Call to Action, agriculture day

statement agriculture actionday

Call to the Climate Agriculture Action Day December 15th, 2009

Resistance is Ripe! Local production for local consumption – change
the food system, not the climate!

As scientific predictions of climate catastrophe continue to grow,
world leaders gather in Copenhagen on 7-18 December 2009 at the
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 destruction 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 Agriculture 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.

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 draughts, tornadoes and new
climate patterns themselves.

The promotion of industrial monoculture plantations and agrofuels as
solutions to the crisis actually 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.

We demand:
- Support for small scale farming and food sovereignty to cool down
the earth!
- 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 peasant
agriculture as an excuse to keep polluting!
- An urgent reorientation of the world’s capitalist economy towards
a people – centred economy where peasant’s agriculture and local
food systems play a major role.
- Land for the landless! Support for peasant’s access to land!
- 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
A SEED Europe
La Via Campesina