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(Cape Town, August 13) –“The consequences of climate change are very much noticeable in our everyday life, this is more so than ever before”.

One of the sectors  that has been most affected by  climate changehas been  Agriculture. In South Africa, the food production is no longer as it was 15 years ago.  The change of the rainy seasons is very visible- there is an increase in temperatures and drought is more regular. Currently there are much more pests, intense rainfall events, chill units and grain yield reduction.

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The Peoples Dialogue is a network that brings southern Africa and South American rural and popular activists and social movements together to share experiences and strengthen linkages in challenging injustice and building alternatives. The Peoples Dialogue held a meeting in Durban from 21-23 September 2011 to engage with the issue of climate change and the challenges it poses for rural movements, moving towards COP17 and Rio+20.

 

The present crisis of climate change facing the planet and humanity is a part of a broader crisis of capitalism, an economic system that is reaching its ecological limits. The planet and its resources are more than capable of providing for the needs of all its people. However, we live under a system of production and consumption that undermines the natural basis of life through a need for constant growth, while only a small minority of the world’s population, historically in the North and a growing elite in the South, benefits from the results of such growth. Meanwhile, many of the effects of overproduction and consumption and climate change are felt by the world’s small scale and peasant farmers, the poor and the working class.

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We live in a world that has many problems. Governments across the world are spending less on education and public health. Food has become very expensive, water is becoming scarce and a lot of people have lost their jobs. The weather has become more difficult to predict. Farmers can no longer plan their farming because the rain does no longer fall when it is expected. In the Western Cape, where rain is expected to fall in winter, rains are scarce while it rains in both winter and summer in the Eastern Cape. This is proof that it is true that the climate is changing. What is important about this is that this affects how food is produced. Farmers will be forced to change their farming methods. When they do that, they will raise the price of food.

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South Africa is ready to host the high-level UN climate summit in Durban in November, insists the minister of international relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

On Friday, the Mail and Guardian reported that there were concerns that South Africa was behind in its preparations for the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17). Tensions had emerged between the two government departments in charge of organising the event, which runs from November 28 to December 9, it was reported.

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We are not only the guardian of life, love and land we bear the seeds of reproduction!
One of ways in which the voices of rural women (small farmers, fishers and producers) will be heard at COP17 is through the Rural Women’s Assembly. This event is organised every second year by the People’s Dialogue which is a partnership of peasant, farmers, farm workers, fishers and producers movements, rural women’s groups, feminists, indigenous people’s movements and NGOs from Latin America and Southern Africa.

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