Myanmar is in a dangerous and uncertain moment following the military coup on 1 February 2021. The articles in this Special Forum provide timely contextual analysis. Written before the coup, the articles delve into the politics of agrarian transformation in the context of (what was then) an ongoing (but fragile) opening up of political space.
TNI has a long track record of working on land politics within the broader context of agrarian and environmental justice. Many of these have been produced with transnational agrarian movements and partners on the ground. Here, we highlight five key readings (and some further recommended readings!) that TNI has published over the years.
The time has come for a transformation of Europe’s food systems. Small-scale food producers, peasants, community groups, environmental justice activists and others have been calling for years for a shift towards agriculture that nourishes communities, regenerates ecosystems, and provides decent and sustainable livelihoods. The concept of agroecology encompasses these ambitions, referring to the science, movement, and practice of working with nature to build food sovereignty. The climate crisis and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have only made it clearer how urgent such a transformation is.
Land politics – who controls what land, how is it used, for how long, for what purposes and to whose benefit – is a central pillar of this debate. As politicians across Europe struggle to balance the urgent need for climate action with the need to strengthen equity and popular support for new policies, the risk of societal discord looms large, fuelled by farmer protests, perceptions of ‘agri-bashing,’ and long-running tensions between conservation movements and agricultural communities. This has been made more complicated by the interweaving of questions of land and national identity and an apparently increasing disconnect between those living in rural and urban areas.
The Agrarian Conversations series aims to address strategic and urgent issues in and in relation to the rural world today. The format is conversational: 15 minutes input from the main speaker, 15 minutes from a panel of discussants, and 50 minutes open plenary (Q&A) discussion. A background paper is provided in advance to help facilitate a conversational format.
On 21 November 1997, small-scale fishers from across the world formed a global movement and set sail for a long journey to protect nature and their human rights. Ever since, the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) have celebrated this day as World Fisheries Day and even in times of the COVID-19 crisis, they continue the tradition of raising their voices at this special moment.
The way that ownership and control of land and resources is managed and understood is changing globally, even as changes in financial markets and the climate catastrophe are putting increasing pressure on land and land-based resources. The changes taking place can appear progressive and positive - for example, more and more governments and other actors now recognize collective ownership of land. But the way change is taking place is less transformative than it looks and is in fact creating new opportunities for corporations to profit from land and natural resources, to the detriment of local communities. Our latest report explores how and why this change is taking place, what actors are helping to shape our understanding and management of land and natural resources, and who stands to benefit and to lose from these changes.
Agroecology has gained ground in recent years as the need to transform our agrifood system becomes increasingly clear. The food and financial crises of 2008, and the deepening climate and environmental crises, have revealed deep challenges for the way we produce and consume food. Global agrarian justice and food sovereignty movements, organised in global convergences like the Nyéléni Forum, have emphasised the importance of agroecology in this transformation. They highlight the political nature of agroecology: ‘it requires us to challenge and transform structures of power in society'.
This discussion paper explores the process known as “financialization”. It intends to provide a basis for people’s movements, grassroots activists and other civil society organizations (CSOs) to build or strengthen their knowledge and to develop strategies to resist, reverse and prevent financialization.
How can we begin to understand the complex relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and our food systems? How is this crisis impacting communities and transformative strategies for a future founded on international solidarity, agroecology and food sovereignty? Our recent webinar A Recipe for Disaster: Food systems, inequality and COVID-19 addressed these questions and more.
How do we make sense of the diverse realities that exist at the intersection of migration and fisheries in Europe? This brief article is an initial attempt to understand the different ways that people who migrate interact with the European fisheries sector, and to contextualise this question by providing some background about the structural changes in the European fisheries sector which may shape who migrates, who fishes and under what conditions.
The current economic crisis is merely triggered by COVID-19, argues Jan Douwe van der Ploeg. The real causes reside in the specificity of today’s global economic structure and especially in three key features that lie at its core. In this policy brief he discusses these key features with reference to farming and food and presents building blocks for the construction of resilient alternatives to the current crisis.
This article examines processes through a feminist lens in order to understand the threats and opportunities for food sovereignty in fishing communities. Based on action research in these affected fishing communities, and in light of ongoing mobilizations against this kind of large-scale development logic and projects, we argue that women are key protagonists in the struggle for food sovereignty in fisher communities.
Nyeleni Europe and Central Asia, Transnational Institute (TNI)
28 May 2020
The handbook is published by the Nyéléni Europe and Central Asia platform for Food Sovereignty to help nourish the food sovereignty movement with ideas that support local struggles for land. It also tries to connect different experiences and is an invitation to build collective intra-European support mechanisms for land struggles.
The North African Food Sovereignty Network (NAFSN) and the Transnational Institute (TNI) will organize a webinar on Saturday 30 May 2020 at 14:00 Tunis time (15:00 Amsterdam time and 16:00 Palestine time) to put a spot light on the situation of fishers in Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Palestine. This webinar will be in Arabic with live interpretation into English, French and Spanish available.