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Posts Tagged ‘Food Security’

Pak Mun Dam Update

In In Solidarity, Our Network on 28/02/2011 at 10:26 pm

As part of a network of social and environmental movements in Esan, the AAN is always in close communication other groups of farmers, fisherfolk and urban communities.  The Pak Mun struggle continues today, as the government is finally entertaining a debate about decommissioning the dam.  Pak Mun protesters have become increasingly active in Ubon Ratchatani, with recent protests at City Hall organized by the Assembly of the Poor (AOP).  Sompong Vienchan was even recently interviewed and here is a recent editorial from the Bangkok Post:

Bangkok Post February 25, 2011

When you make a mistake, you accept it and apologise, make amends and stop repeating the same error without end. That is what civilised people do, and there can be no reason why Thailand’s governments should flout this golden rule. Read the rest of this entry »

Thai PBS on the Pesticide Crisis

In Research, Uncategorized on 05/02/2011 at 7:20 am

Below are links to Thai PBS news articles from the last month – all focusing on pesticide contamination in the Thai food system.  Thai PBS has become a major ally for the AAN and organic farming throughout the country.  Their documentary-style journalism has helped to expose the risks involved with Thailand’s increasingly agri-business focused economy and the impacts on small-scale farmers.  The stories below are in Thai, but English summaries can be made available.

1. Thailand suspended the export of 16 kinds of vegetables to the EU.   ไทยระงับส่งออกผัก 16 ชนิดไปอียู (2011-01-12) http://www.thaipbs.or.th/s1000_obj/front_page/page/1031.html?content_id=288732

2. Vegetable importers prepared to raise the standards for Thai agricultural products. ผู้นำเข้าพืชผักเตรียมเพิ่มมาตรฐานสินค้าเกษตรไทย (2011-01-13) http://www.thaipbs.or.th/s1000_obj/front_page/page/1031.html?content_id=288803

3. Researchers indicate the contaminants involved in the Thai vegetables crisis นักวิชาการชี้สารปนเปื้อนผักไทยอยู่ในขั้นวิกฤต (2011-01-27) http://www.thaipbs.or.th/s1000_obj/front_page/page/1031.html?content_id=290863 Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts Raised: End of Year Op-Eds

In Uncategorized on 28/12/2010 at 10:08 pm

Thanks to the students of the Fall 2010 CIEE Khon Kaen program for their support.  Here are two Op-Eds that really focus in on important current issues in Thailand’s interdependent rural-urban society:

Rethink the Rural and Urban

Sam Ryals

Globally the number of farmers is on the decline and urban slum populations are on the rapid rise.  Countless people flood to urban centers each year with the hope of prospering only to find that there is little but destitution waiting to welcome them.  Farmers are finding themselves in a similar state of poverty as the urban poor as large corporations snatch up the small farms and replace them with chemical intensive mono cropping.  Who is winning here? The big businesses, the politicians and the government have much to gain as the divide between the rich and the poor is exponentially increasing.  As Monsanto cuts backroom deals with policy makers innocent farmers are falling into bankruptcy because of the unethical business practices of seed patenting.  Read the rest of this entry »

UNCHR on the Right to Food

In In Solidarity on 10/07/2010 at 7:17 am

from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

“Agroecology outperforms large-scale industrial farming for global food security,” says UN expert

BRUSSELS (22 June 2010) – “Governments and international agencies urgently need to boost ecological farming techniques to increase food production and save the climate,” said UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, while presenting the findings at an international meeting on agroecology held in Brussels on 21 and 22 June.

Along with 25 of the world’s most renowned experts on agroecology, the UN expert urged the international community to re-think current agricultural policies and build on the potential of agroecology.

“One year ago, Heads of States at the G20 gathering in Italy committed to mobilizing $22 billion over a period of three years to improve global food security. This was welcome news, but the most pressing issue regarding reinvestment in agriculture is not how much, but how,” Olivier De Schutter said . Read the rest of this entry »

Responsibly Destroying the World’s Peasantry

In In Solidarity on 15/06/2010 at 8:50 am

The only “win-win” will be accomplished when small-scale farmers can grow safe, healthy food for local communities.  We support Olivier De Schutter as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food – and believe that international institutions must be held to the higher standards.

Olivier De Schutter (Project Syndicate)

BRUSSELS – The World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretariat recently presented seven “Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment.” The principles seek to ensure that large-scale land investments result in “win-win” situations, benefiting investors and directly affected communities alike. But, though well-intended, the principles are woefully inadequate. Read the rest of this entry »

Potential Impacts of Pak Chom Dam

In Our Network, Research on 17/11/2009 at 9:46 pm

Here is Tipakson Manpati’s new report on the potential impacts of Pak Chom Dam on food security in communities living along the Mekong River in Loei province, Esan’s frontier with northern Thailand.  AAN Esan is currently researching palm oil production in Loei province, which would almost definitely benefit from the Pak Chom Dam’s construction.  The Pak Chom Dam is one of 11 planned for Mekong River.  Please visit Radio Free Asia’s “Traveling Down the Mekong” for more information.

ThaiHealth – Food Security Network

In Meetings on 03/08/2009 at 2:53 pm

DSC02613Local vendors at the Warin Bus Station market in Ubon Ratchatani – selling local plants on the ground, in front of the dumpster.

Several provinces in southern Esan were brought together by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation last Thursday to discuss the possibilities for forming a food security network.  Representatives from Yasothon, Surin, Sisaket, Amnat Charoen and Ubon were brought together to focus on a few key issues: resources – rights and management, food and agriculture – organic and sustainable production, and consumers – alternative markets and public movement.  The Sesa Asoke community, Kunatam rice cooperative, Community Forest Network, Ubon Green Network, Surin Farmers Support and AAN were all represented.

The meeting worked towards forming a plan for food security in these provinces, working based on the existing relationships between villagers’ organizations, local government and NGOs.  There is a concrete basis for food security in southern Esan, so the meeting focused on ways to utilize this basis for future work and expanding a movement for food security.  Regional-level research and policy-making efforts are end goals for the network as well, as these efforts can build consumer awareness and “society security” as ThaiHealth put it.  Read the rest of this entry »

Youth and Food Security

In Youth Activities on 03/08/2009 at 5:08 am

DSC02399

From July 25-26, youth groups from Mahasarakam, Kalasin, Roi Et and Yasothon provinces gathered for a weekend-long camp at Don Daeng focusing on food security and local food.  Day 1 got everyone together to exchange about food – what do you like to eat?  What do you like to cook?  What do you eat the most often? were the questions asked of everyone during the morning.  We were able to conclude that Esan youth still love to eat som tam (a green papaya salad with chilis and fermented fish sauce) but when they get the chance, Korean BBQ and KFC are very popular choices.  With this in mind for the afternoon, we set the kids “free” to put together dinner.

Three groups with menus for the evenings’ meals in hand set out to three locations that were unknown to them when they left Don Daeng.  Eventually, the groups arrived at their respective “food resources”: Big C (a popular grocery store/shopping mall), the district’s fresh market and a local, organic farmers fields.  Korean BBQ was the planned menu for two groups, and for the group that visited Big C, buying ingredients was easy (though it required most of their budget).  Read the rest of this entry »