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Sharing Power : ATTAC’s policy proposals in favour of local governance

Documents sources

Borrini-Feyerabend Grazia, Pimbert Michel, Farvar M.Taghi, Kothari Ashish, Renard Yves et al, Sharing Power - Learning by Doing in Co-management of Natural Resources throughout the World, IIED, IUCN, CMWG, CEESP, 2004.

ATTAC, such as other institutions and international civil society organisations, proposes some policy proposals in favour of local governance. Economic reforms and natural resource policies are proposed to deepen the necessary reflexion on how to ensure an economic, social and environmental sustainable management of natural resources at all levels.

Policy for local governance (adapted from Hines, 2000; ATTAC, 2000; Pimbert, 2001; IGH, 2002; Merlant et al., 2003)


Economic Reforms

  • Re-orientate the end goals of trade rules and aid, so that they contribute to the building of local economies and local control, rather than international competitiveness;

  • Re-introduce protective safeguards for domestic economies, including safeguards against imports of food and other natural resources based goods and services that can be produced locally;

  • Promote a site-here-to-sell-here policy for manufacturing and services domestically and regionally;

  • “Localise money” so that most of it stays within communities and neighbourhoods and helps rebuild local economies, rather than being siphoned off to distant actors and financial markets;

  • Promote local competition policy to eliminate monopolies from the more protected economies and ensure high quality food production, and natural resources based goods and services;

  • Restrict the concentration and market power of the major food and other natural resources based corporations and retailers through new national competition laws and international treaties;

  • Provide mechanisms to ensure that the real costs of environmental damage, unsustainable production methods and long distance trade are included in the cost of food;

  • Fund the transition to more localised economies and environmental regenaration by introducing taxes on resources and on speculative international financial flows (USD 1,500 thousand million is traded every day on foreign exchange markets alone  most of which is purely speculative and has nothing to do with the real economy).

Natural Resource Policies

  • Redirect both hidden and direct agricultural and other natural resource subsidies towards supporting smaller scale producers to encourage the shift towards diverse, ecological, equitable and more localised food systems in pastoral, fishing, farming and forest-based communities as well as in urban and peri-urban contexts;

  • Ensure land reform and property rights to redistribute surplus land to tenants and sharecroppers and to secure rights of access and use of common property resources;

  • Protect the rights of peasants, farmers and pastoralists to save seed and improve crop varieties and livestock breeds, also through a ban on patents and IPR legislation on genetic resources important for food, health and agriculture;

  • Increase funding for and re-orientation of public sector research and development (R&D) for agriculture and natural resource management towards participatory approaches and democratic control over priority setting and technology validation;

  • Introduce a two-tier system of environment and health safety regulations: stricter controls on large-scale producers and marketers and simpler, more flexible, locally-determined regulations for small-scale localised enterprises generating wealth from natural resource transformation;

  • Enhance research and development and financial support for decentralised and sustainable energy production based on renewable energy.