ALLIANCE FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNITY IN AFRICA LAUNCH (AFSA) in DURBAN

dim, 2011-12-04 23:36
Submitted by mofagio

http://www.africanbiodiversity.org/content/cop_17_meeting_and_alliance_f...
Background

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) is an alliance of networks that aims to strengthen the already existing and growing food sovereignty movement in Africa. The Pan African platform comprises networks and farmer organisations working in Africa[1]. AFSA members represent small holder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples, citizens and environmentalists from Africa who have a strong voice that shapes policy on the continent in the area of community rights, family farming, promotion of traditional knowledge and knowledge systems, the environment and natural resource management. Thus, providing a forum to analyse, discuss issues, challenge policies and identify ways forward.

AFSA was launched in November 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with and aims to be a strong voice that shapes policy on the continent in the area of community rights, family farming, promotion of traditional/Indigenous knowledge and knowledge systems, the environment and natural resource management while influencing policies and to promote African solutions for food sovereignty.

Why a focus on Food Sovereignty?

Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation. It offers a strategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime, and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determined by local producers. Food sovereignty prioritises local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal - fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability (Nyeleni Declaration).

Goal for the Launch of AFSA in Durban

Negotiations on a (possibly) legally binding outcome are still ongoing and may culminate in a conclusion during the COP17 in Durban, South Africa. This will be Africa’s third COP and will be another opportunity for the region that is so reliant on rain-fed agriculture for development and survival to tell its story of great vulnerability to climate change and profer alternatives as well. Through massive mobilization, African civil society stands a better chance of amplifying the message that real solutions to climate change are necessary and available and ecological agriculture is a proven path.

The main purpose of officially launching AFSA in Durban is to boost/build AFSA's visibility and recognition. The launch of AFSA will reinforce our commitment to influence policy and promote African solutions towards food sovereignty.

Activities planned by AFSA Members and partners:

African Biodiversity network (ABN) {AFSA Member} - Side Event at the main COP 17 Venue (Durban ICC)

"Climate Resilience through Agro-Ecology in Africa: Gaia Foundation, the African Biodiversity Network and friends show how African communities are using agro-ecological practices, Food Sovereignty and indigenous knowledge to adapt to and mitigate climate change."

IPACC (Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee) (AFSA Member) -

Sunday 27 November- big interfaith rally at the rugby stadium, which will include the youth and indigenous delegations, and likely a concert with some prominent musicians. SAFCEI, We Have Faith coalition, and other networks are working on this.

Saturday 3 December is likely to be the Indigenous Peoples Day in the civil society space -IPACC programme on this soon.

Sunday 4 December in the afternoon, likely from 2pm onwards will be an interfaith prayer and information meeting at the Cathedral, but also with smaller congregational prayers, meditations, blessings and so forth in individual churches, temples, synagogues and so forth.

AFSA Formal Launch

The launch of AFSA is slated for 4th of December at the civil society space in Durban, South Africa. There will be a dinner on 1st December, 2011 to create a space for AFSA members and other partners to interact and share on their activities and initiatives

Participants African Biodiversity network (ABN), Coalition for the Protection of African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) Africa, Friends of the Earth- Africa, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC), Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Association, Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers‟ Forum (ESSAFF), La Via Campesina Africa , FAHAMU, World Neighbours, Network of Farmers' and Agricultural Producers' Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA), Community Knowledge Systems (CKS) and Plate forme Sous Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d'Afrique Centrale (PROPAC).

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and PELUM Regional Desk

The Trans African Climate Caravan of Hope is a road show that will seek to galvanize the cross-country stakeholder voices, with an ultimate aim of telling the African story while making known the demands of Africa among its inhabitants and the rest of the world. The Caravan is a huge mobilization and awareness creation opportunity for African civil society to highlight the challenges climate change poses to Africa’s efforts to extricate herself from poverty and attainment of Millennium Development Goals.

The caravan is set to run through 8 countries[2] (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa) and cover approximately 7,184KMS and will bring together Civil Society Organizations working from diverse backgrounds in Eastern and Southern Africa. An inter-state task force with three representatives from each participating country has been established to manage the caravan.

Symbolic activities will be undertaken in countries where the caravan will not be passing through, though some civil society organizations have indicated their willingness to join the activity at strategic positions of their convenience. The African Peoples’ Protocol, forming the demands of African civil society to their governments and the global communities will be handed over in style during stop-overs at capitals.

Other activities include:

Workshop on climate change and the message of the Trans boundary African Caravan
Development and running of Radio and television programs
Engage traditional and faith leaders along the route of the caravan in major towns
Caravan Concerts
Presentation of the African COP 17 petition to governments and negotiators
Media training workshops

The ABN will focus on the launch of AFSA while at the same time supporting partner activities and events. Some partners may not send a big number of people but will use the opportunity to understand how climate negotiations are conducted.

[1] Members currently include: African Biodiversity network (ABN), Coalition for the Protection of African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) Africa, Friends of the Earth- Africa, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC), Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Association, Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers‟ Forum (ESSAFF), La Via Campesina Africa , FAHAMU, World Neighbours, Network of Farmers' and Agricultural Producers' Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA), Community Knowledge Systems (CKS) and Plate forme Sous Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d'Afrique Centrale (PROPAC).

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