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Belice: transitando hacia la regeneración

Del 13 al 15 de noviembre de 2018 se realizó en Belmopan Belice, la Primera Conferencia Anual de Agricultura Tropical

Belmopan: “la ciudad Jardín” fue el escenario de la Primera Conferencia Anual de Agricultura Tropical del 13 al 15 de noviembre de 2018, a la que acudieron personas dedicadas a la agroecología, agroforestería, apicultura, ganadería, aves de corral, semillas tradicionales, plantas medicinales, huertos urbanos y rurales, junto con integrantes de la comunidad científica, líderes internacionales de proyectos regenerativos e integrantes del ministerio de agricultura y recursos naturales de Belice.

Diversos actores públicos, privados, de la sociedad civil y academia sumados a los productores de Belice, están intentando que el país sea el primer ejemplo en el continente Americano en lograr una transición Regenerativa.

¿Qué significa regenerativa?

Toda alternativa que contribuya a revertir la degeneración de la tierra, del medio ambiente, del tejido social, de la salud de personas, plantas y animales, la contaminación del agua, el suelo, el uso excesivo de agrotóxicos, la generación de carne de res, aves y lácteos con antibióticos y hormonas y todo tipo de siembras y cultivos bajo sistemas de agricultura industrial.

Es así como la palabra regeneración atrajo durante el primer día a 800 personas y el segundo a 300, provenientes de Belice y de otras naciones como son: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Estados Unidos, Guatemala y México, quienes asistieron a conferencias magistrales y talleres simultáneos intercambiando información, conocimientos y estrategias en inglés, español y Maya Kekchi .

Los temas abordados por 6 ponentes internacionales y 13 locales giraron en torno a prácticas regenerativas que permitan “secuestrar”el carbono de la atmósfera y devolverlo a los suelos y mares a través de proyectos de apicultura, semillas nativas, plantas medicinales, agroforestería, vainilla, huertos verdes, cítricos, silvipastoreo, aves de corral, agroturismo, biocarbón, entre otras, para concientizar a la población sobre la importancia de producir de forma agroecológica, holística y sana para proteger la biodiversidad, el agua, la madre tierra, la salud y vida humana, animal y de insectos polinizadores, así como el medio ambiente.

¿Cómo surge Regeneration International?

Regeneración Internacional se conformó en junio de 2015 en la Finca Luna Nueva de Costa Rica, al pie del maravilloso volcán el Arenal, que fue testigo de cómo 60 personas de 21 diferentes naciones -integrantes de comunidades campesinas, científicas, organizaciones civiles, instancias educativas y públicas- establecieron el compromiso común de revertir el calentamiento global y la destrucción del medioambiente a través de prácticas y proyectos regenerativos.

A tres años de su creación, RI aglutina a 250 organizaciones de diferentes países y está consolidando alianzas en Estados Unidos, Sudáfrica, India, Canadá, México, Guatemala y Belice, donde se efectuó la más reciente conferencia.

Algunas de las principales acciones de RI en sus tres años de vida han sido posicionar las prácticas regenerativas como una forma de revertir el calentamiento global en los encuentros internacionales sobre cambio climático (COP 21, 22 y 23), en el de biodiversidad (COP 13), así como en diversos foros internacionales; además de sumarse e impulsar la estrategia 4X1000 Iniciativa climática: Suelos por seguridad alimentaria, que busca incrementar anualmente un 0.4% las reservas de carbono a la tierra, lo que permitiría detener la concentración de CO2 en la atmósfera a través de prácticas orgánicas y regenerativas.

Entre las principales actividades de difusión y educación emprendidas por RI se cuentan: el impulso de una campaña global para educar a tomadores de decisiones públicas sobre agricultura regenerativa como una solución al cambio climático; promover proyectos de agricultura regenerativa, iniciativas públicas y la formación y capacitación dirigida a personas consumidoras, agricultoras, empresarias y políticas, acerca de la importancia de sembrar el planeta para restaurar la salud pública, promover la prosperidad y la paz a escala global.

¿Por qué Regeneración Belice?

La primera conferencia anual en Belice fue impulsada desde hace poco más de un año por tres entusiastas mujeres que de Estados Unidos se mudaron a vivir a Belice hace varias décadas, buscando una nueva forma de vida en armonía con el medio ambiente y la madre tierra: Sally Starkey, Dottie Feucht y Beth Roberson, junto con Inna Sánchez, una joven egresada de la Universidad EARTH y directora de investigación agrícola dentro del ministerio de agricultura.

