The joint Phiilipino-Japanese corporate consortium Green Future Innovations Incorporated (GFII), is opening up
a large-scale bioethanol and co-generation plant in the northern municipality of San Mariano, Isabela, in the
Philippines. Once operational, it will be the biggest agrofuel producer in the country. By partnering with the
Filipino-based ECOFUEL Land Development, Inc., Japanese company ITOCHU Inc. is already beginning to
transform vast tracks of land into sugarcane plantations. They are aiming to take over 11,000 hectares in an
area where there is only approximately 29,000 hectares of agricultural land available, as recorded in official government statistics. This project is aiming to attain a production of 125,000 liters of ethanol per day or 54
million liters per year.
Agriculture is considered a key to employment, growth, and poverty reduction in Africa. In Sub-Saharan
Africa, the agricultural sector is said to employ 65% of the labor force and generates 32% of the
gross domestic product (GDP).
Concerns Regarding the Food and Agriculture Organization's Draft "Voluntary
Guidelines on the responsible governance on the Tenure of Land, Forestry and Fisheries”.
Africa Wide Regional Multi-Stakeholder Forum and CSO Consultation on Aid and Development Effectiveness in Agriculture and Rural Development
PCFS holds Regional Thematic Consultation on Development Effectiveness of CSOs
A consultation on Development Effectiveness of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) was held to gather the insights of CSOs working with marginalized groups in defining the international framework of CSOs as key actors in development. Grassroots organizations and support non-governmental organizations with work among farmers, fishers, pastoralists, indigenous people, women and migrants from 11 countriesparticipated in the event.
PCFS Holds Asia-wide CSO Conference on Aid and Development Effectiveness in ARD
Peasant organizations and support non-governmental organizations from all over Asia came together and exposed the intensifying problems on food and land despite the increasing stream of development aid from developed countries and international funding institutions to third world countries in a conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in January 20, 2011.
PAN AP releases paper on global land grabbings
Land grabbing in massive proportions is happening all over the world, threatening not only the survival of small farms but the very food sovereignty of nations.
In commemoration of the International Human Rights Day (December 10), PAN AP launches its Turning Point entitled “Global Land Grabbing: Eroding Food Sovereignty”. The Turning Point is an offshoot of the PAN AP Special Release, which is an occasional publication of PAN AP that aims to raise awareness and provide critical analyses on food sovereignty issues.
This publication is a contribution to the articulation of the issue of global land grabs that have been an observable phenomenon since the advent of global food crisis which started in 2008. It places the phenomenon in the context of the current global economic crisis to trace the roots and impetus of global land grabs. It focuses on some initial cases in Asia to show the peculiarity of the issue in the regional context and project what is in store for the region. Finally, this paper uses the principles and programmes of food sovereignty to analyze the implications of global land grabs on the aspirations of farming and marginalized communities.
Addressing the Drivers
of the Global Rush for Farmland Acquisitions
The proliferation of large-scale foreign land acquisitions (FLAs) in poor countries
have been a matter of concern to the international community over the last
two years. Civil society organizations have promptly raised the alarm over
their lack of transparency and negative consequences. Many of these deals are
tantamount to land grabbing that violate the right to land and right to food
of small farmers and ! shers, especially women, pastoralists and tribal peoples.
The World Bank’s much anticipated report on FLAs–Rising Global Interest in
Farmland: Can It Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits?–con! rms, albeit with little new
evidence, the dismal bene! ts and adverse social and environmental consequences these types of investments bring to their countries of destination
Please support the people of Sompeta in defending their land.
Sompeta, a tranquil coastal town of North Srikakulam district of the Indian State Andhra Pradesh, witnessed unprecedented violence on
July 14, 2010, when Indian company Nagarjuna Construction Company Limited tried to acquire 1,905 acres (771 hectares) of fertile multi-cropping agricultural land and wetlands with the help of local authorities and armed police force for construction of a coal-based power plant. Despite being productive, the lands and wetlands of Sompeta were declared by the government as a “wasteland”, thus, allowing the conversion to a power plant.
Addressing the Global Food Crisis Beyond Representation and Guidelines
There is enough food for everyone yet more than a billion people are hungry.
Developing countries - used to be known as the food baskets of the world - have now become dependent on food importations and aid. Four decades ago, the global south had US$ 1 billion yearly trade surpluses on agricultural goods. By 2001, after three “Development Decades” and the expansion of the agri-food complex, southern countries started importing food worth US$ 11 billion a year.
This is compounded by the fact that despite their natural resources and agricultural produce, 78.5% of the world’s population in developing countries live on $1.25 - $2 a day. A case in point is Asia, which accounts for 90% of the global cereal production, is also home to the largest number of poor and undernourished people.
At present, a child dies of hunger every six seconds yet last month in the UN summit for the Millennium Development Goals, heads of states were still pushing for the same prescription that caused the food crisis and the broader economic and financial crisis in the first place. Globalization and neo-liberal policies laced with commitments to increase investments and aid is the same formula that served as the gateway for rich governments, multinational companies and big financial institutions and firms to control the global food system - from production inputs, to credit, marketing and distribution.
The reaffirmation of the principles of MDGs in the UN summit is devoid of the fact that while the food crisis exploded in 2008, agricultural corporations and financial firms are raking in unprecedented profits and are now pursuing their lucrative business through widespread land-grabbing under the guise of pursuing food security. This has caused further deepening of the long-standing crisis of agriculture and food production in underdeveloped countries, whose governments are controlled by the domestic elites that are begging for investments and aid for their own self-serving interests.
Faced with this deeply rooted crisis of the Global Food System, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for its part has to act beyond narrow food security concerns. The crisis of the Global Food System needs to be addressed not only by assuring food availability but by addressing the root causes of the problem.
The speculative financial gain and the agricultural monopoly production for industrial use like monoculture for agro-fuel and animal feeds along with the monopoly in trading and marketing in agriculture is not going to be resolved by Investment Forums. Neither will the impact of land-grabbing on the people and the environment be mitigated by voluntary guidelines without addressing the need for an enabling environment that truly protects and promotes food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture.
We strongly condemn the so-called win-win solutions being peddled by the World Bank on Foreign Land Acquisitions, prescribing token and non-binding procedural and framework improvements that aim to legitimize land-grabbing. Neither codes of conduct will transform these profit-seeking ventures into positive investments for the host countries and communities. This so called ‘CSO acceptable’ framework and recommendations is intended to obscure not only the root causes of the crisis but also divert the struggle of the people for their right to food, development and genuine change.
The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty calls for the assertion of the right of people’s to determine their own policies on food and agriculture. Beyond a meagre space for non-voting CSO representatives in the Committee for the World Food Security, we should strive for the recognition for the struggles of people especially of the peasant movement against neoliberal policies and corporate monopoly.
We salute the peasant organizations in Andhra Pradesh, for standing up against the Nagajurna Construction Company and the Police who shot dead three unarmed farmers who were protesting the construction of a power plant which will displace communities of farmers and fisherfolks in Sompeta.
We salute the peasant leaders who are victims of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines who were fighting for social justice and genuine land reform. We salute the Indonesian and Senegalese peasants for campaigning against land-grabbing and mono-culture. We also salute the Ogoni people in Nigeria who remain steadfast in thwarting the repeated attempts of foreign oil companies in its plan to plunder their natural resources.
On the occasion of the World Food Day, we call on all the small food producers and their advocates to strengthen their resolve and attain higher level of unity from the grassroots to the international level in promoting and advancing Food Sovereignty. Let this be a part of the overall struggle against those who thrive on the current misery of the people; against the pole-bearers of neo-liberal policies, corporate monopoly, and globalization. ###
Istanbul CSO Development Effectiveness Principles
The first Global Assembly of the Open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness was recently held last September 28 – 30 in Istanbul, Turkey. It was the first international meeting point for participants and stakeholders of the Open Forum process that reviewed and discussed the results of earlier consultations in preparation for the fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, to be held in Seoul in 2011.
