Advocacy

Trade Deals Criminalize Farmers' Seeds

What could be more routine than saving seeds from one season to the next? After all, that is how we grow crops on our farms and in our gardens. Yet from Guatemala to Ghana, from Mozambique to Malaysia, this basic practice is being turned into a criminal offence, so that half a dozen large multinational corporations can turn seeds into private property and make money from them.

But people are fighting back and in several countries popular mobilisations are already forcing governments to put seed privatisation plans on hold.

Video of Grassroots International Palestinian Partner Accepting 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize

On October 15, 2014 Ali Abd El Rahman  accepted the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize on behalf of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). UAWC shares the prize with Community to Community Development/Comunidad a Comunidad (C2C) of Bellingham, Washington.

UAWC is a Grassroots International partner and has been a leading force for the promotion of food sovereignty (not just food security) in Gaza and the West Bank.

Keep your Coins, I Want Change

This spring, Grassroots International was invited to participate in a project of the Kindle Project called the "Indie Philanthropy Initiative." For more information about the project, visit indph.org.  The interview below includes reflections from Nikhil Aziz and Sara Mersha.

How do you do your funding and please describe your organization’s approach and process, explaining how it is different from conventional philanthropy.

Palestinian Farmer Spotlights Food Sovereignty

Ali Abd El Rahman has been in the United States for only a few days, but it’s the longest he’s ever lived without having to go through a military checkpoint.

El Rahman lives in Jerusalem, and as a Palestinian, his actions, resource use, transportation, and work are under Israeli government control. He doesn’t even have a legal passport; the Israeli government issues Jerusalem Palestinians travel documents that require a lot of explanation when he attempts to cross international borders.

Climate Smart Agriculture Isn’t so Smart – Agroecology Is

We are writing to update you on crucial developments in advancing agroecology at the international level while strengthening opposition to the intentionally misleading “Climate Smart Agriculture” model being promoted by the World Bank, FAO, and newly launched corporate-dominated Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture.

As recognition of the legitimacy of agroecology grows, large-scale agribusiness is driving a concerted, pre-emptive effort to counter it. It is called Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA). But do not be fooled by this title.  The model incentivizes destructive industrial agricultural practices by tying it to carbon market offsets based on unreliable and non-permanent emissions reduction protocols.

Speaking out for Climate Justice and Food Sovereignty

Miriam Miranda’s journey from Honduras for the People’s Climate Justice Summit put her on the podium in front of thousands of people in New York this weekend. A leader of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH, a Grassroots International partner), Miriam and her community have been on the front lines of work for climate justice. She boldly told the crowd, “We cannot accept nor perpetuate this supposed development which does not take into account or respect nature and the earth’s natural resources… We should and must have the obligation to leave water, air, food and secure the safety for our sons and daughters and other living things.”

Human Rights Defenders in Haiti Continue Despite Personal Risk

by Jen B.

Human rights defenders in Haiti risk their lives to protect the basic rights of Haitian citizens. Exile, intimidation, death threats, and assassinations have become part and parcel with human rights work in Haiti. Since January 2014, 15 local human rights defenders have been the targets of physical attacks and death threats that aim to end their critical work.

Talking Palestine, Racism and Climate Justice

Making the connections between the bombing of Gaza, the ongoing occupation of Palestine, violence faced by black communities in the United States, migrant rights and climate disruption may seem like a tall order. But that is what happened on a recent Learning Call facilitated by Grassroots International  co-sponsored by the Climate Justice Alliance, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. (Grassroots International is a member of and works with these coalitions.)

Listen in by clicking the link here:

Latin American Women Speak out for Palestine

Latin American women raised their voices in solidarity with Palestinians. The video below features several Grassroots International partners, including members of the Via Campesina, the Landless Workers Movement and the Latin American Confederation of Peasant Organization (CLOC).

On July 20, six members of the family of Ziad Saad were killed. Ziad works with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) in Palestine, which recently became a member of the Via Campesina.

 

Will the WTO fast-track trade at the expense of food security?

The General Council of the World Trade Organization begins a two-day meeting in Geneva today, with India and other developing countries threatening to block implementation of an agreement on trade facilitation. They would be justified in doing so.
 
The potential gains from that agreement, reached last December in Bali, Indonesia, are vastly overstated, and they flow primarily to rich countries and private sector traders. Meanwhile, the United States and other developed countries have made little effort to resolve the legitimate demands that developing country food security programs be exempted from archaic stipulations of the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA).