- A new UN Declaration protects peasant rights to land, seeds, and adequate incomes with an emphasis on civil and social rights.
- Peasants, which includes small-scale farmers, rural workers, fishing communities, pastoralists and landless agriculture workers, have been recognized as a vulnerable population with distinct needs for the first time ever.
- By protecting peasant rights, the new status aims to also help reduce climate change and protect biodiversity.
Johannesburg - Wherever she goes, Nonhle Mbuthuma expects to feel the cold metal tip of a gun pressed against her head.
The land and environmental rights campaigner knows she could pay the ultimate price in her unwavering fight to protect her unspoilt, ancestral land from mining.
“I don’t feel safe at all,” says Mbuthuma, a founder of the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), of the threats she receives from pro-mining interests.
“My voice is now the loudest. I’m seen as a ‘nuisance’ because I’m protecting my forefathers’ land and my children’s land.”
In the annual review of the Agrarian Reform Consortium, secretary-general Dewi Kartika displayed some interesting infographics. Presenting the government, the business sector and civil society organizations (CSO) as three circles, it was evident that over time, the business sector grew in size and edged closer to the government, while the CSOs shrunk in size and grew more isolated.