Welcome to Talamh Beo

The 8th International La Via Campesina Conference

Peasant Solidarity against Globalisation

Translating 17 languages using a team of volunteer professional interpreters is no ordinary task, but “Sin Interpretación No hay Revolución!” as was to become one of many repeated slogans during the conference in Bogota last December. La Via Campesina is of course no ordinary social movement, in fact it is the largest such movement in the world, representing approximately 200 million peasant farmers across 182 countries. The scale and diversity of the event can only partially be expressed by numbers, that said more than 500 delegates from 81 countries, all bearing national flags and banners does provide some context. It was a proud moment for Talamh Beo to receive our official inauguration to LVC during the proceedings bringing Ireland into the ranks of LVC. We cannot underestimate the significance of being part of this powerful global force, particularly in these times of climate and biodiversity crises. 

30 years of La Via Campesina

The tone of the week-long event at this 8th International LVC conference was one of celebration and solidarity, an occasion to reaffirm our connection to one another due to the shared experience of working with the land. The event also marked the 30-year anniversary since the launch of LVC in 1993 Mons Belgium. In the intervening years LVC has taken a leading role in challenging the patriarchal capitalistic structures that have dominated global affairs to the detriment of all beings on the planet and led us into the polycrisis we now face. They have done this by promoting equitable solutions via the pillars of Food Sovereignty and Agroecology, working at both grassroots and international level.

Mistica – building connection through expression

In terms of the content of the event, an 8-day schedule of plenary and panels is not for the faint hearted but it was effectively balanced with a daily performative element, in what is known as a Mistica. Essentially, the Mistica is an opportunity for the members of each region to creatively express an aspect of their particular struggle. The purpose of these performances is to acknowledge, through the heart and mind, the suffering and oppression experienced by farmers, peasants and societies. Above all the Mistica provides the space for healing through creating a space of solidarity and community


In addition to the 6th International Womens assembly the conference played host to two important firsts  in the charge against inequality
  • Diversities Assembly 
  • Men Against the Patriarchy Assembly 
Strategy Building

As part of the formal agenda each region, of which there are 10 in total (Ireland being part of the ECVC region), were provided the time to  present the particular issues facing their members. Themes such as land access, agrarian reform, seed sovereignty, access to water, pressures from transnational corporations emerged quickly. Later in the proceedings each region proposed action plans which when combined form a common LVC agenda for the coming years


Key aims:

1) Building unity in diversity

2) Building international solidarity

3) Struggling together to defend peasant

4) Being the international voice of peasants and workers.


To achieve these aims, greater political formation and the broadening of alliances will be required. One very concrete aim is the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. UNDROP is an important strategic instrument to strengthen the Agroecological and Food Sovereignty Movement; it is a toolkit for community action, and while not ratified into law (yet) it is a powerful document which does carry weight in a legal context. Education, particularly with expanding and clarifying the meaning of Agroecology was a message reenforced by every member.

From the perspective of an Irish peasant and land-worker movement, Talamh Beo, we can be very much encouraged by the strength, coordination and thoroughness of the LVC movement. We have a lot of work to do to address the issues around agriculture and food production in Ireland and at times it can feel quite overwhelming, particularly so when your livelihood relies on it, but we can draw strength from the fact that we are part of a much larger global movement of people who hold the same values, struggles and possess the same aspirations. If the ultimate aim of the conference was to provide us with the energy to take the fight forward then that was very much what it did.

As always we encourage all members to get in touch with comments and thoughts. Likewise we welcome members to join our existing working groups.

Talamh Beo are happy to provide spokespeople on food and farming issues, please contact info@talamhbeo.ie