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A call for civil disobedience against the privatisation of peasant seeds

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For thousands of years, communities have nurtured and taken care of the crops and seeds that sustain us. Seeds are part of human history, work and knowledge systems, and our relationship with them is a never-ending conversation of care. This mutual nurturing has given rise to specific ways of cultivating, sharing, feeding and healing that are linked to community norms, responsibilities, obligations and rights.

People’s freedom to work with seeds hinges on the responsibility of communities who defend and maintain them, who care for them and enjoy the goods they provide. And this freedom is under threat.

Today there is a strong assault on people’s seeds. It comes from the drive to regulate, standardise and privatise seeds to expand markets for corporations. This is done through plant breeders’ rights and patent laws, as well as seed certification schemes, variety registers and marketing laws. Whatever the form, it is about legalising abuse, dispossession and devastation.

Today’s attack on seeds aims to put an end to peasant and Indigenous agriculture, an end to independent food production. Where peasant food sovereignty prevails, it is difficult to turn us into cheap and dependent labour, people without territory and without history. We face a coordinated political and technocratic crusade to impose uniform and rigid laws and regulations in favour of agroindustry. There is a determined effort to discredit people’s historical practices and ancestral indigenous peasant knowledge in order to make us dependent on corporations. Communities who have resisted have faced criminalisation, repression, and even imprisonment

Whether in Africa, Asia, Europe or the Americas, communities are fighting this pressure and we are united and mobilised to actively support them.

In Benin, social movements have stopped the national parliament from discussing a law proposal to join UPOV, the Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties. UPOV sets global standards for seed privatisation in favour of transnationals like Monsanto/Bayer, Syngenta and Corteva.

– In Guatemala, Indigenous peoples are in the streets demanding that their government’s proposed bill to adopt UPOV standards be scrapped as well. They call it “the Monsanto Law” and its rejection is part of an ongoing nationwide strike.

– In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, groups are working together to prevent the adoption of a new ruling that would open the doors to genetically modified seeds in all three countries at once.

– In Thailand, civil society organisations are fighting hard against free trade agreements that impose UPOV instead of protecting the rights of farmers and other rural communities to maintain and use their local seeds.

-In Indonesia, farmers and civil society organisations continue to reject UPOV, which is being imposed through free trade negotiations and under pressure from countries like Japan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4pD_yZG1lc

-In the Philippines, farmers, scientists, concerned citizens and civil society organizations filed an environmental case to the Supreme Court to stop the commercial propagation of the genetically modified golden rice that is patented by Syngenta and other agrochemical corporations. Moreover, Filipino farmers are spearheading the fight for the recognition and strengthening of farmers’ rights to seeds and farmers’ seed system by forwarding seed commoning as an alternative to the UPOV-like laws in the country.

– Internationally, peasant and other social movements are also trying to get the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) translated into enforceable national laws.

We are determined to resist the dispossession of seeds from the hands of the people. We vigorously oppose registration, certification, patenting and marketing schemes, treaties, conventions, national and international laws and legal frameworks such as UPOV and other seed laws that promote the dispossession of the common goods and knowledge of our peoples.

We, as peoples in resistance, guardians of the seeds, will continue keeping, sharing and reproducing our seeds so our presence will germinate from our roots.

Signatories (Only organisation name displayed):

ABSDD/Slow Food

Burkina Faso

Acción Comunal

Colombia

ACDIC

Cameroun

AFSA

Africa region

agrarinfo.ch

Switzerland

AgriMovement

Lebanon

AIFFRS

India

AKban Mague

Colombia

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

USA

A lo Verde Escuela de Huertos Agroecologicos

Ecuador

Alliance pour le Développement Durable et pour l’Environnement

Côte d’Ivoire

Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture

India

Amigos unidos con amor hojas de agricultura

Colombia

Anti-mining struggle committee

India.

ANAGAVEC

Ecuador

APBREBES

Global/Switzerland

Aravali Bachao

India

ARBA (Asociación para la recuperación del bosque autóctono)

Spain

Aseas

Colombia

Asoproorgànicos

Colombia

Association des Jeunes Agriculteurs de la Casamance

Senegal

Asociación de mujeres unidas por el desarrollo juanchopuquio encañada

Peru

Asociación Ecoaldea Aldeafeliz

Colombia

Asociacion Agroecologia y Fe

Bolivia

Asociación PROBIVIR

Colombia

Association pour la Défense de l’environnement et des Consommateurs (ADEC)

Sénégal

Asociación Shuar Sharup de cuidado y protección de semillas.

