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Aiming to “strengthen a strategic alliance of gatherers, artisanal fisherfolk and local producers from the countryside, lakes, rivers, mangroves, seas and oceans with consumers for food sovereignty and the exercise of collective rights and nature”, the First Slow Fish South Pacific Meeting will take place this Friday and Saturday in Quito, capital of Ecuador.
The event will take place at the Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial and the Centro Cultural Martin Pescador of Quito, and participants from Ecuador, Colombia and Peru are expected to participate, in addition to people from Europe who will participate as observers. The organizers are the National Coordination for the Defense of the Mangrove Ecosystem (C-CONDEM), the Center for the Commercialization and Revalorization of the Mangrove Culture Martin Pescador, Slow Food/Fish Italy, Amawta Kawsay Slow Food Ecuador, the ACUA Foundation, the Villa Puerto Pizarron Tourism Association and the Heifer Ecuador Foundation.
Real World Radio interviewed Lider Gongora, of C-CONDEM, to know more about this meeting. In a paper to promote the activity, the organizers state that to think that the fight for food sovereignty is limited to rural areas of peasants, gatherers and artisanal fisherfolk, means to ignore the role of the consumption centers in the pressure exerted on the territories, where the products that are then consumed are taken from. “An alliance between gatherers, artisanal fisherfolk, producers and consumers, between the urban and the rural areas, is necessary”, he said.
“To maintain food sources (which are the center of their economies) in optimal conditions is a necessary requirement for the physical, social and cultural survival of the peoples”.
In an interview with Real World Radio, Gongora talked about the meeting that will take place on Friday and Saturday and denounced the shrimp industry, which he considered “criminal” and the number-one threat in Ecuador and the world against mangrove ecosystems and their communities. In this way, he highlighted some cases where entire populations had to be evicted in some areas of Ecuador due to the advance of the shrimp industry.
Lider believes that the Ecuadorian law promoted by President Rafael Correa has favored the shrimp industry. The sea and the fishing that takes place became “the new industrialization frontier that is opening its way”.
In terms of the popular consultation promoted by social movements and organizations in Ecuador about oil exploitation activities in Yasuni, in the Amazon Forest, Gongora said that the National Coordination for the Defense of the Mangrove Ecosystem is also gathering signatures. The leader highlighted that indigenous people who inhabit the area and were not contacted should be given priority.
Imagen: Organizers of the First Slow Fish South Pacific Meeting
“No queremos ser mártires, no queremos que hayan más mártires en este país, pero también hay una responsabilidad histórica de hacer valer la palabra y demostrar que tenemos derecho a la construcción de un mundo mejor. Y no podemos huir a esa responsabilidad”, dijo a Radio Mundo Real la dirigente garífuna Miriam Miranda, coordinadora de la Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH).
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