Rural peoples in Global South to mobilize 1 million for food, land and climate justice

March 29, 2023

Rural peoples movements from Asia, Latin America and Africa today launched the Global Peoples’ Caravan for Food, Land, and Climate Justice–an awareness-raising and mobilization campaign to demand governments to address the interconnected issues of hunger, land and resource grabs, and the climate crisis, culminating at the United Nations Summit of the Future in September 2024.

Coinciding with the Day of the Landless and actions led by the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) in various countries and a CSO-led action on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in Bangkok, the Global People’s Caravan will commence with a signature petition and other forms of community mobilization dubbed as A Million Voices for Food, Land, and Climate Justice. A Million Voices aims to mobilize one million people to support specific demands by small food producers to be submitted to governments and negotiators of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in November.

“Starting today, we will raise awareness, organize, and mobilize rural peoples and their supporters around calls on food, land, and climate justice. In October, rural people’s movements in various countries will organize two to three-day caravans and other activities leading up to COP28 in Dubai, where a Global Peoples’ Speak Out will be held and our demands presented. Rural peoples have been ignored in climate talks for far too long. We need real solutions that do not take away people’s lands and resources,” said Sarojeni Rengam, PAN Asia Pacific executive director.

Initial participating countries and regions in the Caravan include the Asia Pacific (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, West Papua, Fiji, Vanuatu); West Asia and North Africa; Latin America; and Africa.

284 organizations from 26 countries also signed a Day of the Landless unity statement on food, land and climate justice.

Quoting from the statement, Poguri Chennaiah, chairperson of Asian Peasant Coalition and the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty said, “To justify their continued pillage of the planet’s resources, the richest countries and corporations take over the global policy discourse that could decide the very survival of humanity. We have seen this in key international forums on food systems, climate change, and sustainable development…The working peoples, including the rural peoples, as direct creators of global wealth, food, and various needs of societies, should not allow these powerful forces to continue deciding our fate.”

“Indigenous Peoples, farmers, peasants, fisherfolk and small food producers must build the strongest solidarity if they want to win the fight for land rights. It’s a crucial unity forged by a common goal to combat hunger and climate imperialism,” said Jiten Yumnam of the Indigenous People’s Movement for Self Determination and Liberation.

“As imperialist countries intensify their competition for resources devastating our land and the planet and threatening the very existence of humanity, rural peoples across the globe today unite in resistance and say that we refuse to live in a future created for us by these rich and powerful countries and their monopoly corporations. We reject this future of poverty, hunger and underdevelopment. We will forge a brighter future through our struggles,” said Liza Maza, general secretary of International League of Peoples Struggles.

The Caravan is jointly organized by Asian Peasants Coalition (APC), People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), Indigenous Peoples’ Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS), Peoples Rising for Climate Justice (PRCJ), PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP), and the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN).

REFERENCE: Chennaiah Poguri, PCFS Global Co-chairperson, ([email protected])

For media inquiries, contact Gail Orduña, PCFS Global Coordinator at [email protected] and +63 920 329 7913 (WhatsApp) or Arnold Padilla, PANAP Food Sovereignty Coordinator at [email protected].

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