Ecuador

Association Sénégalaise des Producteurs de Semences Paysannes

Senegal

Association Tunisienne de Permaculture

Tunisie

Atukpamba y Red de Guardianes de Semillas de Ecuador

Ecuador

Audace Institut Afrique

Côte d’Ivoire

Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF)

Bangladesh

Badabon Sangho

Bangladesh

Bendito Prashadam

Colombia

BioThai

Thailand

Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya

Kenya

Biodiversity Information Box

Japan

Biowatch South Africa

South Africa

Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU)

India

Building Futures

USA

Cabildo Indígena de la cuenca del Río Guabas

Colombia

Cámara Verde de la Amazorinoquía

Colombia

Campesinos construyendo futuro

Colombia

Caritas Diocese of Malakal (CDoM)

South Sudan

Casa de semillas El Origen

Colombia

CCPA

Sénégal

CEIP

Colombia

CENDA

Bolivia

CERAI

Spain

Chile Mejor sin TLC

Chile

Chilis on Wheels

United States

C.netzero

DRC

City Mouse Garden

United States

COAG

Spain

Coati

Colombia

Cocapeutas Cooperatica Mujeres Medicina

Peru

Colectiva de mujeres Muralistas

Colombia

Colectivo Agroecológico Del Ecuador

Ecuador

Colectivo Cultura Saravita

Colombia

Colectivo por la Autonomía / Saberes Locales

México

Colombia Humana

Colombia

Colectivo Minga de soberanía alimentaria deChia

Colombia

Colectivo Semilla Negra

México

Colectivo Xiegua

Colombia

Comité de Derechos Humanos de la Sierra Norte de Veracruz

México

Comité Ouest Africain des semences Paysannes

West Africa

Commission of Charity and Social Actions – Caritas Dalat

Viet Nam

Comunidad Moneda Luna

Colombia

Comunidad Rural de la Buitrera

Colombia

comunidad kishuar Amazanga

Ecuador

Cooperativa Huacal

México

Coordinadora Ambiental Popular de Santa Rosa de Cabal

Colombia

COPAGEN

West Africa

CORDES MAELA RENAF

Colombia

Corpalabra

Colombia

CORPONIMA

Colombia

Corporación Aluna

Colombia

Corporación Creare Social

Colombia

Corporación Compromiso

Colombia

Corporacion Frutos de Utopía

Colombia

Corporación Síntesis

Colombia

Corredor biológico Montes del aguacate costa Rica

Costa Rica

CREATE

INDIA

CSRD

India

CSFdeepinnerMusic

Netherlands

Cuatro Rumbos Para Ti

México

CULTIVISA

Colombia

Cultivo Lo Nuestro

Colombia

Custodios de Semillas Ancestrales

Colombia

Darbar Sahitya Sansada

India

DESMI, A.C.

México

Ecofeminisarte

Colombia

Ecosinergia

Colombia

EdibleBristol

UK

El Jilote, SPG

México

Enda Pronat

Senegal

ESAL

Colombia

Escuela de Líderesas del Ecuador, y mujeres por el cambio, y defensa por la salud de los pueblos

