First Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit

29 January 2009 - Event
Date
29 January 2009 to 31 January 2009

Why peasants from certain regions of the world cultivate plants that international conventions have declared to be illicit? That is the essential question to which the First Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit (FMPCDI) will try to give an answer.

January the 29th, 30th and 31st, 2009, Barcelona will be the venue for the FMPCDI. CERAI is the main organizer of this international meeting. Go to the Presentation The FMPCDI tries to be a space of dialogue in which participants can exchange their experience, raise problems, reflect on their situations and organize future collaboration processes to protect human rights of affected communities and to give models of sustainable development. The Forum will be attended by: More than 50 leaders of producers from agricultural and social organizations from Asia, Latin America and Africa, more tan 20 international experts, NGO’s, Government institutions, producers from different continents. Which are the objectives?
  • Inform about political and socioeconomic problems that spur the communities on the production of crops declared to be illicit, announcing them to the public opinion.
  • Deal with the future of affected populations: equitable and sustainable development of economies, rural territories, natural resources, agricultural reform, alternative development, development of licit uses of these crops (cultural, medicinal and as food).
  • Generate proposals for different policies to be submitted to the appropriate official entities.
  • Organize associations and networks that are able to be negotiators between regional, national and international authorities and entities, and also actors of their own development. UNGASS: United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Countering World Drug Problem The conclusions of the Forum will be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session –UNGASS- on Countering World Drug Problem, to be held in Vienna on March 11-12, 2009, in which international strategies against this kind of crops will be decided. The situation of peasants that are producers of crops declared to be illicit The concern of the international community about the spreading of traffic and illicit drug consume is growing. Behind all these problems there are peasant communities from Asia, Latin America and Africa that cultivate these plants. Millions of people live or survive from producing them, being them those who smallest incomes receive from all the international narcotic traffic chain. "Criminalized peasants", poor and helpless, unprotected actors, their voice is not listened by Governments of their counties, nor by international organizations who prepare strategies that “theoretically” benefit them. They just don’t count for the international community. In the year 2005, according to UN reports, opium illicit plantations reached 150.000 hectares only in Asia. Coca leaf spread through 160.000 hectares in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. And cannabis, only in Morocco, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), took up in 2003 a surface of 134.000 hectares. Having reached the 21st Century, and after one hundred years of Conventions that illegalized these plants and their producers, applying repressive policies that in many cases threat human rights (forced eradications without alternative, fumigations, arbitrary arrests and detentions, etc.), the problem not only does not have decreased, but has grown to greater levels. In view of this fact, different organizations and personalities, we have decided to announce a Global Forum to raise the problematic issues of those who have no choice but to produce those plants that have been declared to be illicit to survive. Who are we? CERAI, Spanish acronym for the Centre of Rural Studies and International Agriculture, is a Non-Governmental Development Organization, secular, progressive and independent. We appeared in 1994 in Valencia, intending to create an organization dealing with the Spanish and European rural and agricultural sector, connections with international trade, the problem of underdevelopment, environment, organic farming and its future, sustainable development, rural exodus, etc. We are, as it was stated at the General Assembly of Partners, an "organization that is part and intends to be point of reference for the social movement that looks for the transformation of rural and agricultural world from the perspective of sustainable development, solidarity, respect to human rights and participative democracy". The Forum will take place in: CENTRE ESPLAI C/Riu Anoia, 42-54 08820 El Prat de Llobregat Barcelona ORGANIZER:CERAI COLLABORATORS: Association des Populations de Montagne du Monde (APMM), Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) FUNDS: German Cooperation Agency (GTZ), Fundation pour le progrès de l’Homme (FPH), Open Society Institut (OSI) and Barcelona Solidària (Barcelona Council). FOR MORE INFORMATION: Communication Management of FMPCDI-CERAI Phone: 96 352 18 78 e-mail:comunicacion@cerai.es Person in charge: Sara Muñoz Secretariat of the FMPCDI-CERAI Phone: 678 131 850 e-mail: fmpcdi.secretaria@cerai.es Persons in charge: Julia Volpe, Anabel Carreras y Javier González Skaric