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Limiting Oil Production as the next step for climate policy

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As the UN climate negotiations approach, a new paper in Nature Climate Change highlights a growing movement by governments to leave oil resources “in the ground”.

Pacific oil shore platforms. Photo: Art Wager / Getty Images.

Phasing out oil production could be “the next big step in climate policy,” thanks to a promising initial group of first-movers, according to a new paper from the Stockholm Environment Institute.

The paper – which appears today in Nature Climate Change – comes as government officials prepare to gather in Katowice, Poland on Dec. 3 for UN climate negotiations. Spain has also just announced its plan to “de-carbonize,” including a ban on new offshore drilling.

The authors focus on California as the possible next addition to this growing list of governments choosing to forego oil extraction. It finds numerous benefits to restricting production, including not only reducing global emissions but also helping revoke the “social license” of fossil fuel producers.

“Countries like France, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Belize and – just last week – Spain are sending a clear signal by phasing out oil production,” said Georgia Piggot, an SEI sociologist and co-author of the study. “The fossil fuel era needs to end soon, and governments need have clear plans in place to ensure an orderly and fair transition.”

The paper uses California as a case study, pointing to a resolution from the state’s Air Resources Board to “evaluate and explore” reducing production of petroleum.

It finds that phasing out oil in the state would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by roughly the same amount as many of the other climate policies currently planned by the state. And, because most oil drilling in the state happens in the most pollution-vulnerable communities, phasing it out would have important environmental justice benefits as well.

“Gradually phasing down oil production is a reasonable approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said SEI Senior Scientist Peter Erickson, the study’s lead author. “California is one of the top oil producing states in the US, but it is also a climate leader. Restricting oil production would complement the state’s flagship policies, such as strengthened standards for clean power or energy efficiency.”

The paper’s lessons apply to other governments, as well. The paper concludes that governments that aim to demonstrate leadership and meet Paris Agreement goals have “a number of policy options that can limit future production of oil and other fossil fuels, while delivering important global emissions and local environmental benefits.”

These are messages that are timely, with the upcoming climate negotiations in Katowice (COP24). One of the paper’s authors, Michael Lazarus, will be joining a special UN political event (called the “Talanoa Dialogue”); he will discuss how action on fossil fuel supply can be included in climate change plans.


Source/Courtesy: Stockholm Scientific Institute

 

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The Love for All Animals

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Love for Living Animals: The Javan Rhinoceros Communicates Through Secretions on its Foot

AN ESSAY

We must safeguard the web of life and care about the other living species that we share this planet with. Pygmy tarsiers eat and host bugs that we’ve seen at home — insects, spiders, lizards, bedbugs, lice, fleas, roundworms, and tapeworms. The vaquitas are preyed upon by large sharks and killer whales, keeping them away from us. But only 10 vaquitas are left and in their absence, the diet of sharks and whales may change. A tiger in the wild indicates that the forest it inhabits is healthy and diverse. As of now, there are 3,900 tigers in the wild globally, and more than twice as many (8,000) in captivity. By protecting the web of life, we build a kinder world for everyone.

The Javan Rhino, only found in Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia, is critically endangered. It’s not just because only 75 of them are alive, but also because the park where they are located is too small for a growing future population.

They are the most threatened of all five rhino species. Their small population may lead to inbreeding, which will cause poor genetic variability. Forthcoming rhinos will be more vulnerable to disease.

Javan Rhinos, the second smallest rhino globally, have the smallest horn of all rhinos, at 10 inches. If its horn is broken, a new one will grow. Only the male Javan rhino has a horn.

The Javan rhino never reproduces in captivity. However, 25 individuals were placed at Ujung Kulon National Park in 1967. Today, they number 75, but the Park is too small for more Javan rhinos, so a new area is being studied to accommodate this growing population. Also, Ujung Kulon is near a volcano that has instigated tsunami waves in the past.

In Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam, the last Javan rhino was killed by poachers, for its horn, making them extinct in the country in 2011. There is an excessive demand for their horns as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for pain and fever, despite studies showing that no medicinal value is in the horn.

A Day in its Life

A Javan rhino spends more than half of the day in mud holes for their body temperature, to prevent sunburn, eliminate skin parasites, and avoid insects. If the mudhole is too small, the Javan rhino will deepen it with its horn and feet, turning puddles into pools. It is believed that Javan rhinos depend on the forest for protection from solar radiation.

