Statement from the First Worldwide Meeting of Seed Custodians

(Translated by Rudy Heller, a CSN Volunteer Translator)

March 18, 2014

(In Attendance):
Nabusimake, December 21, 2013, Winter Solstice of the Tayrona Indigenous Cofederation (TIC). Availing ourselves of our autonomy and complying with the Law of Origin (the To Be Law), the heart of Ati Seynekun, our Mother Earth, the Arhuaco People, represented by our Governing Body, jointly with leaders of our community processes, to wit: leaders from the Native Seed Protection Network of Brazil (the Movimiento Sin Tierra), France (Cocopell), Austria, Mexico, representatives from originating peoples, the Vaisnava people, the Emberá Chami Cañamomo Lomaprieta Indigenous Reserve, Familia de la Tierra (Earth’s Family), Pacto Mundial Consciente (Conscious World Pact), Universidad de Saberes Ancestrales (University of Ancestral Knowledge), Canto al Agua (Songs to Water), Consejo de Asentamientos Sustentable de las Américas (CASA) (Council of Sustainable Settlements of the Americas), Red Nacional de Ecoaldeas (RENACE) (National Network of Ecovillages), Proyecto EcoAtmosferas (Eco Atmospheres Project), Ecoaldea Pachamama, Ecoaldea Antakarana, Ecoaldea Nashira, Guaira Sicha, Finca Utopía, Café Anei, Fundación Caminos de Identidad (Identity Roads Foundation), Fundación Cultural de Sahagún (FUNCULSA) (Sahagún Cultural Foundation), Todas a Tierra (All to the Earth), and social fabric and agro-ecological organizations and movements, all present.

Considering that at the Start we are all Seeds, animals, minerals, vegetables and humans; we are cosmic seeds energized by the sun, the moon and the stars. The seed connects us to the pluriverse and as it grows, it expands creation in all its knowledge and in this process unveils knowledge and human wisdom is strengthened.
We hereby state that we:

1. Reject criminalization
We reject criminalizing native seeds and the campesinos and indigenous people who grow them, elevated to an offense in Law 1032 of 2006 which in Article 4 amended Article 306 of the Criminal Code; the inclusion of Colombia in the UPOV91 Convention (International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants), sustained by our National Congress through Law 1518 of April, 2012; declared unenforceable by resolution of the Constitutional Court (C105112); as well as the commercial release in Colombia of genetically modified seeds (such as Monsanto’s transgenic Bt cotton and Roundup Ready (RR) corn, with the approval of the National Technical Councils on Modified Organisms for agricultural purposes and for the health and feeding of humans supporting decisions of national authorities in the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture y Rural Development, and the Ministry of Social Protection (now the Rural de Colombia y el Ministerio de la Protección Social, Now the Ministry of Health, with consent through INVIMA (National Institute for Foods and Drugs) and ICA (National Farming Institute). We are united by the Water, the Earth, the Air and the Sun.

2. We hereby demand that Resolution 9.70 be repealed
We demand the repeal of Resolution 9.70 issued by ICA and all the attempts of legal manipulation to do away with protections for native seeds, and favoring patented, transgenic, hybrid and/or genetically modified seeds, given that these technologies bring an end to our food sovereignty, generate dependence and sterilize seeds and soils.

3. We believe it is necessary to strengthen the custodial chains for wild and native seeds
We believe we must strengthen the custodial chains for native and wild seeds in Colombia and Latin America, with the implementation of sustained, sustainable and independent models, including ancestral, biological, biodynamic, natural, organic agriculture and permaculture.

4. Ancestral indigenous territories are hereby declared appropriate areas for the custody of native seeds
Ancestral indigenous territories are declared appropriate areas for the custody of native seeds, and they have the support of organizations who are present and leaders of national and international agro-ecological movements.

5. We shall prioritize conversations with the National Government so it grants Colombian agro-ecological reserves a legal structure
We will give priority to conversations with the State to grant Agro-Ecological Reserves in Colombia a legal structure, given that we are the second most biodiverse country in the world, and in the same way that respect has been granted to flora and fauna by law, so too we must do for our territories, uses, knowledges and customs, both traditional and ancestral of the original people.

6. We request that the National Government include indigenous peoples in the Colombian National Committee for Biosecurity, in an autonomous manner and by initiative of the government itself given that they have geographically available spaces that are appropriate for carrying out conservation measures.

7. Nabusimake as a Territory free of transgenics and agrotoxins
We declare Nabusimake (known to others as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta) as a Territory that is free of all transgenics and agrotoxins, because the use of transgenic products represents a public health, an agricultural and an environmental problem because of the risk its use entails.

8. We hereby issue a call to all indigenous territories
We call all indigenous territories, ecovillages, urban territories and all other similar entities to join this new map called “KARIBÁ (COLOMBIA) FREE OF TRANSGENICS.”

9. We demand passing a hydrographic zoning law
We demand a hydrographic zoning law that allows for the recovery of rivers and wetlands, the protection of highland tundras, and recognize water as the element that puts our territory in order.

10. We will make use of various artistic and cultural media for communication
We will use a variety of artistic and cultural media to disseminate the subjects mentioned here, emphasizing the importance of native seeds and their ancestral legacy, uses and knowledges, as well as respecting the Universe’s vital cycles as a source of balance. We are united by the Water, the Earth, the Air and the Sun.

11. We call for the strengthening of a Self-Governing System guided by our traditional authorities, because the words of the Mamos, knowers and grandfathers are words of authority as regards vital cycles of coexistence with all beings.

12. We recognize the existence of other cosmovisions with which we can coexist.
We recognize the existence of other cosmic visions with which we can coexist and cooperate in order to protect the rights of Mother Earth. When we take care of the semilla of Mother Seynekun, we take care of the seed of humanity.

13. It is necessary to activate the sacred mapping of Colombia
It is necessary to activate the sacred mapping of Colombia and to deliver native seeds as millenary messengers for biodiversity, so that they may multiply and thus Colombia be reborn.

14. We declare genetic resources.
We declare genetic resources, as is mandated by the Law of Being (Sé – Origin of the indigenous peoples), as a heritage good of humanity, managed by the original peoples and the peoples who traditionally have been growers. We are Seeds and we Self Acknowledge that we are Custodians of the Seeds of the Cosmos, for in them lies our origin in the Tapestry of Life with the Elements. And We do it in Our Time, Ordered from the Cosmovision of the Law of Being, the Natural Law.
Signed by those present at said event and by whoever feels in his or her heart the call of Ati Seynekun, Mother Nature.

(This translation may be reprinted as long as its content remains unaltered and the source, author and translator are cited.)

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