After the 3-day Conference, an 8-point principles were finalized and officially endorsed by more than 200 participants
PCFS is a member of the Global Facilitation Group of the Open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness.
On October 16, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other United Nations (UN) member states will commemorate the World Food Day through the 37th Session of the World Committee on Food Security. The theme chosen for this year’s observance is ‘FOOD PRICES – FROM CRISIS TO STABILITY.’ Such is an ironic theme given the fact that the price of oil has continuously surged; the credit crunch and unemployment rise have run unabated globally; climate crisis has devastated livelihoods and crops especially in South Asia and Eastern Europe; and the food price index has increased more steeply at the start of the year compared to the 2008 World Food Crisis. [...more]
The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), in partnership with IBON International’s Reality of Aid Network (RoA), Better Aid and partner civil society organizations (CSOs), went full swing in the conduct of trainings on food sovereignty and consultations on aid effectiveness in Agriculture and Rural development (ARD) in Nepal, India and Uganda in September. [...more]
The Brussels-based environmental watchdog, CDM Watch, met with the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) to examine the Itochu Corporation’s efforts to generate cash for their biofuel project in the northern Philippine municipality of San Mariano, Isabela through the carbon credit scheme of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Today, the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) launches the report of International Fact Finding Mission (IFFM) in San Mariano, Isabela, investigating whether the patterns of intensified land grabbing in the region are related to the development of the largest agrofuel project in the country by the Japanese-Filipino consortium Green Future Innovations Inc.
As a member of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, the BetterAid Open Platform is bringing forward a comprehensive agenda for renewed partnerships toward a just development cooperation. This regional process is part of the international community’s initiative on the road to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in Busan.
On July 6th 2011, over 200 members and allies of the Peoples Coalition on Food Sovereignty, IBON International, Asian Peasant Coalition, KMP and PAMALAKAYA members and allies from 15 countries worldwide joined together for the first International People’s Speak Out for the Right to Land and Life, in the streets of Quezon City, Philippines...
On July 4th, the Peoples Coalition on Food Sovereignty, as a member of the Better Aid Coordinating Group, hosted a civil society forum that featured the perspectives of representatives of small scale farmers’ organizations and support groups from India, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Mexico, Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya and Senegal.
The Peoples’ Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) - a growing international network of grassroots groups of small food producers and their allies - expresses staunch solidarity with the families of subsistence farmers living in Maramag, Bukidnon, who are facing forcible eviction from the lands they rely upon for their livelihoods due to the plans of Davao Ventures Corporation (DAVCO) for plantations of pineapples and bananas, hen houses and hog farming.
On the occasion of the ITOCHU Shareholders Meeting, we are writing to advise your company of the serious human rights violations, environmental damage and socio-economic concerns that are associated with the San Mariano Bio-ethanol project in which you are involved. Your attention is requested to take heed of the realities of the communities in San Mariano as outlined below and to ultimately consider withdrawing from an initiative which is neither a stable nor ethical investment.
From 30 May to 3 June 2011, the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), IBON International, Asian Peasant Coalition (APC),
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon ti Isabela(DAGAMI), organized a fact-finding mission among marginalized communities in San Mariano, Isabela, with the support of Action Solidarité Tiers Monde (ASTM), to document and analyze the concerns about patterns of land-grabbing and about a bio-ethanol project of the Japanese-Filipino corporate consortium Green Future Innovations, Inc. (GFII). In the process of carrying out this mission, members of the IFFM confirmed the recent findings of the national fact finding mission conducted from February 22 to 23 by KMP, DAGAMI and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines.
The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), IBON International, Asian Peasant Coalition (APC), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), and Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon ti Isabela (DAGAMI) are conducting research - with the support of Action Solidarité Tiers Monde (ASTM) - about foreign land grabbing acquisitions and the impact on food security and self-sufficiency. The five organizations are reaching out to marginalized communities in the northern Philippine barangay of San Mariano, Isabela, to document and analyze their concerns about patterns of land grabbing, including in relation to the bioethanol project of the Japanese-Filipinocorporate consortium known as Green Future Innovations, Inc. (GFII). .
