The Civil Society Organizations, Social Movements who attended the People's Forum for Food sovereignty have come up with the following final statements after conducting 3 working groups, and 3 Caucuses from 13-17 November, 2009.
The three caucuses were;
> Youth and,
> Indegenous People,
The three worlking Groups were;
> How is foodProduced?
> Who decide the food policies,
> Who controls food producing resources?
After the 5 days of long deliberations, the movements were came up with the following statement, adopted and finally presented at the Official World Food Summit at FAO on the 18th November.
Herman Kumara, NAFSO Convener also served as a steering committee member representing fisheries sector at the forum and facilitated the participation of the fisher folk organizations all over the world.
Uno no vende la tierra por la cual camina su pueblo
Tashunka Witko - 1840 – 1877
Declaration from Social Movements/NGOs/CSOs Parallel Forum to the
World Food Summit on Food Security
Rome, November 13-17, 2009
We, 642 persons coming from 93 countries and representing 450 organisations of peasant and
family farmers, small scale fisher folk, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, youth, women, the
urban people, agricultural workers, local and international NGOs, and other social actors,
gathered in Rome from the 13 -17 of November, 2009 united in our determination to work for
and demand food sovereignty in a moment in which the growing numbers of the hungry has
surpassed the one billion mark. Food sovereignty is the real solution to the tragedy of hunger
in our world.
Food sovereignty entails transforming the current food system to ensure that those who
produce food have equitable access to, and control over,land water, seeds, fisheries and
agricultural biodiversity. All people have a right and responsibility to participate in deciding how
food is produced and distributed. Governments must respect, protect and fulfil the right to
food as the right to adequate, available, accessible, culturally acceptable and nutritious food.
Governments have obligations to provide emergency aid. But this must not undermine food
sovereignty and human rights. Emergency aid should be procured as locally as possible and
must not be used to pressure countries into accepting Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).
Food must never be used as a political weapon.
We call attention to the violations of rights of people, both urban and rural, living in areas
under armed conflict or occupation and in emergency situations. The international community
must urgently address violations of human rights like those related to forced displacement,
confiscation and alien exploitation of property, land, and other productive resources,
demographic manipulation and population transfers.
We declare our support for the renewed Committee on World Food Security: We take particular
note of the commitment of those Heads of State present at the FAO Summit have shown to
this important body in their Declaration. We emphasize the fundamental importance of the
renewed CFS as the foremost inclusive international policy body for food and agriculture within
the UN system, and as an essential body where the knowledge and perspectives of those
whose daily labours have fed humanity for generations are not only heard, but also acted
upon. We assert the centrality of the Right to Food as a principle to guide all elements of the
Committee on World Food Security’s work.
We express concern that the CFS is not receiving the funding appropriate to the ambition of its
work programme. We urge FAO member states to back their political commitment with
financial resources. We also note that much work remains to be done within the CFS to
ensure that there is coherence between the different organs of the global food and agricultural
institutional architecture.In this regard, we are extremely concerned by the proposed World
Bank Global Agriculture and Food Security programme whose governance mechanism appears
undemocratic, un-transparent, and destined to lead to a replication of past mistakes. As long
as institutions such as the WTO continue to privilige commercial interests over the globally
marginalised and malnourished, hunger will continue to stalk the world.
Civil society has played a fundamentally important role in the CFS reform process, opening up
a critical space which we intend to fully occupy in a responsible and effective manner. In so
doing we will ensure that the voices of the excluded continue to be heard at the heart of food
and agricultural policy-making and governance, at all levels. However, whilst we value the work
that has been done, and hold high expectations regarding the CFS’s future achievements, we
will vigilantly monitor its work to ensure that member states follow through on their
commitment to create an effective mechanism that is strong in its powers of coordination at all
levels; able to hold its members to account; and start now to realise its commitment to
develop a Global Strategic Framework for food security and nutrition .
Ecological Food Provision
We reaffirm that our ecological food provision actually feeds the large majority of people all
over the world in both rural and urban areas (more than 75%). Our practices focus on food for
people not profit for corporations. It is healthy, diverse, localised and cools the planet.
We commit to strengthen and promote our ecological model of food provision in the framework
of food sovereignty that feeds all populations including those in marginal zones like small
islands and costal areas. Our practices, because they prioritise feeding people locally, minimise
waste and losses of food and do not create the damage caused by industrial production
systems. Peasant agriculture is resilient and can adapt to and mitigate climate change. We
insist, however, that food and agriculture be kept out of carbon market. We will defend and
develop our agricultural, fisheries and animal biodiversity in the face of the aggressive
commodification of nature, food and knowledge that is being facilitated by the ‘new Green
Revolutions’. We call for a global moratorium on GMO. Governments must protect and properly
regualte domestic food markets. Our practices require supply management policies in order to
secure availability of food and to guarantee decent wages and fair prices. We are ready to
discuss new legal frameworks to support our practices.
We call for a reframing of research, using participatory methods, that will support our
ecological model of food provision. We are the innovators building on our knowledge and skills.
