mishra is no doubt one of the most energetic and innovative sitar artists of India. Selectivity, melody and rhythmic complexity are typical features in his lively playing style.
Born in 1976, he represents the 11th generation of the Benares Gharana tradition. As a young child he studied tabla with his mother, Pramila Mishra, who is the granddaughter of the well-known tabla player Pandit Baiju Mishra. He started by studying vocal music with his father at the age of five and began his sitar lessons a year later. That same year, after only six months of studying the sitar, he gave his first public performance on stage. Five years later, he performed for the first time on the All India Radio.
Since 1994 he has been touring throughout Europe with his father. In the same year he was chosen to receive the award of the best young sitar player of India. In 2000 he received the “Jewels of Sound Award” in Mumbai. His many projects include music workshops, solo performances for radio and television as well as world music programs with Indian and European artists. Moreover, he is the one in charge of cultural events and music lessons provided by the Academy of Indian Classical Music, the school he founded along with his father, Pandit Shivnath Mishra, in 2006.
Recently, he received a Masters degree in sitar from the Prayag Sangit Samiti in Allahabad. Among many other projects, the Mishras performed and recorded their music with the Western Symphony Orchestra of Italy in 2005. Nowadays, they fully dedicate their art to similar projects including annual tours around the world.
Above all, the Mishras (father and son) serve as two of India’s leading cultural ambassadors of our times
Prashant Mishra is one of the best young Tabla player of benares music tradition. When he was five he started to learn tabla with the family member of Biru Mishra of Varanasi also studying Tabla presently with Mr.Chakkan lal Mishra(Student of Great Tabla player Anokhelal Mishra..
Soon after few years of hard practice with his grandfather Pandit Shivanath mishra and uncle Deobrat mishra he was able to perform with Mishras His skills beautifully compliment and support the Mishras in their concerts.
In 2004 he won first prize in Tabla competition organized by Sangeet Natak Academy Uttar Pradesh India. He received many awards for his tabla playing at many different places. The Mishras tour will help to support the Academy Of Indian Classical Music School in Varanasi, India.
Additionally, the Mishras support their Academy of Music in Benares, India where they keep alive the tradition of their music amongst young musicians. Every January and February, the Academy is open to international students of all ages and skill levels. These study tours to India are a cultural experience combining ashram style living and intensive music instruction in one of the world’s oldest cities.
Note: Mishra or Misra (Hindi: „मिश्र“ „मिश्रा“) is a Hindu Brahmin surname found mostly in the northern and central parts of India. It is one of the most widespread Brahmin surnames in the fertile Gangetic plain region and in the Indian states of Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Assam and West Bengal. It is also found in countries such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago under the anglicized version of Misir, due to migration owing to agricultural/plantation employment. The surname is also found in Nepal, Fiji and Mauritius, as well as in other Indian diaspora communities.
In Hinduism, Brahmin refers to the class of educators and preachers. It is the highest class in the caste system. There are many references in the Ramayana and Mahabharata about the importance of a Brahmin. In the Vedic period, the Brahmins preferred isolation and solely dedicated their life to propagating knowledge and Dharma. However Misras have historically been martial Brahmins and in earlier years, many were drafted into the army.
List of Activities for 17th April, 2012 around the world: http://bit.ly/HGwIL8
(Jakarta, 2 March 2012) April 17 is the International Day of Peasant Struggle, commemorating the massacre of 19 peasants struggling for land and justice in Brazil in 1996. Every year on that day actions take place around the world in defence of peasants and small-scale farmers struggling for their rights.
In recent years, we have suffered from the implementation of new policies and of a new development model based on land expansion and land expropriation, commonly known as land grabbing. Land grabbing is a global phenomenon led by local, national and transnational elites and investors, with the participation of governments and local authorities, in order to control the world’s most precious resources.
Land grabbing has resulted in the concentration of the ownership of land and natural resources in the hands of large-scale investors, plantation owners, logging, hydro-power and mining companies, tourism and real estates developers, port and infrastructures authorities, and so forth. This has led to the eviction and displacement of the local populations – usually farmers -, the violation of human rights and women rights, increased poverty, social fracture and environmental pollution. Land grabbing goes beyond traditional North-South imperialist structures: the involved transnational corporations are based in the United States, Europe, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea, among others.
Financial institutions such as private banks, pension and other investment funds have become powerful actors in land grabbing, while wars continue to be waged to seize control of natural wealth. The World Bank and regional development banks are facilitating land and water grabs by promoting corporate-friendly policies and laws, providing capital and guarantees for corporate investors, and fostering an extractive, destructive economic development model. Meanwhile the World Bank and some other institutions have proposed seven principles of Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI) that are supposed to prevent abuses but in fact legitimize farmland grabbing by corporate and state investors. La Via Campesina and key allies have protested against this initiative for the past two years.
Land grabbing is a global phenomenon based on the corporate domination of agriculture through control over land, water, seeds and other resources. It is justified by many governments and policy think tanks through claims that agribusiness will modernize backward agricultural practices and guarantee food security for all. However widespread those claims may be, they have been shown to be entirely false in the real world.
The key players behind land grabbing prioritize profit over people’s well-being: they produce agrofuels if this is more profitable than food production, and they export their food production if this is more lucrative than selling it at home. In this race to profit, the corporate sector is increasing its control over food production systems, monopolizing resources, and dominating decision making processes. Business lobbies have strong political influence that often overrides democratic institutions; in addition, they act with the complicity of local and national elites (traders, politicians and community leaders) who fail to protect their own people from predation.
