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Nyéléni was the inspiration for the name of the Forum for Food Sovereignty in Sélingué, Mali. Nyéléni was a legendary Malian peasant woman who farmed and fed her people well - she embodied food sovereignty through hard work, innovation, and caring for her people. The participants are and represent peasant farmers, herders, fishworkers, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, women, and young people, who gathered at Nyéléni 2007. They are food providers who are ready, able, and willing to feed all the world’s peoples. This document is the outgoing final declaration after four days of discussion and sharing.
Most of the delegates are food producers and are ready, able and willing to feed all the world’s peoples. Their heritage as food producers is considered to be critical to the future of humanity. This is specially so in the case of women and indigenous peoples who are historical creators of knowledge about food and agriculture, and are undervalued. But this heritage and our capacities to produce healthy, good, and abundant food are being threatened and undermined by neoliberalism and global capitalism. Food sovereignty gives us the hope and power to preserve, recover, and build on our food producing knowledge and capacity.
Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods. It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation. It offers a strategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime, and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determined by local producers and users. Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees fair incomes to all peoples as well as the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition. It ensures that the rights to use and manage lands, territories, waters, seeds, livestock, and biodiversity are in the hands of those of us who produce food.
By working with the local community in Sélingué to open the meeting place Nyéléni, delegates are committed to building our collective movement for food sovereignty by forging alliances, supporting one another’s struggles and extending their solidarity, strengths, and creativity to peoples all over the world who are committed to food sovereignty.