Nyéléni’s declaration on Food Sovereignty was adopted in honor of the legendary Malaysian peasant, a Malian cultivator.
Nyéléni was a Sirakoro woman from Mali, Africa.
The statement was made during the first international forum on food sovereignty, which was held in Sélingué, Mali, in February 2007.
“We, more than 500 representatives from over 80 countries, belonging to peasant organizations, traditional fishermen, indigenous peoples, landless people, rural workers, migrants, nomadic farmers, communities living in the forests, women, men, young people, consumers , ecological and urban movements, we met in the village of Selingué in Mali, in order to strengthen the world movement for food sovereignty. We do it brick by brick, living in huts built manually and respecting local traditions, consuming products prepared by the community of Sélingué …
We baptized our collective path “Nyéléni”, in homage to a legendary Malaysian peasant, a woman who cultivated her lands and fed her people with great courage. ”
The declaration therefore reaffirms the principle of Food Sovereignty as the only prerequisite for democracy, justice among peoples and safeguarding the goods of the Earth.
Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to nutritious and culturally adequate, accessible, products produced in a sustainable and ecological way, and also the right to be able to decide their own food and production system. This places those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies and above the needs of markets and businesses. It defends the interests and integration of future generations. It offers us a strategy to resist and dismantle neoliberal trade and the current food regime. It offers guidelines for food, agricultural, herding and fishing systems to be managed by local producers. Food sovereignty gives priority to the economy and to local and national markets, attributing power to farmers, family farming, traditional fishing and breeding and places the production, distribution and consumption of food on the basis of environmental sustainability , social and economic. Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that can guarantee a decent income for all peoples and the right for consumers to control their nutrition and nutrition. It ensures that the rights of access and management of our lands, our territories, our water, our seeds, our livestock and biodiversity, are in the hands of those who produce the food. Food sovereignty implies new social relations free from oppressions and inequalities between men and women, peoples, races, social classes and generations.
Nyéléni’s statement fights for:
– For a world where all peoples, all nations and all states can define their own political and food systems, guaranteeing each of us a quality, accessible, healthy and culturally appropriate diet;
– where the rights and role of women in food production and their representativeness within all decision-making bodies are recognized and respected;
– where all the peoples of each of our countries can live with dignity in their work and thus have the opportunity to develop in their place of origin;
– where food sovereignty is considered as a fundamental human right, recognized and respected by communities, peoples, states and international institutions;
– where rural environments, fish reserves, landscapes and food traditions can be preserved and rehabilitated, based on sustainable and respectful management of the environment, lands, soil, water, seas, seeds, livestock and biodiversity;
– where we recognize, appreciate and give the right value to our different knowledge, foods, languages, traditional cultures and to the way we organize and express ourselves;
– where there is a real integral agrarian reform which guarantees the farmers full rights over their lands, which defends and recovers the territories of the indigenous peoples, assures the fishing communities the access and control of their fishing areas and their ecosystems, recognizing the access and control of pastures and transhumance routes, guaranteeing decent jobs with fair remuneration and the rights of all workers, and offering a future for young people in the countryside;
– where the agrarian reform strengthens the interdependence between producers and consumers, ensuring the survival of the community, economic and social justice, ecological sustainability and respect for local autonomy and the government with equal rights for men and women;
– where the right to the territory and self-determination of peoples is guaranteed;
– where the territories among our peoples can be peacefully and fairly shared, be they farmers, indigenous communities, traditional fishermen, shepherds etc;
– where in the case of natural or man-made disasters and in post-conflict situations, food sovereignty is a “guarantee” capable of strengthening local reconstruction initiatives and mitigating negative repercussions. In this it should be borne in mind that the affected and abandoned communities are not incapable and a solid social organization is the key to recovery and reconstruction with one’s own means;
– where the power of peoples is defended in making decisions regarding their material, natural and spiritual heritage.
Nyéléni’s Declaration therefore opposes:
– to imperialism, neoliberalism, neocolonialism, patriarchy and all systems that impoverish life, resources and ecosystems, but also against their promoters such as international financial institutions, the World Trade Organization, free trade, multinationals and governments that affect their populations;
– against dumping on foods sold at prices below production costs within the world economy;
– against the domination of our food and agricultural systems by multinationals that put their profits before people, health and the environment;
– against technologies and practices that undermine our future food production capacities, which damage the environment and endanger our health. This includes transgenic products, terminator technology, industrial aquaculture, destructive fishing practices, the so-called “White Revolution” of the dairy industry, the “old and new Green Revolution” and the “Green Deserts” of industrial monocultures for agrofuels and other plantations;
– against the privatization and mercantilization of food, public and basic services, knowledge, land, water, seeds, livestock and our natural heritage;
– against extraction industrial development models / projects that expel populations and that destroying the environment and our natural heritage;
– against wars, conflicts, occupations, economic embargoes, famines, forced expulsions of peoples and the confiscation of their lands and against all those forces and governments that are at the origin and that support them. Against post-conflict or post-natural disaster reconstruction programs that destroy our environment and our capabilities;
– against the criminalization of all those who fight to protect and defend our rights;
– against food aid that protects dumping, introduces GMOs into our environment and our local food systems, creating new masters of colonialism;
– against the internationalization and globalization of paternalistic and patriarchal values, which marginalizes, throughout the world, women, the different agricultural, indigenous communities, shepherds and fishermen.
The elements contained in Nyéléni’s Declaration still prefigure a long path towards real planetary democracy and the safeguarding of ecological systems, but like any great revolution, the path, although gradual, is unstoppable because it is the entropy of History that leads the game.