Land grabbing has been dispossessing peasants, small-scale farmers and indigenous peoples, especially women and the youth, from their sources of livelihoods. It is also ruining the environment. 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 such as the fashionable concept of „Green Economy“ are forever finding new ways to alienate local communities from their lands and natural resources.
Therefore La Via Campesina calls on all of its members and allies, fisher-folk movements, agricultural workers organizations, students and environmental groups, women organizations and social justice movements to organize actions around the world on April 17 in order to display massive popular resistance to land grabbing and highlight the struggle against corporate control over land and natural resources.
Let’s unite and fight:
- To stop land grabbing and reclaim grabbed land – the land should be in the hands of tillers.
- To implement genuine agrarian reform in order to bring about social justice in rural areas.
- To end the control over billions of people’s lives exercised by a few investors and transnational companies.
- To oppose the principles of “responsible agricultural investment” (RAI) proposed by the World Bank as it can never be “responsible” for investors and corporations to grab farmers‘ land.
- To strengthen the agriculture production model based on family farming and food sovereignty.
On April 17, groups and people are invited to organize a direct action, a film screening, a farmers market, a land occupation, a debate, a protest, an art exhibition, or any other event highlighting the same goal.
- Inform us about your plans by sending an email to email@example.com
- Subscribe to our special mailing list by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send us reports, pictures and videos of your action!
- We will publish the map of actions around the world on www.viacampesina.org
- Join our facebook event
Denounce land grabbing!
Wherever you are, fill in this poster with the name of your local land grabbers and send us a picture of what you are doing to protest with this poster.
Tibetan Yoga Center – Yoga Retreats
The practice of Yoga is intimately connected to the religious beliefs and practices of both Buddhism and Hinduism. However there are distinct variations in the usage of yoga terminology in the two religions. In Hinduism, the term „Yoga“ commonly refers to the eight limbs of yoga as defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written some time after 100 BCE, and means „yoke“, with the idea that one’s individual atman, or soul, would yoke or bind with the monistic entity which underlies everything (brahman). In the Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet, however, the term „Yoga“ is simply used to refer to any type of spiritual practice; from the various types of tantra (like Kriyayoga or Charyayoga) to ‚Deity yoga‘ and ‚guru yoga‘. In the early translation phase of the Sutrayana and Tantrayana from India, China and other regions to Tibet, along with the practice lineages of sadhana, codified in the Nyingmapa canon, the most subtle ‚conveyance‘ (Sanskrit: yana) is Adi Yoga (Sanskrit). A contemporary scholar with a focus on Tibetan Buddhism, Robert Thurman writes that Patanjali was influenced by the success of the Buddhist monastic system to formulate his own matrix for the version of thought he considered orthodox. Read More: HERE
Early Buddhism incorporated meditative absorption states. The most ancient sustained expression of yogic ideas is found in the early sermons of the Buddha. One key innovative teaching of the Buddha was that meditative absorption must be combined with liberating cognition. The difference between the Buddha’s teaching and the yoga presented in early Brahminic texts is striking. Meditative states alone are not an end, for according to the Buddha, even the highest meditative state is not liberating. Instead of attaining a complete cessation of thought, some sort of mental activity must take place: a liberating cognition, based on the practice of mindful awareness. The Buddha also departed from earlier yogic thought in discarding the early Brahminic notion of liberation at death. Liberation for the Brahminic yogin was thought to be the realization at death of a nondual meditative state anticipated in life. In fact, old Brahminic metaphors for the liberation at death of the yogic adept were given a new meaning by the Buddha; their point of reference became the sage who is liberated in life. Read More: HERE
Dream Yoga or Milam (T:rmi-lam or nyilam; S:svapnadarśana)— the Yoga of the Dream State are a suite of advanced tantric sadhana of the entwined Mantrayana lineages of Dzogchen (Nyingmapa, Ngagpa, Mahasiddha, Kagyu and Bönpo). Dream Yoga are tantric processes and techniques within the trance Bardos of Dream and Sleep (Tibetan: mi-lam bardo) and are advanced practices of Yoga Nidra. Aspects of Dream Yoga sadhana are subsumed within the practice suite of the Six Yogas of Naropa. Read More: > HERE <
Tibetan yoga center was established to provide a program of study and practice in the Tibetan Buddhist (Vajrayana) tradition that would integrate the essence of these teachings and present them in a suitable way for practitioners in the West. The program combines the core practices relying on visualizations, yoga of channels, winds and drops, and insight into the nature of the mind (rigpa) for efficient progress on the path. The core teachings of Tibetan Yoga Center are ‚The yogas of the six bardos‘ of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, summarized in the curriculum as seven courses (see the program section). The founder and master teacher of the center, Khenchen Lama Rinpoche, was at numerous occasions encouraged by his teachers to focus on helping Western students, particularly through these practices. To help bring these teachings closer to the background of Western practitioners, the program of the Tibetan Yoga Center also integrates elements of Western neuroscientific research on changes in behavior, mind and brain as a result of meditation. Building on the tradition of enlightened householder yogis in Tibet, the program of the center was developed for yogis of the current era – serious practitioners leading busy lives with work and family commitments who want to bring their spiritual practice to swift fruition to fully benefit sentient beings.
