Ecology

The Sustainable Path Forward

People who are concerned about climate disruption and hunger are talking more and more about agroecology, that is, using ecological, economic, cultural, and gender justice principles to inform agricultural practices and systems.  And those people are joining Grassroots International and our global partners in advocating for a shift toward agroecology to create a more sustainable future.

Agroecology Declaration lays out the path for a sustainable, healthy planet

Small-scale food producers and global movement leaders gathered in Mali earlier this year to lay out a plan to transform and repair our food system and the rural world that has been devastated by industrial food production. Their declaration (below) spells out specific values, strategies, challenges and next-steps to not only feed the world, but also address climate change by advancing agroecology.

Hosted by Grassroots International grantee CNOP (the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations) and La Via Campesina, among several other leading agroecology organziations, the International Forum on Agroecology outlined agroecology is a key form of resistance to the commodification of food and seeds, and moves toward a healthy planet.

Grassroots spreads the word on Global South movements at national conferences, social media.

Grassroots International is hard at work across the U.S. and beyond putting issues such as climate justice, food sovereignty, resource rights, Palestine, women’s leadership—even when they are controversial or unpopular—into the limelight. 

Spreading the word is a key strategy we use to advance resource rights, particularly when it comes to connecting our Global South partners to sources of solidarity, funding and support, and making changes in policies here in the U.S.  We do more than give grants; we build solidarity right here in the U.S. for our partners and their social movements.  It is also a key reason why funders and donors choose Grassroots International as a vehicle to support them.

300 scientists and legal experts: “No scientific consensus on GMO safety”

In yet another setback for the claims by Monsanto and other biotech giants that GMOs are safe, a group of 300 scientists and legal experts have recently found that there is no consensus on GMO safety, and that claims to the contrary are misleading. As one scientist who was originally involved in the creation of GMO tomatoes now puts it, to assume there is scientific consensus “is little more than wishful thinking.”  The following is the statement, which Grassroots International signed onto, from the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER).

 

“No scientific consensus on GMO safety” statement published in peer-reviewed journal

 

Seeds of Resistance in the Project of Life

Think of the seed as the first link of the food chain.  If this prime component is compromised, the chain becomes untenable.  What’s more, if corporate interests control seeds, we are all subjugated to their agenda at every subsequent link of the chain.  In fact, the preponderance of GMO and copyrighted seeds from agribusiness laboratories and mono-cropped fields already determine to a frightening degree the foods we can buy and eat.  To counter these billion dollar agro-corporate interests, seed sovereignty activists have sought strength in their greatest resources — their knowledge and collective power.

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.

Mayan Peoples Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

Widespread protests and strategic organizing succeeded in defending Mayan lands and food sovereignty in Guatemala. This marks a major – and unprecedented – victory as the congress repealed the “Monsanto Law,” preventing threatened exclusivity on patented seeds to a handful of transnational companies.

Brazilian Movement Stands Up to Hydroelectric Expansion

Although the damaging impacts of hydroelectric development are widely known, the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy reportedly plans to construct 168 new dams by 2021, including the massive Belo Monte Dam.

Dams, Human Rights and Community Resistance: Interview with leaders of MAB

Thousands of families throughout Brazil face threats to their homes and livelihoods from large hydroelectric dam projects. Driven by corporate profit interests, the number of mega dam projects in Brazil has increase significantly in recent years, displacing farming and indigenous communities, diverting water from local communities, and increasing deforestation and methane emissions.

The Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), a Grassroots Partner, organizes among these communities. In this video Alexania Rossato and Josivaldo Alves de Oliveira of MAB talk about the challenges and successes of their work, about building sustainable grassroots movements, and the value of international solidarity.

Stolen Harvest: Occupation and Palestinian Olive Trees

Olives and olive oil are fundamental to Palestinian history, economy, subsistence, and culture. Olive trees symbolize Palestinian steadfastness and are deeply valued for their ability to thrive and send down deep roots in land where water is hard to come by. Many olive trees are thousands of years old and yet continue to produce olives. A worldwide symbol of peace, olive trees themselves have come under vicious attack by Israeli sol­diers and settlers.

This fact sheet highlights the impact of the occupation, settlements and the Separation Wall on olive trees, olive harvests and Palestinian society, including: