Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth

This Declaration was adopted by the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, in Bolivia. The Bolivian government has submitted it to the United Nations for consideration.

Preamble

We, the peoples and nations of Earth,

  • considering that we are all part of Mother Earth, an indivisible, living community of interrelated and interdependent beings with a common destiny;
  • gratefully acknowledging that Mother Earth is the source of life, nourishment and learning and provides everything we need to live well;
  • recognizing that the capitalist system and all forms of depredation, exploitation, abuse and contamination have caused great destruction, degradation and disruption of Mother Earth, putting life as we know it today at risk through phenomena such as climate change;
  • convinced that in an interdependent living community it is not possible to recognize the rights of only human beings without causing an imbalance within Mother Earth;
  • affirming that to guarantee human rights it is necessary to recognize and defend the rights of Mother Earth and all beings in her and that there are existing cultures, practices and laws that do so;
  • conscious of the urgency of taking decisive, collective action to transform structures and systems that cause climate change and other threats to Mother Earth;

proclaim this Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and call on the General Assembly of the United Nation to adopt it, as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations of the world, and to the end that every individual and institution takes responsibility for promoting through teaching, education, and consciousness raising, respect for the rights recognized in this Declaration and ensure through prompt and progressive measures and mechanisms, national and international, their universal and effective recognition and observance among all peoples and States in the world. Continue reading

Spiking Grain Prices Raise Specter Of Global Food Crisis

By Naomi Spencer
10 August, 2012 – WSWS.org
http://www.countercurrents.org/spencer100812.htm

Global food prices rose 6.2 percent in July, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reported Thursday. The FAO said it released its Food Price Index ahead of its regular publication schedule as a warning against the impact of such price rises.

The index, which calculates the cost of a basket of food commodities, overall averaged 213 points in July, up 12 points from June. In February 2011, the height of the Arab Spring, the overall index peaked at 238. The index has remained above the average 2008 level for more than a year and is now trending toward an all-time high. Continue reading

Who will feed China? Agribusiness or its own farmers?

GRAIN 04 August 2012

When China began importing soybeans as animal feed in the late 1990s, it ushered in one of the most dramatic agricultural transformations the world has ever seen. On the other side of the world, 30 million hectares of farms, forests, savannahs and pastures in the Southern Cone of Latin America were converted to soy plantations to provide China’s new factory farms with a cheap source of feed. And within China, low prices paid to farmers and other policies favouring large agribusinesses pushed millions of households out of meat production. Corporations and large commercial farmers made fortunes, but rural communities, both in China and the Southern Cone, paid the price. Continue reading

Serious Trouble on the Food Front

By Lester R. Brown

Not only is the current food situation deteriorating, but so is the global food system itself. We saw early signs of the unraveling in 2008 following an abrupt doubling of world grain prices. As world food prices climbed, exporting countries began restricting grain exports to keep their domestic food prices down. In response, governments of importing countries panicked. Some of them turned to buying or leasing land in other countries on which to produce food for themselves.

Welcome to the new geopolitics of food scarcity. As food supplies tighten, we are moving into a new food era, one in which it is every country for itself.

The world is in serious trouble on the food front. But there is little evidence that political leaders have yet grasped the magnitude of what is happening. The progress in reducing hunger in recent decades has been reversed. Unless we move quickly to adopt new population, energy, and water policies, the goal of eradicating hunger will remain just that.

Time is running out. The world may be much closer to an unmanageable food shortage – replete with soaring food prices, spreading food unrest, and ultimately political instability– than most people realize.

(Excerpted from an article “World in Serious Trouble on Food Front”. For full article, see – http://www.countercurrents.org/brown260712.htm)

A collective initiative on local food system conservation

By Biju Negi

Beej Bachao Andolan is a non-formal collective of small farmers and activists. There is a core group of individuals recognized as representing the movement and there is Henwalghati (the Henwal river valley) that is considered its place of origin and major action. Other than that, Beej Bachao Andolan is more a philosophy, a thought, a concept that can be accepted and practiced by just about anyone and any group.

In its efforts to further its philosophy, and certainly to go beyond its limited physical resources, we have initiated an informal network of a couple of organizations and groups in Uttarakhand. This network does not have any name, at least not yet; and it is not fund-driven. It is primarily four groups which believe in the idea of seed and food sovereignty, local food system conservation and related issues that have been the concern of small farmers and voiced by Beej Bachao Andolan. Continue reading