“Two Strategies for Confronting Problems of Water: Industrial Agriculture and Climate Change”

“Two Strategies for Confronting Problems of Water: Industrial Agriculture and Climate Change”

 

Lecture
Vía Orgánica and Educación Colaborativa present
“Two Strategies for Confronting Problems of Water: Industrial Agriculture and Climate Change”
Speakers: Diana Hoogesteger and Leticia Merino Pérez
Fri, Mar 27, 10am–1pm
Bellas Artes
Hernández Macías 75, Centro
Admission: Free
Bilingual with translation

By Liz Mestres

In the state of Guanajuato, more than 80 percent of groundwater is used by industrial agriculture and its products are mostly for export. While taking the lion’s share of groundwater and leaving citizens without an adequate supply of clean, potable water, industrial agriculture requires vast amounts of fossil fuels. Its use of chemical pesticides degrades the soil—leaving it unable to absorb water—and is a major contributor to climate change. In Mexico and around the world, industrial agriculture is supported by government subsidies that privilege large-scale monoculture farming, stripping people and nature of resilience and generating more greenhouse gases than any other single sector.

As part of the World Water Week programs organized by the Agua Vida Coalition, Vía Orgánica and Educación Colaborativa are presenting a discussion with Diana Hoogesteger and Leticia Merino Pérez on two important strategies to support agroecology: regenerative agriculture and the Citizens Initiative for a General Water Law. The event will take place on Friday, March 27, at 10am at Bellas Artes, Centro Cultural El Nigromante.

“One of the best-kept secrets in the world today is that, along with switching to renewable energy, the major solution to global warming and climate change (as well as rural poverty, nutrient deficient food, deteriorating health service, and civil strife) lies in regenerating what’s right under our feet and at the tips of our knives and forks.” 
–Ronnie Cummins in Grassroots Rising

Because it doesn’t use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and instead relies on a diversity of crops and beneficial insects, regenerative agriculture can restore the capacity of the soil, help build and support resilient local and regional food systems and economies, and offers the single largest opportunity to drawdown carbon from the atmosphere.

To shift public policy toward positive change, a Citizens Initiative for a General Water Law, which seeks to reverse the water crisis and guarantee priority distribution of water to the entire population before making it available for industrial agriculture, manufacturing or luxury uses, was presented to Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies on February 4, 2020. The Citizens’ Initiative, backed by signatures of more than 198,000 citizens, is the result of an eight-year process led by Agua para Todos, Agua para Vida, and discussions in assemblies, in ejidos, towns, municipalities, and cities throughout the country.

Diana Hoogesteger, who will speak at 10am, works with Via Orgánica, which runs a teaching ranch with many workshops on regenerative agriculture and its positive solutions for health, economy, and climate.

Leticia Merino Pérez, who will speak at 11:45 am, is the coordinator of “Crisis ambiental en México: Ruta para el cambio,” prepared by the University Seminar on Society, Environment and Institutions of the UNAM.