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Peoples Movements Building Another Food System

January 2007

In less than one month, hundreds of farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers and environmental and indigenous organizations will convene in Mali for Nyéléni 2007: Forum for Food Sovereignty.

We are very excited about this historical event. Delegates from all around the world will share ideas and develop an action plan for building a food system that is equitable, healthy and sustainable.

For our part, Grassroots International will be involved in the forum in several ways. Through the support of our donors, we are providing several travel grants to give delegates from Central America and the Middle East an opportunity to participate.

We will also be present on the North American delegation where we will represent the many voices fighting for food sovereignty. Over the next few weeks, return to our blog for updates and reports from Mali.

Below is the first press release from the Nyéléni 2007 media team:



Nyéléni 2007: Forum for Food Sovereignty in Mali,

23-27 February 2007

Farmers, fisherfolk, women’s groups, rural and urban workers, indigenous peoples, migrants, pastoralists, environmental organisations and non governmental organisations have joined hands to organise the World Forum For Food Sovereignty “Nyéléni 2007” to be held in Mali, 23-27 February, 2007.

Over 500 women and men, from 98 countries around the world will design dynamic strategies to implement global and local food systems which support small producers and consumers rather than transnational companies.

This important forum is organised by an alliance of international social movements, namely La Via Campesina, ROPPA (Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organisations of West Africa), the World March of Women, the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish workers, the World Forum of Fisher Peoples, the International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty, The Food Sovereignty Network, and Friends of the Earth. A forum in the countryside

The forum is taking place in Sélingué, a small town located 140 km from Bamako. A plenary structure and residential areas with huts and eating areas are currently being built with traditional materials and techniques to house delegates. These will be used afterwards by Malian organisations as a training centre. Building a global political agenda for change

The programme of the Nyéléni Forum allows the different sectors represented to formulate a global action agenda that will be the basis of the social movements’ struggles and activities in coming years. It is an innovative international process where delegates from 98 countries will collaborate on a global people political agenda for food sovereignty.A media event

Food is an issue that affects every human being on the planet. The forum will be an opportunity for the media to understand how consumers groups promote local food instead of globalised food, why farmers develop sustainable agriculture and fight against GMOs, what fisher folk are doing to protect the oceans, how indigenous people promote peoples’ control over land, water and seeds and oppose privatisation, why pastoralists defend their nomadic lifestyles and diverse local breeds of livestock.Nyéléni 2007 will also give journalists a fantastic opportunity to meet leaders and members of social movements from every continent, hear their stories, and consider their proposals on how to organize trade in food products based on autonomous family production, which is the basis of food sovereignty.

More information:

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