Tibetan Yoga Center operates on principles of a social business, offering teachings mostly by suggested donation and for minimal possible fees to cover expenses. The aim of the Tibetan yoga of mind is to develop universal loving kindness and compassion coupled with the ultimate wisdom of the nature of phenomena, the ultimate truth. At the basic level of achievement, one wishes happiness for oneself as well as other people.
At the medium level of achievement one realizes that the source of ultimate happiness is the understanding of the true nature of phenomena. One realizes that the most profound way to benefit sentient beings is to achieve enlightenment and works very hard towards this goal. On this path, one completely purifies his/her mental afflictions – anger, attachment, ignorance, jealousy and pride. The highest level of achievement in the Tibetan yoga of mind is the experiential understanding of our own Buddha nature – the deepest level of the mind. When one continuously sustains this realization in his/her mind stream, s/he becomes the embodiment of the union of primordial wisdom and compassion, and benefits sentient beings in limitless ways. This achievement is the essence of the Tibetan yoga and the deepest meaning of the term ’naljor‘.
TYPES OF YOGA IN TIBETAN BUDDHISM – There are six yanas (modes of spiritual practice) in Vajrayana: 1. Kriyayana, 2. Upayana, 3. Yogayana, 4. Mahayoga, 5. Anuyoga, and 6. Atiyoga. In Nyingma lineage, the main focus of practice is on Mahayoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga.
Teaching and Practice Downloads: This section contains general teachings given by teachers of the Tibetan Yoga Center at various occasions as well as specific teachings that are part of the curriculum of the center. These teachings are available for free, but proper reference to the teachings if used as part of other materials should be included.
Previous some related #articles #videos:
The Hindu approach to spiritual evolution leading to liberation or moksha or Self-realization is one of the four major paths or yogas:
the path of knowledge or Jnana yoga,
the path of mind control or Raja Yoga ,
the path of devotion of Bhakti yoga and
the path of action/work or Karma yoga.
Swami Vivekananda was the chief disciple of the 19th century saint Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is considered a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the „Western“ world, mainly in America and Europe and is also credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the end of the 19th century CE. Vivekananda is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India.
He is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech which began: „Sisters and Brothers of America,“ through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893.
The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions works to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.
The first Parliament of Religions was held at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition, and was the first formal meeting of the religious East and West. In 1988 the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR) was founded to organize a centennial celebration of the original Parliament. Since 1993, three Parliaments have been held in Chicago, Cape Town, Barcelona and in 2009 the most recent Parliament was held in Melbourne, Australia.
Dr. Joachim Reinelt: Zur Zeit des indischen Mittelalters wanderten in weiten Teilen Indiens und Tibets tantrische Mystiker umher, die Nathas, Nathayogis oder Nathasiddhas genannt wurden. Sie praktizierten und lehrten Hatha- und Kundaliniyoga und hatten großen Einfluss auf das religiöse Leben der Menschen.
Gorakshanatha Saivism: Gorakhnath or Gorakshanatha Saivism is also known as Siddha Siddhanta and Nath tradition. It was founded by Gorakshanatha (Gorakhnath) who lived about 10th century AD. He is believed to be 3rd, 4th or 5th in a line of 12 prominent teachers of this tradition, which has followers in both Buddhism and Hinduism.
He was said to be a disciple of Matsyendranatha who was from in Nepal. Followers of this sect believe that knowledge of this tradition was received by Matsyendranath directly from Siva himself. Gorakshanatha is credited with such works as Siddha Siddhanta Paddhathi and Viveka Martanda. He composed them in Hindi. He also created 12 monastic orders across Northern India in an effort to preserve the Adinatha tradition. Other important works of this tradition are Hathayoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, Siva Samhita and Jnanamrita.
History of the Nathas – The history of ancient Indian sadhu texts reveals a succession of several main groups. There were the Sadhs, Yatis, Siddhas, Nathas, Pashupatis, Sant-Mats, Dasnamis and Nagas. Apart from these, many small sadhu sects have existed and played their part in the great stream of Indian life. In early history, it would appear that some sects were interwoven with others, and some merged or developed into other sects. Some thus became extinct, and others are still with us.
Full Article: http://www.saivism.net
China: Tibetan Monasteries Placed Under Direct Rule
(New York) – The Chinese government has ended a key policy of allowing Tibetan monasteries to be run by monks who comply with government regulations and have instead introduced a system that will place almost every monastery in Tibet under the direct rule of government officials who will be permanently stationed in each religious institution, Human Rights Watch said today.
The new system now requires an unelected „Management Committee“ – also referred to as zhusi danwei/gongzuozu („monastic government work-unit“)- to be established in every monastery, with up to 30 lay officials stationed in each monastery, depending on the size of the institution, according to a February 15, 2012 article in the government-run Global Times. The new „Management Committees“ will run the monasteries and will have authority over the previous „Democratic Management Committees,“ which will now be responsible for rituals and other matters.
The freedom to leave or discontinue membership in a religion or religious group —in religious terms called „apostasy“ —is also a fundamental part of religious freedom, covered by *Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion.
#video Meeting with Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt As always saying something on the topic of freedom of religion or belief, to say it again, the most shocking experience when dealing with case of violations of freedom of religion is the extreme manifestation and degree of hatred “ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81qyyKzntJw
February 29, 2012
March 3, 2012
Mar 6, 2012
8 March 2012
“Unfinished progress” – UN expert examines food systems in emerging countries reports* on China, Mexico and South Africa to the Human Rights Council. In China, local-level authorities often have allowed land-grabbing at the expense of poor rural households. And between 50 and 80 per cent of the 2.25 million nomads on the Tibetan plateau may be relocated into settlements close to rural cities, overhauling the food and farming practices of this vulnerable community as part of a programme to abandon nomadic life and modernize agriculture. ( Latest Water UN Report – World Consumption of modern agriculture on fresh water by 70% )
chinadialogue Tibetan herders are struggling to adjust to sedentary life on the edge of the city of Golmud. Xia Liwei visited one family and listened to their story. http://www.chinadialogue.net/–Who-are-these-people-now
chinadialogue As China seeks to protect a delicate corner of Qinghai, 50,000 herders have been moved off the grasslands. Ill-prepared for urban life, they face a bleak future, write Guan Guixia and Suonan Wangjie. http://www.chinadialogue.net/–Hard-times-for-eco-migrants
TIBETAN NOMADS Tibetan herder with a yak Nomadic herders are known as drokpa. They make up about 25 percent of Tibetans in Tibet. In some Tibetan counties they make up 90 percent of the population. http://factsanddetails.com/china.tibetan nomads
OLIVIER DE SCHUTTER
U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR
ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD
Newsletter 12 March 2012
Here is the latest news from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter. You will find more information on our website.
In the spotlight
‘Obesogenic’ food systems must be reformed
“The West is exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets,” warned the Special Rapporteur, calling for an urgent response to the public health disaster of poor nutrition.
On March 6th the UN expert presented an official report, entitled ‘The right to an adequate diet: the agriculture-food-health nexus’ to the UN Human Rights Council.
Instead of medicalizing diets, we must tackle the systemic problems that generate poor nutrition in all its forms, he urged, calling for the taxation of unhealthy products, regulation of foods high in saturated fats, salt and sugar and the way they are marketed, reform of wrong-headed agricultural subsidies, and support for local food systems.
– UN expert examines food systems in emerging countries
[8 March 2012] GENEVA – “The food systems of emerging countries are at a major crossroads. Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, yet whole communities have been left behind,” warned Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, after presenting his reports* on China, Mexico and South Africa to the Human Rights Council.
“As many as 19 million Mexicans and 12 million South Africans remain food insecure, and China’s rural dwellers are up to six times poorer than urban populations,” the expert said, calling on emerging countries to act now to lay the foundations for fair and sustainable food systems by implementing the following actions:
Mr. De Schutter urged emerging economies to protect the rights of land users, especially minority and vulnerable groups, and to establish in law the right to food, so it can be rapidly translated it into national strategies and institutions. He also advised supporting smallholder agriculture in the face of mega-development projects, and stopping soil and water degradation through a massive shift to agroecological practices. Likewise, the UN expert suggested the adoption of a strategy to tackle rising obesity.
“Emerging countries face the huge task of feeding fast-growing populations whose increasing wealth is exerting new pressures on scant resources. They must secure and strengthen their food production bases as a matter of urgency; and they will only do so by working with farmers and their organizations, rather than against them,” he urged.
“Our food systems create sick people” – UN rights expert
Five ways to tackle the public health disaster of bad diets– UN expert on the right to food
GENEVA (6 March 2012) – “Our food systems create sick people,” warned today United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter. “One in seven people globally are undernourished, but many more suffer from the ‚hidden hunger‘ of micronutrient deficiency, while 1.3 billion are overweight or obese.”
“Faced with this nutritional crisis, we need to tackle the systemic problems which generate poor nutrition,” the independent expert said as he presented his report* on the agriculture-food-health nexus to the UN Human Rights Council. “However, we continue to prescribe remedies like a doctor: nutrition pills and early-life nutrition strategies for those lacking in calories; slimming pills, lifestyle advice and calorie counting for the overweight.”
In his report, Mr. De Schutter identifies five priority actions for putting nutrition at the heart of food systems in the developed and developing world:
- taxing unhealthy products;
- regulating foods high in saturated fats, salt and sugar;
- cracking down on junk food advertising;
- overhauling wrong-headed agricultural subsidies which make certain ingredients cheaper than others;
- and supporting local food production so that consumers have access to healthy, fresh and nutritious foods.
“Urbanization, supermarketization and the global spread of Western lifestyles have shaken up traditional food habits. The result is a public health disaster,” the Special Rapporteur said. “Governments have been focusing on increasing calorie availability, but they have often been indifferent to what kind of calories are on offer, at what price, to whom they are accessible, and how they are marketed.”
“We have deferred to food companies the responsibility for ensuring that a good nutritional balance emerges. Voluntary guidelines and piecemeal nutrition initiatives have failed to create a system with the right signals, and the odds remain stacked against the achievement of a healthy, balanced diet,” he said.
“The right to food means not only access to an adequate quantity of food, but also the ability to have a balanced and nutritious diet,” Mr. De Schutter noted. “Governments must not abstain from the responsibility to secure this right.”
The Special Rapporteur also identified the abundance of processed food as a major threat to improving nutrition. “Heavy processing thrives in our global food system, and is a win-win for multinational agri-food companies. Processed items can be produced and distributed on a huge scale, thanks to cheap subsidized ingredients and their increased shelf life.”
“But for the people, it is a lose-lose,” he stressed. “Heavily processed foods lead to diets richer in saturated and trans-fatty acids, salt, and sugars. Children become hooked on the junk foods targeted at them. In better-off countries, the poorest population groups are most affected, because foods high in fats, sugar and salt are often cheaper than healthy diets, as a result of wrong-headed subsidies whose health impacts have been wholly ignored.”
The UN expert noted that the West is now exporting diabetes and heart disease in developing countries, along with the processed foods which line the shelves of global supermarkets. By 2030, more than 5 million people will die each year before the age of 60 from non-communicable diseases linked to diets.
“We should not simply invest our hopes in medicalizing our diets with enriched products, or changing people’s choices through health warnings. Ambitious, targeted nutrition strategies can work, but only if the food systems underpinning them are put right,” the Special Rapporteur said.
Olivier De Schutter was appointed the Special Rapporteur on the right to food in May 2008 by the UN Human Rights Council. He is independent from any government or organization.
For the full briefing note entitled The World Trade Organization and the Post-Global Food Crisis Agenda: Putting Food Security First in the International Food System, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Food/BN4_SRRTF_WTO_EN.pdf or http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/otherdocuments/20111116_briefing_note_05_en.pdf
For more information on the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur, visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/food/index.htm or www.srfood.org
Yoonie Kim or Ulrik Halsteen (OHCHR): +41 22 917 9643 / 9323 / email@example.com
Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en
Who Will be The Biggest Farm Bill Loser?
Soil Association annual conference 2012
Facing the future: Innovation in food and farming
Royal Horticultural Halls, London
02 March 2012 http://www.soilassociation.org/conference
The Soil Association’s Conference 2012 will celebrate innovation in food and farming today. We will explore this through the two major themes of our strategy: Facing the Future, which explores the exciting scientific and technical progress being made in organic and low-input farming systems; and Good Food for All, which contributes to the important debate about food, public health and social justice.
The future of our food is in flux. According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture (UNFAO) special Rapporteur, Olivier de Schutter http://www.srfood.org/, ‘keeping blindly on the track of industrial agriculture is clearly unsustainable.’ If this is the case, then we need to galvanize the finest thinkers, technologists, scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs and teachers to develop new and sustainable ways of feeding a growing world population now and in the future.
In addition, the growing challenge of diet-related ill-health, in the UK and internationally, means that we need to explore the relationship between food production and its consumption. With a world that has approximately 1 billion people malnourished and 1 billion obese, there is a powerful case for bringing public health and nutritional expertise to the farming and food production table, to innovate joined-up solutions for our food future.
Navdanya means “nine seeds” (symbolizing protection of biological and cultural diversity) and also the “new gift” (for seed as commons, based on the right to save and share seeds In today’s context of biological and ecological destruction, seed savers are the true givers of seed. This gift or “dana” of Navadhanyas (nine seeds) is the ultimate gift – it is a gift of life, of heritage and continuity. Conserving seed is conserving biodiversity, conserving knowledge of the seed and its utilization, conserving culture, conserving sustainability.
Navdanya is a network of seed keepers and organic producers spread across 16 states in India.
Navdanya has helped set up 65 community seed banks across the country, trained over 5,00,000 farmers in seed sovereignty, food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture over the past two decades, and helped setup the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in the country.
Navdanya has also set up a learning center, Bija Vidyapeeth (School of the Seed) on its biodiversity conservation and organic farm in Doon Valley, Uttarakhand, North India.
2011 marked Earth University/Bija Vidyapeeth’s 10 year anniversary. Located on Navdanya’s Biodiversity and Conservation Farm, Navdanya offers celebrated courses for students to partake in from all over the world.
“Navdanya’s vision is to accomplish such a development that all beings have a healthy environment to live, should have enough healthy food to eat and also have equal right to live, grow and evolve to their full potential through their self organisation”.
Article 25 of United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights –
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control.
UPDATE 30.01.2012 Haircut Negotiations – Hedge Funds Bet on Profits from Greek Debt Talks SPIEGEL ONLINE – http://www.spiegel.de/international/topic/debt_crisis
The negotiations over the Greek debt haircut are becoming increasingly suspenseful, with euro-zone finance ministers and the IMF pushing investors to accept greater losses. Hedge funds, more than any others, stand to profit, and are betting that the voluntary debt rescheduling will fail. By Stefan Kaiser http://www.facebook.com/spiegelinternational
7 February 2012: European Economic and Social Committee sustainability conference
Olivier De Schutter will address Workshop 1, entitled „food, water and energy for everyone“, held between 4.30 and 6.00 pm, of the Conference of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Go sustainable, be responsible! European civil society on the road to Rio+20.
30 January 2012: No enough food, energy for World as population increases: U.N. report | Morocco World News http://moroccoworldnews.com
30 January 2012: With new blueprint in hand, Ban calls for action to chart more sustainable future http://www.un.org/apps/news/sustainable development
“ Trade and food security is in effect a WTO issue, and so there is great frustration within the UN that this enormously restricts the role of, for example, the Food and Agriculture Organization-based Committee on Food Security „
Olivier de Schutter, UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, says: “Food security is the elephant in the room, which WTO [the World Trade Organization] must address”, pointing out that food import bills had soared by a third for poor countries this year.
WTO defending an outdated vision of food security [16 December 2011] Geneva – „Globalization creates big winners and big losers. But where food systems are concerned, losing out means sinking into poverty and hunger. A vision of food security that deepens the divide between food-surplus and food-deficit regions, between exporters and importers, and between winners and losers, simply cannot be accepted.
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.”
Some issues WTO needs to address in agriculture:
Ceilings on subsidies: Current ceilings on how much the US and the EU can spend on subsidies that distort trade are still rather high
Cotton subsidies: The US has still not fully complied with a WTO ruling in 2009 to remove subsidies for its cotton producers. African farmers could have gained from a 3.5 percent average increase in world cotton prices, if the US had cut subsidies.
Biofuel Subsidies : Not covered yet. A new study found that US ethanol subsidies may have artificially inflated maize prices by as much as 17 percent in 2011. Source: ICTSD
Some Further Sources such as http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
Read http://www.srfood.org/ Press release, „Eco-Farming Can Double Food Production in 10 Years, says UN Report“, 8 March 2011.
FARMAfrica FARM-Africa http://www.farmafrica.org.uk
Research by American Prof of International Development shows that small farms in Africa could be the solution to hunger http://www.stanforddaily.com/2012/01/13/
The right to food, and its variations, is a human right derived from the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food in 2002 defined it as follows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_food
Join the energy [r]evolution! http://www.energyblueprint.info/ The report: ‘Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook’, provides a detailed practical blueprint for cutting carbon emissions while achieving economic growth by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and energy efficiency. This phase-out of fossil fuels offers substantial benefits such as energy security, independence from world market fuel prices as well as the creation of millions of new green jobs.
“Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.”
—Robert Redford, President and Founder
The Sundance Film Festival is a film festival that takes place annually in Utah, in the United States. It is the largest independent cinema festival in the United States. HERE
Charity biography #433 Robert Redford has addressed environmental issues in documentaries and film for over 30 years. Read more: http://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/443-robert-redford
Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Through its programs, the Institute seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work.
Since 1981, Sundance Institute has evolved to become an internationally-recognized nonprofit organization that actively advances the work of risk-taking storytellers worldwide. Originally founded by Robert Redford in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, Sundance Institute has always provided a space for independent artists to explore their stories free from commercial and political pressures. By providing year-round creative and financial support for the development of original stories for the screen and stage, Sundance Institute remains committed to its mission to discover and develop independent artists and audiences across the globe.
Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper, and Director of Programming Trevor Groth, share some of the great things about to happen at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Through year-round support, including a series of Labs and Fellowships for screenwriters, directors, documentarians, producers, composers, and theatre artists, the Institute’s artist programs have supported more than 5,000 artists and their films.
The longest-running of Sundance Institute’s artist development programs, the Feature Film Program (FFP) was founded in 1981 and has since supported more than 500 independent filmmakers whose distinctive, singular films have engaged audiences worldwide. We hope to embrace the unique vision of each filmmaker we support and encourage a rigorous creative process with a focus on original storytelling. Led by Michelle Satter, each year the Program advances the work of as many as 65 emerging filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world through a year-round continuum of support from development, to production and postproduction, all the way through to festival strategy and creative marketing/distribution.
Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.
Ai Weiwei is known for many things—great architecture, subversive in-your-face art, and political activism. He has also called for greater transparency on the part of the Chinese state. Director Alison Klayman chronicles the complexities of Ai’s life for three years, beginning with his rise to public prominence via blog and Twitter after he questioned the deaths of more than 5,000 students in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The record continues through his widely publicized arrest in Beijing in April of 2011. As Ai prepares various works of art for major international exhibitions, his activism heats up, and his run-ins with China’s authorities become more and more frequent.
In this unprecedented look at Ai and those close to him, Klayman’s camera captures his forthrightness and unequivocal stance. She gives a larger picture of the artist as an individual, a symbol of China’s oppression, and a powerful voice against a country that still denies its citizens many basic freedoms. – K.Y.
Sundance Spotlights Spacey’s Wall Street Boss,
Al Pacino’s Cop
Two movies about the *financial crisis — a drama starring Kevin Spacey and a documentary featuring Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz — will be showcased at the Sundance Film Festival opening today in Utah.
On China, Stiglitz said an easing in its economic expansion to 7 percent to 8 percent is in some sense probably a “good thing.” He later told reporters at a Hong Kong briefing growth in the world’s second-largest economy is now more “sustainable.”
In “Margin Call,” Spacey plays an executive at a troubled Wall Street investment firm during the early days of the economic meltdown. “The Flaw,” directed by British filmmaker David Sington, explores the causes of the crisis through interviews with leading economists, Wall Street insiders and victims of the Great Recession.
Celebrate the 2012 Sundance Film Festival From Anywhere
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There will be live webcasts from the Kalachakra Teaching in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, from January 1-10, 2012. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be teaching in Tibetan and there will be live webcasts in English, Chinese, Russian and Tibetan languages.
All times Indian Standard Time (GMT+5.30)
January 1: Short Teaching
His Holiness will give a short teaching.
Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
January 4-6: Preliminary Teachings
His Holiness will give preliminary teachings on Kamalashila’s „The Middling States of Meditation (gomrim barpa)“, Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s „37 Practices of A Bodhisattva (laklen sodunma)“, Geshe Langri Thangpa’s „Eight Verses of Training the Mind (lojong tsik gyema)“, Nagarjuna’s „The Praise to the World Transcendent (jigten ley deypar toepa)“ and Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen’s „The Precious Lamp in Praise of Bodhicitta (jangchup sem kyi toepa rinchen drolma)“.
Times: 1:00pm – 3:30pm each day
January 10: Long life empowerment and offering
A long life empowerment (tsewang) and a ceremony offering prayers for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be performed.
Time: 9:00am – 11:00am (approximate time)
January 10: Ceremony honoring His Holiness the Dalai Lama
There will be a public felicitation ceremony for His Holiness.
Time: 1:30pm – 3:00pm
For times in your region 1:00pm Indian Standard Time (IST) on January 1st in India is the same as 7:30am on January 1st in London, England.
Further Sources #articles #videos #social projects #buddhism:
People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty: www.foodsov.org/take-action
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty. The Convention has three main goals: 1. conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity);2. sustainable use of its components; and 3. fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development. MORE
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include eradicating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development. MORE
As the United Nations and the Ministry of Environment of Japan prepare to globally launch the Decade of Biodiversity in Kanazawa, Japan, governments, businesses and ordinary citizens are being asked to do their bit to save our planet’s delicate ecosystem over the next 10 years.
With the COP17 summit in Durban concluding with hopes of a binding agreement on carbon emissions, there is hope that the Decade of Biodiversity can build on this achievement.
Biodiversity is of vital importance to us all as it underpins a wide range of ecosystem services on which we depend. It provides for food security, human health, clean air and water, it contributes to local livelihoods and economic development and is essential in the fight against poverty.
Yet despite its huge importance, the planet’s biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate.
Throughout the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (2011-202) governments are encouraged to develop, implement and communicate the results of national strategies for implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.
However, the initiative will not be without its challenges as governments and business strapped for cash in the current recession deal with a multitude of issues at the same time. So what can realistically be achieved over the next 10 years to prevent the loss of biodiversity? What can governments, business and you, the individual do to help the cause?
The involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, including children and youth, will be key to the success of the Decade. Already the United Nations has recognized the vital importance of our children’s education to the future of the planet. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity hosts and coordinates The Green Wave, a project to raise awareness and educate young people – tomorrow’s leaders and citizens – on biodiversity and on actions to preserve life on Earth. Each year, The Green Wave contributes to worldwide celebrations of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB).
The Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) has been participating in The Green Wave all over the world since 2009. This year 2011, the International Year of Forests and the starting year of United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, over 14,000 children and adults at 105 OISCA sites in 13 countries have taken part in the campaign.
webTV – Tokyo: In a live and interactive web TV programme from Tokyo, two of the key figures driving the response to the planet’s loss of biodiversity will be answering your questions about the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. http://www.cbd.int/2011-2020/media/webtv_jp.shtml
Yasuaki Nagaishi, Secretary General of OISCA (Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement) will join with Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity at 20:30 (local time) on Tuesday December 20th to answer your questions.
Previous #articles, #videos:
Opening Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Closing Date: –
Additional Information : at 3.00 p.m at Lok Virsa Islamabad
The Gilgit Agency was a political unit of British India, which administered the northern half of the Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Gilgit Agency was created in 1877 and was overseen by a political agent of the Governor-General of British India. The seat of the agent was Srinagar. In 1935, the Gilgit Agency leased the territory comprising the agency from the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, for a period of sixty years. This lease and the Gilgit Agency ceased to exist when Pakistan and India became independent countries in 1947. HERE
LOK VIRSA – AN INTRODUCTION :
Lok Virsa (The National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage) works towards creating an awareness of cultural legacy by collecting, documenting, disseminating and projecting folk & traditional heritage. Surveys and documentation of traditional culture is central to the objectives of the institute. The Lok Virsa delve into and surveys are conducting by mobile recording and filming units. Dedicated individuals undergo the rigorous field work, to bring back valuable results to the central archives and production facilities housed at the Lok Virsa complex at Garden Avenue Shakarparian Hills Islamabad.
Lok Virsa is an affiliate member of UNESCO, The World Craft Council, International Council of Music, The Asian Cultural Centre for UNESCO, The International Council of Museums and similar other world organizations for the dissemination of art products abroad.
Zamana is a public interest space for learning, reflection, and action on Pakistan.
Explore: Whose Land? Whose Food?
In its first issue, Zamana delves into the thorny subject of land and food rights in Pakistan. The focus is prompted by recent news reports that amidst rising hunger and food crises, the Government of Pakistan plans to give away thousands of acres of farmland to Saudi Arabia and other foreign investors. Zamana invites more commentaries on this issue. Please send your perspective to info @ zamana.org. Further Infos: http://farmlandgrab.org/
Act: Our Land, Our Food, Pakistan is not for Sale
Sign the petition to raise your voice against land leasing to foreign clients.
More than a hundred civil society organizations have submitted a document entitled „Time to Act – Agriculture and Food Security and Rio+20“ as input to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (the Rio+20 conference). The submission outlines the key actions that are needed to achieve viable food systems based on agroecological and other forms of sustainable production.
