Final Declaration of the Organisers of the International Gathering for Food Sovereignty in Pau, France.
BEDE- Réseau Semences paysannes – Confédération Paysanne de l’Aude-Village d’Emmaus Lescar-Pau.
More than 250 representatives of civil society and peasant organisations have been hosted by companions in the Emmaus Lescar-Pau village; they have come from 29 countries and met on 24th- 27th September 2015 to share their experiences, best practices and ideas about how to best defend food sovereignty in our communities and our society.
In all of our countries, our regions and our villages we are affected by considerable pressure to leave the land that sustains us. Rural society, that ensures our daily sustenance in towns as well as in the countryside, is being pummelled and our government is being subjugated by industrial and financial consortium that are grabbing our land, our water resources and are covering our land with polluted agro -industry, that poisons us instead of feeds us.
Patents that make plants and animals the property of industry now diminish the diversity of all living things. These patents mark the end of the right of peasants and gardeners to multiply and select seeds, as well as exchange and sell them.
We reject all rights to industrial property of the reproduction of living beings. We are opposed to restrictions on the usage of farm seeds, to patents on seeds and to GMOs for this reason. In many places, just like here in Béarn, our resistance is working and GMOs have been driven out.
Currently thousands of patents are being claimed on the native traits of plants and animals. The plants in our fields, peasant varieties that have been lovingly cultivated for generations could be covered by industrial patents without our knowledge. These patents on native traits are causing outrage.
We have decided to reject this logic that neoliberalism is pushing us towards irremediably, and we have decided to use our collective rights on our seeds, the basis of all our food.
These Sow Your Resistance meetings make peasant seeds the very cornerstone of our resistance. Peasant seeds for healthy and ecological agriculture, that shows solidarity and is necessary to ensure food sovereignty for communities and peoples throughout the world.
Choosing food carefully is in itself an act of resistance, and a gesture of solidarity with the peasants that take care of our peasant seeds!
We are all allies; peasants, companions, citizens and gardeners from all countries. It is now time to invoke our collective rights; to use, exchange and sell our peasant seeds and to protect them from biopiracy. Join us in sowing the seeds of resistance.
“There is diversity in our struggles and our local situations – this is the diversity that we are fighting to sustain, the diversity that makes life so beautiful. There are great similarities in our struggles and what we need to overcome too, and it is here that we must form strong international movements with a unified voice. This gathering’s intention was to celebrate our diversity and to strengthen our unity.” – By Daniel Burston, Land Worker Alliance