[:en][:en] On August 4th, the International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN), the Ecuadorian Analog Forestry Network (Red Ecuatoriana de Forestería Análoga – REFA), and Fundación Regenerativa in Chile launched its Virtual Series “Collective Transition towards a Socio-Ecological Reality”. This is a three-part series that will talk about just transitions towards a socio-ecological future and reflect how this can be done, based on experiences from various countries.   The first roundtable of this series focused on the situation in Sri Lanka, and Dr. Vandana Shiva, Mr. Thilak Kariyawasam, and Dr. Ranil Senanayake joined us for this conversation. To view the recording of the session, please click here. To access relevant resources that were shared during the session, please find these below: We hope that you can join us for the next roundtable which will take place on Wednesday 21 of September at 2 pm, Ecuador time, focusing on experiences of socio-ecological transitions taking place in Ecuador. — Following the conversation on Sri Lanka, from IAFN we have also issued the following statement: From the International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN), we stand with the people of Sri Lanka who have been and are demanding urgent action to address the economic hardships and the food insecurity experienced by a significant portion of the population. At the same time, we are highly concerned that recent statements are being made by individuals, organizations and the media indicating that the crisis in Sri Lanka was caused by the passing of a badly-planned and -executed agricultural policy. In April 2021, the government banned the imports of chemical fertilizers, pushed through under the guise of contributing to Sri Lanka’s commitment to transition the country’s agriculture industry to organic agriculture over a period of 10 years.  Indeed, the passing of the ban on chemical fertilizers has had a dire impact on small-holder farmers in Sri Lanka, and in turn Sri Lanka’s national food supply. However, it is important to emphasize that this is not the sole factor that caused the socio-economic crisis. This is a multifaceted crisis, rooted in capitalist economic and political systems, exacerbating social and gender inequalities since the colonial era. Specifically, in Sri Lanka, further contributing factors include the three-decade-long civil war, which ended in 2009; weak governance and political systems; heavy borrowing for the development of large infrastructure projects and fossil fuel industries; an import-driven economy; direct effects of COVID-19; the shrinking of the country’s tourism industry; and the recent surge of commodities’ costs.  It is well known that the agricultural industry has become an extractive industry, exploiting small farmers, destroying food sovereignty, and ravishing territories and the environment to grow commodity crops. We need to strengthen local food supply chains, integrate agro-ecological and regenerative practices, many of which come from ancestral and Indigenous practices that have been lost over time, and ensure local community leadership and participation, particularly from historically and structurally excluded communities (such as Indigenous and rural communities, women and girls, youth, people with disabilities, etc.).  Environmental and climate justice movements and local communities across the globe have been and continue to advocate for a radical shift away from extractive industries and support those practices, approaches, and plans that build our resilience in the face of multiple crises and center people and planet, over profit. To be able to transition effectively and in a just manner towards a socio-ecological future, governments and policymakers need to ensure:
  • Leadership and the effective participation of local communities and smallholder farmers, particularly those from historically and structurally excluded communities, in the development, implementation, and monitoring of socio-ecological policies. 
  • Adequate resources, capacity strengthening, and accompaniment, centered on supporting smallholder farmers, particularly those from structurally excluded communities  (indigenous communities, women and girls, people with disabilities, etc.). 
  • Policy coherence for a socio-ecological future across government institutions, programs, and practices. Justice and inclusion must be at the heart of these policies, to ensure an equitable and inclusive low-carbon future.

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