The Friends of the Earth International Federation (FOEI) has four working programs: Economic Justice & Resistance to Neoliberalism; Food Sovereignty; Climate Justice & Energy; Forests and Biodiversity. The fourth program, which aims at defending forests and biodiversity, has been planned and intensely worked on with the national groups that are part of the Federation, and the organizations and allied social movements from different parts of the world.
For several decades, and since there has been a common and fraternal construction between Peoples and social movements, we’ve been defining priorities to guide our action and address the strategies that have been created to boost the market and the capitalist system at the expense of the Peoples’ wellbeing and cultures.
We’re building a movement that could stop the development of financialization of nature. We’re resisting to the threat of privatization and commercialization of forests as well as their conversion into financial assets -what we call financialization of Nature- which intends to erase all social, cultural and spiritual dimensions of forests and their multiple uses. Its objective is to make economic profit for the benefit of agents external to the Peoples’ territories.
Now that we’re facing the new green economy trend, which represents one more step into the privatization of Life, we consider that the REDD mechanism (Reduction of Emissions due to Deforestation and Degradation of forests), and its local implementations such as Payments for Ecological Services (PES), far from being solutions, are causing huge additional impacts on forests and the Peoples who depend on them.
We’re setting a political framework that enables the development of the community management of forests. We truly believe that this process is part of the real solutions that make the survival, conservation and restoration of forests possible. It also allows the Peoples who live with the forests to have a decent existence, ensuring the respect of their community rights.
Our transforming intention that tends to produce a new political framework and new public policies has to do with the respect of the Peoples’ rights, the improvement of the quality of life, as well as social and cultural aspects. Because forests and jungles mean all this and a lot more.
We’re fighting against the spreading of deforestation and the empowerment of those who boost it. With this in mind, we tackle the expansion of monocultures and tree plantations since both practices destroy forests and open the way to activities that benefit to companies and (trans)national corporations.
We’re elaborating the Forests & Biodiversity Program along with FOEI’s national groups, which strengthens our members’ work at the local and community levels. Through the Program, we share tools, ideas, strategies and analyses to stimulate the local and national work. At an international level, we participate in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), where we can bring our political views to find an echo in the medias, do political lobbying, build and strengthen alliances with organizations and social movements that share our principles and visions.
Throughout 2017, we and FOEI’s Food Sovereignty Program will join our efforts to influence the work of the Food Security Committee of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Forests and Food. Our objective is to turn the community management of forests into an essential topic in the talks on management of forests, showing how strategical and complete it is, and pointing out the several challenges that territories and Peoples face when implementing it.
From a territorial point of view and experience, agroecology and community management of forests go hand in hand. It is this perspective that we want to push as part of the reflexion that the Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean are sharing.
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