La Vía Campesina Declaration in Cancun
La Vía Campesina Declaration in Cancun
No to market-based business deals proposed by the governments of industrialized countries and transnational corporations, the thousands of solutions to the climate crisis are in the hands of the people
The members of La Vía Campesina, coming from 29 Mexican states and 36 countries from all over the world, and hundreds of national and international organizations, join our thousands of struggles in Cancun to demand of the United Nations Conference of the Parts on Climate Change, (COP 16), environmental justice and respect for Mother Earth; to denounce the ambitious attempts of governments – principally from the North – to commercialize all elements of life to benefit transnational corporations; and to get to know the thousands of solutions that the people have to cool the planet and stop the environmental devastation that today is seriously threatening humanity.
We denounce that governments continue to be indifferent in the face of the warming of the planet and instead of debating the necessary political changes to cool it, they debate over speculative financial business, the new green economy and the privatization of the commons.
The results of the official meeting, which took place between November 29th and the early morning of December 11th, are horrible news for peasant and working families, for all of humanity and for nature. Instead of confronting the climate crisis, the resolutions in Cancun will only worsen it, as they failed to establish binding agreements to reduce greenhouse gases and obligatory goals to reduce emissions; instead they strengthened carbon markets.
- To promote these markets, they pushed forward different instruments such as the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) and the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) which we have denounced as false solutions. Through Clean Development Mechanisms, industrialized countries and multinationals can continue contaminating in their places of origin and still fulfill their emissions reduction goals through carbon certificates financing “clean development” projects in other places. CDM projects are also highly polluting and cause great environmental and social devastation, since projects such as large dams, methane recovery from industrial farming, massive dumps and plantations, etc. fall into that category. REDD inserts forests and agricultural land (if we are considering REDD plus) into the carbon market to benefit transnationals, and it poses a threat as the greatest land grab of all time. REDD means the privatization of forests, the expulsion of communities from their land and financial speculation.
- A climate fund was also created, which will be administrated by the World Bank, although no money was promised (“mobilizing resources” is the only thing that has been discussed). This fund will not only be composed of public funds, but will also include private funds from transnational companies and transactions within the carbon markets.
- A technology committee will be formed to facilitate the broad participation of transnationals and industry who will be able to impose their technologies without any type of environmental or social evaluation, and without questioning intellectual property or patents.
To summarize, the text that was agreed upon is a better-revised version of the Copenhagen agreement.
In Cancun, the business and nature speculation agenda triumphed, while they systematically threw out the demands that emerged from the World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, where some 35,000 participants from all over the world attended.
The agenda imposed in Cancun is that of the banks and investment funds, of the major gas, petroleum, carbon, electricity and automotive companies, of the agribusiness corporations and others who, as they propose to speculate on the climate and nature, are leading the whole world to the brink of a great catastrophe with irreversible effects.
The peasants of La Vía Campesina reject and disavow the results of Cancun, and we denounce and regret that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is quickly becoming a platform that legitimizes, broadens and creates the base for a new global economic order: Green Capitalism.
But in Cancun another meeting of social movements came together around the climate and systemic crises, and resistance struggles were strengthened and formed bonds. The mobilizations towards Cancun began in November 28th as a joint effort with La Vía Campesina and our allies the National Assembly of People Affected by the Environment, the National Liberation Movement and the Mexican Electricians Union, who organized three caravans that left from San Luis Potosi, Guadalajara and Acapulco and passed through some of the territories most emblematic of environmental devastation as well as the struggles and alternatives in these affected communities. Along these routes hundreds of towns and people opened their doors to us with generosity and solidarity. On November 30th we arrived in Mexico City with our caravans, we celebrated an International Forum and a march accompanied by thousands of people and hundreds of organizations that also struggle for social and environmental justice.
On our journey to Cancun other caravans, one from Chiapas, another from Oaxaca and one from Guatemala, after many long hours of traveling, met us in Merida to celebrate a ceremony at Chichen Itza and finally arrive in Cancun on December 3rd to install our camp for Life and Social and Environmental Justice, open our Forum and begin our week of struggle in Cancun. We hosted panels and conferences, workshops, assemblies, public demonstrations in city neighborhoods, meetings with our allies and a global action called “the thousands of Cancuns” which echoed across the planet and made it to the very rooms of the Moon Palace where the official meeting of the COP 16 was held. The march on December 7th united thousands of members of La Vía Campesina with our international and national allied organizations. Beyond manifesting our positions and demonstrating that we peasants are the ones cooling the planet, we backed the Bolivian and Tuvalu governments who are committed to the rights of Mother Earth.
As Vía Campesina we demand:
- Resume the principles of the Peoples’ Accord in Cochabamba.
- Establish a binding agreement to reduce by 50 percent greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries by 2017.
- Allocate 6% of developed countries’ GDP to finance actions against the Climate Crisis in countries of the global south.
- Total respect for Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Rights of Climate Migrants.
- The formation of an International Tribunal for Climate Justice.
- State policies to promote and strengthen sustainable peasant agriculture and food sovereignty.
From la Vía Campesina we make a call to assume collective responsibility for Mother Earth, proposing for ourselves to change production and consumption patterns that have provoked the crisis on this planet; to defend the commons and stop their privatization; to redouble efforts, to work intensively to inform, educate, organize and articulate to build a social force that can stop the tendency to convert the grave problems of the climate crisis into business opportunities and that can promote the thousands of peoples’ solutions; to revise and construct new spaces for international alliances; to prepare ourselves for the global referendum for the rights of Mother Earth and the real alternatives to the Climate Crisis; to prepare the second World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth; to promote the “thousands of Durban” and to arrive in 2012, at the Rio Summit plus 20, with a growing force.
No more harm to our Mother Earth!
No more destruction of the planet!
No more evictions from our territories!
No more death to the sons and daughters of Mother Earth!
No more criminalization of our struggles!
No to the Copenhagen agreement. Yes to the Cochabamba principles!
EARTH CANNOT BE SOLD, IT IS RECOVERED AND DEFENDED!
PEASANTS ARE COOLING THE PLANET!
GLOBALIZE THE STRUGGLE, GLOBALIZE THE HOPE!
La Via Campesina
Via Campesina is an international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers. We are an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent of any political, economic, or other type of affiliation. Born in 1993, La Via Campesina now gathers about 150 organisations in 70 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
International Operational Secretariat:
Jln. Mampang Prapatan XIV no 5 Jakarta Selatan, Jakarta 12790 Indonesia