“…the conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”
The Slow Food movement began in Italy under the guidance of Carlo Petrini. Their motto is: good, clean, fair food. Basically, this organization it working with communities worldwide to bring emphasis to the importance of nourishment in our daily lives (heirloom seeds, traditional food preparation, memory and myth around cooking, and cultural heart).
Recently, I discovered through the Asheville Slow Food chapter, that there is now an Indigenous Slow Food movement. They met recently in Sweden (invited by that area’s indigenous community, the Sami people) around mid-June and drafted the following agreement (#1 itself is simply profound):
The Jokkmokk Agreement
Responding to the aspirations of Indigenous Peoples and communities around the world to meet together, listen to one another and to exchange ideas on protecting our sustainable local food systems and food sovereignty in accordance with our cultural practices, spiritual values, and our sacred responsibility to the health and survival of the Natural World;
Affirming and underscoring the provisions and principles contained in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007, which recognizes the rights to subsistence, Self-determination, lands and resources, free prior and informed consent, spiritual relationship with land and resources, and the protection and transmission of traditional knowledge among others, and also recognizes the need to address the impacts of colonization and historic injustices suffered by Indigenous Peoples;
Welcoming the Terra Madre philosophy that everyone has a fundamental right to the pleasure of good food and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible.
We, Indigenous Peoples from Africa, the Americas, Russia, Arctic, Asia, Oceania and Europe gathered in Jokkmokk, Sapmi, Sweden, June 17th – 19th 2011, at the 1st Indigenous Terra Madre Conference, hereby agree by consensus to the following proposals for action:
1. We encourage our Peoples, communities, local food producers and other traditional knowledge holders including Indigenous women, to exchange, use, sustain and transmit traditional knowledge, innovations and practices within and among their communities, based on the principle of free prior and informed consent. This includes knowledge about use of land, water and sea ice, traditional agriculture, forest management, food related ceremonies and spiritual practices, ancestral seeds, protection of bio-diversity (food plants, animals, seeds and medicines), pastoralism as well as responses to climate change, environmental contamination and other threats. In this way we will continue to restore, protect and strengthen our traditional food sovereignty and ensure dissemination of essential knowledge to our youth and future generations.
2. We encourage the establishment of “Food Sovereignty Areas,” defined, directed and controlled by Indigenous Peoples and communities according to customary laws and free from extractive industries, deforestation, patenting of life forms, introduction of mono-culture crop systems, and chemical-based industrial food production methods (i.e. pesticides, contaminants, agro-fuels and genetically modified organisms).
3. We support and encourage the recognition, demarcation and protection of Indigenous Peoples’ lands, territories and resources (including forests, pastures and grazing areas, seeds, medicines and water) which are vital to the production and maintenance of local food production, traditional land management and land tenure systems.
4. We condemn land grabbing and fragmentation, non-sustainable resource exploitation, bio-piracy, privitization, patenting of food plants and seeds, and other policies which result in dwindling access to land, water and other food related resources for Indigenous Peoples. We further express our solidarity and call for wide support for Indigenous Peoples and communities who are struggling to oppose these destructive policies and activities, and to work for restitution of lands and resources taken without the free prior and informed consent.
5. We recognize the severe multiple impacts of climate change, its causes, effects and false “solutions”, including agro-fuel production, on Indigenous Peoples’ ecosystems, local food production and their food sovereignty around the world. We support the active involvement of Indigenous Peoples in preventing the causes and seeking solutions and responses to climate change on all levels based on their traditional knowledge, practices and ways of life.
6. We call for the implementation of programs, projects and activities in Indigenous communities, government bodies and agencies from the local to the international levels, and among NGO’s to raise awareness about food sovereignty and related rights of Indigenous Peoples.
7. We call upon the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its 11th session during the half day discussion on Indigenous Peoples’ right to food and food sovereignty to further consider recommendations to maintain and strengthen the sustainability and resilience of the food systems of Indigenous Peoples around the world, including pastoral and other mobile peoples. In this regard, we further support the UNPFII’s decision to undertake a study on the impacts of land use change and climate change on indigenous reindeer’s herders’ livelihood to be presented at UNPFII 11th session 2012.
8. We encourage the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples planned for 2014 as well as Rio+ 20 to assess existing international instruments, declarations, conventions, norms and processes to ensure that they support the full participation and rights of Indigenous Peoples. We call upon these International Conferences to address, in particular, Indigenous Peoples’ Food Sovereignty including the protection of traditional knowledge, and practices, land and natural resource rights and to make recommendations for effective improvements and next steps in this regard.
9. We encourage all UN and multi-lateral agencies, including IFAD, FAO, UNDP, IUCN and ILO as well as governmental bodies and agencies on all levels to actively promote and implement the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including their full and effective participation in decision-making, in accordance with Article 42 of the UNDRIP.
10. We encourage Terra Madre and Indigenous Peoples to continue their cooperation, information-sharing and networking to implement this Agreement including considering the creation of an Indigenous Peoples Working Group within Terra Madre.
11. We will disseminate this Agreement in our own communities and will prepare and share reports and updates as to its implementation, including practical successes, opportunities and examples that can be duplicated in other areas and communities;
12. We commit to continue consolidating and strengthening the network of Indigenous Peoples and our allies formed at the 1st Indigenous Terra Madre Conference through ongoing communications and further collaborative work and gatherings.
Finally we express appreciation and solidarity for the Sami Peoples, and thank them and the municipality of Jokkmokk for their warm hospitality in welcoming us to their traditional homelands (Sapmi). We further express appreciation to Slow Food, the Sami Parliament, Indigenous Partnership for Agro-Biodiversity and Food Sovereignty, the Christensen Fund, the Swedish government and IFAD for supporting the development of Indigenous Terra Madre.
For our lands, our Peoples and our Future Generations, we approve this Agreement by consensus on June 19th, 2011, Jokkmokk Sweden