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The talks on the Voluntary Guidelines gave us a great political boost that helps us understand and make more governments understand the horrible consequences of land grabbing for the peoples around the world.
Civil society has made great contributions to the document and it is now completely different than what it was like at the beginning, said Friends of the Earth International Food Sovereignty Coordinator Kirtana Chandrasekaran in an inteview with Real World Radio in Rome.
She mentioned that there is strong recognition of human rights throughout the document, as well as of the importance of small-scale food producers like peasants, pastoralists, fishworkers.
She also highlighted the political space it opens up for discussing issues around land tenure such as the Dakar appeal signed by almost 900 organizations around the world, which was submitted during the negotiations.
Kirtana also talked about the importance of there being a commitment from powerful countries that will enable to enforce the rights that have been included in the guidelines through their local legislation.
“The European Union was very present in the negotiations and they also had some kind of responsibility towards it. Some of the countries were really fighting hard to keep some of the legal aspects out”.
The amazing thing about the Committee on Food Security (CFS), which a lot of the social movements have been working on for a long time, is that you have social movements and civil society on an equal footing with governments. It is a really powerful space and there was a huge respect for civil society. Social movements have played a really good role in keeping our demands around food sovereignty really clear throughout the process.”
“I think it is also useful that the actual negotiating text now has a lot of similar language to the civil society document on the voluntary guidelines on land grabbing and I think we can use that to say what is right and what is not and how binding they are.”
She concluded that the big challenge now is that the guidelines that have been approved are enforced by the governments and how the civil society will translate this and disseminate it into all the communities on the ground and allies.
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