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Cooling the Planet: Frontline Communities lead the struggle

December 10, 2015 @ 13:00 - 17:00

A public meeting by the Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles

Small-scale food producers and consumers, including peasants, indigenous peoples, hunters and gatherers, family farmers, rural workers, herders and pastoralists, fisherfolk and urban people – the frontline communities – are increasingly confronted by the grabbing of natural resources and by systematic violations of human rights. They are also directly affected by the impacts of climate destruction. The climate change mitigation schemes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which are presented as “solutions” to the man-made climate crisis are false solutions given that they are intrinsically linked to these resource grabs and human rights violations.

At this public event, you will get the unique opportunity to listen to and engage in conversations with representatives of frontline communities from all regions of the world. These leaders of the struggle for climate justice participate in panel sessions and will discuss the false solutions to the climate crisis of the UNFCCC, the real solutions which are rooted in peoples’ knowledge and experiences, and how the Global Convergence on Land and Water Struggles can advance the struggle for systemic change.

Why this meeting?
Double impact: One of the most immediate effects of the false solutions to the current man-made climate crisis is people’s loss of access to land and water – the very natural resources upon which people depend for their livelihoods and food sovereignty. Privatisation and financialisation of nature is the intended result of UNFCCC schemes such as REDD+ and it is well known to dispossess masses of people. Already pushed to the fringe, deprived of access to land and water in rural and urban settings, frontline communities also face the increasingly frequent natural disasters that are caused by the climate change – and the inability of governments to agree to real solutions.

Systemic changes: the real solutions articulated by frontline communities derive from local livelihood strategies and practices. A commonality of the diverse – and locally adapted – real solutions, is that these build on the needs and interests of the people and require a fundamental shift away from solutions that are developed by and for a minority elite. In this way, real solutions are intrinsically linked to the necessity of systemic changes.
The Global Convergence on Land and Water Struggles unpacks and further develops the real solutions through frontline dialogue. The public event will advance this dialogue by giving the platform to frontline communities and ensuring space for interaction with the audience. In short, the convergence will show the way forward.

The event is divided into three panel sessions: false solutions, real solutions, and showing the way forward.

About the Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles

“We, social movements, grassroots organizations and civil society organizations engaged in the defense of the rights to land and water are fighting back, asserting our rights and providing real solutions. We believe that peoples’ access to and control of land and water is essential to peace, to stopping climate change, as well as to fulfilling fundamental human rights and guaranteeing a dignified life for all.”
Dakar to Tunis: Declaration of the Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles.

The Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles is an initiative initiated and led by grassroots organizations and social movements in order to link and strengthen the struggles for food and peoples’ sovereignty and human rights. This process started in October 2014, as several social and grassroots movements from Africa as well as civil society organizations gathered at the African Social Forum in Dakar to protest against all forms of natural resource grabbing and the systematic human rights violations that accompany them. Sharing their ideas, they recognized the essential solidarity between their struggles and decided to meet again at the World Social Forum to continue this dialogue with movements and organizations from all over the world.

The declaration “Rights to Water and Land, a Common Struggle. Dakar to Tunis Declaration of the Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles” sets out the vision, principles and aspirations of the Convergence and is intended to serve the process of building a strong and united movement struggling for the enforcement of public policies based on food and peoples’ sovereignty in order to realize the human rights to food and nutrition, water, land and territories, seeds, and others. The Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles is a response by local communities and grassroots organizations around the world who assert their rights, provide real solutions and resist and struggle against the threats to their lives and well-being, particularly through the appropriation of natural resources by companies, governments, elites, and speculators.


This event is part of the Hands on the Land campaign, financially supported by the European Commission. The views expressed here are ours.



December 10, 2015
13:00 - 17:00
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Salle Olympe de Gouge
15 Rue Merlin
Paris, 75011 France
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The Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles
Hands on the Land for Food Sovereignty