“Food Connects Us All” Grassroots Voices from North America on the Importance of Building Agroecology, Fighting for Policy, and Joining Global Struggles

For decades, rural peoples movements of peasant farmers, indigenous people, pastoralists, and fisherfolk (to name a few) have organized at the global level for a new food system based around the concepts of the human right to food, food sovereignty, and agroecology. Working through global coalitions, they have developed these ideas and practices to address the serious problems communities and societies face, and they have fought for political space at the global level in the United Nations to make these ideas into policy that can “scale up” and “scale out” these solutions.

Now, as communities reel from shocks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing impacts of climate change, the need for a new system based on agroecology, food sovereignty, and the right to food is undeniable.

Increasingly, grassroots movements and frontline communities from North America are joining the global fight for agroecology and food sovereignty, bringing local struggles into global policy spaces and confronting the US and Canadian governments for failing to ensure the right to food. Joining global movements and intervening in global policy, in turn, strengthens grassroots activism and builds solidarity.

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  • Date Published September 2021
  • Number of Pages 44
BECCS: A Dangerous Distraction

A new and largely hypothetical technology called Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) has been getting a lot of attention in discussions on climate change.

While its proponents argue that BECCS is a necessary climate mitigation tool, in reality it is unlikely to work, and it also poses a major threat to human rights. BECCS is nothing more than a dangerous distraction at a moment when the world needs real climate action. Betting on BECCS sets up climate action to fail and violate the human rights of vulnerable communities globally.

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  • Date Published June 2019
  • Number of Pages 8
Land for Communities: Fulfilling Human Rights and Protecting the Planet

Half the land in the world today, including forests, grasslands, and small farms, belongs to and is managed by local communities and indigenous peoples. Two and a half billion people depend on this land for their livelihoods. Yet it is estimated that these communities have recognized rights over only one fifth of their land. National governments are obligated by international human rights law to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples and to protect the right to food and other rights of rural communities. In addition to fulfilling human rights, there are many additional benefits of protecting community land rights: reduction of conflict, reduction of involuntary migration pressures, and protection of the ecosystems that cool our warming planet. Unfortunately, much community-held land is at risk of being grabbed by business interests, with the complicity of governments.

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  • Date Published March 2019
  • Number of Pages 4
“Get Big or Get Out”: How Biofuels Programs Prop Up Industrial Agribusiness in the United States

Since the 1970s when U.S. farm policy encouraged farmers to overproduce and “get big or get out”, family farmers have struggled just to survive. They are told that biofuels programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard will help them by increasing both demand for corn and the price farmers are paid. But these biofuels mandates only prop up the industrial agribusiness system. Farmers are not getting the fair prices they need.

This report examines the impact of agribusiness and biofuels programs on family farmers and rural communities in Iowa, which produces more corn than many countries and has a strong family farm history.

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  • Date Published May 2018
  • Number of Pages 4
Burned – Deception, Deforestation and America’s Biodiesel Policy

A trip down a dusty dirt road in northern Argentina provides a picture of the reality of the modern biodiesel industry. On the left-hand side lies a pristine forest, teeming with wildlife: howler monkeys, tapirs, and jaguars. On the right, new soy fields are being carved into pristine forest. Burnt trees and the white ash they leave behind stretch for as far as the eye can see.

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  • Date Published January 9, 2018
  • Number of Pages 16
Land Rights, Palm Oil and Conflict in Guatemala

Indigenous peoples and small-scale farmers in Guatemala, especially women, are facing an ongoing threat to their existence due to loss of their land to agribusiness plantations. Indigenous communities in the municipality of Raxruhá in Alta Verapaz are confronting land grabbing by palm oil companies. The State of Guatemala must recognize community land rights, and governments… read more

  • Date Published September 2017
  • Number of Pages 4