durban oneafricaonevoice

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, 5 December 2011– The UN climate talks in Durban have reminded the world that agriculture is responsible for almost one fourth of the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases.

However, they are failing to expose industrial agriculture as the culprit and small-scale agroecological food production as the only solution to the problem, said Friends of the Earth International today.

In Durban today Friends of the Earth campaigners marched with two hundred peasant farmers, members of the international peasant movement ‘La Via Campesina’, to denounce the model of industrial agriculture as one of the main drivers of climate change and to expose the aggressive land grabbing tactics of agribusiness globally. [1]

The March with the global peasant movement celebrates ‘the Agroecology and Food Sovereignty day to Cool Down the Earth’, a symbolic action to demand respect for the cause of peasants and small food producers globally.

“The climate and food crisis can be addressed through food sovereignty, basically promoting sustainable peasant agriculture and small-scale food production,” said Martin Drago, Food Sovereignty coordinator at Friends of the Earth International.

“Small-scale farming not only improves food security and food sovereignty but also helps to combat climate change by tackling two principal sources of greenhouse gas emissions: food transportation over large distances and industrial agriculture,” he added

“We are denouncing soil carbon markets, and the so called “Climate Smart Agriculture” being pushed at the UN climate talks as false solutions to the climate crisis,” said Nnimmo Bassey, the Chair of Friends of the Earth

International. “Instead of tackling the root causes of agriculture’s contribution to climate change, these false solutions heat up the planet,” he added.



Martin Drago, Food Sovereignty coordinator at Friends of the Earth International: Tel: + 27 (0) 727875169 (South African mobile valid only until Dec.10)

Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International: +234 803 727 4395 (Nigerian mobile) or +27 (0) 71 63 92 542 (South African mobile valid only until Dec.10), email:

Boaventura Monjane, La Via Campesina press office: or +27 (0)73 65 09 229 (South African mobile valid only until Dec.10)

Friends of the Earth International media line: +27 791 097 223 (South African number valid only until Dec.10) or +31-6-5100 5630 (Dutch mobile) or email:



[1] La Via Campesina ia an international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers.

Food sovereignty involves the promotion of local production, genuine agrarian reform and the defence of indigenous peoples’ territories. It relies on ecologically sensitive production models rooted in peasant and indigenous knowledge. In these models, transnational corporations, chemical pesticides and genetically modified crops have no place.

La Vía Campesina first introduced food sovereignty in 1996. Numerous social movements and non-governmental organizations, including Friends of the Earth International, have embraced the concept in their efforts to change agriculture and food policy everywhere.

Millions of peasants and small-scale farmers from all over the world who are organized in La Vía Campesina and who refuse to disappear, along with millions who care about the planet and humanity, see in food sovereignty a new path and a necessary way forward.