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By Saulo Araujo
June 15th, 2012
In rural areas like Seu Lazaro’s community in the state of Goiás, Brazil, vendors of genetically modified seeds used to drop by with wide smiles and black suitcases full of samples and colorful catalogues. Their dusty cars, parked in the middle of the road, are a map of their sales route across miles of unpaved, bumpy roads. According to Seu Lazaro, these vendors (often trained agronomists) go from house to house trying to convince peasant farmers to buy seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides by promising lush crops and a good return in the investment.
Those promises convinced Seu Lazaro’s father to use GM seeds, who then convinced him.
By Saulo Araujo
June 5th, 2012
Yesterday I spoke with two members of Brazil’s Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) in Sao Paulo City. MAB is an inspiring organization formed by families who have been displaced by mega-dams in Brazil. Grassroots supports MAB in the organizing of displaced families, or atingidos, so they can collectively defend their land, water and food rights.
Earlier this week, The Guardian reported on a study that looked at rising sea levels from a new angle. The study found that efforts to meet increasing freshwater demand by harnessing “fossil” groundwater [groundwater that cannot be replenished for millennia under current climate conditions] contributes more to rising sea levels than melting glaciers. Since there it cannot be replenished, tapping groundwater results in land subsidence (downward-shifting of ground surface) and a one-way transfer of water into the oceans.
In South Africa, land occupation is expanding as a strategy for achieving genuine agrarian reform, food sovereignty and climate justice. Since these are all critical issues for people living in cities, land occupations in both urban and rural areas are an important, and often unrecognized, part of global movements.
Our friends at Global Forest Coalition and Global Justice Ecology Project have produced a new video entitled A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests. The 28-minute video documents opposition around the globe to controversial programs that claim to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) by putting forests into the carbon market.
By Alicia Tozour
Today, Grassroots International honors International Women’s Day by celebrating the ongoing victories of our partners, grantees and allies in their promotion of a global social movement for women’s rights and climate justice.
From all corners of the world, small farmers, indigenous peoples and human rights activists have been percolating solutions upward to advance their rights to land, water and food. With 2011 behind us, Grassroots International celebrates some of the victories and inroads that took place last year, all with funding from Grassroots International and our supporters. Below are just some of the highlights.
As we approach 20 years since the first United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change occurred in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the global impact of our broken food system continues to mount. In fact, the industrial food system – from production to deforestation to transport to waste – is responsible for 44 to 57 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions. The article below by our colleagues at GRAIN shines a light on the hidden link between the industrial food system and global warming.