Forum "Land, Territory and Dignity". Final Declaration. Porto Alegre, 6th – 9th March 2006
We urge the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD), States and the FAO to assume a real political state that will allow defeating hunger and poverty suffered by millions of men and women world. If this conference does not recognize the parallel forum of approaches, may not be considered successful.
And a new agrarian reform based on food sovereignty!
States and the international system have been unable to defeat poverty and hunger in the world. We reiterate our call upon our governments, FAO and its founding mandate, other UN institutions, other actors who are present at the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) and our societies, to engage critically with a New Agrarian Reform based on Food Sovereignty, Territory and Dignity of Peoples, which guarantees farmers and men, indigenous people, fishing communities, pastoralists, workers, rural communities, Dalit communities and other communities to access effective control of natural and productive resources for the exercise of our human rights.
Food Sovereignty and Agrarian Reform
The new agrarian reform must recognize the socio-environmental function of land, sea and natural resources in the context of food sovereignty, which must involve the highest will of States. We understand that food sovereignty implies redistribution policies, access control and fair and equitable access to natural and productive resources (credit, appropriate technology, etc.). From peasants and men, indigenous people, fishing communities, pastoralists, Dalit communities, Afro-descendant communities and other rural communities, rural development policies based on strategies that focus on agro-ecological peasant and family farming and fishing, trade policies against dumping and in favor of peasant production and Indian markets for local, national and international public policy and complementary health, education and infrastructure for the field.
The use of natural resources must be primarily for food production. The new agrarian reform must be high on the public agenda. In the context of food sovereignty, agrarian reform benefits society as a whole, providing it with healthy food, accessible and culturally appropriate, and social justice. Land reform would end the forced mass exodus from the countryside to the city that has made cities grow at unsustainable and dehumanizing conditions, it would bring a life with dignity for all members of our societies, would open the possibilities of a local economic development, regional and national level that is inclusive and for the benefit of the majority of the population, and end up with a monoculture agriculture that accounts for water, poisoning the land and rivers. We need a new fisheries policy that recognizes the right of fishing communities and fishing industry stop draining the life at sea. The new agrarian reform is valid for the countries of the south called "developing" to the north, called "developed".
Food sovereignty is based on the human right to food, self-determination, indigenous rights to territory and rights of peoples to produce food for subsistence and local markets. Food sovereignty defends agriculture with farmers and farming, fishing families, forest communities in woodlands, with some steppe pastoralist families…
In addition, land reform should guarantee the rights to education, health, housing, employment, social security and recreation. Agrarian reform must ensure the creation of life to maintain our cultures, to give a home to our youth so that our communities can grow in all its diversity and building a citizenship based on the relationship with land, sea, forests.
The sophisticated knowledge that indigenous peoples, peasants, fishermen have acquired through centuries of interaction with nature provide solutions to current ecological and social crisis. So we're convinced that indigenous food systems must have a high priority on land reform and the principles and indigenous knowledge must be applied for the benefit of communities.
Role of the State
The state must play a strong role in land reform policies and food production. The State needs to implement policies for the recognition of rights and democratization of access to land, coastal zones, forests and other cases where there is concentration of resources in few hands. Moreover, the State must guarantee the control of natural resources to communities, fishers, pastoralists, forest and indigenous peoples so that they can continue living and working in the field and on the coast, through the collective rights and community. Agrarian reform must create productive jobs, decent jobs and strengthening the labor rights of the workers as rural. States have the right and obligation to define sovereignty without external influences its own agricultural policies, agriculture, fishing and food so that they guarantee the right to food and other economic, social and cultural rights of all people. Male and female as producers have the access to credit at low interest and adapted to local conditions, prices and conditions of fair trade. Research and systems of collection and distribution in local and regional markets should have strong support from the state and ensure the common good.
Recognition designing Territory
The design of the area historically has been lacking within the processes of agrarian reform. No reform is only acceptable if one thinks of land distribution. We believe that the new agrarian reform must include the worldviews of land of the peasant communities, landless, indigenous peoples, rural workers, fisherfolk, pastoralists, tribes, African, ethnic minorities and displaced people, who base their work on the production food and maintain a relationship of respect and harmony with Mother Earth and the oceans.
All peoples, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, tribes, fishermen, rural workers, peasants, landless, pastoralists and displaced persons have the right to maintain their own spiritual and material, and to own, develop, control, use, and rebuild their social structures, political and social managing their lands and territories including the total environment, air, water, rivers, lakes, seas, sea-ice, flora, fauna and other resources that have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used. This implies the recognition of their laws, traditions, customs and tenure systems and institutions, as well as the recognition of cultural and territorial borders of nations. All the above is the recognition of self-determination and autonomy of peoples.
The expression of gender and youth in the struggle for agrarian reform
We recognize the vital role of women in agriculture, fishing and the use and management of resources. There is no genuine agrarian reform to gender equity, and that's why we call ourselves to the new agrarian reform to ensure women's full equality of opportunity and rights to land and natural resources, recognizing their diversity and redress discrimination and social disadvantages to which women were in the field. We also recognize that without young people in the countryside, there is no future for our societies. The new agrarian reform should give priority to women's rights and ensure a decent future for rural youth.