After the Javan rhino is done relaxing, it will look for food. It will scrape the sides of its mud hole with its horn for plants. Then it will leave the hole and seek thick vegetation on the ground.

In the absence of a horn, this rhino still has its pointed upper lip to grab food. Its diet is a rich variety of leaves, shoots, twigs, and fruits. In one day it will eat as much food as a healthy person will eat in one year.

Still Much to Learn

Scientists say there is much to learn about the Javan rhino’s biology. They are observing the rhino and studying its dung. Javan rhinos don’t communicate vocally, although they’re capable of making sounds.

Instead, they communicate through, first, a spray of urine, second, a secretion from its foot glands, third, twisted saplings, and fourth, scrapes on the ground made with secretions released from its foot.

An example of a Javan rhino sound can be heard here. They have more aggressive sounds when two males fight over a female, or when a male and female fight before mating.

Scientists use camera traps to better understand this rhinoceros. Some things they have learned:

  1. Unlike humans that have evolved steadily to the way we look today, the Javan Rhino is believed to have remained unchanged for over one million years.

  2. Space. If you keep a silent, respectful distance from a Javan rhino, you will be allowed to observe it and photograph it until it tires and moves away. This was the experience of wildlife photographer Stephen Belcher.

  3. However, you mustn’t approach a javan rhino. Otherwise, they will attack humans by plunging their long sharp lower teeth into your body.

  4. Solitary animals. The Javan rhino lives alone, but may sometimes be with other rhinos in places rich with mud holes for wallowing, or areas where there is a large deposit of mineral salts. The rhinos use these salt licks to get essential nutrients like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and zinc.

  5. Occasionally young Javan rhinos will come together in pairs or small groups.

  6. Javan rhinos also interact during mating season, or when a female is caring for its young. A Javan rhino female is pregnant for 16 to 19 months and gives birth to a single calf every 2 ½ to 5 years. On very rare occasions, she’ll bear two calves. The calf separates from its mother at three years old. The lifespan of a Javan rhino is from 35-40 years in the wild.

  7. Courtship behavior is one of the rare times this animal will vocalize. Sometimes males will use their saber-like sharp incisors to fight each other during mating season for a female. Other times, a male and female Javan rhino will fight and growl loudly, followed by mating. In other cases, a male and female rhino may eat vegetation together. Suddenly, they’ll engage in a 200 meters long chase.

  8. Javan rhinos have poor eyesight, but their smelling and hearing are keen.

  9. Forest: Although the Javan rhino prefers ground vegetation to tree vegetation, they still use the forest for protection from solar radiation. Also, a forest has fewer water supply fluctuations. They also eat saplings from forest trees. The Javan rhino’s habitat requires a mesh of glades, and patches of forest.

Threats to the Javan rhino

At the start of the 20th century, 500,000 Rhinoceroses ran through much of Southeast Asia including Calcutta, India, Borneo, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, the Sumatra, and Java. They lived in tropical rainforests, floodplains, and grasslands.

Now, there are only 29,000 rhinoceroses left in the world. Out of that number, 75 are Javan rhinos with only one habitat, Ujung Kulon National Park. Despite this, there are still some dangers, such as:

  1. The 2018 tsunami, caused by the eruption of the nearby Anak Krakatau volcano, resulted in 10 feet high waves. Four hundred and thirty people died, two park rangers among them. Park buildings and ships were destroyed. This tsunami hit the north coast. If it had hit the south coast, all the Javan rhinos left in the world would have died.

  2. Anak Krakatau volcano is active. In August 1883, Krakatau erupted, resulting in 60 feet high waves. This volcano can wipe out the entire Javan rhino population in one fell swoop.

  3. Arengu palm. This invasive tree has overtaken 60% of Ujung Kulon National Park. It’s a tall tree, and its fronds block sunlight needed for ground vegetation. This results in food reduction and poor nutritional quality of what remains. The WWF is removing the Arenga palm trees, and restoring natural vegetation and food plants for the rhinos.

  4. Disease. In 1981 and 1982, five rhinos died in Ujung Kulon. The Morris Animal Foundation blamed the tabanid flies, horse flies, and deer flies, all of which can spread parasites that result in hemorrhagic septicemia, an acute, highly fatal form of pasteurellosis, causing death. A free vaccination program for livestock by the local government is in progress to address this.

