Reclaiming identity through food sovereignty
Anne McDonald (Sophia University)
Paper short abstract:
Food sovereignty as an expression of indigenous peoples’ identity and autonomy is gaining recognition. This paper will explore how local indigenous peoples explore sustainable solutions based on traditional knowledge related to food production and food sovereignty aimed at empowering communities.
Paper long abstract:
Food sovereignty as an expression of indigenous peoples' identity and autonomy is gaining recognition. As Indigenous peoples face increased pressure on land, and their access to resources is increasingly threatened the need to develop mechanisms at both the local, national and global level to ensure implementation of Article 10 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is becoming all the more critical. Food sovereignty is both an articulation of indigenous peoples' right to control their knowledge, land, and resources. Further, it is intricately linked to indigenous peoples' identity, spirituality, history, traditions, and other aspects of culture. Concerned with increasing food insecurity, marginalization and poverty of indigenous people small scale family farmers and fishers, environmental degradation driven by unsustainable agricultural practices, monoculture, human-induced biodiversity loss and adverse impacts of climate change compounding the vulnerability of agriculture-based communities in developing countries, international organizations such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are working to explore community-based projects aimed at addressing food sovereignty of indigenous people. This paper will explore how local indigenous peoples, specifically farming and fishing communities around the world are working with UN organizations such as FAO and multilateral environmental agreements to explore sustainable solutions based on traditional knowledge related to food production and food sovereignty aimed at empowering communities to draw on their rich heritage and knowledge systems to sustainably use and manage local resources to strengthen resilience and improve food security and livelihoods.
On being "indigenous peoples": connecting local practices with global context