PCFS expose corporate capture of agriculture in Africa and Asia; calls for rejection of green economy agenda in the Rio+20
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 16, 2012. The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty spoke at the Plenary 3 on Water, Food and Agriculture at the Cupula dos Povos’ Blue Pavilion. The delegates shared their country context on corporate agriculture and expounded on how the green economy agenda will worsen land and water grabs, landlessness, food insecurity and poverty.
Diery Gaye from Conseil National de Concertation et de Coopération des Ruraux (CNCR) shared on the policy reforms in food and agriculture in Senegal in the context of the water crisis. According to him, “agriculture and food security in Senegal are threatened by foreign land deals that also grab scarce water resources from small farmers.”
Hakim Baliraine of the Eastern and Southern African Farmers Forum (ESAFF) talked about adaptation practices of farmers in Uganda to counter the effects of climate change. Zakaria Nana of ROSSAD from Burkina Faso shared the key points of the African CSO declaration for the Rio+20 which called for a rejection of corporate green economy and calledfor a rights-based approach to sustainable development.
Sylvia Mallari of the Asian Peasant Coalition, on the other hand, exposed how extractive industries which are being repackaged as ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ such as mining, lead to land grabbing and devastate the farmlands, fisheries, water supply and health of their host communities.
Azra Sayeed of the Roots for Equity and co-chairperson of the PCFS talked about the impacts of the recent floods in Pakistan which ironically, were worsened by the dams. Landlords builtsmall dams in the mountains to prevent water from flooding their own lands but diverted the water and drowned the agricultural lands of small farmers.
Antonio Tujan, Jr., director of IBON International and co-chair of PCFS exposed how agriculture is being restructured for corporate green control. The not-so-smart ‘climate smart agriculture’ agenda promotes genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to produce ‘climate smart crops’ will place food production further under the control of corporations. Green economy which promotes the privatization of nature will worsen landlessness and push small farmers and peasants into deeper poverty.
Tujan also warned that Northern countries affected by the financial crisis will use the green economy agenda to resuscitate corporations and demand new structural adjustment conditionalities attached to official development assistance (ODA) provided to developing countries.
The Cupula dos Povos or the People’s Summit in Rio+20 is an alternative spaced organized by the global civil society to celebrate people’s struggles for genuine sustainable development and reject green economy being promoted in the official process of the UNCSD.
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.###