Ecuador

Evobiota Consultancy Corporation

Philippines

Extinction Rebellion València

España

FAEB / Federation Agroecologique du Benin

BENIN

FIAN Indonesia

Indonesia

Finca Carrizales

Colombia

Frente de lucha Ambiental Delia Villalba

Uruguay

Friends of the Earth Nigeria

Nigeria

Fundacion Ambiental

Colombia

Fundacion Avá

Argentina

Fundación Julia Márquez

Colombia

Fundacion Biosistemas Integrados

Uruguay

Fundación la COSMOPOLITANA

Colombia

Fundacion Luna Arte

Colombia

Fundación Runakawsai

Ecuador

Gealac

Peru

Gender Justice

Zambia

Glesi

Netherlands

Good Food Community

Philippines

GRAIN

International

Grassroots klimaatboerderij

Belgium

Grassroots Trust

Zambia

Groupe d’action Écologique pour le développement intégral

RDC

Grow Local Colorado

United States

Grupo Allpa

Ecuador

Grupo Raquira Silvestre SAS

Colombia

Grupo Semillas

Colombia

HEKS Swiss Church Cooperation

Switzerland

Humaine

Belgique

Huerta comunitaria y Jardín Polinizador Con Ojos de Amor

Colombia

Huerta Marsella

Bogota

Huertas Swa Cho

Colombia

Huerto Agroecológico Atemajac

México

Incredible Edible Lambeth

United Kingdom

Indigenous Women and Girls Initiative

Kenya

Instituto Agroecológico Latinoamericano México

México

Instituto Humanitas

Perú

ISRA

Sénégal

JAL Diviso

Colombia

Joint Action for Water

India

Junta de agua vereda laureles

Colombia

JVE Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire

Kikandwa Environmental Association

Uganda

Laboratorio de Tierras

Ecuador

La Via Campesina East and Southern Africa

Zimbabwe

La Tucaneta

Colombia

Lapapaya

Colombia

La Cité Idéale

Burkina Faso

La Cuica Cósmica

Ecuador

La Savia

Colombia

Les amis de la Terre

Togo

Lideresa social

Colombia

Kansas interfaith Action

USA

Karnataka State Farmers Association (KRRS)

India

Malaysian Food Sovereignty Forum (FKMM)

Malaysia

MASIPAG

Philippines

Mesa Departamental de Diálogo y Concertación Agraría, Étnica y Popular de Nariño

Methods Lab

United States

MINGAnet

Colombia

Mink’a Comunicación

Argentina

Mirachik

Ecuador

Mouvement d’Action Paysanne

Belgium

Mouvement des jeunes pour l’agriculture,l’agroécologique,et Agro pastorale (M.J.A.A.P)

R.D.Congo

Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR)

Sri Lanka

Movimiento Agroecológico de América Latina y el Caribe-MAELA

Colombia

Movimiento Campesino de Papaye

Haïti

Movimiento pacto histórico

Colombia

Movimiento Rural Cristiano

España

Mujeres que reverdecen

Colombia

Munsenga cooperative

Zambia

National Alliance for Agroecology The Gambia

Gambia

NeverEndingFood.org

Malawi

Ntaamba Hiinta Development Trust

Zambia

Ofraneh

Honduras

ojoVoz

Mexico

OK Seed Project

Japan

ONG YVEO

Côte d’Ivoire

Organisation des Ruraux pour une Agriculture Durable

Benin

Organización campesinos construyendo futuro (OCCF)

Colombia

Panitar Pally Unnyan Samiti

India

Paralegal Alliance Network

Zambia

Perkumpulan INISIATIF

Indonesia

Perkumpulan Kediri Bersama Rakyat (KIBAR)

Indonesia

Plataforma del País Valencià per un tren públic, social i sostenible que vertebre el territori i refrede el planeta

Spain

Primavera Zur

Colombia

Promotores ambientales del eje cafetero

Colombia

Proyecto agroecologico familiar y educativo ambiental sueño verde

Colombia

PTR Associates

USA

Punarchith

India

RADD

Cameroun

Radio Bénin

Bénin

RECHERCHE SANS FRONTIÈRES RSF

RD Congo

Red de Agricultores Urbanos Bogotá

Colombia

Red de consumo Responsable y consciente

Colombia

Red Colombiana de Agricultura Biológica de Antioquía

Colombia

Red de Custodia de Semillas Criollas y Nativas (CESTA)