Women and rural youth are asking for equal living conditions and environmental policy, economic and cultural development. We must be involved in decision-making process that fully meets our needs. Therefore, we demand that governments honor their commitments and obligations under various international conferences such as Beijing and the World Conference against Racism. Particularly its commitments to gender equality and racial diversity in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Peasant Charter adopted at the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. We demand the implementation of redistributive land reform to enable women and youth access and jurisdiction over land and natural resources, ensuring the representation of women and youth in decision-making structures and management at all levels, local, national and international levels. It is imperative to have adequate financial resources for training and education on sexual and reproductive health for youth.
No to Privatization of the Sea and Earth, the Counter-Agrarian Reform, the neoliberal policies of the World Bank on land and access to resources, and the Dominant Model of Production and Development
Along with the privatization of land and coastal areas is advancing the privatization of the planet's biodiversity. Life is not a commodity. We will resist with all our capabilities to the neoliberal policies implemented by governments and enforced by the World Bank, WTO and other actors. We reject this approach privatization of land reform. We believe it is illegitimate. It is the people and not the World Bank to decide the agricultural, fisheries and food. Privatizing means to deprive communities of their formal and customary rights over their lands, territories, coastal areas and natural resources. Therefore we oppose government policies or land for privatization, policies of markets of sale and rent of land, the privatization of water, seas, seeds, forests, fishing areas and other resources as well as privatization of extension services and public support to production and marketing of farming.
The privatization of natural resources and technologies has increased social inequalities between men and women, ethnic groups, castes, classes and generations. These policies are perpetuating the state of displacement, persecution and criminalization of these already marginalized groups. Likewise, we will continue to resist the dominant model of production and development and its processes of globalization and neoliberal recolonizing, transformation and integration into supply chains of transnational corporations in agriculture, forestry and fishing (at contract production, monoculture agricultural exports, plantations, fisheries, exploitation of forests and agriculture industry, fuel plants, and transgenic biotechnology, nanotechnology).
Investments in mining, agro-export, mega, bio-piracy, green neoliberalism destroyed our lands, our agriculture and fisheries and are causing the displacement of local people and the uprooting of the countryside and coastlines. The "reconstruction" following natural disasters and wars, and trade policies that promote the exodus and displacement of the field (WTO, NAFTA, CAP, EPA, Farm Bill, financial flows, etc.).. Agricultural policies that fund agricultural and fisheries exports through the dumping should be replaced by others which make the food sovereignty and respect the endogenous development of peoples.
Recognize and appreciate the ALBA initiatives for regional integration and the exercise of sovereignty in which the agrarian reform and rural development is and should be an integral part. Criminalization and repression of social movements repudiate and condemn repression faced in almost every country in the world, the Americas and in Asia, Europe or Africa, or any fighter fighting for agrarian reform. We reject also the militarization and military occupation in Iraq, South Korea, Palestine and other countries that moved them to our people and steal their lands and territories, the "war on terror" serves as a pretext to repress them, and the criminalization of our movements. Fighting for our dignity is a duty and a human right to do so.
We demand that States to establish mechanisms to protect life and safety of people threatened by the processes of struggle for land, water, seas and natural resources.
Occupations, Recoveries and defense of territory: A social mobilization strategy and building proposals
We claim our shares of occupations, recoveries and / or defend our lands, territories, seeds, forests, fishing areas, housing as necessary and legitimate for the defense of our rights and conquest. Our everyday experience shows us that the struggle for a life with dignity for all, actions of self-defense as the occupation of land and the recovery and active defense of territories are required to move governments to meet their obligations and implement effective policies and programs of agrarian reform. We will continue to use these non-violent actions for the time necessary to achieve a world with social justice to give each and a real chance to have a decent life. Without the full participation and mobilization of social movements, there is no genuine agrarian reform.
Food sovereignty is not only a vision but also a common platform of struggle that allows us to continue to build unity in diversity. We believe that access to and control over natural resources, food production and increasing the power of decision are the three main axes that unite us.
Land reform and food sovereignty undertake a larger struggle by the dominant neoliberal model change. We need to build alliances with other sectors of society, a citizen power to ensure reforms. We commit ourselves to promote joint actions, joint trade and all forms of pressure that are underway, notably through international campaigns and networks that our sectors have or are realized. We are convinced that only the power of organized people and mobilization can achieve the necessary changes, so our main task is to inform, raise awareness, discuss, organize, and mobilize people. We call on all sectors and social forces represented here for us to build our unity, and bring those findings to discuss with our bases and using these ideas for the policies of international agencies such as FAO, and governments. We call the mechanism of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) to undertake work as a priority to follow these findings.
Soil, sea and land to live on; soil, sea and land to dream; soil, sea and land to assert our dignity!
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