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Ten days after the Preparatory Meeting of the Social Pre-COP on Climate Change held in Isla Margarita, Venezuela, Real World Radio’s show “Mil Voces” interviewed Martin Drago, coordinator of the Food Sovereignty program of Friends of the Earth International. Drago assessed the outcomes of the meeting and highlighted several aspects of the final declaration.
Under the slogan “System Change, Not Climate Change” the Preparatory Meeting of the Social-Pre COP on Climate Change was celebrated from July 15 to 18 at the Venetur Hotel in Isla Margarita. Representatives of social movements and organizations from around the world participated in the event, as well as Venezuelan groups and associations. Hundreds of people attended the panels and presentations, and the round tables that gave way to the final declaration.
The Social Pre-COP on Climate Change will take place from November 4 to 7 in Isla Margarita in parallel to the Ministerial Summit to be held in the same place. The Summit will give way to the 20th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (COP 20) that will take place in Lima, Peru, in early December.
At the Social Pre-COP social movements and organizations will give the ministers a document that will reflect the position of the civil society at the official climate negotiations.
In the interview for “Mil Voces” Drago welcomed the Venezuelan government’s initiative of holding the Preparatory Meeting of the Pre-COP and the Pre-COP so that the voices of social movements and organizations reach the ministers and the official climate negotiations. He highlighted that Nicolas Maduro’s administration led this process to make this possible within the UNFCCC. Drago reminded that Evo Morales’ administration in Bolivia called the first Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2010.
According to Drago, the meeting in Isla Margarita showed the “people and organizations’ growing awareness about changing the system that has caused climate change”.
The coordinator of the Food Sovereignty Program of Friends of the Earth International highlighted several items of the final declaration that came out of the meeting in Isla Margarita, such as: the need for a change in power relations and the decision-making systems for the construction of an anti-patriarchal people’s power, the need for strengthening integration between social movements and changing the systems of production and consumption (in the food and energy sectors). Drago also underlined the principle of a just transition, common but differentiated responsibilities (the countries of the North having the biggest responsibility), the need for climate finance (North-South and without conditions) for adaptation and mitigation of climate change and the urgent need to protect the people displaced from climate change, as well as environmental rights defenders.
The final declaration of the Isla Margarita meeting is a strong social and political statement. It rejects false solutions such as carbon markets and other forms of commodification and privatization of life, green economy, intellectual property rights, large dams, monoculture plantations, nuclear power, geo-engineering, agrofuels and genetically modified organisms. The challenge ahead of November’s Social Pre-COP and of the ministerial summit will be to translate this declaration into specific proposals in order to include them in the climate change official talks. Drago said: “there is a unifying platform that helps us move forward”.
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