In this year 2014 – declared the year of family farming by the UN – the women of the member organizations of the European Coordination Via Campesina are gathered in Evenstad (Norway) in the International Women's Day. We want to demonstrate our firm commitment to the right to healthy, adequate and good quality food for all citizens, within the framework of an agro-ecological and social mode of production and distribution.
We want the right of farmers to the equal participation within this mode, the legal recognition as producers of food, the access to land, seeds and other resources guaranteed.
Thousands of women farmers across Europe and worldwide work on projects of small scale farming, that are the basis of rich and diverse food systems, we are historical guardians of knowledge and biodiversity, and we ensure the conservation of land and a living countryside.
This way we condemn the attacks on rural communities and in particular the women of neoliberal policies emanating from the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Free Trade Agreements as the one that is being negotiated right now with the United States, being the cause of forced migration and even numerous deaths of people, who try to escape from these situations of poverty.
Another model of food production in the Food Sovereignty framework is essential for a radical social transformation, in a process in which values such as equality and human rights prevail over the interests of capital, the capitalist and the patriarchal policies.
A more egalitarian Europe, more just, can only be achieved if women are involved in decision-making spaces.
We also wish to express our rejection of all forms of discriminatory policies, and in a special way, we wish to express our support for women in different European countries who are mobilizing in defense of sexual and reproductive rights and, ultimately, for us women to have the right to decide about our bodies and our lives.
This 8th of March lets defend our rights as women and farmers in the street!
The European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) held its General Assembly from the 3rd to the 4th of March 2014 in Evenstad (Norway) - about 300 kilometers north of Oslo - in the county of Hedmark. The assembly, prepared by NBS (Farmers and Smallholders Union), addressed the issues of family farming and agro-ecology and it was attended by a large number of people. MIJARC Europe was represented by Olivier Dugrain from the European Team and Marina Grigorova (European Coordinator from YMDRAB).
Family farming is and remains the most widespread and sustainable model of food production in Europe and the world. The farms in Europe have an average size of 14 ha. of which over 69% have less than 5 ha. and only 2.7% more than 100ha.
With the occasion of the International Year of Family and Peasant Farming, the ECVC assembly wanted to remind International Organizations, States and any other interested entity that Europe needs all the women and men peasants and small-scale farmers, favoring a caring society, a cared environment and quality food. To this end, the Assembly drafted the "Evenstad Declaration" with seven concrete and essential measures to strengthen family and peasant farming.
"The European States and the EU should support the work of the Human Rights Council for the rights of the peasants and other people living in rural areas in order to respect the existence and activity of small producers "said Javier Sanchez (member of the Coordination Committee of ECVC)
"The EU must stop any new negotiations on FTA and in particular the TTIP with the United States, suspend the application of already published arrangements, and rush to renegotiate the agreements so that they benefit the population. By its own nature, “free” trade agreements only benefit transnational companies and hurt small producers "declared Geneviève Savigny (member of the Coordination Committee of ECVC).
"The International Treaty on Genetic Resources should be applied in Europe to recognize in an inalienable way the rights of producers to produce, to reproduce, and to market their seeds. GMO cultivation should be banned in all EU territories "said Andrea Ferrante (member of the Coordination Committee of ECVC)
Only a radical change of policies will ensure the recognition and the future of family farming beyond 2014.
The regional Bavarian Coordination of KLJB organised a study session about “Europe” on the past 15th of February, in Nuremberg. This study session aimed at giving KLJB members some insight into European politics in the year of the elections. Both, the simulation game YEPs (Young European Professionals) on the European Union and the workshops were well received by the participants.
Tanja Köglmeier, who did an internship with MIJARC Europe in 2013, managed to portray MIJARC and EU youth policy by means of creative techniques and comprehensive information in her workshop.
This was also a great opportunity to explain the interesting opportunities the international network of KLJB has to offer, such as the next Summer Camp in August that will take place in Landshut (region Dingolfing-Landau), in Germany.
Text adapted from Dr. Heiko Tammena
Photos : source KLJB Bavaria
Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition - A global initiative to empower young entrepreneurs and innovators for positive change
Young people from all regions of the world between the ages of 15 and 30 have now the great opportunity to enter the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition and submit their best ideas and projects.
Winners will be invited to the award ceremony at the Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin in October 2014, where they will present their ideas and projects to an international audience.
Competition registrants have the opportunity to receive a free online training at the Entrepreneurship Campus, and to get their entries brushed up by peers and prospective experts. Entries are subject to global public voting and commenting. The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is a new and exciting international initiative co-organized by the Goi Peace Foundation, Stiftung Entrepreneurship and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO. It provides a global platform for youth entrepreneurs and innovators who aspire to create positive change in their communities and the world.
Read more and join the Competition at http://www.youth-competition.org !
The deadline for entries is 30 June, 2014.
Did you know already that KLJ has created a "MIJARC Working Group"?
This group was created mainly to make MIJARC network known by their members, explaining what are the opportunities that MIJARC has to offer them. It is constituted by several participants in previous MIJARC Europe activities who volunteered to spread the word about MIJARC. They even have created a "MIJARC game" they shared with all of you (remember? click here)
This group has decided to organise last Saturday, in Ghent (Belgium), the first meeting "MIJARC meets Again", with the objective to gather the participants from KLJ in the last years' MIJARC Europe activities and invite new people interested to know more about MIJARC Europe and potentially participate in next activities.
Jan, from the European Team, and Ana, from the Secretariat, were present and very happy to see new enthusiastic young people wanting to know more about MIJARC. But this meeting was more than informative... it was also very funny, with interactive games and somehow nostalgic when we saw videos from previous activities and a round of "what was your best moment and hardest moment in your MIJARC experience" was done!
We want to thank again KLJ and this Working Group who are making such a great contribution for MIJARC Europe's visibility in their volunteering time.