As the globe celebrates World Oceans Day, it’s important to note how this abundant resource is at the center of huge inequalities and exploitation. As with many things, COVID 19 is exposing the unjust and unsustainable systems in place which puts the burden to the poorest communities in times of crisis.
Instead of militarist responses, governments must make sure domestic food supply chains are alive and well-functioning. One key guarantee to this is to expand social protection and support to rural food producers. National food security must be worked towards creating a more just, resilient, and sustainable food system that gives precedence to increased food access of vulnerable communities.
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the many fundamental injustices in the prevailing neoliberal system worldwide, including in Europe. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly exposed the disastrous consequences of the current food systems and how Europe is far from achieving food sovereignty.
The G20 Joint statement is nothing more than a glorified ‘hail Mary’ to save its face amid growing criticism of the neoliberal policies it espouses. Its insistence that the current food crisis felt in urban poor areas in lockdown and in rural fields across Latin America, Africa, and Asia as nothing more than a trade problem shows its aversion to meaningful pro-people reforms in food and agriculture.
The successes of militant assertions of the rural peoples of the world for their right to land and food are always threatened by the increasing repression of states, investments of big agribusiness and imperialist plunder. However, land occupation and collective cultivation have persisted amid massacres, intimidation, criminalization of dissent, and oppression. Food sovereignty in action takes shape in the rural peoples reclaiming the land. These victories realize the aspirations of the landless for genuine agrarian reform and development.
This is the second in a three-part series of features on global landlessness. | Landlessness as a crucial issue of our time is just as unseen as the landless rural peoples of the world