Newsletter n.64


EXPERIENCES: Notebooks for thinking – The climate crisis

NEWS FROM THE SIP FORUM: The IPCC report on climate change and land




Notebooks for thinking – The Climate Crisis

The “Notebooks for thinking” are published as supplements to “La città possibile” (The possible city) by the Ecoinstitute of the Valle del Ticino. This highly praiseworthy initiative by a number of organizations aims to illustrate social and environmental problems in a direct, simple and scientific way. The first one was on Migration and Europe, while the second focuses on the Climate Crisis.

Let’s take a quick look at this second volume.

The first part sets out the seriousness of the challenge posed by climate change and the need to put sustainability principles into practice. Both should be seen as being connected to the desire to commercialize endless growth, imposed by markets and politicians. This will lead to environmental and social ruin. The alarm calls of researchers, organizations, ordinary people, and even the Pope have not been enough to change the situation up to now. Hope has been reborn thanks to the calls for change from the young and the very young, who in the past few months have revealed that the Emperor is indeed naked. Continua a leggere “Notebooks for thinking – The Climate Crisis”

Forum General Meeting, 12 October 2019, Milan

“First live then philosophize” is an ancient proverb sometimes attributed to Aristotle.

We have put it at the top of this newsletter because the General Meeting of the SIP Forum was held at Cascina Bellaria in Milan on 12 October, four years after the previous one, which was held in Ancona in November 2015.

Much has been achieved in these four years, but a lot more has remained on the level of aspiration. We have not succeeded in getting people in Italy to fully recognize the soil as an essential element for life. This is not surprising; there is a similar situation in many EU countries. But is this failure of others a cause for satisfaction? Not at all, as is shown by the ever louder calls from the younger generation, who are increasingly concerned that no politicians are seriously engaged in protecting their future. Continua a leggere “Forum General Meeting, 12 October 2019, Milan”

International Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion came into being in London in November 2018, and has already become internationalized with the name International Extinction Rebellion. Using non-violent methods connected with civil disobedience, participants attract attention in order to slow the extinction of human beings and social collapse.

Despite the commitments made by many world leaders in Paris in 2015, including a pledge to keep global warming below 2°, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Millions have now understood that we have reached the point of no return and that we are at risk of extinction. In the absence of concrete initiatives and decisions, what is needed is determined and focused action, breaking the law if need be, to ensure that behaviour really changes. Continua a leggere “International Extinction Rebellion”

GROW Observatory

An interesting conference organized by GROW Observatory was held in Brussels on 3 and 4 September with the title “Political interface of the Observatory”. GROW Observatory is a research project financed by the European Commission whose aim is to create a movement of citizens (in the sense of subjects of a nation who, as such, enjoy political rights) capable of generating, sharing and using information and data relating to the land. In this way it is hoped to face up intelligently to the urgent challenges that science and society must resolve as regards the conservation and use of the soil as a resource.

The project is based on the ability to collect data on the soil (temperature, humidity, etc.) by means of a sensor placed in the ground by the farmer, and then transmitted via satellite to a data analysis centre and returned to the farmer in the form of useful information for cultivation. The data is also processed and made available to local communities and decision makers. As well as the structure of the project and those responsible for it, what is interesting is the ability to create close links between the worlds of research and that of the pioneer farmers who are using this method.

Held in the presence of representatives from FAO, and the European Commission’s DGs for Environment and Research, as well as researchers and representatives of civil society, the meeting was an open and very useful one for the prospects for development offered by this experience.

We should stress that the Observatory’s data processing and resulting action is just one aspect of the project, and perhaps the least well known; another based on online training (via Massive Open Online Courses – MOOCs) has been very successful in creating links between farmers themselves (there is an important distinction between farmers and pioneer farmers), civil society and the world of researchers and academics, which is often a closed one. The concept of citizen science is therefore not an abstract one. Indeed it becomes the fulcrum on which to build the foundations of participatory science that is in direct contact with the reality of those who experience it.

The answer to the meeting’s basic question, whether the Observatory can be a tool for the creation of policy that is more in keeping with the needs to protect and use the soil for the benefit of future generations, is undoubtedly ‘yes’. Future development therefore needs to be pointed in the right direction with a transition from a structure based on availability (the research project) to a permanent one organized to collect data provided by farmers and citizens, processing it and giving it back to farmers themselves and to the various people and bodies with responsibility for managing that land.

Porotrapac Coalición (Spain)

Porotrapac is a Spanish coalition set up in March 2019 to link up with the European movement pushing for a new CAP, for example Living Land ( The Spanish name Por Otra PAC means ‘For a different CAP’. Following the lead of French, German and Italian food and farming coalitions, the Porotrapac Coalition is an opportunity for Spanish civil society to join forces to push for a truly sustainable CAP. It is made up of “organisations defending environment and consumers, as well those representing and promoting nutrition and health, sustainable and organic agriculture, rural development, and transhumance. Its purpose is clear – to be a “full-fledged” partner on the ongoing CAP negotiations and to influence debates on the future of CAP in relevant forums at the national and European level (i.e. the Spanish and European Parliaments, the European Commission, as well as regional and national public administrations)”. Continua a leggere “Porotrapac Coalición (Spain)”

Members of the Bureau

There have been some important developments at the Initiative:

1.Election of members of the Bureau: the Management Committee held an online consultation of Members of the Consortium in order to elect the Bureau, the body that supports the work of the Presidency and the Management Committee.

The Bureau consists of 13 members, 8 permanent and 5 substitutes. The table below shows the makeup of the 1st Bureau of the 4per1000 Initiative.


College Position Candidatures
Sous-Collège : Gouv. National ou Local Titulaire




Sous-Collège : Org. Intern. ou régionale ou Banque Dévpt Titulaire FAO-GSP
Institution de Recherche et d’Enseignement Titulaire


IRD (France) / Laboratoire RadioIsotopes (Madag)

Institut sénégalais Recherches Agricoles (Senegal)

Groupement de producteurs Titulaire


GCAN (International)

Demain la Terre (France)

ONG et Société Civile Titulaire


Acalode (Mali)

GIERI (DR Congo)


2.On 1 September, the SIP Forum officially signed the partnership documents, which can be found here

  1. The Initiative’s 5th Newsletter is now out. It’s full of information, documents and events, and can be found here.

We will return to some of the subjects discussed in the Newsletter in a future edition.