Written by Administrator Sunday, 17 June 2012 20:07
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -- The People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), with its 15-strong delegation composed mainly of small-scale peasants and indigenouspeoples bat for the advancement of the principles of Food Sovereignty in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development or the 2012 Earth Summit.
PCFS brings to the Rio+20 Summit and the parallel People's Summit the results of its Africa-wide CSO consultation held in Nairobi last May 30-31, 2012. The activity was participated by CSO representatives from more than 15 countries and issued a declaration calling for a sustainable development agenda centered on human rights and not with the corporatized green economy (GE) model which is one of the main themes of the ongoing Rio+20 negotiations.
Specific to concerns on food sovereignty, the network stressed that sustainable agriculture development cannot be achieved if global and national policies continue to focus on the current industrial agricultural practices which causes pollution, land grabbing, poor working conditions, food insecurity and poverty.
Thus, the group recommends a major shift under a food sovereignty framework towards adequate, safe, nutritious food for all, including policies and investments to support small-scale farmers, women producers, workers and secure access to (and protection of) the water, land, soils, biodiversity, and other resources upon which our food security depends. It also added that agrarian reform must be carried out in order to secure worker’s, farmer’s and rural people’s democratic access to land, water resources and seeds, as well as to finance infrastructure. They also demanded that food production and trade policies must prioritize domestic food self-sufficiency and the livelihoods of small farmers, fishers, workers, women and indigenous people.
PCFS is also a part of the Right for Sustainability (R4S) initiative being coordinated by IBON International. The R4S network has recently drafted five key asks which they believe are a minimum basis for any meaningful outcome at Rio+20. The said minimum demands are: a) Reaffirm and build upon Rights and Rio principles in Rio+20; b) Ensure democratic access and control of smallholders, women, indigenous peoples, youth and other marginalized groups over resources such as land, water, seeds, forests, finance, appropriate technologies and infrastructure; c) Commit adequate public financing for poverty eradication, social equity and sustainable development; d) Establish a strong regulatory framework for the private sector to ensure that it contributes to rather than undermines sustainable development; and, e)Establish participatory accountability mechanisms through which the people’s voice, including that of women and youth, can be reflected and independent monitoring of Rio commitments can be conducted at the national, regional and global levels.
The group pledges to popularize the said minimum demands and pressure the negotiating process to raise them in the deliberations. Some of the delegates from PCFS are its Co-chairs Antonio Tujan Jr. of IBON International and Azra Sayeed of Pakistan-based civil society organization Roots for Equity. Celestine Akpobari of the Nigeria-based Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Diery Gaye of Conseil National de Concertation et de Coopération des Ruraux (CNCR), Professor Oyugi of the Social Development Network of Kenya among other representatives of CSOs from Asia and Africa are also participating in the Cupula Dos Povos or the People's Summit that coincides with the Rio+ Summit.
PCFS is a growing network of various grassroots groups of small food producers particularly of peasant-farmer organizations, consumer movements and their support NGOs, working towards a People's Convention on Food Sovereignty.###