In the past weeks, two publications come out, highlighting the importance of strengthening the connection between Food Sovereignty and the struggle for SSF Human Rights.

“Water is an essential element for life and a crucial component of the human environment. It is also an indispensable natural resource needed for the production of our food and the maintenance of our planet’s basic functions. For these reasons, water has increasingly become a central political element in peoples’ struggles for food sovereignty”, wrote Sofia Monsalve, from FIAN international in her editorial introducing the latest Nyeleni newsletter, which brings together the voices of the international movement for Food Sovereignty. This edition is dedicated to oceans and water and to the thousands of millions of fisher folks whose livelihoods depends upon the aquatic resources.

In the newsletter, the voices of small-scale fishers, resisting ocean grabbing, the privatization and commodification of their livelihoods, opposing the development model based on the false myth of Blue Growth” are collected. 

The focus on the struggle of small-scale fishers represents an important step for the SSF global movements, who are increasingly gaining recognition as valuable, leading voices in the global fight for social justice in the food system and beyond.

“The importance of Food Sovereignty – as a means, a goal, and a global movement – is long recognized by the WFFP leadership: Food Sovereignty is a political agenda of small-scale food producers in the defence of our rivers, lakes, oceans and land. It is a response to the encroachment of our food system by multinational corporations who, in the context of fisheries, seek to privatize and consolidate fishing rights in the hands of the few”, said Naseegh Jaffer, Masifundise’s Director and WFFP General Secretary, introducing the WFFP Food and Sovereignty and Agroecology report.

The report, published in the past weeks, represent an important effort towards mainstreaming the food sovereignty discourse into the understanding and language of SSF organization, both nationally and internationally. Indeed, as Naseegh explains: “At it’s core, food sovereignty is not new to fishing communities. It simply gives us a new language to describe what already makes up the heart and soul of the defence of our territories, our heritage and our capacities to produce healthy, good and abundant food. Food Sovereignty is at the centre of our struggle against the neo-liberalism and global capitalism. It provides a framework for sharing indigenous, traditional and new knowledge and wisdom between fishing communities within the entire WFFP constituency”.

Importantly, Food Sovereignty also provides a platform to create shared understanding with other small-scale food producers’, women’s, urban poors’ and consumers, to strengthen alliances against dispossession and inequality due to neo-liberal global capitalism.

The Nyeleni newsletter and the WFFP Food Sovereignty represents two important tools for the SSF communities and grassroots activists to be used in enhancing the fight for human rights and sustainable livelihoods for SSF communities. They can be downloaded through the following links:

WFFP Food Sovereignty and Agroecology Report

Nyeleni Newsletter