The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) held its first assembly since its inception in 2005 to reinvigorate the network and meet the challenge of asserting further the people’s food sovereignty agenda amidst intensifying attacks to people’s rights to food and land such as landgrabbing and corporate control on food and agriculture.
We, 76 indigenous peoples representatives and advocates from 15 countries in Asia, Pacific, Australia, Africa, North and South America, and Europe, bind ourselves in solidarity for the pursuit of indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination and liberation at this international conference.
On the occasion of the COP16/CMP6 in Cancun, Mexico, the Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) is launching a handbook entitled “Weathering the Climate Crisis (The Way of Ecological Agriculture)” and “Climate Change and Crop Protection (Anything Can Happen), a monograph.
-Progressive international activists who had been granted visas denied entry into South Korea and expelled without explanation.
-Participants to the Seoul International People's Conference condemned indiscriminately as a dangerous force; exaggerated blacklist.
-Most individuals denied visas or entry progressive activists from Asian or African developing countries.[...more]
-Mr. Paul L. Quintos was refused to enter into Korea even though the fact that he had been in Korea to participate in the G20 Civil Dialogue with the invitation of the Korean government.
- We blame the Lee Administration for the prohibiton of entry of activists from development NGOs while it emphasizes the importance of development agenda in G20..
The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty together with IBON International and the Green Movement of Sri Lanka successfully held a National Consultation on Development Effectiveness and Food Sovereignty in Sri Lanka last September 4, 2010.
This year, we are commemorating the World Food Day in a state where the food situation is precarious. The lessons we have to learn from the experiences in trying to feed the world are very important. This is not because of the successes but because of the failures. The world leaders have almost come to a situation in which they need to admit that their efforts so far in trying to solve world’s hunger has failed and they are not in a position to find effective solutions.
*Poverty and hunger caused by CARPer, landlessness, Negros and Southern
Tagalog farmers say***
Farmers from the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement
of the Philippines), KMP Negros and KASAMA-TK (KMP Southern Tagalog)
protested in front of the Dept. of Agrarian Reform office in Quezon City
corresponding the World Food Day observed globally. The peasant groups
dubbed it as World "Foodless" Day and put the blame of poverty and
hunger on massive landlessness and the implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with "Reforms" or
CARPer. The groups were joined by other peasant groups such as Alyansa
ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA), Tungkong Mangga
farmers, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA),
Pamalakaya-Pilipinas, Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and supporters from
Anakpawis Partylist, International League of Peoples'
Struggle-Philippines (ILPS) and NNARA-Youth.
Keynote speech of Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos of the Peasant Movement of the Philippines and the Asian Peasant Coalition in the CSO Parallel Meeting to the 30th FAO-APRC.
On behalf of Peasant Movement of the Philippines and Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) warm greetings of solidarity!
I am pleased and honored to be with you today to share experiences, perspectives and aspirations of peasants and farmers from around Asia. At a time when the peoples of the world, especially the rural poor, are facing the gravest hunger crisis in history, the daunting challenge of climate change coupled with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, this is certainly the time to learn from each other and strengthen solidarity and cooperation to address common problems and pursue common goals.
We, seventy (70) representatives of organizations of small farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, rural women, pastoralists, youth, cooperatives, and NGOs from Asian Civil Society met from September 27-28 for the CSO parallel consultation to the 30th FAO-Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Gyeongju, Korea. We discussed the critical issues affecting global food security namely: climate change adaptation and mitigation, land grabbing and food sovereignty, trade and investment, global food and financial crises, and agriculture and food governance
Families of peasant political prisoners who are members of regional and local chapters of the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and network peasant organizations flooded the office of Dept. of Justice Sec. Leila De Lima at Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila. They are primarily calling for the immediate freedom of their family members who they claim were wrongfully accused and their charges as part of the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya.
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) & International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN)
The organochlorine insecticide endosulfan is entering the final stages of consideration for listing under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants for global elimination. PAN and IPEN support the elimination of endosulfan.
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