Category Archives: latin america

Gort Community Garden and Co-op

Even though I’d visited the community farm and Ecovillage in Cloughjordan (see previous post) on the morning  I was leaving for Gort, I still thought that I had plenty of time to make it there before dark.  But it turned out that I’d completely misjudged the distance and when I got to Portumna, where the Shannon meets Lough Derg, and thought I was over half-way there, I’d only covered about one-third Continue reading


Community Gardening in Cauca, Colombia-Linking alternatives

One of the aims of the project once I start to work in Colombia will be to make connections between civil society groups there and in Ireland.  Hopefully some community garden projects, slow food movements or transition Continue reading

Haiti & Food Sovereignty

This year’s earthquake drew people’s attention to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  The damage caused by the quake was made worse by the desperate living conditions of the majority of poor Haitians, poor building standards and the concentration of people in shanty towns in the capital Port-au-Prince.  But what lay behind this lack of development and dire poverty?  What made so many Haitians move from the countryside to the city?  The Haitian case is a prime example of many of the issues facing developing countries and the threats to their food sovereignty.

Those issues include farmers being undercut Continue reading

AFRI Hedge School

-Order 81 and the Destruction of Iraqi Food Sovereignty-

The Fertile Crescent is a region of the Middle East often called the cradle of civilisation.  It’s an area which comprises present day Palestin, israel, Syria and Iraq; it’s here that nomadic herders first settled to become the world’s first farmers. The crop varieties found in Iraq today are the result of 10,000 years of agricultural tradition during which time seeds have been saved and shared: replanting and cross-pollinating varieties has resulted in increased yields and better pest resistence.In the New Scientist in 2005, Fred Pierce spoke of a ‘genetic holy grail’ and the ‘ark of the lost seeds’ in reference to Iraq’s biodiversity and it’s importance for food security.
Clare O’Grady Walshe, former CEO of Greenpeace and current director of the Irish Seed Savers Association has just published a booklet documenting what Denis Haliday, (former UN assistant secretary general who resigned from his post of Head of the UN Humanitarian/Oil-For-Food Program in Iraq in 1998 protesting against the genocidal nature of the sanctions) has termed the ‘rape and pillage of food sovereignty’ by transnational corporations in Iraq. What she reveals is a story which may constitute the most insidious attack yet on the future welfare of the beleaguered Iraqi people.

–Listen to the Claire O’Grady Walshe interview (Oct 22nd) on Food Sovereignty, The Irish Famine and Order 81 on Pat Kenny here

What is Order 81?

Just before handing power over to the Iraqis in 2004, the US Proconsul L. Paul Bremer III, passed ‘100 Orders’ which made up the legal and institutional reforms ‘required’ to for Iraq’s transition to a free market economy.

Order 81 ‘Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, integrated circuits and plant variety’ amended Iraq’s existing patent law of Continue reading

The idea of an exchange is to bring people together, to learn form each other and to share ideas.  The current blog is meant as a tool to facilitate this process.  It’s a work in progress that will evolve over time guided by the needs of the exchange and those particiapting in it. 

For now this blog will be a space for me to coordinate and manage my fundraising actitivites and preparations for Colombia.  While in Colombia, the blog will be a space for me to document my work there and share that work with friends and LASC supporters.  And of course it will be a diary for myself and hopefully a resource for others in to the future.  

So come on in and have a look around, leave comments, suggestions, ask questions.  Reader input is very welcome and highly valued.  Just don’t forget to turn the lights out when you’re leaving.

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