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On the first day of the International Conference on Climate Change, Territories and Social Movements, representative of La Via Campesina El Salvador, Mauricio Venegas, said food sovereignty is part of the solutions to climate change in the rural areas.
The peasant representative was one of the panelists of the activity called “Social movements and alternatives to the crisis”, which opened the afternoon session of the conference organized by Friends of the Earth International, CESTA-Friends of the Earth El Salvador and MOVIAC, the Movement of Victims and People Affected by Climate Change.
Nearly 500 people from all Mesoamerica including international delegates from 70 Friends of the Earth groups, filled the auditorium of the National University of El Salvador. The conference will also organize a mobilization and a cultural festival on November 6th from the university to San Salvador’s downtown area.
Venegas, a member of FUNCROCOOP, mentioned some of the proposals submitted to the Salvadorian authorities as alternatives to the climate crisis in a country where climate change has taken its toll. He pointed at the need of a new agriculture that will replace the imports of staples with local production. He mentioned that they have submitted proposals to the government but it would require strong mobilization to actually achieve something.
He also mentioned how the hegemonic political forces have begun to take a series of military actions in order as a precautionary measure to the socio-environmental crisis that results from the climate crisis.
Venegas said that El Salvador is strongly militarized. He demanded a reduction of the armed forces in order to have public funds to reactivate rural areas that produce food in a sustainable way.
The different panels took place on the first day of the conference, after which many men and women representatives of communities affected by mining, forestation, monoculture plantations for agrofuel production, mega dams, etc. gave their testimony and expressed their conviction of resisting in their territories to the pressure, to the economic offers and to state and private violence.
“The FAO wants to include us in its production chains, but we do not want to be part of them but instead have our own production chain”, said Venegas about the proposals of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
He finally talked about the “immoral” request for a moratorium on the mining law by Mauricio Funes administration: “We cannot tell Pacific Rim to give us time, we have no time and there will not be mining in El Salvador”, he said.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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