From June 20-22, 2012, governments from all over the world will meet in Río de Janeiro, Brazil, to commemorate 20 years since the “Earth Summit”, the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development, which established for the first time a global agenda for “sustainable development”. Meanwhile, 20 years after this momentous summit, we continue to see many of the real causes of environmental, economic, and social deterioration go on without abatement.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) is a sister organization to La Via Campesina, the international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. La Via Campesina is mobilizing for the Earth Summit, representing the voice of the peasant in the “global debate and defending a different path to development that is based on the well being of all, that guarantees food for all, that protects and guarantees that the commons and natural resources are put to use to provide a good life for everyone and not to meet the needs for accumulation of a few.”
In New Brunswick, the NFU works with many groups, not unlike La Via Campesina, working for farmers’ rights, for everyone’s right to safe and healthy food, and for strong, sustainable, local economic development in the province. “The goal of this international group,” explains Melanie Jellett, NFU in NB Executive Director, “is to bring back another way of relating to nature and other people. I see this happening in this province; it never stopped really. We are a fishing, farming, innovative kind of people. We need to make sure we are doing what we do in a way that is community-minded, economically viable and sustainable.”
This week the NFU in NB encourages citizens to support a healthy agricultural system by purchasing food and/or shares from their local farmers, planting gardens, planting trees, writing to MPs and local politicians, and doing ANY action that brings us closer to collectively organizing around the issues of the environment and sustainability. For more information about the NFU in New Brunswick, visit www.nfunb.org, and to find out more about La Via Campesina visit http://viacampesina.org/.
Mel Jellett (506) 538-1189
Barb Somerville 1 (888) 246-5583