Food sovereignty and agroecology. People’s Expo recipe to mend broken food systems
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People’s Expo ended today, the first international forum of civil society and peasant’s movements that began on the 3rd of June at La Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan. “An event – says Giosué De Salvo, the organizing Committee spokesman – that wanted to fill the gaps of the official Expo 2015, inviting to participate the critical actors excluded from the Universal Exhibition: peasants, fisherfolk, pastoralists, and indigenous persons, who produce 70% of food consumed globally, they are the main investors in agriculture but, at the same time, they are the most oppressed by the so-called free market”.
The event was organized by 50 NGOs and associations of the Italian civil society, rallying more than 180 representatives of 14 networks and peasant’s movements from over 50 countries of the world. People’s Expo also has its own “Charter of Milan”, but it chose not to give it the same name to differentiate it from a document that “although stating principles that can be shared- says De Salvo -, does not clarify the responsibilities of each actor involved in the challenge of “Feeding planet”. A proper undertaking of responsibilities – continues People’s Expo spokesman – would see on the one side, civil society denouncing the violation of rights and on the other side, institutions responding adequately by offering policies and legal tools useful to fight inequalities and to defend the environment.”
For this reason, People’s Expo has produced a programmatic Manifesto, an outcome of the work done these days, which illustrate the 10 main strategies already put in place by NGOs and peasant’s movements to feed the planet sustainably, respecting human rights, biodiversity and the limits of the planet.
These strategies need to be fully shared by civil society and need concrete answers from worldwide governments.
Among the key points there are: to denounce land and water grabbing, a phenomenon which now sees more than 40 million hectares of fertile land (the equivalent surface of Italy, Switzerland and Austria combined) expropriated by corporate companies and investment funds, resulting in forced evictions and peoples’ oppression ; the claim to forbid public incentives to crop-based biofuels; the suspension of trade agreements, which are detrimental to food security and the end of financial speculation on agriculture.
Finally, the document highlights how public policies need to be established to protect biodiversity, keep the conservation, exchange and sale of seeds free and promote a new culture of food based on the consumption of seasonal, local and high quality products, with rules to prevent the advertising of high-fat and high-sugar products to children.
Read the output document of People’s Expo: EN_Output media Document_final