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Conference: The Right to Food, the Right to Natural Resources – Food Sovereignty from a Nordic Perspective

March 5, 2016 - March 6, 2016

Local and national control, ownership and possibilities to create higher value for local communities of land, water and other natural resources is a reality in Sweden and in other parts of the world. These necessary common assets that belong to all of us, are increasingly being looked upon as a commodity. We believe that it is absolutely necessary to strengthen and expand laws and regulations on both national and international level that recognises, respects, protects, and fulfils the right to land and natural resources for peasants, farmers and foresters, small scale cost fishermen, reindeer keeper, pastoralists and indigenous people.
FIAN and NOrdBruk along with the Hands On the Land campaign hereby invite you to an education and exchange of experience on the theme – our common natural resources.

“With this conference we want to stimulate the political debate that has been missing during all these years since 1990. The shift in the system that is currently taking place is entirely a political project,” says Torgny Östling from NOrdBruk, a member organisation of La Vía Campesina.

Only a small part of the peasants remains after the shift in systems that took place in the beginning of the 1990s. Large scale industrial agriculture and fishing has taken over most of the food production. At the same time the degree of self-sufficiency has gone down with 50-75 percent in 25 years. In the forest, the industry decides prices, quality and harvesting methods. Individual peasants, farmers, reindeer keepers and (coastal) fishermen have needed to adjust to large scale methods, or downsizing and cease their production. We blame the prices on agricultural raw materials, import from the EU and the rest of the world, high prices on properties, and a consumers’ power that does not work.

So far the consumers’ power has controlled the switch to large scale production and prices, while politics has been limited to the aid and control system that the industries are now depending on as a consequence of opening up our borders by joining EU’s legislation and the World Trade Organization. Green industries are affected both here, in the Nordic countries and everywhere on the planet – by globalisation.

Participation is free. The organisers of the event provide housing and food.

For more information about the conference and registration, contact Rebecka Jalvemyr at +46(0)70-634 93 47 or rebecka.jalvemyr[at]fian.se


Parts of the program:

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security were officially endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security on 11 May 2012. The purpose of the guidelines is to give guidance to states on how they can fulfil the right to food by improving the governance of the managing of natural recourses to benefit the local community, where the access to the recourses are. FIAN and NOrdbruk will provide basic and more complex insights in the guidelines; what effect they have and what they mean on a national and global level. With the guidelines as a basis we can by exchanging experiences and discussions, together find the best way for implementing them in our Swedish environment to regain the control over our common assets.

Inga Carlman, Professor in environmental science, on ‘Ecological technique and sustainable building’ at Mittuniversitetet in Östersund, will contribute with her special knowledge of ownership and the right to land, especially farmland and agriculture. She has written the book “The Future in the hands of the ancestors” – about ownership and other right to the land from the provincial laws to modern time from an environmental rights perspective.

Torbjörn Skytt, researcher at ‘Ecological technique and sustainable building’ at Mittuniversitetet will talk about the problem with the dominating perspective that agriculture have to “grow or die” to be able to continue to provide for the farmer. Is there alternatives to these two roads, since they are not sustainable in the long run? The discussion is based on examples from the situation in the village where he lives and where agriculture has been active for many hundreds of years.

Aira Sevón, farmer, La Vía Campesina Finland. Discusses the differences between Sweden and Finland even though both countries are members of the EU. Åland is also an important example that she will discuss since it has its own regulations and sovereignty over farmers and agriculture.

This event is part of the Hands on the Land Campaign, an education and awareness raising campaign carried out with the financial support of the European Union. The views expressed here are ours.

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March 5, 2016
March 6, 2016
Event Category:


FIAN Sweden
View Organizer Website


Birka Folkhögskola in Ås
Östersund, Jämtland, Sweden + Google Map