Kitchen Garden Guides

Friday, March 4, 2011

Will this be on your TV news, tonight?

The news on Australian TV is always full of fighting, politics, catastrophes, murder, rape, theft and car accidents. It would make an alien, tuning in from another planet, think that planet earth is a place to be avoided at all cost! The horrors of the day are followed by sport, a special section on finance and then weather. Daily intake of all this must affect the viewers' thinking too, making us accept that this really is the news we need to know, when actually there are so many other pieces of information that really are newsworthy.

I am surprised that all the TV stations do the same kind of news, in the same way, day after day, and that none of them, not even the ABC, does something a fraction more intelligent and offer some things we really should all know about.

Climate change, pollution, peak oil, carbon dioxide levels, deforestation, the environment.... all these are regular items on the news but the focus is always on disagreements between politicians, punctuated by snapshots of smoke stacks, logging trucks and dead fish in a river somewhere. Every now and then a scientist is shown, and we hear 3 words he says before moving on to 5 minutes of financial graphs, as if that is more important than reality!

Did you know there is going to be a Seed Treaty meeting in Bali next week? It is titled: Peasants’ Right to Seeds: A Solution to the Food, Climate and Biodiversity Crises.

Have you ever heard of La Via Campesina? Of course people reading this blog probably have but is it not something that should be on our news? Should not everyone know about the plight of the earth, its links to Big-Ag and the truth about what is happening to  traditional farmers all over the world, and consequently to all of us and our food??

Surely any solutions to these crises should be on the TV and other media's news! Representing 200 million people, this is not just a few irate men gathering on the side of a dusty street, this is a serious and very important meeting, to you, to me and the earth in general.

Here is the rest of the article....and I am looking forward to seeing these farmers interviewed by the media of Australia .... what a joke! And why are there no small scale farmers from Australia going to this conference and available for interviews?

Seed farmers from all over the world, members of La Via Campesina, a global peasants' movement consisting of 150 member organizations in 70 countries and representing over 200 million peasants and rural workers, will participate in the Fourth Regular Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (GB4ITPGFRA) that will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali, on 14-18 March 2011. During a series of meetings, seminars and events, they will represent seed farmers from all over the world who are the backbone of food production and the main creators and defenders of biodiversity.

A Ministerial Meeting on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Food Security will be held on March 11. In response to this meeting, the Indonesia Peasant Union SPI and La Via Campesina declare that large-scale industrial agriculture and monoculture production are the root cause of today’s biodiversity, food and climate crises. If we continue with "business as usual", hunger will increase and peasants will be further marginalized and impoverished. The farmers' movement demands a radical change in direction in the current agricultural free-market policies.

The experience of small peasants around the world shows that agro-ecological farming and local food markets are the most powerful answer to the current multiple crises. Agro-ecological farming has proven to be very adaptive to the impact of climate change. It captures greenhouse gases in the soil and consumes far less fuel than industrial agriculture, which is a large contributor to climate change. Furthermore, agro-ecological farming guarantees the food production for peasant families and can feed urban as well as rural communities. Regarding genetic resources, small peasants have the capacity to develop new varieties that are more pest resistant and better adapted to the changing climate.

Seeds farmers from Madagascar, France, India, Mexico, El Salvador, Chile, Thailand and Indonesia are available for interviews from March 7 to 18.

Thanks Deb, for sending me the email about this. I wish you were going!


Maggie said...

So much misery and disasters in the world all shown on the news.
Who talks about the joy of watching children pick and eat organically grown freshly picked food from their own gardens?
Who talks about building communities around growing food and sharing it with neighbors?
Who talks about good healthy food?
Turn the television off and spend more time in community gardens or starting seed saving groups, as you have done Kate.

AlexF said...

Hurray for including aliens in this post!

Well despite my overall optimism about the future I agree with you here. I think the media can only take so much blame, though -- what they show reflects what people are concerned with, mostly, not the other way around. I think the way forward is to spread these ideas to people directly, and the media will follow.