Minutes of the first meeting on agriculture

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Short summary of working group "agriculture & climate"

7 participants, 1 person from "grupo de reflexion rural", 1 from via campesina europe, 1 from danish samll farmers association, 1 from friends of the earth, one from action network on global agriculture, 2 unorganized, 5 nationalities

after introducing ourselves and the areas we/our organizations are currently working on, we discussed land use & climate change (politics) related problems, largely agreeing, that mitigation policies involving bioenergy and "carbon sink" project trigger large scale industrial farming, and threaten the rural poor, small farmers rights, and the environment/biodiversity.

The fact that via campesina's food souvereighnity concept can serve as a model to counter climate change (besides many other advantages) was highlighted.

Sharing the wish to focus on relations between industrial agriculture (and underlying consumption patterns) in the global north and south, we brainstormed about possible focal points and actions for Copenhagen.

The danish pig industry was revealed as a primary target for several reasons:

it's among the biggest in the world

it destroys small farmers livelihood in Denmark, and abroad

large scale fodder production in the global south for "landless animal production" in the North creates many severe problems, including concentration of land property, eviction of poor people from their lands, violence and corruption, monocultures of GMO-soy, poisoning of land, water and people through extensive pesticide use, loss of agricultural land for food production, destruction of forests,....

Danish people/public are receptive for this issue

the danish pork industry has huge financial problems and threatens, due to its size, to bring danish banks down with it. therefore, there will be a public debate we can catch onto, and issues like the financial crisis, monopolization and "economy of scale", productivity/efficiency can be easiliy linked

industrial farming is a huge driver of GHG emissions/climate change

Two ideas emerged:

to ask the friends from bolovia who are organizing the peoples tribunal incopenhagen if they could imagine to hold a tribunal against the danish pig industry - highlighting the problems of large scale fodder production in the south (..)

to directly target an institution linked to the industry (like, a pigfarm, or a headquarter)

as an outcome, it was decided to assemble a draft paper mapping the drivers of climate change in agriculture.

the idea to propose a "thematic" day of action on agriculture and landuse for the copenhagen mobilization was generally welcomed, but this is of course a capacity issue.

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