  5. Habitat loss. Ujung Kulon is the last remaining habitat for the critically endangered Javan rhino species. However, another location is being eyed and studied to see if it can accommodate Javan rhinos.

  6. Poaching. In colonial times Javan rhinos were displayed as trophies. Now, they’re hunted for their horns. This continues to threaten the 75 Javan rhinos in Ujung Kulon.

What is Being Done

Many conservationist groups are working to save ecosystems, plants, and other animals by saving the Javan rhino first. Some groups doing this are:

  1. Save The Rhino. This group seeks to produce 2,000 to 2,500 Javan rhinos within the next 150 years. This is the number required for Javan rhinos for possible long-term survival. They do this by:

  • Protecting the Javan rhinos and their habitat.
  • Searching for new habitats to translocate Javan rhinos.
  • Providing ranger kits that include quality shoes, backpacks, and accommodation.
  • Expanding Dog squads to track and apprehend poachers.
  • Detecting illegally smuggled wildlife products.
  • Funding for veterinary interventions.
  • Providing transmitters and radio frequency tags to help track rhinos in the wild.
  1. WWF. The World Wildlife Fund and its partners found a possible habitat area for new Javan rhinos. As a result, they are: Conducting a feasibility study of the habitat.

  • Establishing management structures
  • Enlisting surrounding communities to protect the area. Engaging scientific research to inform conservation and management efforts.
  • Planning to remove all Arenga palm trees in Ujung Kulon
  • Planting suitable vegetation for the rhinos.
  • Patrolling against poachers with community help.
  • Addressing illegal trade through local and international law enforcement to subject traffickers to justice.
  1. The Morris Foundation funds studies focused on saving the Javan rhino.

  2. The International Rhino Foundation and the staff of Ujung Kulon National Park protect the Javan rhino. Javan rhinos are the flagship species of the Western Java Rainforests ecoregion.

Ecological Importance of the Javan Rhino

The Javan rhino does a lot of good for an ecosystem. For example:

  1. Javan rhinos keep an ecosystem healthy and balanced. By consuming so much vegetation, they help shape the landscape and keep plant life populations in check, and permit soil space for new plants to grow. Other animals in the ecosystem also benefit from this.

  2. The Javan is the most adaptable feeder of all rhino species. Biologists have identified 300 species of food that they eat.

  3. Javan rhinos topple vegetation and crush it with their feet and body weight, so it can wallow in the mud. This provides natural plant trimming that strengthens the forest. It also stores CO2 and releases clean air.

  4. Many plants and animals cohabit an area with Javan rhinos. Protecting the rhinos keeps all plants and animals in the ecosystem protected too, such as antelopes, buffalo, elephants, and large carnivores.

  5. Local people depend on natural resources from the rhino’s habitat for food and fuel. Ecotourism can generate income for locals.

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Celebrating Food Sovereignty | Highlights of Solidarity Actions in October

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Celebrating Food Sovereignty | Highlights of Solidarity Actions in October

In October this year 2021, La Via Campesina together with the rest of the food sovereignty movement celebrated 25 years of peasant-led efforts and campaign to bring food sovereignty to reality. This was a moment reflect and strategize how to continue to resist a model of production driven by greed for profit at all cost. The concept was formally introduced in policy circles in 1996 at the World Food Summit in Rome and later broadened collectively in 2007 and structured in six key pillars to reflect the interests of many vulnerable and often neglected constituencies.The reflections started beginning of the year 2021, and converged on the 16th of October, the day of action for food sovereignty and against transnational corporations (TNCs). On this day, an international webinar on “Food Sovereignty: 25 years building the future” was held.

Elizabeth Mpofu, the outgoing General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, encouraged participants to continue to enrich the concept and build a better societies at a time when the world is at a cross road on many policy issues, of which the ideal food system to solve hunger and poverty is one among many.

The introduction of Food Sovereignty as a collective right has changed how the world understands poverty and hunger, which until recently was shaped by a narrow idea of “Food Security” dominated governance and policy-making circles founded on market ideology. Elizabeth Mpofu said “What is clear to all is that neoliberal policies, capitalism has failed! Now is the time to transform! We have the Peasant Rights Declaration to support the transformation… We have a great challenge before us to convince our governments not only to embrace Food Sovereignty but make and implement policies in favour of Food Sovereignty”.

How did we start to mobilise?

A Call to humanity to take action and unite for food sovereignty against corporate capture of food governance systems with a sloganFood Sovereignty is Land, Water, Seeds, Bread and Solidarity!” was issued in September by La Via Campesina to kick start the mobilisations. In that call, Artists and Writers were also invited to write and draw for food Sovereignty. The Call noted the context in which the 25-year celebration and reflections were happening, a time when the planet and humanity is facing unprecedented crisis upon crisis and that neoliberalism was the cause.

In early October, La Via Campesina issued a statement in October in which Food Sovereignty is a presented as a “Manifesto for the Future of Our Planet, an idea that unites humanity and cares for Mother Earth that feeds and nourishes all living things.

Solidarity Actions: Highlights

Today, the movement for food sovereignty has grown so big and is diverse. This was shown by the many actions and activities that were organised in celebration of the 25 years of this collective construction in all the four corners of the world. Many more actions are still being planned including organising the Nyéléni Global process to broaden and open discussions among movements for food sovereignty globally and will culminate in 2023 with a Nyéléni Global Forum. The academics for food sovereignty are also planning meetings to do critical reflection on the concept and offer views for the future.

Palestine: The Struggle for Food Sovereignty under Occupation

The Israeli occupation deprives Palestinians of their right to food, right to life and right to development. 32.7% of Palestinians overall are food insecure. In the Gaza strip, this figure rises to 68.5%. Israeli occupation still prevents the import of goods and raw materials, as well as the export of agricultural products. In this webinar, listen to farmers and fisherfolks on the frontline in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as international experts and activists.

The International Youth Articulation and the International Collective on Agroecology, Seeds and Biodiversity of La Via Campesina shared their experiences on local agroecology training from a variety of territories from Africa, America, Asia and Europe in a virtual forum full of a strong spirit of building alternatives and continuing on the struggle.

This workshop, hosted by our allies ETC Group and Grain, unpacks the concept of “digitalization” and look at how corporations are pursuing forms of digital agriculture in different parts of the world that undermine peasant-led agroecology and food sovereignty. It will also demystify such concepts as datafication, digital land records, artificial intelligence and fintech.

This online seminar, hosted by FIAN and held on Oct. 13, 2021, unpacked corporate-led false solutions to hunger and the role of states and intergovernmental organizations in tolerating and even promoting such solutions.

  • Agrarian Reform and the Defense of Land and Territories

Hosted by Focus on the Global South, FIAN and La Via Campesina, this webinar discussed the implementation of popular agrarian reform to achieve food sovereignty. Earlier in the month, Focus also hosted a regional dialogue in Asia that brought together some successful initiatives in the region to advance food sovereignty.

Friends of the Earth International as well as Urgenci were among other allies who joined in with more webinars that looked the issue of climate justice in the context of Food Sovereignty. They also carried out workshops that debunked the myth of “Nature Based Solutions”.

La Via Campesina’s Youth Articulation took advantage of the Young Farmers’ Roundtable organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the family farmers’ organizations working on implementing the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF 2019-2028) to call for comprehensive agrarian reform and food sovereignty. “If the villages do not sow, the city cannot eat,” said Micheline Aduel, a young peasant leader from Haiti and the ICC member of La Via Campesina, highlighting the need for and importance of comprehensive agrarian reform.

The regional articulations of La Via Campesina also organized several events, actions and webinars (see #16Oct Gallery) during the month. La Via Campesina members and many other organisations organised also various actions of solidarity, exchanged seeds, planted trees, where conditions permitted street protests were organised, etc.

A series of postcards based on the 1996 Food Sovereignty declaration were developed and are being shared to create wider awareness on the political concept.

 

The Struggle Continues!

This year is a moment for us to amplify the grassroots solutions we have built over the last two decades to bring food sovereignty to our territories. In the month of November, LVC will continue to bring our communication materials, animation videos, postcards and posters to celebrate our collective struggles and build on this global solidarity.

Follow all our articles here: https://viacampesina.org/en/tag/25-years-of-food-sovereignty/

For latest communication materials follow us on Facebook (@viacampesinaOfficial), Twitter (@via_campesina) and Instagram (la_via_campesina_official)

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Food Sovereignty, a Manifesto for the Future of Our Planet | La Via Campesina

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Food Sovereignty, a Manifesto for the Future of Our Planet | La Via Campesina

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM LA VIA CAMPESINA, AS WE MARK 25 YEARS OF OUR COLLECTIVE STRUGGLES FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY


Food Sovereignty is a philosophy of life.