A global youth mobilization towards the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
http://www.timetoactrio20.org/ 20 years after the Rio Earth Summit, the planet is in a deeper environmental, energy and financial crisis.The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 might be just another high-level conference stating the need to eradicate hunger and poverty, stop climate change, the loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and other serious environmental problems – and then, after the conference, life goes on as before. But it can be different. It has a historical opportunity to make important decisions and agree on actions that actually do eradicate hunger and poverty, and save the environment. It’s time to act!
Many civil society organizations have signed on to a document with proposals on issues linked to food and agriculture for the Rio2012-conference. Download the document (PDF) HERE. Download the document in Word format (doc) HERE.
If you have comments and suggestions for changes in this document, and if your organization wants to support the document, please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The document is available in English, Spanish, French and German
UPDATE 24.11.2011 @guardian – Africa’s great ‚water grab‘ Foreign investors aren’t just after land in Africa. Access to water is essential – which can bring them into direct competition with the needs of local communities.
This article is about a right to water as a human right under international law. For a discussion of water usage laws in common law, see Water right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_water
WORLD CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Vienna, 14-25 June 1993
VIENNA DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION
Note by the secretariat
Attached is the text of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, as adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993.
1. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the solemn commitment of all States to fulfil their obligations to promote universal respect for, and observance and protection of, all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, other instruments relating to human rights, and international law. The universal nature of these rights and freedoms is beyond question.
… Emphasizing that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which constitutes a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, is the source of inspiration and has been the basis for the United Nations in making advances in standard setting as contained in the existing international human rights instruments, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights…
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: email@example.com Phone : 00220.127.116.11.93/18.104.22.168
Lamine Coulibaly: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Hunger is not a natural disaster – it’s a political problem. And G20 leaders can and must act to end this scandal.
In the fight to address global food crises, will the French presidency at the G20 summit succeed where others have failed? On the eve of the G20 agriculture summit on 22-23 June, we urgently need to adopt an ambitious action plan. G20 leaders have a decisive role to play in Paris: they must tackle the problems in the food system.
It will take courage from G20 leaders to put the global food system back on track. They will have to break the „myth“ of hunger as being reducible to a technical issue or to a failure of food systems to produce sufficient volumes. The French presidency appears determined to act decisively on the issue of speculation on the agricultural commodities market. But beyond that, the G20 members remain deeply divided over agricultural policy for the 21st century. The outcome of this debate will have real consequences for all humanity.
Five priorities may give this G20 summit a vital role in improving long-term global food security. As the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, I call upon G20 leaders to endorse the following priorities, and act upon them:
Report: Eco-Farming Can Feed the World
Post-2011-03-21-DeSchutterNEW: Check out this short video featuring a CBC interview with Olivier de Schutter (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food) discussing the merits of eco-agriculture.
This report – Agro-ecology and the Right to Food – calls for a fundamental shift towards agro-ecology as a way for countries to feed themselves while addressing climate and poverty challenges.
Special Rapporteur on the right to food
United Nations Millennium Campaign
The neologism ecocide can be used to refer to any large-scale destruction of the natural environment or over-consumption of critical non-renewable resources. An early reference in 1969 described it as „Ecocide – the murder of the environment – is everybody’s business.“ Ecocide is also a term for a substance that kills enough species in an ecosystem to disrupt its structure and function. Another example would be a high concentration of pesticide due to a spillage. U.S. environmental theorist and activist Patrick Hossay argues that the human species is committing ecocide, via industrial civilization’s effects on the global environment. Much of the modern environmental movement stems from this belief as a precept.
In April 2010 UK Lawyer Polly Higgins proposed to the United Nations that ecocide be recognised as an international Crime Against Peace alongside Genocide, Crimes of Humanity, War Crimes and Crimes of Aggression, triable at the International Criminal Court. More
Polly Higgins is an international environmental lawyer. She believes that change can happen very quickly. She understands how law can act as a catalyst for global change.
Did you know that every government can implement laws overnight? George Bush used emergency laws to shore up Wall Street at the 11th hour and the UK have used them to pass laws on terrorism. It all depends on whether there is a national emergency. Well, now we have an international emergency. So we can do the same worldwide, and put in place an international law of Ecocide. In truth, it’s not that difficult. All that is required is for every nation to agree to vote on it, and then put it to the vote. It’s that simple. Really.
Proposed definition: Ecocide is the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.
In April 2010 a second international legislative proposal was submitted to the United Nations: for the crime of Ecocide to be implemented as a 5th Crime Against Peace under the Rome Statute.
The proposal of Ecocide as a crime of strict liability would impose a prohibition of environmental damage or destruction over a certain size, duration and severity to apply during peace time. To read more about the proposal, see thisisecocide.com
„ERADICATING ECOCIDE“ by Polly Higgins: www.amazon.co.uk/Eradicating-Ecocide-Polly-Higgins
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include eradicating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development. More
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Target 7A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources
Target 7B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty. The Convention has three main goals:
1. conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity);
2. sustainable use of its components; and
3. fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources
In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.
The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993.
2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the focal point for the International Year of Biodiversity. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted.
On 22 December 2010, the UN declared the period from 2011 to 2020 as the UN-Decade on Biodiversity. They, hence, followed a recommendation of the CBD signatories during COP10 at Nagoya in October 2010. More
- www.globalwitness.org www.biodiversityhotspots.org
- www.endpoverty2015.org UN Millenium Campaign
- Meet Ecocide is a Crime, studies at fb
- Meet United Nations Millennium Campaign, friends, fans