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1 March 2016 | | |

Unity and Organization

Declaration by Social Movements towards the 34th FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean

5th Regional Consultation of Peoples, Social Movements and Civil Society Organizations for Food Sovereignty and Social Justice. Towards the 34th FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean - Panama City, February 19-20, 2016.

Unity and organization regarding the political principal of Food Sovereignty is today more necessary than ever in the continental and global context.

We, men and women, representing 20 countries and 14 networks coordinated in social, regional and sub-regional platforms, made up by food producers, inhabitants of the countryside, coasts, mountain ranges, islands, steppes and grasslands of Latin America and the Caribbean, are gathered in this consultation on the road towards the 34th FAO Regional Conference to take place in Mexico city from February 29 to March 3, 2016.

We would like to express our solidarity with the Mexican people and the struggles of the peasant movements, and also with the families of the rural students from Ayotzinapa who disappeared. With the people imprisoned for struggling for their territories, natural resources and food sovereignty. We oppose the practices of eradication of peasant and indigenous families in the region, as was the case recently in Mendoza Province, Argentina, with the eviction of small-scale farmers.

We celebrate the advances of certain governments with positive attitudes towards food sovereignty, integrating it in public policies in their respective countries, and we appreciate the space provided. We hope that the Member States present consider this Declaration for the definition of the FAO´s agenda for the next two years.

Following the process started in previous consultations with social movements and platforms before FAO regional conferences, we reaffirm our commitments in the struggle to continue developing small-scale production of healthy and culturally-appropriate food, contributing with the eradication of hunger and poverty in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 development agenda, taking into account regional and international treaties and agreements . This is a space for exchange and action for indigenous people, peasant agriculture, rural workers, pastoralists, environmental defenders, artisanal fisherfolk, while it is possible to open a space for dialogue with urban populations, workers and the people in general.

At the same time, our experience as continental networks and organizations, coordinated in the Alliance for Food Sovereignty, together with other platforms, confirm that there aren´t inclusive public policies or effective actions towards the Sustainable Development Goals if we don´t prioritize the food sovereignty principle through agroecology. And this new consultation before the 34th FAO Regional Conference is a confirmation of this. We won´t give up our principles and rights and with this in mind we denounce the false solutions to hunger and rural poverty: carbon markets, green economy, biotechnology and "climate smart agriculture".

Therefore, we question the proposals that increase dependency on food production based on capitalism, exploiting populations, workers and ecosystems under the policies and strategies of commodification and profit against the right to food and food sovereignty as a fundamental human right, contributing to autonomy, peace, adequate nutrition free from GMOs for the dignified living of rural and urban populations.

The Paris Agreement does not represent a landmark in the fight against climate change. This agreement is not binding, it raises only the issue of adaptation and does not combat the real causes that are worsening climate change. It presents itself as a success, but actually, it is a step backwards, since the binding nature of the Kyoto Protocol was removed, which called for the most polluting countries to reduce their emissions, and it was replaced by a compensation system based on the carbon market linked to monoculture and forest plantations.

These mechanisms are false solutions to climate change. For this reason, we reject the introduction of the concept of climate smart agriculture and the definition of forests by the FAO and its UN REDD Program as a solution to the climate change issue. Today, the large-scale agrifood system accounts for 41-54% of greenhouse gas emissions.

That is why we propose:

The recognition of the role of artisanal fisheries and aquaculture in the consumption of aquatic products to ensure the food security and sovereignty of communities at global level. The States should promote public policies for the preservation and regulation of a responsible and sustainable fisheries, including the consumption of our resources for nutrition; contributing with finance and infrastructure, with access to markets, social security and incentives to improve a productive development with the participation of the global fisheries sector, since we are an important complement to family culture.

We demand the recognition, strengthening and collaboration by governments and international bodies of the FAO and IFAD to the National Committees that participated in the actions in the framework of the International Year of Family Farming 2014, with national discussion spaces among family farmers, peasants and indigenous people, artisanal fisherfolk and pastoralists together with governments, even more due to the global commitment to the decade of family farming IYFF+10.
About the challenges for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals we state that the impacts of extractive industries are extremely negative for indigenous peoples, and this situation is worsening year after year.

The companies have the same obligations and responsibilities in the protection of the rights of peoples and respecting our fundamental rights such as Free, Prior and Informed Consent as a framework without precedents that benefits women, youth and adults from these negative impacts, which are suffered even more by women, as a result of extractivism and the looting of natural resources in the affected ancestral territories. Therefore, it is also necessary to eradicate militarization and forced displacement .

With reference to education we propose and demand that investment and access to land pays specific attention to the insertion of young people for them to be able to stay in rural and indigenous territories, promoting incentives for appropriate technologies with research, participatory action and respect for the knowledge of the different generations in the territories for the new generations in the countryside, through agroecological food production.

Pastoralist communities demand the inclusion of participatory consultations that adapt to the isolated reality of our communities and the environments where our families live. Ensuring the presence of differential policies for land tenure, development programs and access to services.

We understand and defend agroecology as a key way to resist an economic system that puts profit before life. Our different forms of small-scale food production based on agroecology generate local knowledge, promote social justice; nourish identity, culture and strengthen the economic viability of rural areas. Nyeleni Declaration 2015, Mali.

We propose to assess the impact of the Paris Agreement on small-scale agriculture due to its effect on the commodification of climate. We must recognize the role of small-scale food producers and family farming not as vulnerable populations nor as stakeholders, but as holders of rights and fundamental actors to cool down the planet. If States propose climate change adaptation and mitigation mechanisms, these should be built on the basis of traditional and ancestral knowledge.
We urge States and the FAO to continue advancing in the building of dialogue with the participation of social movements and platforms. Agroecology is a right of the people. Food Sovereignty NOW!

Panama City
February 19-20,

(CC) 2016 Real World Radio


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