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Sow your Resistance! Peasant Gathering for Seed Rights

By Paula Dragomir – Agrobiodiversity campaign assistant, Eco Ruralis On 24th-26th of September 2015, Eco Ruralis association participated in “Sow your resistance!” an international event in Lescar-Pau, France, which celebrated peasant seeds from all around the world. This event gathered more than 400 people from civil society movements and local NGO’s from Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. The event was co-organized by the Emmaus community of Lescar-Pau, the French network of peasant seeds RĂ©seau Semences Paysannes and the French NGO for agricultural and social projects BEDE. The innovating, semi-autonomous village of Lescar-Pau – which produces 60% of the food needed by its 140 inhabitants – an extraordinary settlement and inspiring location for conceiving a different and better world. The various participants were involved in discussions, workshops, visits and debates. The program was rich and ambitious. The main demands were for: – Recognition of the indispensable past, present and future contribution of farmers and gardeners to the selection, conservation and renewal of agricultural biodiversity; – Respect and guarantee of the right of farmers to reuse, exchange […]

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Working for Land Rights in Romania

By Attila Szocs, Eco Ruralis Land Rights Campaigner Land grabbing in Romania is reaching a blatant level but mobilisation against it is scaling up too. On the 26-27th of September, 2015, Eco Ruralis hosted in Cluj Napoca the first meeting of a newly established Working Group on the Right to Land. During the gathering, Eco Ruralis members and supporters debated important land related problems faced by peasants and agroecological food producers: lack of transparency behind large land acquisitions, equitable access to land for young and future farmers and land policies oriented towards land concentration. The meeting specified future collaboration by the group in order to intervene on the issue of land grabbing and fair access to land in Romania. Defining land grabbing generated an interesting debate inside the group. Several criteria were raised, taking into consideration quantitative and qualitative indicators of what is a land grab. First of all, we noted the duality of the Romanian countryside, where more than half of the available lands are cultivated by small farmers, while the other part is controlled by companies and other actors. This obviously opens up […]

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Visiting the Vine and Wine World of Moldova

Written By:  Derek Freitas, Eco Ruralis Staff The Republic of Moldova is the 22nd largest wine-producing country in the world. For such a small country, it certainly grows a lot of grapes. Agritourism is on the rise and so is the market for its wines all across Europe but are there enough economic opportunities for small-scale producers? And how does the export focus of the national government affect the genetic diversity of grapes? Recently, Eco Ruralis staff made a visit to find out more. The land of the Republic of Moldova has a long and rich history of grape and wine production dating back to the Dacian times. The first grape vines were here around 7,000 BCE and for 5,000 years wine has been made – so, they are pretty good at it! Generations and generations of people living in the countryside have produced wine for family consumption and local trade which is still the case today. There are 4 historical wine regions: Valul lui Traian (south west), Stefan Voda (south east), Codru (central), and […]

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Ecological Focus Area (EFA) in Germany: good for biodiversity & the tax payer?

Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) were supposed to be a core part of the greening of CAP: public goods – biodiversity protection – for public money – the citizens tax revenue. However EFAs were watered down to the point of near meaninglessness, we argued here in 2014. In this guest blog post by Sebastian Lakner, the poor biodiversity performance of EFAs in Germany is outlined. […]

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250,000 people protest against TTIP in Berlin

250,000 took it to the streets on 10. october in Berlin for a huge ‘Stop TTIP and CETA – For a Fair World Trade!’ demonstration. Together many people from all walks of life protested against the free trade agreements between the EU and the US and Canada. […]