CLOC-Via Campesina’s continental encounter on agroecology
From September 27th to 30th, 2017, the historic Florestan Fernandes National School of the MST in Brazil hosted La Via Campesina’s continental gathering on the processes of formación in agroecology within the movement. The objective was to study and debate the current state of the action of capital in the countryside in its project of globalization and see how the implementation of agroecology by social movements is confronting this challenge. Over 50 representatives from 21 different countries from the Americas and Caribbean were present, including the ATC and other organizations from Nicaragua and Central America.
Part of the seminary included presentations from ten different peasant agroecology schools in Latin America, including the network of ATC-affiliated schools in Nicaragua, IALA Mesoamerica. Ada Farrach of La Via Campesina Nicaragua (who is part of the Friends of the ATC collective in Nicaragua) presented on the advances of IALA Mesoamerica.
Agroecology: a way of life, struggle and resistance against capitalism. Agroecology is the basis for peasant agriculture and food sovereignty. Agroecology continues to be open to debate and dispute; from the perspective of our movements, it is the guarantee, care and protection of our Mother Earth. For that reason, it is transversal in all the spaces of the land, subsoil, territory, water and space.
The cosmovision and epistemology of our peoples tell us that agroecological practices are the center of our ancestors’ production, since they are the coexistence of all living beings. The land does not belong to us; we belong to the land. We are balance and equity, solidarity, integrity, diversity, territorial defense, the ‘buen vivir’, the dialogue between ways of knowing, expressed through the peasant-to-peasant method.
We do not want sustainable development, we want sustainable life. Agroecology gives our identity back to us. Women played a historic role in the evolution of peasant and indigenous agriculture.
The seminar also expressed its solidarity with various communities of Latin America. In particular they called to attention internationalist solidarity with the Mapuche peoples, who are struggling for territory and recognition by the Chilean government and who have 4 political prisoners who have been on hunger strike for four months, putting their life on the line. The full solidarity statement with the Mapuche peoples can be read online in Spanish.
The participants in the seminar returned to their territories inspired by the advances in agroecology made by LVC in the past decade and by the Florestan Fernandes School, a strong example of how formación is much more than a class. The value of internationalism was present and alive in the school, which is a school for all organizations of struggle around the world.
LVC published a video on the seminar (en español) that shows some of the highlights: