OCA’s Regeneration International and Mexico Teams Headed to COP13

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By Alexandra Groome and Ercilia Sahores

On December 5,  Regeneration International (RI) and La Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (ACO), both projects of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), will join governments, other NGOs, indigenous communities, academia and citizens from around the world in Cancun, Mexico, for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13).

Two other important meetings— the Nagoya Protocol and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety— will be held in conjunction with the COP13. The resolutions made at these three meetings will affect global food and farming for generations to come.

To coincide with the COP13 meetings, the RI and ACO teams, along with eight local and international groups, have formed a coalition to defend biological and cultural diversity. The coalition, called the #CaravanaCBD, is bringing together social, cultural and indigenous groups to create a community-driven vision for biodiversity that reflects the richness of biocultural knowledge and traditional growing  practices that stem from the eight centers of origin of plants and agriculture, as defined by the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity.

As part of its mission, #CaravanaCBD is participating in the Biocultural Diversity Fair (Feria de la Diversidad BioCultural), which is currently under way until December 11, in Mexico City (events will be in Spanish). Communities from across Mexico and other centers of origin around the world are gathering to discuss what cultural biodiversity means to them and how to defend and preserve it. The outcomes of the discussions will be presented during a press conference on December 1, 2016, and the results will be presented at the COP13 in Cancun.

If you’re in Mexico City, join RI, ACO and #CaravanaCBD for music, dancing, movie screenings and dynamic conversations with indigenous communities from across Latin America.

Three reasons we’re participating in the COP13 Biodiversity Conference

La Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (ACO), Regeneration International (RI) and Vía Orgánica (VO), all projects of the The Organic Consumers Association (OCA),  will attend COP13 to:

  1. Counter the global push towards privatization of biological resources and the push for industrial food systems, which are responsible for widespread biodiversity loss through the use of chemicals, pesticides, GMOs and monocultures;
  2. Promote and defend the rights of indigenous and farmer communities, who have defended biological and cultural diversity on their land for centuries;
  3. Promote regenerative agriculture and land use as essential strategies to restore agrobiodiversity and cultural biodiversity, as well as to cool the planet, feed the world, and provide long-term productivity and resilience for communities around the world.

Here are the events we’ve organized:

Regenerative Agriculture to Combat Climate Change and Restore Biodiversity: Experiences of Latin American Women
Organizers: Regeneration International, Vía Orgánica
Date/time: 5-Dec-2016, 18.15
Location: Contact Group 7, Universal Building, main floor
Language: Spanish (English translation available)

Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Agriculture: Pesticides and Its Impacts on Bees as a Key Discussion
Organizers: Greenpeace, La Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos
Date/time: 14-Dec-2016, 13:15
Location: IGOs Group Meeting Room, Sunrise Building, Second Floor
Language: English (Spanish translation available)

Adventure Tourism and Ecotourism in Mexico: Encouraging Conversation or Exacerbating Resource Exploitation?
Organizers: Vía Orgánica
Date/time: 15-Dec-2016, 13:15
Location: Contact Group 6 Meeting Room, Universal Building, main floor
Language: Spanish (English translation available)

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Alexandra Groome is campaign and events coordinator for Regeneration International, a project of the Organic Consumers Association.

Ercilia Sahores is Latin America political director for the Organic Consumers Association

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