Declaration of Civil Society Organizations and Academic Attendees of the “4 per 1000 Initiative: Soil for Food Security and Climate” Presentation held on April 18, 2016 in the Offices of SAGARPA
Mely Romero, Subsecretary of Rural Development
Maryse Bossiere, French Ambassador to Mexico
Raúl Urteaga, General Coordinator of SAGARPA International Affairs.
Roxana Aguirre, General Director of Rural Development Capacity Building and Promotion
Members and representatives of civil society organizations and the scientific community that participated in the aforementioned event applaud the April 18th announcement of the 4 per1000 initiative promoted by the French government and endorsed by the Mexican government last December at the COP 21 on climate change in Paris. The April 18th event provided an opportunity to appreciate the significance of the issues involved, the serious state of land degradation in Mexico and some of the research projects and community experiences developed for the regeneration of, and the sequestration of carbon by, the soil.
We consider this issue fundamental in defending food sovereignty and security, and therefore consider essential the immediate organization and promotion of coordinated and transparent actions and public policies promoting regenerative practices in Mexico that will guarantee small producers’ basic rights, ensure the return of carbon to the soil, increase soil fertility, restore Mexican land and contribute to a safe, healthy, and high quality food system. These actions must begin with the revision and reinforcement of current programs, regulatory and institutional development, increased institutional commitment, and advances in current research and must not remain a temporary push with no prospects or capacity for generating the necessary changes to reverse the vicious cycle we are currently facing.
It is evident that the current climate crisis affecting the planet, and specifically vulnerable countries such as Mexico, requires immediate, committed and consistent responses, coordinated among governments, civil society, scientists and above all, farmers. Now is the time to work together to promote successful on the ground initiatives that have been developed to preserve soil and seeds, and that have a track record of effectiveness in resolving fundamental agricultural issues.
According to Olivier de Schutter, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, 10% of the the country’s richest farmers received 80% of the Ingreso Objetivo (government subsidy) in 2005 while the bottom 10% of the country’s poorest farmers only received 0.1%.. It is alarming that in a country where 80% of farmers own less than 5 hectares of land, that rural loans are concentrated among the nation’s richest farmers, particularly when small-scale agriculture provides 40% of the food that we consume and could contribute to healthy and regenerative production through regenerative practices.
The Mexican government has demonstrated complete inconsistency and lack of coordination in regards to the international agreements that it has signed to combat climate change and its internal policy which favors and promotes an agroindustrial model based in agrotoxins and transgenics that is increasingly damaging people’s health and seriously deteriorating ecosystems, above all water and soil, elements vital to our very survival.
In order to reaffirm commitments made by the Mexican government, we ask that Lic. Raúl Urteaga, in his role as co-organizer of the event, call on the appropriate departments of SAGARPA as well as other public institutions that should have participated in the event as signers of the Paris agreement – CONAFOR, INECC, CONAGUA and the President of the Republic – to attend a working meeting with civil society organizations and academic groups interested in influencing and monitoring the actions necessary for the advancement of what was discussed during the April 18th event and ensure the fulfillment of the 4X1000 commitment. To this end, we propose creating a roadmap that contains goals for the next four years with a detailed diagnosis of the current state of Mexican soil and agricultural production, drawing from existing research, as well as a work plan with activities, responsible parties, dates, economic and human resources, and criteria and indicators for measuring success, with the objective of advancing regenerative practices that will sequester carbon back into the earth.
We therefore ask that SAGARPA propose various dates for a meeting to establish collaboration and work methods. Such an event must bring together the scientific, rural, indigenous and social communities that are supporting and/or developing regenerative practices that prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms and toxic substances with relevant public institutions promoting policies that either positively or negatively impact the 4X1000 initiative. Among these, we consider the participation of the following institutions fundamental: the coordinators of SAGARPA’s agriculture and livestock departments, the productivity director of SHCP, SEDATU, SEDESOL, SEMARNAT, CONABIO, INECC, COFEPRIS, SE, SENER, CONAFOR, CONANP, CDI, INMUJERES, development banks, and any other public entities working in rural development. Additionally, academic groups such as the Union of Scientists Committed to Society (UCCS), the Autonomous University of Chapingo (UACH) and other civil society groups must be present in order to develop a solid platform that will facilitate and supervise soil regeneration efforts that are crucial to avoiding an even greater crisis than the one we are currently suffering.
Álvaro Urreta, Coordinador de PROMESAN
Andrea Rodríguez Osuna, Abogada Senior Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente – AIDA
Dra. Christina Siebe, UNAM
Cooperativa de Consumo Zacahuizco
El Poder del Consumidor
Fernando Bejarano, Red de Acción sobre Plaguicidas y Alternativas en México
Dr. Fernando Paz, Programa Mexicano del Carbono
Fundación Filobatrista para el desarrollo de la participación comunitaria AC
Fundar, Centro de Análisis e Investigación
Dr. Gonzalo Chapela, Coordinador de políticas públicas de la Red Mexicana contra la Desertificación RIOD – México
Dr. Héctor Robles, Miembro de la campaña Valor al Campesino
Dra. Helena Cotler, UNAM
Henry Miller, El Maíz Más Pequeño AC
Dr. Jorge Etchevers, Colegio de Postgraduados
Dr. Luis Zambrano, UNAM
Organic Consumers Association México
Red Mexicana por la Agricultura Familiar y Campesina
Semillas de Vida AC
Dra. Silke Cram, UNAM
The Hunger Project México
Vía Orgánica AC
Yosu Rodríguez, Investigador Asociado, Centro Geo