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On Tuesday 11 October, when the inter-governmental talks with civil society representatives were resumed, the “Dakar Appeal” against the land grab was read by the Senegalese delegate.
Tens of ambassadors of the countries participating in the Committee on World Food Security listened to the appeal read in French by Mamadou Ba, of the National Council of Concetration and Cooperation of the Senegalese rural population, also a member of La Via Campesina. This appeal came out last February at the World Social Forum held in Senegal and it was signed by 870 people and organizations.
The appeal reads: “Considering that recent massive land grabs targeting tens of millions of acres for the benefit of private interests or third states - whether for reasons of food, energy, mining, environment, tourism, speculation or geopolitics - violate human rights by depriving local, indigenous, peasants, pastoralists and fisher communities of their livelihoods, by restricting their access to natural resources or by removing their freedom to produce as they wish, and exacerbate the inequalities of women in access and control of land”.
Mamadou Ba read the document and other representatives of peasant, rural youth, indigenous and fisherfolk movements delivered a copy to the Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), Filipino Noel De Luna, and the head of the talks, Gregory Mayer, from the US.
Together with the document, they gave the FAO officials Italian peasant products.
The Dakar Appeal urges the CFS “to definitively reject the World Bank principles for responsible agricultural investment (RAI), which are illegitimate and inadequate to address the phenomenon”.
The appeal also demands “that states, regional organizations and international institutions guarantee people’s right to land and support family farming and agro-ecology. Appropriate agricultural policies should consider all different types of producers (indigenous peoples, pastoralists, artisanal fishermen, peasants, agrarian reform beneficiaries) and answer specifically to the needs of women and youth”.
Read the full version of the Dakar Appeal: www.dakarappeal.org
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