It offers a vision for our collective future, and defines the principles around which we organize our daily living and co-exist with Mother Earth. It is a celebration of life and all the diversity around us. It embraces every element of our cosmos; the sky above our heads, the land beneath our feet, the air we breathe, the forests, the mountains, valleys, farms, oceans, rivers and ponds. It recognizes and protects the inter-dependency between eight million species that share this home with us.

We inherited this collective wisdom from our ancestors, who ploughed the land and waded the waters for 10,000 years, a period in which we evolved into an agrarian society. Food Sovereignty promotes justice, equality, dignity, fraternity and solidarity. Food Sovereignty is also the science of life – built through lived realities spread across countless generations, each teaching their progeny something new, inventing new methods and techniques which sat harmoniously with nature.

As holders of this rich heritage, it is our collective responsibility to defend it and preserve it.

Recognizing this as our duty – especially in the late ’90s when conflicts, acute hunger, global warming and extreme poverty were too visible to ignore – La Via Campesina(LVC) brought the paradigm of Food Sovereignty into international policy-making spaces. LVC reminded the world that this philosophy of life must guide the principles of our shared living.

The ’80s and the ’90s were an era of unbridled capitalist expansion – at a pace never seen before in human history. Cities were expanding, growing on the backs of cheap, unpaid and underpaid labour. The countryside was being pushed into oblivion. Rural communities and rural ways of living were swept under the carpet by a new ideology that wanted to turn everybody into a mere consumer of things and an object of exploitation for profit. Popular culture and consciousness were under the spell of glittery advertisements goading people to “buy more”. In all this, though, the ones who produced – the working class in the rural areas, coasts and cities, which included the peasants and other small-scale food producers – remained invisible, while the ones who could afford to consume with wander took centre stage. Pushed to the edges, peasant1 workers and indigenous communities worldwide recognized the urgent necessity for an organized and internationalist response to this globalizing, free-market ideology propagated by the defenders of the capitalist world order. Food Sovereignty became one of the expressions of this collective response.

At the 1996 World Food Summit, in a debate about how we organize our global food systems, La Via Campesina coined the term food sovereignty; to insist upon the centrality of the small-scale food producers, the accumulated wisdom of generations, the autonomy and diversity of rural and urban communities and solidarity between peoples, as essential components for crafting policies around food and agriculture.

In the ensuing decade, social movements and civil society actors worked together to define it further “as the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”

The introduction of Food Sovereignty as a collective right changed how the world understood poverty and hunger.

Until then, especially in the early years of the 21st century, a narrow idea of “Food Security” dominated governance and policy-making circles. Noble in its intent, food security treated those affected by hunger as objects of compassion, risked reducing them to passive consumers of food produced elsewhere. While it recognized food as a fundamental human right, it did not defend the objective conditions for producing food. Who produces? For Whom? How? Where? And Why? All these questions were absent, and the focus was decidedly on merely “feeding the people”. An overt emphasis on people’s food security ignored the hazardous consequences of industrial food production and factory farming, built on the sweat and labour of migrant workers.

Food Sovereignty, on the other hand, presents a radical overhaul. It recognizes people and local communities as the principal actors in the fight against poverty and hunger. It calls for strong local communities and defends their right to produce and consume before trading the surplus. It demands autonomy and objective conditions to use local resources, calls for agrarian reform and collective ownership of territories. It defends the rights of peasant communities to use, save, exchange seeds. It stands for the rights of people to eat healthy, nutritious food. It encourages agroecological production cycles, respecting climatic and cultural diversities in every community. Social peace, social justice, gender justice and solidarity economies are essential pre-conditions for realizing food sovereignty. It calls for an international trade order based on cooperation and compassion as against competition and coercion. It calls for a society that rejects discrimination in all forms – caste, class, racial and gender – and urges people to fight patriarchy and parochialism. A tree is only strong as its roots. Food Sovereignty, defined by social movements in the ‘90s and subsequently at the Nyeleni Forum in Mali in 2007, intends to do precisely that.

This year we celebrate 25 years of this collective construction.

