“I became a vegetarian and I started using ‘Ecosia’ as my search engine”, was how Keziah Keenan O’Shea, one of the youngest ever speakers at Féile Bríde described her response to becoming aware of the urgent threat posed by climate change. Keziah was one of two students from Mount Temple School, with which Afri had worked in advance of the Paris Climate Change Conference in order to send a message to world leaders on young people’s concerns about the welfare of our planet.
Short film by RoJ
The other student was Ruairí Atack, who spoke about the link between climate change and militarisation – an often missed link in public discourse. Ruairí spoke about the” incredible levels” of military spending – $1747 billion worth in 2014. The military impact of this was shown in a recent report in the Guardian newspaper stating that: “The Iraq war was responsible for 141m tonnes of carbon releases in its first four years… On an annual basis, this was more than the emissions from 139 countries in this period, or about the same as putting an extra 25m cars on to US roads for a year.” Continue reading “A Time of Opportunity: Reflections from Féile Bríde 2016”
Afri attended the Climate March in Dublin on the 29th November to join with people around the world who were marching ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Paris calling on world leaders to take immediate action on climate change.
Film by Dave Donnellan
Afri Coordinator, Joe Murray stated, “One of the problems about the debate on climate change is that people keep speaking in the future tense…about what will happen to our children and our grandchildren. Unfortunately, however, climate change is not a future tense issue, it’s a real and present danger. Another myth is that climate change only affects countries of the Global South. While it is true that countries in the southern hemisphere are among the most seriously affected, it is also having a profound effect on all countries, including Ireland.
The message is clear: we cannot wait for our governments to act on such a crucial issue. We, the people, must lead and they will be forced to follow.”
After the March Afri and Food Sovereignty Ireland launched the Food Sovereignty Proclamation at the Department of Agriculture. Food Sovereignty is an effective response to the challenges posed to food systems by climate change. To read the proclamation and to sign it you can visit the Food Sovereignty Ireland website here.
Mill Times Hotel, Westport, Co. Mayo
15th May 2015, 11am – 6pm
Crisis comes from the Greek – krisis – which means “decision”. Our world is currently experiencing a nexus of crises – climatic, economic, financial, social and political, which are forcing us as citizens and human beings to decide in what kind of world we want to live.
All over Ireland, people are also thinking about how the last twenty years have transformed us, and of what the next twenty may bring. On the ground people are already putting into practice alternatives which offer a really sustainable future for our people and our planet.
Above all, this is true in our food and agriculture systems. We are finding better ways of producing food for people, of nurturing our land and our animals. Of putting life back into communities by rebuilding food systems which have been lost between the many links of the industrial and corporate food chain. Of providing livelihoods, of working with and not against nature. We are doing this in the knowledge that across the world, people are coming together to do the very same thing, and that we are not alone.
We know that the future of our society on this planet will be defined by the choices made by its people. It is up to us to define the kind of future we want for our land and our food.
This 15th of May, we worked on envisioning a new direction for food and agriculture in Ireland, and beyond, including:
How our food is produced – how we farm, who farms, how we eat, what we farm, what we eat, who eats it
How our food is distributed – where we get our food, who controls our food supply, who buys it, who sells it, who processes it
How we manage our commons – who owns our land, our water, our seeds, our resources, who manages them, who benefits
How we shape our public policies – how are they formed, where are they formed, how do they impact us, who benefits, who doesn’t
Organised by Afri and Food Sovereignty Ireland
Supported by Trócaire