From February 24 to 27, more than 500 representatives of organizations of peasants, traditional fisherfolk, native peoples, landless people, rural workers, migrants, nomad shepherds, forest dwellers and ecologists from 80 countries met in Sélingué, in Mali, at the World Forum for Food Sovereignty.
This year’s forum was entitled ‘Nyéleni’ as a tribute to and inspiration from a legendary Malian peasant woman who ‘farmed and fed her peoples well’, who has become a symbol of the struggle for female self-determination.
The meeting was organized by peasant organizations and NGOs, such as Via Campesina, ROPPA (West African Farmer Organisations’ and Agricultural Producers’ Association), the World March of Women, the International Steering Committee for Food Sovereignty, theWorld Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fishworkers, the World Forum of Fisher People, the People’s Food Sovereignty Network and Friends of the Earth, as well as figures such as Aminata Traoré, whose aim is to build together a collective vision to turn food sovereignty into reality in the many countries where it is needed.
The aim of the forum is to place food producers, distributors and consumers, as opposed to globalized markets and multinational corporations, at the heart of food systems and policies.
In a final declaration, delegates stated that they are fighting, among other things for ‘a world where. …all peoples, nations and states are able to determine their own food producing systems and policies that provide every one of us with good quality, adequate, affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food … recognition and respect of women’s roles and rights in food production, and representation of women in all decision making bodies …’
They also declared that they are fighting against
‘Imperialism, neo-liberalism, neo-colonialism and patriarchy, and all systems that impoverish life, resources and eco-systems, and the agents that promote the above such as international financial institutions, the World Trade Organization, free trade agreements, transnational corporations,and governments that are antagonistic to their peoples …’
‘Just as we are working with the local community in Selingue to create a meeting space at Nyeleni,’ concluded the document, ‘we are committed to building our collective movement for food sovereignty by forging alliances, supporting each others’ struggles and extending our solidarity, strengths, and creativity to peoples all over the world who are committed to food sovereignty. Every struggle, in any part of the world for food sovereignty, is our struggle … Now is the time for food sovereignty!’
To read the full Declaration of Nyéleni, click here