Posts Tagged ‘Copenhagen’

“If we genuinely want to tackle the climate change crisis, the only way we have to go forward is to stop industrial agriculture.”
Henry Saragih, General Coordinator, Via Campesina

Global talks adressing climate change began this week in Copenhagen. Among the politicians, activists, scientists and others attending the talk are representatives of Via Campesina, the largest international movement of small farmers. The above quote is excerpted from a speech presented in Copenhagen by Henry Saragih, Via Campesina’s general coordinator. He concludes his speech by saying, “In short, by taking agriculture away from the big agribusiness corporations and putting it back into the hands of small farmers, we can reduce half of the global emissions of greenhouse gases.”

Ironically enough, just as these talks are going on and the links between big agriculture and global warming are becoming increasingly more evident, the U.S. Senate is about to hold confirmation hearings on Islam Siddiqui as the U.S. Trade Office’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator. Siddiqui is the current vice president for Science and Regulatory Affairs with Crop Life America, a pesticide and biotechnology trade group known for aggressively pursuing and protecting the interests of agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow. This position will enable Siddiqui to keep pushing chemical pesticides, inappropriate biotechnologies, and unfair trade arrangements on countries that do not want and can least afford them. The appointment also shows how much influence corporate agriculture and biotech firms have on our national policies.

Saragih’s full speech is reprinted below.

To take action in blocking Siddiqui’s nomination, click here.

Why we left our farms to come to Copenhagen

Speech of Henry Saragih, general coordinator of Via Campesina – Opening of Klimaforum – Copenhagen Dec 7

*         Tonight is a very special night for us to get together here for the opening of the assembly of the social movements and civil society at the Klimaforum. We, the international peasant movement La Via Campesina, are coming to Copenhagen from all five corners of the world, leaving our farmland, our animals, our forest, and also our families in the hamlets and villages to join you all.

*         Why is it so important for us to come this far? (more…)

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