The possibility of ordinary people to change the course of history has always come with the ability to communicate, co-operate and organize. Many major breakthroughs of humanity against hierarchical, oppressive and exploitational paradigms have occurred when people have formed big movements, such as the movement for the womens’ rights, or for the civil rights movement in the USA. Currently there is still a lot for which to fight. Evidently there are many movements nowadays living and struggling for a better world, such as movement for Climate Justice, Food Sovereignty, Solidarity Economy, peace, animal rights, queer rights and many more.
Some movements face repression and it might seem futile to fight those who hold the martingales of governments and corporations, those who do not hesitate to corrupt, manipulate and even use violence. If our movements are to succeed, they must cooperate both at local level and on a global scale, within the movement and in between different movements.
At global level the Food Sovereignty movement is represented by the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC). It is an autonomous and self-organized global platform to advance the Food Sovereignty agenda at the global and re-gional level. Among the organizations, participating in the IPC at the international level is La Via Campesina, which coined the concept of Food Sovereignty. It brings together more than 200 million small and medium-scale farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous peoples, migrants and agricultural workers from all around the world. La Via Campesina associates 182 organisations from 81 countries. For Europe, the umbrella organization representing the Food Sovereignty movement is the Nyéléni Europe. It also includes Urgenci, the global network of Community Supported Agriculture, Indigenous Peoples, fishers, pastoralists, women and youth representatives, so all food-pro-ducing and food-consuming constituencies are represented.
Further reading and resources:
La Via Campesina – the international umbrella organization for the Food Sovereignty movement:
In May 2013, the EU Commission published the draft for regulation of marketing and propagating the seed material. The writers’ aim was to prioritize increased productivity and intensify industrial-ized, export-oriented agriculture. It threatened rare varieties of vegetables, grains and fruit as well as rare breeds of animals.
Seed diversity and agrobiodiversity must be fully legally rec-ognized and free of any restrictions! So the campaign against the proposed law began. All over Europe about 900,000 people signed petitions. In Austria, the petition called “Freedom for Di-versity” was signed by 500,000 people within a year. Thousands of people sent e-mails and self-selected seeds to members of the EU Parliament to express their wish for the protection of di-versity. On 11 March 2014, the European Parliament rejected the proposed draft. Humans and nature need diversity. Especially in times of climate change, we need resilient plants that are able to adapt to extreme conditions.8 The struggle continues essentially through the UN Convention on Biodiversity.
SUCCESSFUL EVENTS: THE NYÉLÉNI FOOD SOVEREIGNTY FORUMS
The struggle for Food Sovereignty cannot be imagined without the sharing of knowledge, meetings and networking. The first Nyéléni Forum took place in Mali in 2007. It brought together global leaders and actors from all the different constituencies of the Food Sovereignty movement. The first Nyéléni Europe Forum took place in Krems in Austria in August 2011. The second was held in Cluj-Napoca in Romania in October 2016. Both events brought many hundreds of activists from across Europe together. Another good example at national level is the second Forum of Food Sovereignty that was held in Warsaw in January 2020. It was organized by Nyéléni Poland with the support of several other groups. It was a gathering of activists, scholars, farmers and educators to discuss Food Sovereignty in the world, with special attention paid to the Polish case.