Sustainable Livelihoods

Small-scale Sustainable Farmers are Cooling Down the Earth

It’s becoming apparent that climate change is negatively affecting farmers around the world. Erratic weather patterns force farmers to find new ways of growing crops, but sometimes people who work the land are helpless in the face of droughts or excessive rains. When farmers are unable to adapt to changes in climate, local food shortages affect whole communities.

A recent background paper by the Via Campesina summarizes how industrial-scale agriculture fuels climate change and thereby threatens small-scale farmers. But the paper also outlines how many farmers around the world are helping to slow climate change through the practice of sustainable grazing, the use of solar power, and other farm-based endeavors. You can read the background paper here.

Fueling Disaster Report: A Community Food Security Perspective on Agrofuels

The new magic bullet for our energy woes - industrial agrofuels - is already exacting heavy costs on food security and rural communities around the world. The anticipated increase in agrofuel production could lead to catastrophic impacts on the world's ability to feed itself.

In this report, Grassroots International, the Community Food Security Coalition, World Hunger Year, Food First and several other food justice organizations tackle these impacts and identify actions that would buffer communities from increased hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation.

One Drop of Water at a Time: Solidarity Moves the Global Movement for Social Justice

In times of war and institutionalized terrorism, examples of solidarity between people in the United States and the Global South give us hope for a better world. In fact, it is only through solidarity with people that we will never actually meet that we can build the "global movement for social justice".

Here is a case that has re-energized us at Grassroots International this end of year.

Last spring, Grassroots made a brief presentation to students of Boston's Philbrick School about our work to support rural communities throughout the globe to reclaim their rights to land, water and food.

Agroenergy: Myths and Impacts in Latin America

This report, which documents the human and environmental costs of the industiral biofuel model in Latin America, is the result of a seminar about the expansion of sugarcane plantations in Central and South America. The seminar, which took place in São Paulo, Brazil, from February 26-28, 2007 was organized by Brazil's Pastoral Land Commission and Grassroots' Partner, The Social Network for Justice and Human Rights.

Hurricane Noel Flooding Hurts Haiti’s Poorest Worst of All

Last week Hurricane Noel brought torrential rains and catastrophic floods to nearly the entire nation of Haiti, along with vast swaths of the rest of the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. The terrible human cost of the storm in Haiti is only now becoming clear.

We need your donation today to help the people of Haiti recover from this disaster and rebuild their lives and their communities.

The hardest hit by this catasrophe are Haiti's poorest, who were already living on the edge of deadly poverty.

Stop Israeli Policy of Siege and Isolation of the Gaza strip

The Government of Israel continues to tighten the noose on the Palestinian People through imposing the economic closure on the Gaza Strip as a form of collective punishment. Israel has declared the Gaza Strip "a hostile entity," and is beginning to translate this declaration into practical steps; for example, Israel doesn't permit any access to raw materials, so 85% of Gaza manufacturing business has been closed down with over 35,000 workers laid off. An additional 35,000 workers have been laid off from other sectors including construction, trade and service sectors. All imports and exports remain blocked while few basic materials are allowed to enter the Strip. Medical supplies are lacking in the hospitals which reduces hospitals' capacity to treat patients.

Senate to Vote on Local Food Aid in Farm Bill Next Week

We have some exciting news to share.

Your voice was heard in the U.S. Senate.

The Farm Bill, scheduled to be voted on by the full Senate next week, includes funding for a $25 million pilot project for locally-sourced food aid for hungry people around the world.

We want to thank you for your support of this crucial legislation.

This is a big win.

At the last minute, Senator Pat Roberts (KS-R) threatened to call an amendment that would have squashed the pilot project. Thanks to the support of activists like you, this program that will offer support to family farmers around the world and improve our ability to feed the hungry is alive.

Protestor Assasinated During Direct Action in Brazil

Private security forces hired by the multinational agribusiness Syngenta shot and killed Valmir Motta de Olivera, a leader of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) and the Via Campesina during a direct action protest on Sunday, Oct 21 in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. Eight other protestors were wounded in the attack. The landless workers were occupying the site, where Syngenta runs field trials for genetically modified seeds. The land borders an ecologically important national park area, and the Via have proposed that the land be developed instead as a center for agroecology and creole seed production.

Days of Action

Today is Blog Action Day and more than 15,000 bloggers with a combined reach of more than 12 million subscribers are joining forces to blog about the environment. 

Tomorrow is World Food Day, a day created by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, a day that's dedicated to bringing awareness to the struggles of the 800 million people who go hungry every day. Thousands of people around the world will take action to fight hunger.

It's too bad these two days didn't coincide, because so many of the problems related to hunger are environmental, and so many of the solutions are ecological.

The ABCs of Rainforest Destruction

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) officially launched their new Rainforest Agribusiness campaign this week, targeting ADM, Bunge and Cargill (ABC) for the role they are playing in the massive expansion of soy and palm oil plantations throughout the world. Global South movements including our partners in the Via Campesina are doing similar campaigns in various parts of the world.