The world is nowhere near perfect. Capitalism and free-market ideology continue to dominate policy circles even in the face of unprecedented inequality, rising hunger and extreme poverty. Worse, new attempts are also being made to envision a digital future – of farming without farmers, fishing without fishers- all under the garb of digitalisation of agriculture and to create new markets for synthetic food.

All these challenges notwithstanding, the Food Sovereignty Movement, which is now much more extensive than La Via Campesina and comprises several actors, has made significant advances.

Thanks to our joint struggles, global governance institutions such as the FAO 2 have come to recognize the centrality of peoples’ food sovereignty in international policy-making. The UN Declaration on Rights Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas further re-emphasizes this in Article 15.4, when it states, “ Peasants and other people working in rural areas have the right to determine their own food and agriculture systems, recognized by many States and regions as the right to food sovereignty. This includes the right to participate in decision-making processes on food and agriculture policy and the right to healthy and adequate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods that respect their cultures.”

Some nations have also given constitutional recognition to Food Sovereignty. The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the industrial food chains have further reminded national governments of the importance of creating robust local economies.

Peasant Agroecology, which is fundamental to ensuring food sovereignty in our territories, is now recognized at the FAO as central to our fight against global warming. Current and previous Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations have endorsed food sovereignty as a simple but powerful idea that can transform the global food system favouring small-scale food producers. Sustained campaign by social movements have also resulted in several legal victories against corporations producing agro-toxins, other chemical inputs and transgenic seeds.

Yet, what lies ahead of us is a road ridden with many barriers.

The promoters of the capitalist world order realize that food sovereignty is an idea that impinges on their financial interests. They prefer a world of monoculture and homogenous tastes, where food can be mass-produced using cheap labour in faraway factories, disregarding its ecological, human and social impacts. They prefer economies of scale to robust local economies. They choose a global-free market (based on speculation and cut-throat competition) over solidarity economies that require more robust territorial markets (local peasant markets) and active participation of local food producers. They prefer to have land banks where industrial-scale contract farming would replace small-holder producers. They inject our soil with agro-toxics for better short-term yields, ignoring the irreversible damage to soil health. Their trawlers will again crawl the oceans and rivers, netting fishes for a global market while the coastal communities starve. They will continue to try to hijack indigenous peasant seeds through patents and seed treaties. The trade agreements they craft will again aim to bring down tariffs that protect our local economies.

An exodus of unemployed youth, deserting village farms and choosing wage work in cities, sits perfectly with their urge to find a regular supply of cheap labour. Their unrelenting focus on “margins” would mean that they will find all means to depress farm-gate prices while trading it at higher prices at retail supermarkets. In the end, the ones who lose are the people – both the producers and consumers. Those who resist will be criminalized. A happy co-existence of the global financial elite with authoritarian governments would mean that even the highest institutions – nationally and globally – meant to oversee and arrest human rights violations will look away. Billionaires would use their philanthropic foundations to fund agencies that churn out “research reports” and “scientific journals” to justify this corporate vision of our food systems. Every global governance space, where the social movements and civil society members campaigned hard to gain a seat at the table, will make way for Corporate Conglomerates who will enter the scene as “stakeholders”. Every attempt will be made to deride those of us who defend Food Sovereignty as unscientific, primitive, impractical and idealistic. All this will happen, as it did over the last two decades.

None of this is new to us. Those condemned to the peripheries of our societies by a cruel and all-devouring capitalist system have no choice but to fight back. We must resist and show that we exist. It is not just about our survival, but also about future generations and a way of life handed down through generations. It is for the future of humanity that we defend our food sovereignty.

This is only possible if we insist that any local, national or global policy proposal on food and agriculture must build from the principles of food sovereignty. The young peasants and workers of our worldwide movement must lead this fight. We must remind ourselves that the only way to make our voice heard is by uniting and building new alliances within and across every border. Rural and Urban Social Movements, Trade Unions and civil society actors, progressive governments, academics, scientists and technology enthusiasts must come together to defend this vision for our future. Peasant women and other oppressed gender minorities must find equal space in the leadership of our movement at all levels. We must sow the seeds of solidarity in our communities and address all forms of discrimination that keep rural societies divided.

Food Sovereignty offers a manifesto for the future, a feminist vision that embraces diversity. It is an idea that unites humanity and puts us at the service of Mother Earth that feeds and nourishes us.

In its defence, we stand united.

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