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13 October 2011 | | |

The New Frontiers

Interview with Chandrika Sharma (India): investments displace coastal communities

Download: MP3 (4.3 Mb)

Chandrika Sharma is the Executive Secretary of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers. She has participated as civil society representative in the final talks on the Guidelines on land tenure and the use of other natural resources in Rome, Italy.

She believes that the approval of a set of safeguards on peasants and farmers’ rights in the framework of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is essential to be able to tackle the different threats faced by them.

The increasing prices of land as well as the massive investments in coastal lands are a strong pressure on the fisherfolk and small fishworkers who need a set of legal and political tools to protect their right to food, food sovereignty and food security for their communities.

In interview with Real World Radio, Chandrika Sharma said that on the fourth day of the negotiations they discussed how to include community rights to their ancestral land and fishing areas.

“Our land tenure rights are being threatened by big economic interests everywhere. The talks have been intense, we have been successful in some areas but not so much in others”.

She feels the need to protect common goods recognized under the Guidelines is key because of its effect on the lives of millions of people, pastoralists and fishworkers.

“Not only in India, but all over the world, the value of coasts has raised. Tourism, industry, construction, they all have their eyes on the coasts, while the populations who have traditionally lived there are displaced”, says Chandrika.

The government and civil society delegates began deliberating on Thursday afternoon on two of the most important chapters: the one on large agriculture investments and on food markets.

The organizations say a positive result of this round of negotiations has been the growing involvement of African countries in the discussions, while the governments of Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil made a clear emphasis on the need to strengthen the role of national states in regulating food production and land tenure.

Meanwhile, Canada –which has the largest amount of mining investment in Latin America and the world- has attempted to delay all aspects of the discussion related with specific commitments from the states affecting Canadian corporations both within and outside borders.

Photo: Radio Mundo Real

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