Colombia

Red de foresteia análoga

Ecuador

Red de huertos agroecológicos de Cali

Colombia

Red de huertos urbanos

Colombia

Red de Resersvas / Resnatur

Colombia

Red de semillas criollas y nativas

Uruguay

Red de semillas libres de Colombia

Colombia

Red Distrital de Agricultores

Colombia

Red en defensa del Maiz

México

Red Kunagua

Colombia

Redmac

Colombia

REDMUNORCA

Colombia

Red de Pueblos Hermanos

Colombia

Red de jóvenes por la Agrobiodiversidad

Perú

Red Yuma

Colombia

Regional Schools and Colleges Permaculture

Kenya

Reservorio de Semillas Techotiva

Colombia

RESNATUR – Red de reservas

Colombia

Reseau JINUKUN

Benin

Resource Institute of Social Education

India

Salt Films

India

Sanwad

India

Save Earth Save Life Movement

India

Save Our Rice Campaign

India

Secretaria de educación de Bogotá

Colombia

Seed In A Box

Lebanon

Semillas de Nuestra Tierra

México

Semilla Nativa Colombia

Colombia

Semillas de Identidad – SWISSAID

Colombia

Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia Kalbar

Indonesia

SERVIHUERTA

Colombia

Siyada network

Arab région

Société civile environnementale et agro-rurale du Congo

RDC

Sociedad libre y Neocampesina

Colombia

Soil if Cultures

New Zealand

South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements

India

SSN

England

Ssfafrica.com

Zambia and Africa

Sukrutham

India

Synergie Nationale des Paysans et Riverains du Cameroun

Cameroun

Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity

Tanzania

Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam

India

The Ecocene Project

India

The Failing Farmer

Tunisia

The Hummingbird Foundation

Kenya

The Sixth Element School

India

The Utopian Seed Project

USA

Tierra Fertil

Colombia

Tinto to go

Colombia

Tlalixpan, sobre la faz de la tierra

México

Unillanos

Colombia

Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez Oaxaca

México

Union Démocratique de l’Agriculture

Maroc

Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez Oaxaca

México

Unión nacional de organizaciones regionales campesinas

autónomas (UNORCA)

Mexico

Union Régionale des Associations Paysannes de DIOURBEL URAPD

Senegal

Uruguay Soberano

Uruguay

Waia Reserva Sagrada

Colombia

We Are the Solution

Senegal

West africa sea turtles conservation network

Côte d’Ivoire

WFDFFM

Indonesia

Wild Webcap

Australia

Women’s Alliance MN

United States

WMW/ATPA

Tunisie

xermoladas

Spain

Youth talk

RDC

Yuva Kaushal Vikas Mandal

India

Zambian Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity

Zambia

Source: GRAIN

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Appellate Division of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) to hear an Appeal filed by CSOs which seeks to reinstate a petition against the construction of the EACOP project tomorrow.

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By Witness Radio team.

In a stirring development for environmental and human rights advocacy in East Africa, the Appellate Division of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) is set to hear an appeal that four East African civil society organizations (CSOs) filed to re-instate the petition challenging the construction of East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.

The organizations spearheading this appeal include the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) from Uganda, the Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT) also from Uganda, Natural Justice (NJ) based in Kenya, and the Centre for Strategic Litigation (CSL) from Tanzania.

This appeal comes in response to a ruling handed down in November 2023 by the Court of First Instance at the EACJ, which dismissed the case on ground that it was filed out of time.

The pipeline, spanning 1443 kilometers from Uganda to Tanzania, has been met with fierce opposition from many groups and environmental activists all over the world, who argue that it violates key East African and international treaties, as well as laws safeguarding human rights, environmental conservation, biodiversity, and the protection of Lake Victoria.

According to activists, the EACOP project is traversing through sensitive ecosystems, including protected areas and internationally significant wetlands, posing threats to biodiversity and ecosystems that local communities depend on for their sustenance posing grave environmental risks.

Furthermore, the project also termed as a curse by the majority of the would-be beneficiaries due to displacement of thousands of individuals from their ancestral lands, and human rights violations/abuses.

Despite the setback of the initial dismissal, the four organizations pressed forward their pursuit of justice.

In their appeal, groups contend that the Court of First Instance erred in its ruling, and want the Appellate Division to reinstate their case.

Mr. Dickens Kamugisha, the CEO of AFIEGO, expressed that they remain resolute in their pursuit of justice through the East African Court of Justice and other courts.

He further mentions that millions of East Africans have high hopes in the regional court to protect their socio-economic and environmental rights and help them continue advancing their aspirations for climate change mitigation and clean energy.

Mr. Kamugisha added that they maintained hope that the court would prioritize the rights of East Africans over the profit-seeking endeavors of large corporations, even if it came at the expense of people.

According to the Executive Director of Natural Justice, Ms. Farida Aliwa, the EACOP and related projects have already led to serious human rights abuses, including evictions, assaults and environmental destruction

“In the interests of justice, we believe that this case needs to be heard at the East African Court of Justice, as a positive outcome will be good for the East African people and planet. The Court has the power to affirm that the governments, investors, and companies violate both national and international laws and that the EACOP project must be stopped. We trust that the East African Court of Justice will see this, and decide to hear the merits of this case.” She revealed.

The case will be heard tomorrow 9:00 East Africa Standard Time at the Court of Appeal of the East African Court of Justice.

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PFZW scraps funding from Total and others for failure to transition into a cleaner energy mix.

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By Witness Radio team.

In a significant move towards aligning its investments with environmental goals, Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) has announced its decision to disinvest from fossil fuel giants such as Shell and Total.

This decision comes after two years of intensive engagement with fossil fuel companies, during which PFZW sought to encourage the development of climate transition plans in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

PFZW is the pension fund for the care and welfare sector based in the Netherlands. PFZW invests the contributions paid by employers and employees to achieve a high, stable, and responsible return over the long term at an acceptable level of risk. The fund invests globally in the investment categories of variable-yield securities and fixed-income securities. The pension fund had a total of € 217 billion of assets under management at the end of 2022.

According to PFZW, 310 oil and gas companies failed to demonstrate a clear transition to a cleaner energy mix.

Some of the big oil and gas companies that PFZW parted ways with are Total, Shell, and BP among others. These major corporations have frequently faced criticism for investing in fossil fuel projects.

For example, Total, among other projects putting the World climate at risk, is advocating for the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and Tilenga projects in western Uganda. Despite, environmental experts warning of potential environmental damage, Total has persisted in heavily funding these projects.

PFZW’s disinvestment strategy is part of its broader commitment to sustainability and responsible investing. The PFZW fund has sold its stakes in 310 oil and gas companies, totaling 2.8 billion euros, for failure to demonstrate a clear transition to cleaner energy sources.

During this period, dialogue with oil and gas companies was significantly intensified to encourage them to produce verifiable transition plans that support the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Joanne Kellermann, chair of the board of PFZW said that “the intensive shareholder dialogue over the past two years with the oil and gas sector on climate has made it clear to us that most fossil fuel companies are not prepared to adapt their business models to ‘Paris’. While the largest companies in this sector do invest in sustainable forms of energy, the switch from fossil to low carbon is not nearly fast enough. Incidentally, this reflects the slow pace we see globally in the transition to renewable energy.”

According to PFZW, seven listed oil and gas companies with a compelling climate transition strategy will remain part of the portfolio. This contributes to the goal of investing more in companies that play a positive role in the global energy transition.

Despite parting ways with numerous fossil fuel companies, PFZW will continue to invest in seven oil and gas companies that have demonstrated a commitment to transitioning towards renewable energy sources. These companies, including Cosan S.A., Galp Energia, and Neste Oyj, are regarded as frontrunners in the energy sector due to their efforts to reduce carbon emissions and invest in low-carbon technologies.

“The seven companies we will continue to invest in are the only ones that show a switch is possible. At the same time, it is disappointing that there are only seven. We encourage the biggest players in the oil and gas sector to also accelerate the switch to a cleaner energy mix.” She revealed.

Furthermore, to significantly increase its investments in companies focused on improving the climate and energy transition, allocating two billion euros over the next two years to companies with measurable impacts on climate and the energy transition reflecting PFZW’s dedication to achieving a climate-neutral investment portfolio by 2050, with interim goals such as a 50% absolute carbon reduction by 2030 for equities, liquid credit, and real estate.

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MEDIA FOR CHANGE NETWORK

Museveni grants avocado growing investor 5 square miles of refugee camp land

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President Museveni has granted investors permission to use part of the land, where Kyaaka One and Kyaaka Two refugee camps sit, for avocado growing.

Museveni, in his letter dated January 30, 2024, directed the minister of relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Hon. Hillary Onek, to secure 10 square miles of land (2,600 hectares) off the two refugee camps of Kyaaka one and Kyaaka two.

The president says half of the land will go to avocado-growing investors, while the other half will be used to develop an industrial part in the area.

“One purpose is for an Investor to use 5 Square Miles and develop a plantation of Avocadoes, with value addition facilities for the Avocadoes being part of the package. Avocado oil is important for use in the manufacturing of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The other square miles will be used to develop an industrial Park for that area,” the letter reads in part.

Museveni says the industrial park and avocado plantation will create approximately 200,000 jobs for Ugandans.

“An industrial Park in that area would create a lot of jobs, and so would a big plantation of avocadoes, apart from the other benefits for the Country. Namanve Industrial Park will create 200,000 jobs when it is fully developed,” the letter adds.

Museveni also noted that he had been informed that part of the land was invaded by land grabbers and promised to visit the area in April 2024, directing that the 10 square miles be secured from the available land.

“I intend to come and meet those people who invaded a well known Government land in April 2024. In the meantime, I want the 10 Square Miles from the surviving Refugee Camp of Kyaaka. That is the size of 11 Square Miles“, he said.

He says the industrial Parks would give Uganda the tax money to support both the citizens and the Refugees.

Original Source: Chimp reports  Via farmlandgrab.org

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