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17th of APRIL: Call to Action

31 March 2014

17th of APRIL 2014 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FARMERS' STRUGGLES IN DEFENCE OF PEASANTS' AND FARMERS' SEEDS To strengthen the call made by La Via Campesina worldwide, the European Coordination Via Campesina would like to strongly encourage people to organise activities throughout Europe on the theme of seeds on 17th of April 2014, to mark the International Day of Farmers' Struggles . This theme is particularly important 1] since on the 11th of March the European Parliament rejected the European Commissions' regulation proposal for the marketing of seeds (PRM), published in May 2013. This vote has taken place in the context of a Europe dominated by trade negotiations with the USA, known as TAFTA, and the European Parliament election campaign until May 2014 (more information [HERE). But the fight is far from over! Last month's mobilisation was just a warm up: we have not won the battle yet, as the same issues will arise again in the near future. Whichever direction the European institutions take (continuing with the current proposal, reconsidering the text or to shifting it to TAFTA negotiations), seed regulation will be revised over the coming months. This means we must fight another battle for seed regulation guaranteeing the fundamental rights of farmers over their seeds, and we cannot afford to loose. These actions will follow on from the action that took place in Brussels 20th of January, in defence of farmers' seeds in your own country and in preparation for the next stage of mobilisation On the 17th of April, mobilise! Plant local seeds, Harvest global future! HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE TO THE INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT? Tell us about your mobilisation , no matter what your focus is, and send us your videos, pictures and other actions at: lvcweb@viacampesina.org Please put your country in brackets [ COUNTRY ] at the beginning of the e-mail subject. Please feel free to pass on the MAP of all activities reported in the world to be published on viacampesina.org Spread the ECVC VIDEO call for mobilisation in defence of peasant seeds. At the European level, we propose a JOINT ACTION: a short video with brief statements from each ECVC member organization. This video will be published on the ECVC website and will be published on the ECVC website and on Via Campesina TV and will express our collective vision as European peasants and farmers committed to food sovereignty. You can find the guidelines for participating in this small but exciting project, HERE. Subscribe to our special mailing list by sending a blank email to:via.17april-subscribe@viacampesina.net 1] According to the FAO (the United Nations organization for Food and Agriculture) crop biodiversity has declined by 75% since the start of the century. The seed industry has made farmers dependent: their crops can be contaminates by patented genes and the industry is trying to prevent them replanting their crops from a year to another, unless they pay royalties and exchange seeds. However, today, only peasant seeds allow farmers to adapt to climate change and provide healthy and nutritious food for the entire European population. For these reasons, La Via Campesina launched a major international campaign for the recovery of seeds by farmers (see [HERE for more info). 17th of APRIL: Call to Action

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