Ellas, en coordinación con Sustainable Harvest International y Organic Consumers Association (organizaciones integrantes de Regeneration International), comenzaron a gestar esta actividad que constituye el primer modelo regenerativo regional integrado por equipos multidisciplinarios que suman sus esfuerzos para trascender hacia una nación regenerativa.

Y lo más importante, lograron el apoyo del Ministro de Agricultura, Pesca, Forestería, Medioambiente, Desarrollo Sustentable e Inmigración de Belice, Senador Godwin Hulse, quien ha sido agricultor y está comprometido a impulsar políticas públicas para que Belice trascienda hacia una nación regenerativa.

Este escalamiento hacia proyectos regenerativos es fundamental en un país como Belice, con aproximadamente 390 mil personas que viven básicamente del turismo, manufactura, pesca y producción agrícola de cultivos como azúcar, plátano y naranja, cultivos en los que se usan altos niveles de agrotóxicos, lo cual no solo ha contaminado sus tierras y aguas, sino también dañado la salud de quienes siembran y consumen esos alimentos.

Además de que al haber optado por monocultivos de exportación, el país importa grandes cantidades de granos básicos, lo cual constituye un déficit económico y no garantiza la calidad de los alimentos.

Cabe señalar que en los años 50 del siglo pasado se establecieron grandes colonias de comunidades menonitas en Belice, invitadas por el gobierno colonial que les brindó tierras y todo tipo de facilidades para producir. Estos grupos han producido alimentos principalmente para el mercado local; no obstante, usan grandes cantidades de agrotóxicos dentro de un sistema industrial , lo cual no solo ha dañado la tierra y contaminado el agua, sino les ha afectado en su salud.

Por ello, la asistencia de integrantes de la comunidad menonita a la Primera Conferencia Anual de Agricultura Tropical en Belmopan abre una puerta de esperanza para que también estas comunidades, tradicionalmente aisladas para preservar su cultura y forma de vida, accedan a prácticas regenerativas.

Los próximos pasos serán impartir talleres técnicos para la producción de biocarbón, cuidado y preservación de semillas, control agroecológico de malezas, plagas, hongos, entre otros, planeados durante el 2019.

La idea es avanzar gradualmente hacia la conformación de un Belice regenerativo, lo cual no sólo dependerá del compromiso de las autoridades locales para instaurar políticas públicas, sino de la suma de todas y todos los actores sociales de Belice relacionados con el campo, lo cual constituirá un ejemplo no sólo para el continente americano sino para el mundo entero.

Publicado con permiso de Consumidores Orgánicos

Eco Cacao, A Story of Regeneration at Origin

Author: Nancy Zamierowski | Published: December 10, 2016

The concept of “regeneration” is often used in conversation around social impact, finance models and agriculture, but what does it really mean? In this series Yellow Seed will explore: 1) what are useful ways to define and think about the concept? and 2) how can theory be translated into action and practice? We will delve into the concept of regeneration through real stories from the cacao industry, from producer, to supplier, to consumer. We intend to spark a deeper conversation about meaningful impact and the work we can do together to improve the system. We begin by getting a first-hand look into a pioneering cacao cooperative in Ecuador that is putting regeneration-based agriculture to the test.

The regenerative cacao cooperative of Eco Cacao

“When you go into the plantation, you wouldn’t know it’s actually a farm. It looks and feels just like a tropical forest,” described Daniel Korson of Coracao Confections in Oakland, California. His search to find a sourcing partner that mirrored Coracao’s values of transparency and ecological conservation took him to Esmeraldas, Ecuador where a regenerative cacao farm is set in the lush Ecuadorian jungle. The farm is part of a producer co-operative called Eco Cacao, co-founded in 2006 by George Fletcher and the Ecuadorian permaculture and Seed Guardians Community (www.redsemillas.org), a grassroots network that works with communities to preserve the bio-cultural diversity of the Ecuador. Gregory Landau, CEO of Terra Genesis International and founder of Nova Chocolate, began collaborating with Eco Cacao in 2006 with a strong vision: to support the local community in evolving their agricultural practices towards regenerative growing, and to create practices that also conserve the local Chocóan rainforest, an area of immense biodiversity. Now, Eco Cacao works to empower 80 farmers on 320 hectares dispersed across the Galera-San Francisco Peninsula, many of whom specialize in unique, high-quality heirloom varietals. Eco Cacao is part of a larger cooperative (UOPROCAE) which has a total of 1600 hectares.

