Climate disruption poses a major threat to people as well as other forms of life on this planet -- and the impact is being felt disproportionally in vulnerable commuities in the Global South. Rising sea levels, increased storm and hurrican activity, prolonged drought in water-stressed areas or other climate related impacts are making it harder and harder for small-scale farmers to grow the food that they need to feed their families and communities.
While Global North corporations directly engaged in the industries that emit the most greenhouse gases associated with climate change make record profits, peasants, indigenous peoples, women and youth throughout the Global South are among the hardest hit by its affects.
But that’s not the end of the story. The collective experiences, analyses, voices, and action of people from impacted communities – including peasants, indigenous peoples, women, and youth – are working to create real solutions to the climate crisis. In April 2010, social movements from around the world convened in Cochabamba, Bolivia for the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights. More than 30,000 people engaged in an inspiring and democratic consensus process to develop the Cochabamba People’s Agreement on Climate Change and the Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth, including an analysis of its root causes, a rejection of false solutions, and a promotion of real solutions.
The message “Small Farmers Cool the Planet,” coined by Grassroots' partner the Via Campesina, summarizes that food sovereignty, seed sovereignty, agrarian reform, and water rights are in fact needed to prevent further greenhouse gas emissions. Grassroots International is proud to stand up for these very solutions, along with allies in the US and around the world. We look forward to many more opportunities to advance the demands of the Cochabamba People’s Agreement and the Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.