Last week, Chile pulled out of hosting the United Nations COP25 climate conference, citing recent protests and civil unrest in Santiago where the summit was to be held December 2 – December 13.
The global climate conference will take place instead in Madrid, on the same dates.
Regeneration International launched in June 2015. In December 2015, we led our first delegation—nearly 60 people—to the COP21 conference in Paris.
Every year since, we’ve participated in this international conference, bringing with us the message of regenerative agriculture as a solution to global warming, and also to so many other issues, including poverty and hunger.
We’re committed to this mission, so we will send a delegation this year to Madrid.
But we’re equally committed to supporting the farmers and civil society groups—from Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay—that we’ve been working with for many months, in preparation for the events in Santiago.
We fear that the last-minute venue change to Madrid will mean that the voices of civil society won’t have a platform at this year’s COP. To ensure that they do, Regeneration International will serve as a “bridge” between the official COP25 in Madrid, and the unofficial COP25 events that will take place in Chile.
Our goal is to ensure that both institutions and civil society have a say in the final outcome of COP25.
Crisis as an opportunity
The recent protests in Santiago were triggered by a rise in subway ticket prices. But the protests are symptomatic of the much deeper issues of social, economic, political and environmental injustices that have left the majority of Chileans with few options and little hope.
The people of Chile are rising up to demand systemic change, change on a scale commensurate with the many crises facing them, including the climate crisis.
It’s the kind of change that the Regeneration Movement is advocating for around the globe. That’s why we believe it’s important to show solidarity with Chileans in this critical moment, and to carry on as planned with as many of the roundtables, activities and other events we’ve been organizing with our allies there.
After all, agriculture plays a significant role in Chile’s economy. But farmers are suffering under an unjust system. Privatization of the country’s water, for example, doesn’t help in times of drought.
Together with our Latin American friends, we’ve organized official and unofficial events in Santiago, so that local and regional voices can be heard.
We organized a delegation of nearly 60 people to participate in these events, including the Civil Society for Climate Action, the International Innovation Social Festival, the People’s Summit and the Regeneration International General Assembly (December 9-10).
Who else will be in Chile?
We will continue to work with the many organizations in our network that have invested time and resources in planning for COP25 in Chile. This list of partner organizations shows just how much interest there is in regenerating Chile:
Organizations in Chile: Regenerativa Chile, El Manzano, Efecto Manada, Carnes Manada, Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad de Chile, Pio Pio, Costa Sur, Ecobioteca, Un alto en el Desierto, Civil Society for Climate Action, People’s Summit.
International Organizations and international allies: Savory Hubs (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay), I Give Trees, Seed Council of the Argentine Biodynamic Association, Constelación Argentina, Mutirão Agroflorestal Brazil, Arte na Terra, Brazil, Environment and Sustainability Director, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Kiss the Ground, Durga’s Den, Pretaterra, Argentinean Movement of Organic Production, Mexican Biointensive Network, Sao Paulo Community Gardens.
It’s a shame that the recent events in Santiago forced Chile to pull out of COP25. But we look forward to creating opportunity out of crisis. We’ll keep you updated as our revised plans unfold!
Ercilia Sahores is Latin America director for Regeneration International. Sign up here for our newsletter.