In the past 5 years, direct, responsible sourcing has become increasingly important. Serendipity led Daniel to meet Gregory Landua at a conference, who then invited him to visit one of their farms. “Eco Cacao is leading the way in terms of walking their talk and being fully transparent. As an ambassador of cacao to my community, I want to know exactly how the cacao is grown and processed, the details of the farm and management, and how the producers and the environment are being treated. Eco Cacao makes it easy to share and amplify that story.” However, Daniel confessed that direct sourcing has not always been that simple. “After, being in the industry for 8 years, there are people who say they are doing their best, but often times they will not let you see ‘what’s behind the curtain.’”

On his visit, Daniel followed Gregory through the cacao-filled forest, “As we were walking, Gregory was chopping down brush with his machete to find the trail. As it fell to the ground, he would point out which species preserved nitrogen and which fertilized the soil. The forest was so loud with different bugs and birds. It is really a refuge for biodiversity.” As part of their business practices, Eco Cacao’s producers actively engage in restoring damaged landscapes; adding functional biodiversity, providing wildlife habitats, improving water cycles and creating conservation corridors where animals and plant life can flourish. In this holistic approach to regeneration, humans actually work for, not against, the natural landscape. Creativity and design ingenuity are able to “do good” and help renew local ecology. “Eco Cacao is the only cacao farm I’ve visited that is doing farming in a way that is not only preserving nature, but also steadily improving the natural environment,” says Daniel.

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OCA’s Regeneration International and Mexico Teams Headed to COP13

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)

***

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

Four Important Lessons from Cuba’s Urban Food Survival Strategy

Author: Aurel Keller

Cuba has come a long way since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the loss of imports crucial for the island nation’s industrial agriculture system—such as chemical pesticides and fertilizers—left Cuba with a severe food crisis in the 1990s. Today, Cuba has become a regional leader in sustainable agricultural research. Within its practices and institutions lies a model for localized and small-scale urban agriculture.

With the loss of the Soviet market, which had imported sugar at subsidized prices, and the fall of global sugar prices in the late 1980s, sugar monoculture production in Cuba collapsed. Out of necessity, Cuba underwent a social, scientific, and economic push toward self-sufficiency. This shift required radical change for the authoritarian communist state as desperation and cooperation drove innovation in sustainable agriculture and urban farming. Although Cuba’s successes relied on country-specific policy adoptions and favorable geographic conditions, the country’s scientific frameworks and practices are widely applicable in other regions.

Reforms Propelled by the Government

Cuba’s success hinged on the adoption of Article 27 of the constitution in 1992, which recognized the state’s innate duty to ensure the sustainable use of resources and to protect the nation’s environment and people. The Cuban state and the Ministry of Agriculture instituted austerity measures, re-adjusting priorities and resources into support roles. State companies in many sectors became employee-owned co-ops, and small-farm distribution programs were greatly expanded. Realizing the need to meet the population’s basic food needs with limited resources, funding for agricultural research infrastructure was expanded to optimize low-input, small-scale farming. The government stepped back from direct management and worked with grassroots organizations and co-ops to provide support through extensive research partnerships to optimize and spread beneficial practices.

Grassroots Organizations and Co-ops Were Key

Grassroots organizations—representing small-scale farmers, animal producers, and agricultural and forest technicians—became essential in forming cooperatives and spreading services and education in Cuba. The small farmer organization, ANAP, has been active since the 1980s, working with farmers and the government to teach beneficial practices and create farmer’s cooperatives—groups of farmers who combine their resources and create employee-owned businesses that provide production, credit, and service assistance. Initially slow, the spread of farm co-ops grew once President Fidel Castro recognized their benefits, with official support commencing in 1987, and picked up speed as land-distribution and support programs expanded. Working with agricultural research outposts and universities, ANAP was instrumental in facilitating the extensive spread of research extension programs through its network, as well as propagating resulting improvements. Many peasant farmers were members of ANAP and participated in co-ops, successful to the point of producing 60 percent of produce on 25 percent of worked land in 2003.

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The developing world is awash in pesticides. Does it have to be?

Author: Aleszu Bajak

In today’s globalized world, it is not inconceivable that one might drink coffee from Colombia in the morning, munch cashews from Vietnam for lunch and gobble grains from Ethiopia for dinner. That we can enjoy these products is thanks, in large part, to expanded pesticide use across the developing world.

Every year, some 3.5 billion kilograms (7.7 billion pounds) of pesticides — a catch-all term for the herbicides, insecticides and fungicides applied to crops from seed to harvest — are used to preserve the quality and quantity of fruits, vegetables and grains. Herbicides, such as Monsanto’s weed killer glyphosate, make up the bulk of the pesticides applied worldwide.

In the developing world, where swelling populations, increased urbanization and growing economies create a demand for ever-more food — produced quickly and inexpensively — pesticide application rates are rising. Bangladesh and Thailand have quadrupled their pesticide use since the early 1990s, while Ghana, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, countries newer to the pesticide game, have seen a 10-fold increase over the same period, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

But it’s Brazil that has become the developing world’s largest pesticide user, says Victor Pelaez, an economist at Brazil’s Federal University of Paraná who studies pesticides and their regulation in that country. “Brazil is [the] second largest consumer of pesticides after the United States,” he says. The global pesticides market is estimated to be US$45 billion.

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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

[ English | Español ]
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

To:

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.

ANEC México
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
Fian 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
Greenpeace 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
Regeneration International
Semillas de Vida AC
Dra. Silke Cram, UNAM
The Hunger Project México
Vía Orgánica AC
Yosu Rodríguez, Investigador Asociado, Centro Geo

Green Gold

“It’s possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems.” Environmental film maker John D. Liu documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the enormous benefits for people and planet of undertaking these efforts globally.

Watch More Videos on Permaculture Day’s Youtube Channel

How Regenerative Agriculture Can Go Large-Scale, with the Help of Chickens

Poultry is a staple of most peoples’ diet. It’s one of the least expensive meats around, and a good source of high quality animal protein (provided it’s non-CAFO and raised on pasture with a natural diet).

But while most are aware of the importance chicken plays in the diet, few are likely to be familiar with the ways poultry production can be optimized.

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, an innovator in the field of regenerative agriculture, has developed an ingenious system that has the potential to transform the way food is grown.

You might be familiar with Joel Salatin and the way he raises pastured chickens. I visited him on his Polyface Farm in Virginia, but Reginaldo has massively improved the method of raising chickens naturally, without the use of any cages.

Reginaldo was born in poverty in Guatemala, just before the beginning of the 36-year long civil war that finally ended in 1996, and overcame tremendous struggles to obtain the finest agriculture education in Guatemala — at the Central National School of Agriculture—where conventional agriculture is the primary focus.

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A solução das alterações climáticas está nas nossas terras

[ English | EspañolFrançais ]

É essencial reconhecer aos camponeses e às comunidades indígenas o controlo sobre os seus territórios. Só assim poderemos enfrentar a crise climática e alimentar crescente que vive a população mundial.

No momento em que os governos convergiam na Conferência sobre Alterações Climáticas da ONU em Lima, no Perú, o brutal assassinato do ativista indígena peruano Edwin Chota e de outros três homens do povo ashanika no passado mês de setembro realçaram a relação entre deflorestação e direitos indígenas. A verdade é muito clara e está à vista: a maneira mais eficaz de prevenir a deflorestação e os impactos climáticos é reconhecer e respeitar a soberania dos povos indígenas sobre os seus territórios.

Os violentos conflitos agrários no Perú também fazem sobressair outro assunto de igual importância para a crise climática e que já não se pode ignorar: a concentração de terra nas mãos de umas quantas pessoas.

É imprescindível reconhecer aos camponeses e às comunidades indígenas o controlo sobre os seus territórios. Só assim poderemos enfrentar a crise climática e alimentar face à crescente população mundial.

No Perú, as pequenas quintas, com menos de 5 hectares, representam 78% de todas as quintas no país, mas ocupam menos de 6% das terras agrícolas. Esta figura perturbadora reflete a situação global. Globalmente, as pequenas propriedades representam 90% de todas as quintas, mas ocupam menos de um quarto das terras agrícolas. Isto são más notícias para a crise climática.

