Tuesday, 27 September 2016

"Nothing about us without us" La Via Campesina at the Farmers' Rights Global Consultation

A delegation comprising peasants, women and men, indigenous people and youth from various regions of the world will represent La Via Campesina at the Farmers' Rights Global Consultation, to be held between 27-30 of September in Bali, organized by the Government of Indonesia with support from The Government of Norway and The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).  

The delegation of rural peasants and indigenous people representing La Via Campesina will be calling upon the Treaty and the contracting parties (governments) to recognize and implement peasants' rights and to reject the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legislations and patent laws that endanger food sovereignty.

The selected seeds kept by peasants in their fields are one of the irreplaceable pillars of food production. Peasants all over the world have been aware of this throughout the centuries. It is one of the most universal and basic understandings that all peasants share. Except in those cases where they have suffered external aggressions or extreme circumstances, almost all peasant communities know how to save, store and share seeds. Millions of families and farming communities have worked to create hundreds of crops and thousands of varieties of these crops. The regular exchange of seeds among communities and peoples has allowed crops to adapt to different conditions, climates and topographies. This is what has allowed farming to spread and grow and feed the world with a diversified diet.

Therefore, peasants' unconditional and unrestricted access to a diverse range of peasant seeds and their right to keep, use, exchange and sell farm seeds is the first condition necessary for feeding the world. In defense of the peasant-seed systems, at the consultation, La Via Campesina delegation will speak for the right to protect traditional and modern peasant knowhow and defend it from the assault of IPR laws.The delegation will also emphasise that the peasant participation in decision making must not be reduced to the inclusion of a few organisations who bow to pressure from the industry and accept decisions already made. Furthermore, participation must not also not be reduced to just big landholders, but must include women, indigenous people, landless peasants, landless agricultural workers, fisherfolk and pastoralists.
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