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By Carol Schachet
October 20th, 2009
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), an independent international research and development organization, recently published a book that should be of interest to Grassroots International's supporters. Available free online, Towards Food Sovereignty: Reclaiming Autonomous Food Systems offers great analysis and links to video and audio files that show farmers, indigenous peoples and consumers all working to promote food sovereignty.
Throughout the world, social movements are the driving force behind a new food sovereignty policy framework, which aims to guarantee and protect people's space, ability and right to define their own models of production, food distribution and consumption patterns.
October 17th is marked as by the United Nations as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. At Grassroots International, we have been working with our partners for over 25 years towards achieving that goal. Clearly, a lot needs to be done to get us there.
Mamadou Goita, the Executive Director of the Institute for Research and the Promotion of Alternatives in Development (IRPAD) in Mali, was interviewed at the Salzburg Global Seminar by Susanna Thorpe, of WREN Media. IRPAD is a Grassroots International ally that works closely with our partner, the Via Campesina. Mamadou’s was a rare dissenting voice at the conference "Toward a 'Green Revolution' in Africa?" where top-down technocentric solutions dominated the discourse.
Here is the youtube video of Mamadou's interview:
By Nicola Bullard with Gopal Dayaneni
September 16th, 2009
Because we need just, equitable and not simply effective action on climate change – it’s not just about numbers but about just numbers. Because the rich countries are shifting the burden to the South – on the developing and least developed countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that have contributed the least to global warming. Because short-term economic interests are driving the negotiations – the considerable lobbying power of big oil, big coal, big agriculture, and other big corporations is out in full force ahead of the upcoming Copenhagen negotiations in December 2009. And because the people are not being heard – especially those who will be adversely affected
I spent the better part of last week crisscrossing Haiti’s arid Northwest with Grassroots International’s partner the National Congress of the Peasant’s Movement of Papay (MPNKP). MPNKP is best known to our allies and friends for their Creole Pig Repopulation project that we have supported for many years, and I was excited to follow up with families in far-off rural areas that our organization has not yet visited.
Throughout our time on the ground together, it became clear to me that it’s not just about the pigs—it’s about the organizing. The pig repopulation project represents this organizing.
Both the House and Senate are considering legislation with tremendous implications for farmers and agriculture across the globe. On the Senate side, the Global Food Security Bill, S.384 (also known as the Casey-Lugar Bill), calls for the United States to play a leadership role in implementing questionable food production strategies in developing countries. The bill mandates that massive investments in foreign assistance for agriculture shall include genetically engineered (GE) technologies. However, numerous studies and reports tell otherwise and warn of the dangers posed by GE technolgies, including soil erosion, cross-breeding, lower long-term yields and other environmental hazards.
April 17th, 2009
Washington D.C. (April 16, 2009) - The U.S. Working Group on the Food Crisis, a group representing anti-hunger, family farm, community food security, environmental, international aid, labor, food justice, consumers and other food system actors, urges the G8 at the upcoming Agricultural Ministerial in Treviso, Italy to reject the failed policies of the Green Revolution. A recent landmark report backed by the UN and World Bank argues for agroecological and sustainable agriculture, rather than reliance on chemical-intensive practices and genetic engineering.
In 2006 Grassroots International received a report from the Social Network for Justice and Human Rights (Rede Social), one of our Brazilian partners, about rapid expansion of agrofuels production based on large scale plantation-style cultivation of sugar cane for ethanol. We also heard from them about massive expansion of soy plantations and U.S.
Rede Social, a Grassroots International partner, and longtime ally the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) released an 80-page report on the expansion of sugar cane plantations for agro-fuels in the Amazon and Central Plateau region of Brazil.
Grassroots International and the National Family Farm Coalition announce the release of a new popular education tool that can help you understand and fix the world food crisis: Food for Thought and Action: A Food Sovereignty Curriculum.
It's been said that "you are what you eat." In the face of a global food crisis, it's clear that we've been forced to swallow far more than what's on our plates. Our global food system is broken, with nearly a billion hungry people around the world and millions more forced from their failed farms as industrial agriculture privatizes and despoils our water, soil and biodiversity.