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Fondos de Pensiones: Actores Claves en el Acaparamiento Mundial de Tierras Agrícolas

[ English | Français日本語 ]

La adquisición de grandes extensiones de tierras agrícolas está generando conflictos y controversias alrededor del mundo.  Un número creciente de informes revelan que estos proyectos son perjudiciales para las comunidades locales y  promueven una forma de agricultura  inapropiada para un mundo sumergido en una grave crisis alimentaria y medioambiental. 1   Sin embargo, los fondos de inversión siguen fluyendo hacia la compra de tierras agrícolas extranjeras,  atraídos como el acero hacia el imán.  ¿Por qué?   Por los beneficios financieros potenciales. Entre los mayores inversionistas que buscan sacar provecho de tales adquisiciones se encuentran los fondos de pensiones, con miles de millones de dólares invertidos.

Actualmente,  los fondos de pensiones  manejan US$ 23 billones en activos, y se estima que alrededor de US$ 100.000 millones están invertidos en el sector de mercancíass o commodities.  Y, al parecer, de esta última cifra, alrededor de US$5.000 a 15.000 millones se destinan a la adquisición de tierras de cultivo.  Hacia el año 2015, se espera que estas inversiones en mercancías y tierras se dupliquen.

Se supone que los fondos de pensiones están al servicio de los trabajadores, ayudándoles a mantener a salvo sus ahorros para el retiro en fechas futuras.  Por esta sola razón, debiera existir alguna forma de rendición de cuentas, públicas o de otro tipo,   al momento de definir las estrategias y tomar decisiones de inversión.    En otras palabras, los fondos de pensiones pueden ser uno de los pocos acaparadores de tierras que la gente puede desbaratar, por el sólo hecho que ellos son los dueños del dinero.  Esto convierte a los fondos de pensiones en un importante objetivo para los movimientos sociales, grupos de trabajadores y organizaciones ciudadanas.

El tamaño y peso de las pensiones

Hoy en día, las pensiones de las personas son frecuentemente  manejadas  por empresas privadas en representación de sindicatos, gobiernos, individuos o empleadores. Estas compañías son responsables de salvaguardar y hacer crecer los ahorros para la jubilación, de forma que sean pagados a los trabajadores en mensualidades, después del retiro.  Cualquier persona suficientemente afortunada como para tener un trabajo y ser capaz de ahorrar algún ingreso para el retiro, probablemente tiene una pensión que está siendo administrada por una u otra firma. A nivel mundial, significa mucho dinero. Los fondos de pensiones manejan actualmente US$23 billones en activos. 2  Y , los  más grandes son aquellos administrados por los gobiernos, como en Japón, Noruega, Holanda, Corea y Estados Unidos (ver Cuadro 1)

Cuadro 1: 20 mayores fondos de pensiones a nivel mundial (2010)

Orden Fondo País Activos totales (millones US$)
1 Inversiones para pensiones del Gobierno Japón 1.315.071
2 Fondo de Pensiones del Gobierno – Global Noruega 475.859
3 ABP Holanda 299.873
4 Servicio Nacional de Pensiones Corea 234.946
5 Caja de Ahorro Federal para la jJbilación Estados Unidos 234.404
6 Sistema de jubilación de los Empleados Públicos de California Estados Unidos 198.765
7 Local Government Officials Japón 164.510
8 Sistema de Retiro de Profesores del Estado de California Estados Unidos 130.461
9 Fondo de Retiro Común del Estado de Nueva York Estados Unidos 125.692
10 PFZW (ahora PGGM) Holanda 123.390
11 Fondo Central de Previsión Singapur 122.497
12 Plan de pensiones de Canadá Canadá 122.067
13 Consejo Estatal de Florida Estados Unidos 114.663
14 Seguridad social nacional China 113.716
15 Asociación de Fondos de Pensiones Japón 113.364
16 ATP Dinamarca 111.887
17 Sistema de Retiro de Nueva York Estados Unidos 111.669
18 GEPF Sud Africa 110.976
19 Fondo provisional de empleados Malasia 109.002
20 General Motors Estados Unidos 99.200

Fuente: Pensions & Investments, 6 de septiembre de 2010, P&I/Towers Watson World 300  

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