Vandana Shiva

Pact for the Earth – Terra Viva, Earth Democracy

For the first time in human history our common future as a species is no longer certain.
In just 200 years of a fossil fuel age, humanity has done enough damage to the Earth to ensure its own extinction. Our only option is to heal the earth and in so doing, create hope for our future – as one humanity and as part of one Earth community.

November 17, 2015 | Source: Seed Freedom | by Dr. Vandana Shiva

For the first time in human history our common future as a species is no longer certain.
In just 200 years of a fossil fuel age, humanity has done enough damage to the Earth to ensure its own extinction. Our only option is to heal the earth and in so doing, create hope for our future – as one humanity and as part of one Earth community.

1. In living soil lies the prosperity and security of civilization. In the destruction of soil is the destruction of civilization.

Our future is inseparable from the future of the Earth.
We commit ourselves to protect our soils and biodiversity.
Our living soils will become reservoirs of water and sinks for carbon. Ecological and regenerative agriculture is based on recycling organic matter, and hence recycling nutrients. We will give back living carbon, as or-ganic matter, to the earth, in gratitude and responsibility, based on the Law of Return, and thus help mitigate, adapt and build resilience to climate change. As Sir Albert Howard said, “Taking without giving is a robbery of the soil, a particularly mean form of banditry, because it involves the robbing of future generations which are not here to defend themselves.”

2. Our seeds and biodiversity, our soils and water, our air, atmosphere and climate are a commons.

The gifts of the earth vital to life have always been held in the commons with common duties to protect, and common rights to draw sustenance. Our seeds and biodiversity are a commons. Their enclosure through patenting is pushing diversity to extinction and farmers into a debt trap. Soil is the very basis of our life and our food. Water is a commons. It is not a commodity. It sustains our life. The air and atmosphere is a commons which give us clean air to breath and gives Gaia the capacity to regulate the climate. Polluting the air and atmosphere with greenhouse gases and emissions trading is a privatization of this commons. We do not accept the enclosure and privatization of our commons. We will defend and reclaim them through care, cooperation and solidarity.

3. Seed Freedom and Biodiversity is the Foundation of Food Freedom and Climate Resilience

We commit ourselves to defending seed freedom as the freedom of diverse species to evolve, in integrity, self-organisation, and diversity, and the freedom of communities everywhere to reclaim open source seed as a commons. The saving and exchange of open pollinated, non-GMO, non-patented seed is an inalienable right. Farmers rights are non-negotiable. We will resist every law and technology that attempts to undermine the freedom of the seed, which is intimately linked to the freedom of Mother Earth so that the generations to come are as fortunate as we have been in receiving her gifts of diversity, nourishment and livelihoods. We join and stand together for our seeds and say no to GMOs, no to patents.

4. Industrial Globalised Agriculture is a major contributor to the Climate Crisis

Industrial Globalised agriculture contributes more than 40% of the greenhouse gases that are destabilizing the climate through deforestation, fossil fuel based fertilisers, packaging, processing , refrigeration, and long distance transport . Knowing that it is one of the causes of climate change, we do not accept Industrial Agriculture as a solution to the climate crisis and hunger. We do not recognize false solutions to climate change such as geo engineering, “climate smart” agriculture, genetic engineered “improved” seeds, or “sustainable intensification”.

5. Ecological, small-scale agriculture and local food systems can feed the people and cool the planet

We commit ourselves to practice and protect small-scale ecological agriculture which produces more health and nutrition per acre and provides 70% of the food we eat, while it rejuvenates our soils, biodiversity and water systems, and stabilizes the climate. We will support and create local food systems which provide the answer to the food, nutrition and health crises, as well as to the climate crisis. Organic ecological small-scale agriculture and local food systems can feed the world while cooling the planet.