Latin America and the Caribbean Unite their Voices for Earth Day
On the occasion of the Earth Day Mobilisation for the Land Rights Now campaign, thousands of people came together to defend Indigenous Peoples and Communities as a key measure to fight against climate change. Many ILC members from the Latin America & Caribbean region participated in the global mobilisation, these are their stories...
Nowadays, there are a number of problems around land issues in Latin America and the Caribbean, such as land tenure inequality by different actors, dispossession of communities, or expansion of the export agro-industry and non-farming investments such as mining, oil extraction, etc., which threaten access to land and the rights of rural populations.
In an attempt to address these issues, ILC members and rural development-related institutions met during a regional workshop in Lima (Peru) from 26-28 April, to define priorities for the Regional Network of Observatories, an interinstitutional space focused on monitoring data and processes related to land governance and promoted by diverse ILC members. During the workshop, representatives of different countries pointed out the need to secure land rights of rural populations, and recalled how vital that is to achieve sustainability on the planet, to ensure food security, and preserve Indigenous Peoples´ cultures.
"Ensuring rights to land and territories for Indigenous Peoples and rural communities is vital to protect humanity´s common knowledge of how to care for nature" - Javier Medina, CINEP/PPP, Colombia
"If Indigenous Peoples and rural communities land rights and not secured, food sovereignty and the health of populations is at risk in our countries " - Marcela Alvarado, SIPAE, Ecuador
"If Indigenous Peoples and communities land right sare not protected, we are putting at risk the conservation of local ecosystems, which contribute to biodiversity enrichment and, therefore, also threatening environmental sustainability "-Marina Gil, ECLAC
Members of NES Colombia produced an inspiring video on the situation of collective lands in the Montes de Maria region. Watch the video by CDS here:
NES Nicaragua –National Engagement Strategy for Democratic Access to Land- also joined the Earth Day mbilizations held between April 21st to 28th. NES leading members demanded the implementation of Law 717, which created a fund to allow rural women to purchase land under gender equity principles.
See report on the topic in El Confidencial:
In Guatemala, ILC members and partners -Congcoop, CCDA-, among others, participated in different actions to promote the rights of rural populations. On April 21st, hundreds of peasant and Indigenous women marched to Guatemala City to demand their rights to access land and livelihoods. They walked to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, where they met with the Minister of Agriculture, stressing that the current budget for FONTIERRAS is not enough to meet population needs. Read their demands here: Comunicado Día de la Tierra.
In Venezuela, Acción Campesina joined the mobilization sharing images and messages in favour of #landrightsnow of Indigenous Peoples and communities in the country and the urgency to support appropriate policies for the Venezuelan countryside. Different actions took place in Brazil, among them an event with organic farmers in Bonito, which was supported by Espacio Feminista.