Change the Food System, not the Climate!
Resistance is Ripe! Local production for local consumption
Call to the Climate Agriculture Action Day December 15th, 2009
As scientific predictions of climate catastrophe continue to grow, world leaders gather in Copenhagen on 7-18 December 2009 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - and the world waits for action. The people are ready to change the world in order to save it - but so far government solutions have revolved around setting up market mechanisms to avoid making real changes – and the climate crisis continues to grow.
Notwithstanding the urgency of the situation, the UNFCCC has failed to question the current models of consumption and production based on the illusion of continuous growth. Instead, they have invented new business opportunities for the private sector to continue to make huge profits at the expense of the health of the planet. The solutions being discussed by the UNFCCC continue to allow big energy consumers to pollute with impunity while paying others to implement projects supposed to capture carbon.
Enough! There are real changes which can make real differences – and we can make them now.
Globally Agricultural practices contributed to approximately 17% of emissions between 1990 and 2005. When this figure is added to the emissions caused by deforestation, land use change (for agricultural production), transport, processing, refrigeration and other aspects of the food system, the figure is 32% and probably even higher.
This food system is boiling the Earth – it is a system driven and encouraged by the same forces which push for trade liberalisation, speculation and resource exploitation – and which dominate the UNFCCC process.
In the south, rainforests are cut down and peasants are cleared from their lands, so vast monocultures - "green deserts" - can be planted in order to produce soy, maize and palm to feed European livestock. In factory farms in Europe, overfed animals produce methane and waste, using huge amounts of energy and water.
We need to change not just the food system but our whole attitude to food – especially meat consumption - and agriculture. Sustainable farming and food production can produce real, healthy food while acting as a beneficial force for the environment.
It is unfair to use the benefits that small farmers provide to the environment as an excuse to keep polluting as usual. The UNFCCC is currently discussing mechanisms to include agricultural land in carbon trading mechanisms, a move that could leave farmers with no other support than dirty money from polluters. These mechanisms are bound to fail, because they are not focused on reducing use of fossil fuels or reducing emissions in industrialised countries. For peasants around the world, the false solutions proposed in the climate talks are as threatening as the droughts, tornadoes and new climate patterns themselves.
The promotion of agrofuels and bio-plastics as a solution to the crisis increase pressure on agricultural land. This has already led to massive land grabbing by transnational companies in developing countries, kicking farmers and indigenous communities out of their territories.
Small-scale sustainable farming for local consumption already plays a vital role in the relocalisation of economies which will allow us to live in a sustainable society. Sustainable local food production uses less energy, eliminates dependence on imported animal feedstuffs and retains carbon in the soil while increasing biodiversity. Native seeds are more adaptable to the changes in climate which are already affecting us.
Small scale farming does not only contribute positively to the carbon balance of the planet, it also gives employment to 2,8 billion of people – women and men - around the world and it remains the best way to combat hunger, malnutrition and the current food crisis. If people are given access to land, water, education and health and are supported by food sovereignty policies they will keep feeding the world and protecting the planet.
We say enough! Farmers, activists, landless peasants and young people from all over the world are ready to make the changes necessary, and provide healthy, locally produced food for our communities, protect biodiversity and create a real sustainable future.
We will be present in Copenhagen, demanding that the real solutions we represent be recognised as the future – and that the industrial, agro-export model for our food system be recognised as a mistake of the past.
* An end to the false business solutions of the UNFCCC and the industrial agro-export system it supports.
* No offsets from agriculture - don't let industry use agricultural land as an excuse to keep polluting
* An urgent transition from the world's capitalist economy towards a people-centred economy where peasant's agriculture and local food systems play a major role.
* The end of wasting of food and overconsumption.
* Land for the landless! Support for peasant's access to land.
* Support for small scale farming and food sovereignty to cool down Earth.
* Sustainable agriculture and healthy food for all!
Join the Day of Action on Agriculture - December 15th, Copenhagen
This action call is signed by the following organisations and action groups:
* A SEED Europe (the Netherlands)
* GAPS (Gardening And Permaculture Society Manchester) (UK)
* La Via Campesina (International)
* Nandu - Arbeitsgruppe Klima (Germany)
* NOAH (Denmark)
* Reclaim the Fields (International)
* Velt (Belgium)
* Voedselteams (Belgium)
* Wervel (Belgium)