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Silvia Rodriguez, researcher at the Biodiversity Coordination Network and former head of Grain shares her views about the Assembly of the Latin American Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC Via Campesina) which will start on October 17 in Managua, Nicaragua.
The researcher pointed out that in the past two weeks, many peasant, environmentalist and women organizations launched a campaign titled "Knowledge, Seeds and Flavors" focused in two aspects: declaring maize a heritage of humanity and implementing a ban on the import, experimentation and release of GM maize in Costa Rica.
This campaign was launched last October 2nd in Santa Cruz de Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the home of several ancestral maize varieties. This activity was held in the context of an international campaign of the GM-free Latin America Network (RALT).
According to Rodriguez, seeds cannot be declared a heritage of humanity when there is a threat of them being contaminated with GM seeds. Therefore, these two ideas come together and represent a tool to continue the fight against GMOs.
Lastly, Rodriguez made reference to the importance of an organization such as CLOC-VC to defend peasant agriculture from the advance of neoliberal policies.
She also said that due to the fact that several actors are part of CLOC-VC, such as young-people, women and peasants organizations, this network plays an important role in the fight against the commodification of life and agriculture at continental level.
Real World Radio will be present in the Continental Assembly which will take place in the capital of Nicaragua, two years after the 5th Congress of the organization which took place in Quito, Ecuador, in 2010.
Some of the goals of the first Continental Assembly are to deepen the socio-political capacity building of peasant leaders and activists, including women and young people, an alliances policy, to update the workplan, to promote internationalism and recover the mystic within CLOC-VC, and to prepare the participation of CLOC at the 6th Conference of la Via Campesina which will be held in Indonesia, in June 2013.
Interview by Henry Picado of Coecoceiba, Friends of the Earth Costa Rica
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