The international movement for the defense and promotion of people’s right to food sovereignty: Reflections on a green economy

Just a few days ahead of the Rio+20 Conference, the international movement for the defense and promotion of people’s right to food sovereignty, expressed its opinion on the green economy through its monthly newsletter Nyéléni.

This international movement, which considers the Nyéléni 2007 Declaration as its political platform, is built up by various organizations, including: Development Fund, ETC Group, FIAN, Focus on the Global South, Food First, Friends of the Earth International, GRAIN, Grassroots International, the International Planning Committee (IPC) for Food Sovereignty, La Via Campesina, World March of Women, Oxfam Solidarity, Radio Mundo Real, The World Forum Of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers, Veterinarians without Borders.

According to this movement, the concept of a “green economy” that will be promoted during de Rio+20 Conference, is hiding the fact that it actually promotes a tool for capital accumulation. In its view, the “green economy” concept is just a way to support land-grabbing and to transform nature into merchandise:

- On the one hand, the movement argues that the concept promotes the development of a “post-fossil fuel” bio-economy that will not only employ hazardous new technologies, but also increase the use of natural resources, leading to more land-grabbing, water depletion, and other environmental consequences.
- On the other hand, it notes that the green economy support the “protection” of ecosystems and biodiversity by commodifying and privatizing nature and using new financial mechanisms.

The bio-economy has gained success among companies as it allows them to legitimate their actions and make the wider public accept the use of risky and unpopular technologies. Besides, they see the bio-economy as a solution to deal with the oil crisis. However, this new “economy” also directly affects peasant farmers, fisher communities, pastoralists and forest dwellers as it increase the pressure on land and resources they depend on. The latter seems to justify the international movement’s position that the green economy is only about economic growth and not about the environment.

In order to gain support for its position, the movement aims to mobilize people within their territories around the notion of solidarity, internationalism and the integration of peoples. The current global crisis shows that the capitalist system based on unlimited growth has not been able to promote and implement sustainable development. Rio+20, therefore, represents an important moment for the international movement to be heard; to promote food sovereignty; to advocate for the refusal of the current industrial system – that will be reinforced through the green economy concept; to defend a development model that allows people to access and have control over their lands, water and seeds.

[The article’s picture has been taken from the Nyéléni’s Internet website]

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