[Ibogaine] January/Spain: Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit (FMPCDI)

Martin Steldinger tribble at hanfplantage.de
Tue Jan 27 10:55:46 EST 2009


*/ "For an alternative and decent solution for the peasant"/*

*CERAI organizes the First Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared 
to be Illicit *

*/_ "January 29th, 30th and 31st, Barcelona"_/*

*CERAI Headquarters, January 14th, 2009.- *Why peasants from certain 
regions of the world cultivate plants that international conventions 
have declared to be illicit? That is the essential question to which the 
First Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit (FMPCDI) 
will try to give an answer.

January the 29th, 30th and 31st, 2009, Barcelona will be the venue for 
the FMPCDI. CERAI is the main organizer of this international meeting.

The FMPCDI tries to be a space of dialogue in which participants can 
exchange their experience, raise problems, reflect on their situations 
and organize future collaboration processes to protect human rights of 
affected communities and to give models of sustainable development.

The Forum will be attended by: More than 50 leaders of producers from 
agricultural and social organizations from Asia, Latin America and 
Africa, more tan 20 international experts, NGO's, Government 
institutions, producers from different continents.

* Which are the objectives?*

    * Inform about political and socioeconomic problems that spur the
      communities on the production of crops declared to be illicit,
      announcing them to the public opinion.
    * Deal with the future of affected populations: equitable and
      sustainable development of economies, rural territories, natural
      resources, agricultural reform, alternative development,
      development of licit uses of these crops (cultural, medicinal and
      as food).
    * Generate proposals for different policies to be submitted to the
      appropriate official entities.
    * Organize associations and networks that are able to be negotiators
      between regional, national and international authorities and
      entities, and also actors of their own development.

*UNGASS: United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Countering 
World Drug Problem*

The conclusions of the Forum will be submitted to the United Nations 
General Assembly Special Session --UNGASS- on Countering World Drug 
Problem, to be held in Vienna in March 2009, in which international 
strategies against this kind of crops will be decided.

*The situation of peasants that are producers of crops declared to be 
illicit*

The concern of the international community about the spreading of 
traffic and illicit drug consume is growing. Behind all these problems 
there are peasant communities from Asia, Latin America and Africa that 
cultivate these plants. Millions of people live or survive from 
producing them, being them those who smallest incomes receive from all 
the international narcotic traffic chain.

"Criminalized peasants", poor and helpless, unprotected actors, their 
voice is not listened by Governments of their counties, nor by 
international organizations who prepare strategies that "theoretically" 
benefit them. They just don't count for the international community.

In the year 2005, according to UN reports, opium illicit plantations 
reached 150.000 hectares only in Asia. Coca leaf spread through 160.000 
hectares in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. And cannabis, only in Morocco, 
according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 
(UNODC), took up in 2003 a surface of 134.000 hectares. Having reached 
the 21st Century, and after one hundred years of Conventions that 
illegalized these plants and their producers, applying repressive 
policies that in many cases threat human rights (forced eradications 
without alternative, fumigations, arbitrary arrests and detentions, 
etc.), the problem not only does not have decreased, but has grown to 
greater levels.

In view of this fact, different organizations and personalities, we have 
decided to announce a Global Forum to raise the problematic issues of 
those who have no choice but to produce those plants that have been 
declared to be illicit to survive.

*Who are we?*

CERAI, Spanish acronym for the Centre of Rural Studies and International 
Agriculture, is a Non-Governmental Development Organization, secular, 
progressive and independent. We appeared in 1994 in Valencia, intending 
to create an organization dealing with the Spanish and European rural 
and agricultural sector, connections with international trade, the 
problem of underdevelopment, environment, organic farming and its 
future, sustainable development, rural exodus, etc. We are, as it was 
stated at the General Assembly of Partners, an "organization that is 
part and intends to be point of reference for the social movement that 
looks for the transformation of rural and agricultural world from the 
perspective of sustainable development, solidarity, respect to human 
rights and participative democracy".

*The Forum will take place in:*

CENTRE ESPLAI

C/Riu Anoia, 42-54

08820 El Prat de Llobregat

Barcelona

 

*ORGANIZER:*CERAI

*COLLABORATORS:*Association des Populations de Montagne du Monde 
(APMM),  el Transnational Institute (TNI) y el  Washington Office on 
Latin America (WOLA)

*FUNDS:*German Cooperation Agency (GTZ), Fundation pour le progrès de 
l'Homme (FPH), Open Society Institut (OSI) and Barcelona Solidària 
(Barcelona Council).

 

 

*FOR MORE INFORMATION:*

Communication Management of FMPCDI-CERAI

Phone: 96 352 18 78

e-mail:*comunicacion at cerai.es* <mailto:comunicacion at cerai.es>

Person in charge: Sara Muñoz

 

Secretariat of the FMPCDI-CERAI

Phone: 678 131 850

e-mail: *fmpcdi.secretaria at cerai.es* <mailto:fmpcdi.secretaria at cerai.es>

Persons in charge: Julia Volpe, Anabel Carreras y Javier González Skaric



*
*

*The International Promotion Committee of the Forum was founded in the 
city of Valencia, Spain, at the end of March 2007.*

*GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS*

Heroin, cocaine and cannabis, the most widely known illegal drugs 
causing concern to the international community, are all produced from 
plants: the opium poppy for heroin, the coca bush for cocaine and 
cannabis for marihuana or hashish. Peasant communities in Asia, Africa 
and Latin America are the main producers of these crops, which occupy 
considerable areas of land. According to the latest figures published by 
the UN, in 2005 the illicit cultivation of opium poppy covered more than 
150,000 hectares, mainly in Asia, an estimated 100,000 of which were in 
Afghanistan. The coca leaf extended over an estimated 160,000 hectares 
in three Andean countries (Bolivia, Colombia and Peru), half of which 
could be found in Colombia alone. On cannabis, without any doubt the 
most widely cultivated illicit crop, UN figures for 2004/2005 
haphazardly point to 230,000 hectares worldwide, with Morocco alone 
accounting for about 72,000 hectares (134,000 hectares in 2003). On a 
global scale, and for decades now, millions of people are sustained or 
survive on the basis of the agricultural production of these "drug 
plants", even though they earn the smallest share of the revenue from 
the international drug trafficking chain.

These "criminalised peasants" cannot be viewed as a marginal and passing 
phenomenon. They form an integral part of 21st century reality and their 
existence results from permanent global problems. The nature of this 
particular agricultural activity could not be more paradoxical: illicit 
drugs are, more than any other product, a global economy, although their 
cultivation results from local configurations that, while differing in 
degree, combine to a remarkable extent geographical isolation 
(especially in mountain regions), social isolation, political violence 
and economic underdevelopment.

 

*THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY*

According to the international conventions on drugs, the agricultural 
production of these plants is restricted to medicinal and scientific 
purposes. As a consequence, states never guarantee human rights for the 
peasants that grow these crops not destined to such use. Poor and 
defenceless, these peasants are among the most unprotected members of 
this global economy, so much so that in many cases they are subjected to 
the rule of irregular armed groups and/or corrupt officials. Moreover, 
they are often stigmatised as criminals by authorities and society as a 
whole.

Subordinated amongst the subordinated, these "gardeners of artificial 
paradises" organise in order to claim their rights, like respect for 
cultural uses and licit by-products. The majority of them do not reach 
the same level of approval that has been achieved by the Bolivian coca 
peasant organisations. Their protests are often paid for with blood.

Until now, the international community's responses have not delivered 
their expected results: the elimination or significant and permanent 
reduction of illicit crops. The goals of Alternative Development 
programmes have, with a few exceptions, not been met. The "tough 
stance", forced crop eradication, has not been effective either, and 
even has been denounced as counter-productive, leading to humanitarian 
disasters in several cases. Particularly in places where aerial spraying 
has been applied, notably in Colombia, environmental damage and human 
health problems have been inflicted. This failure is quantifiable: in 
almost fifteen years the agricultural output of source plant material 
for illicit drugs production has multiplied.

The population involved in the growing of illicit plants are not 
consulted by the national and international decision-making bodies, and 
their voice is not taken into account when designing strategies -- of 
which they are supposed to be "beneficiaries" - to find a way out of 
this dramatic situation. At the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the 
legislative entity of UN drugs control, these voices are hardly ever 
considered. There are few countries where trade unions of illicit crop 
producers exist, although in one exceptional case (Bolivia) a peasant 
leader of the "cocaleros" was elected president. Some relations have 
been developed amongst these trade unions in the Andes, but they have no 
contact whatsoever with those peasant communities who grow poppy and 
cannabis in other continents. In most cases these communities are 
isolated, dispersed, and marginalised.

2008 is the target date agreed at the UN General Assembly Special 
Session (UNGASS) for tackling the world drug problem. In 1998, the world 
community decided to eliminate or significantly reduce all illicit crops 
within a period of ten years. This will be a moment to draw up a balance 
sheet of the actions undertaken, and define new future strategies in 
response to this. The population involved in the cultivation of illicit 
plants for drugs should have an important role in this process.

 

*OBJECTIVES OF THE FORUM*

The First Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit, 
which is proposed to be held at the end of February 2008, would like to 
assist the concerned farmers in:

    *
      Exchanging and informing each other and the outside world about
      the political and economic problems pushing their communities
      towards this type of agriculture.
    *
      Tackling the questions surrounding their future: equal and
      sustainable development of their rural and territorial economies,
      agrarian reforms, alternative development and the development of
      licit uses of these plants (medicinal, cultural and nutritional).
    *
      Generate proposals of different policies to be presented to
      official decision-making bodies.
    *
      Facilitate and connect associations and networks capable of
      discussing with authorities and national, regional and
      international bodies as actors of their own development.

The First Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit 
intends to gather farmers that are affected by current policies. We are 
aware of the fact that the legal status of their activity is a 
limitation, so presence of other actors involved in the context of the 
local rural economy is needed. Local or international development 
agencies, community representatives, experts and researchers are also 
invited to share their insights and present their points of view.

The conclusions and recommendations of this First Global Forum will have 
to be taken into account when governments and the international 
community design new political strategies. Beyond the false premise that 
by attacking poor farmers the global drug problem will be solved, 
policies must preserve people's right to maintain their livelihoods in a 
sustainable way.

The International Promotion Committee of this First Global Forum of 
Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit (FMPCDI) want to call on 
international organisations, associations and trade unions, governments 
and civil society in general, to acknowledge the seriousness of the 
situation of affected populations by supporting this initiative.

/Valencia, Spain, 31st March, 2007
/

/
/

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