We rehabilitate local seeds systems and livestock breeds and fish/aquatic species for a
changing climate. We commit to promote the findings of IAASTD (International Assessment of
Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development). We call for accountability
by researchers. We reject corporations’ control of research and will not engage in forums that
are dominated by them. We will promote our innovations through our media and outreach
programmes for capacity building, education and information dissemination.
We will strengthen our interconnecting rural - urban food webs. We will build alliances within a
Complex Alimentarius - linking small-scale food providers, processors, scientists, institutions,
consumers - to replace the reductionist approach of the Codex Alimentarius. We commit to
shorten distances between food provider and consumer. We will strengthen urban food
movements and advance urban and peri-urban agriculture. We will reclaim the language of
food emphasising nutrition and diversity in diets that exclude meat provided from industrial
Control over food producing resources
Land grabbing by transnational capital must stop. Landlessness and land grabbing have
intensified in the wake of the global food crisis, deforestation, sequestering of water bodies,
privatization of the sea inland waters and coastal zones. Land and water confiscation and
isolation practiced by occupying forces must be stopped. Countries and companies are
colluding in alarming land grabbing practices. In less than a year, over 40 million hectares of
fertile land in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe have been usurped through these
deals, displacing local food production for export interests.
Instead of promoting large-scale industrial agricultural investments, we urge our governments
and the FAO to implement structural changes implied in the Declaration of the International
Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) and in the UN Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty
(IPC) must play a critical role in ensuring the effective participation of social movements and
civil society organizations
We demand comprehensive agrarian reforms which uphold the individual and
collective/community rights of access to and control over territories. All States must implement
effective public policies which guarantee community (those whose derives their livelihood)
control over all natural resources. Strong accountability mechanisms to redress violations of
these rights need to be in place. Gender equity and the youth interests must be at the heart of
genuine agrarian and aquatic reforms. Reforms should guarantee women and youth full
equality of opportunities and rights to land and natural wealth, and redress historical and
Access to water is a human right. Water must remain in the “commons” and not be subject to
market mechanisms of use and governance. Aquatic reforms should give legal recognition,
protection and enforcement of the collective rights of small-scale fishing communities to access
and use fishing grounds and maritime resources.
Closure of pastoralists routes and expropriation of lands, natural wealth and territories from
local communities through economic concessions, big plantations, industrial agriculture and
aquaculture, tourism and infrastructure projects and any other means must come to an end.
Gathered food is also an important source to feed many of our communities and therefore
deserves specific protection.
The rights to territory for indigenous peoples encompass nature as a living being essential to
the identity and culture of particular communities or peoples. As guaranteed by Articles 41 and
42 of the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples Rights, we call FAO to adopt a policy for
Indigenous Peoples , to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Territorial Rights, and to ensure their
participation in resource decisions. .We urge FAO and IFAD to create a Working Group with
Indigenous Peoples in the CFS.
We reject intellectual property rights over living resources including seeds, plants and animals.
De facto biological monopolies –where the seed or breed is rendered sterile – must be banned.
We will keep the seeds in our hands. We will keep freely exchanging and saving our seeds and
breeds. We value our traditional knowledge as fishers, livestock keepers, Indigenous Peoples
and peasants and we will further develop it to be able to feed our communities in a sustainable
way. Our songs and tales express our cosmovision and are important to maintain our spiritual
relationship with our lands.
Civil Society Commitments
We commit ourselves to increase our level of organization, build broad and strong alliances
and promote joint actions, articulations, exchanges, and solidarity to speak with a strong voice
for defending our food sovereignty. We are convinced that only the power of organized peoples
and mobilization can achieve the needed changes, thus our principal task is to inform, raise
awareness, debate, organize and mobilize people.
Women participants in the forum, noting the systematic oppression of women through the
processes of globalization and corporatization of agriculture, fisheries and livestock, intensified
by patriarchy, commit ourselves to achieving equality in representation and decision making
bodies. We demand gender justice, peace and respect for the rights of women, including
common property rights. Our rights over seeds, productive resources, our knowledge and our
contributions to enhancing resilience must be respected, valued and protected. Women
agricultural workers and their communities must be assured safe working conditions and fair
Youth participants of the forum reaffirm that young people are key to the development and
implementation of ecologically and socially sustainable agriculture policies. All decision making
bodies must ensure the effective participation of young people. We insist on agricultural,
fisheries and livestock education (formal and informal) from an early age, and the FAO and
IFAD should provide adequate funds for capacity building training at all levels to address the
needs of young people and rural women. Our commitment to food sovereignty includes a
demand that the Committee on Food Security be transformed into the “Committee for Food
Sovereignty” and a call for a moratorium on agrofuels.
We engage ourselves to collectively accept our responsibilities to mobilize from the local to the
international levels in our struggles for food sovereignty. We claim the control and the
autonomy of our processes of organisation and alliances and we will further enhance our
mutual accountability by valuing the wealth of our diversity and in the respect for our
autonomies. We recognise the essential role of the IPC in the facilitation of alliance building.
We demand Food Sovereignty now!
Herman Kumara, Convener, NAFSO