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The new European Food Sovereignty Movement Newsletter is out!

28 June 2016

FOOD SOVEREIGNTY NEWSLETTER     Nyéléni - European Food Sovereignty Movement·Monday, June 27, 2016     Welcome to the NEW Newsletter!   SUBSCRIBE: email to info@nyelenieurope.net   Welcome to the first edition of the Nyéléni Europe newsletter since 2013! The newsletter will serve as a tool to keep you updated on the process leading up to the 2nd European Forum on Food Sovereignty that will take place from the 26th to the 30th of October 2016 in Cluj Napoca, Romania, and inform you about the follow-up activities of the food sovereignty movement after the Forum.   The coordination committee for the Forum is made up members of Eco Ruralis Association, ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria, European Coordination Via Campesina, World Forum of Fisher People, The Resource Center for Indigenous People, Urgenci Community Supported Agriculture Network, The Biological Farming Association Elkana, Friends of the Earth Europe, FIAN European Sections, European Attac Network, Transnational Institute (TNI), and the European Shepherds’ Network. We are happy to welcome you to this newsletter and are looking forward to your active involvement in the process in the run up to the forum as well as in the intense moments of our meeting in Romania!   The location of the forum will be EXPO Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca. Cluj-Napoca, home to 340,000 people, is the second-largest city in Romania after Bucharest, and is located in the heart of the historical and multicultural province of Transylvania, famous for its peasant agriculture and landscape.   Since the beginning of the year, local peasant families have been engaged in producing vegetables, dairy, meat, honey and many more products based on the rich and diverse traditional food system of Romania. The participants of the forum will enjoy peasant food that will be cooked directly at the forum, and which will respect food sovereignty principles.   # How to PARTICIPATE in the Forum in Cluj and how to organize NATIONAL PROCESSES   If you want to join the 2nd Nyéléni Europe Forum in Cluj in October 2016, then get engaged in your national preparatory process by getting in touch with your focal point. Focal points are the contact people per country (or a region) who are in touch with the Nyéléni Europe Forum Coordination Committee.   Delegation-building processes in each country will differ depending on the level of organisation of the food sovereignty movement. We recommend holding preparatory meetings and discussions locally or nationally. These will feed into the content of the Forum itself, define the delegates for the forum and also help to build stronger working links for the future. Part of the preparatory process is also organising fundraising at national level – for the travel of delegates, the delegation fee and the follow up process if possible.   This is the list with focal points per country identified so far   The size of delegations will vary from country to country. It will depend on the population of the country, but also on other criteria like the involvement of different constituencies, and the number of topics dealt with in the country. Each country will however be able to bring a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 people to the forum. In order to ensure that the delegations are representative, a quota system should be taken into account when defining delegates, so that 1/3 of delegates represent youth, 1/3 food producers and the delegation is gender balanced.     More information about participation and the preparatory process on a country level can be found in the guidelines for focal points.   National processes have already started in some countries. The Nyéléni Food Sovereignty Movement in Austria held a first discussion about Cluj in Graz in May and noted down the interest of potential delegates. A small group was formed to collect and connect all interested delegates, and which was tasked with putting together a balanced delegation representing all relevant constituencies and thematic axes. There will be another public meeting in September to further discuss the pressing issues and ideas the delegates should take with them on their way to Cluj.     In the Netherlands, the preparatory process for the Nyéléni Forum was launched at the ‘Voedsel Anders/Food Otherwise’ conference in Wageningen in February, focusing on the exchange of experiences and strategies for food sovereignty between small farmers, fisherfolk, and pastoralists. These discussions were deepened during a meeting convened by the national focal points in Utrecht in May in which feedback on the Nyéléni Political Declaration and Plan of Action was solicited, guiding questions on key food sovereignty issues were discussed, and a collective mapping exercise was conducted on all the relevant actors to be contacted in the lead-up to the Forum.   A third event, dedicated to outreach of the Nyéléni movement in the Netherlands, was organised during an on-farm food sovereignty training weekend near Leiden in June. Two further events – one before and one after the summer – are still anticipated to finalise the delegation that will go to the Forum, keeping in mind the need to find a balance between the practical organisation of the national delegation for the Forum and the more organic and longer-term process of building up and giving life to the food sovereignty movement.   In Romania, Eco Ruralis and its partners launched a national consultation process in April, aiming at building a national strategy for the future of agriculture and food sovereignty. Three public consultations already took place in Bucharest (24th of April), Cluj-Napoca (11th of June) and Lași (25th of June), mobilizing peasants, urban gardeners, consumers, and members of NGOs and universities from across the country. The right to land, the right to seeds and the right to market were discussed, alongside discussions around experience sharing, common problems that are faced, and opinions about the future of agriculture. Each event included a distribution of traditional peasant seeds. In the next months, events will continue in Timișoara (July), the village of Sâncraiu (August) and the last one in the village of Hosman in September, when the resulting peasant vision for the future of agriculture will be presented.   # Help us prepare the forum   In order to organise the forum, different working groups have been set up. Those are open to everyone and we invite you to give us a hand and make sure we make the forum a successful and unique experience for everyone.     The Communications Working Group has been busy developing a media communication plan, creating a new website, setting up internal and external communication channels, preparing regular newsletters, and feeding in relevant information leading to the Forum on social media. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! There is still much to do - join our working group and contact us via info@nyelenieurope.net     The Methodology Working Group is mainly working on the agenda for the forum and ensuring that it reflects the objectives we want to achieve collectively. We try to strike a balance between creating an exciting and inspiring space to share our own experiences and celebrate our diversity, as well as also having time to reflect on our common strengths and create long-lasting powerful actions to challenge the dominant industrial food and agriculture system. We a preparing a questionnaire for you to reflect on your experiences over the last five years which will be used to help lead our discussions.     The Finances Working Group is one of the most important groups preparing the forum. We have been busy contacting several funders to cover the basic needs for the organisation of the forum. Any ideas of potential funders we could approach are very welcome! The Logistics Working Group is busy preparing the ground for a successful meeting. We have booked a the huge Expo Transilvania venue for the forum, have regular exchanges with the farmers and shops which will be delivering the food for the forum and work with a team of interpreters who will make sure that we all understand each other. We are looking forward to seeing you in Cluj, but just in case you can help out, please give us a shout!     # Nyéléni Europe participation at FAO consultation with Civil Society and FAO Regional Conference   57 organisations, mainly social movements, from all over Europe and Central Asia came together in Antalya, Turkey for the FAO European and Central Asian Consultation with civil society at the beginning of May. All constituencies were represented (farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, consumers, workers, NGOs, women and youth, as well as the three regions of Eastern and Western Europe and Central Asia). Most of these groups are already members of the Nyéléni process that was specifically represented by Jyoti Fernandes of the Land Workers Alliance. We made a considerable collective contribution to the input for the region and to the Declaration. One important new dimension is the creation of a Facilitation Committee to work with the regional FAO and country offices. This will be a very important new innovation: it will help us to take the Nyéléni process down to the country level, as well as ensuring that the FAO regional office and country offices support the priorities of civil society. Immediately after the consultation with civil society, the FAO Regional Conference took place. Several members of civil society as well as the four designated spokespeople from the consultation participated. On the final day, we met with the FAO Director General, Graziano da Silva. He expressed his concern for both the current refugee crisis and climate change as priorities in terms of food security. We again made the points contained in the Declaration on an agreed basis. We also invited him to the Cluj-Napoca Nyéléni meeting in October.   # Be a part of shaping the new newsletter and our (SOON-to be launched) brand-new website!   We are in the final stages of developing our new website, where there will be a dedicated space for you to share your experiences and your efforts to strengthen the food sovereignty movement in Europe. Send in information you want to share to info@nyelenieurope.net   Events: What is going on in your region? Send food sovereignty events that you want to share! What we need from you is: title, date, venue, description text of max. 500 characters, link for further information + contact, 1 photo   Blog Post: There will be a community blog space on the new website that will only come to life if you share blog posts with us to kickstart the discussions! These blog posts can be in any language and all topics related to food sovereignty. What we need from you is: title, text of max. 2.000 characters, name of author + email, 2 photos

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