Newsletter n. 47


1.EXPERIENCES: The importance of defending the land


3.NEWS ABOUT THE SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: Assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Europe and Central Asia



The importance of defending the land

Ours is not the only Forum that is engaged in matters of the land. The need to come together and to break down the ideological or psychological barriers that lead us to act “alone” has become an urgent necessity. This was the conclusion reached by a group of university researchers and interested individuals brought together in 2015 by the Fondazione Basso in Rome. A series of meetings led to the creation of the “Forum Diseguaglianze Diversità” (Forum on Inequality and Diversity or Forum DD). Officially active since October 2017, the forum held its inaugural conference in February 2018.

Why are we telling you about this?

For two reasons. The first is that we can and must work together (as stated in the proverb at the top of this newsletter); the second is that early research by the Forum has identified land use as one of the most important influences on inequality and poverty  Continua a leggere “The importance of defending the land”


SIP Forum: Text of the draft law available in English!

The text of the Forum’s draft law to halt soil consumption is now available in English. A copy of the law can also be downloaded from the Forum’s website.

We invite our readers to send the text to friends and contacts who do not read Italian.

Despite the absence of a new government and the current uncertain state of Italian politics, we have written to the President of the Republic and the Governors of the Italian Regions. The aim is to draw attention to the urgent need to enact a law to protect the soil. This document is also available on the SIP Forum website. It sets out the reasons behind the Forum’s draft law as well as its principles and aims.


The students of the Uccle European School (Brussels)

Parents send their children to school so they can learn. Teachers generally want their students to understand and absorb what is shown to them. The greatest satisfaction, however, comes when students surprise us with their fresh ideas.

On 5 December 2017, the SIP Forum organized an event with the title “Soil is life!” at the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels with the aim of raising awareness of the soil’s importance for all human beings. Teachers at the European School of Brussels arranged for some of their students to attend the event, in order to stimulate their interest in this complex subject. Their involvement led immediately to increased understanding that extended well beyond the evening itself. Continua a leggere “The students of the Uccle European School (Brussels)”


Assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Europe and Central Asia

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is often in the news. We hear much less about the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). This too is an intergovernmental organization set up in 2012 to provide politicians all over the world with an assessment of the state of biodiversity and ecosystems based on scientific data. Its ultimate aim can be summed up in a few words: the preservation of the natural environment for future generations.

We are mentioning it here because in its plenary session in March 2018 the IPBES presented an exhaustive report on the state of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The collection and analysis of the data and the preparation of the report took 3 years and the work of hundreds of experts from 45 different countries. Subdivided into geographical regions, the report provides the most up-to-date snapshot available of the state of biodiversity and ecosystems. At the same time it sets out the measures that can be taken to avoid any further deterioration in natural conditions. Continua a leggere “Assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Europe and Central Asia”


Terres des liens (France)

As we said at the top of this newsletter, working together has become a necessity. The disappearance and degradation of the soil mean that action is urgent and necessary. Can the SIP Forum’s draft law remedy the highly negative situation we see described in all official documents, both Italian and European? It’s certainly a step in the right direction, but more is required. For example, there is a need to devise innovative rental contracts to give access to the land to new would-be farmers who want to farm but lack the necessary savings. There is a need for ways of making it easier to buy machines and tools. Farming methods that are organic and respect the environment should be encouraged by the use of tax breaks and other help. There needs to be support for those who set up groups or cooperatives to pursue agricultural and rural activities.  The list could go on and on. Everything is based, however, on a dramatic change in public opinion and in politics, which needs to give priority back to farming and those who work in it. Continua a leggere “Terres des liens (France)”


A card game that helps understand Agroecology

We are always on the lookout for tools that can help convey the importance of protecting the soil without necessarily using difficult scientific arguments. This is why we were excited to find out about an initiative that aims to use games to help people learn about agroecology.

Agro Challenges is a card game that helps young people learn about and understand agroecology through play. It was devised and produced by the Réseau Éducation à la Citoyenneté et à la Solidarité Internationale (Red) for agricultural education. The idea came about during a Franco-Brazilian seminar that set out to devise an educational game that could be used in all secondary schools. It consists of cards setting out the challenges that agriculture currently faces at local and international level. The players (between 3 and 6) can find out how much they know about agroecology while at the same time discussing the economic, dietary and social implications for the farming of the future. Continua a leggere “A card game that helps understand Agroecology”


Bollettino n. 47


1.ESPERIENZE: L’importanza della difesa del territorio


3.NOTIZIE SU SUOLO E ISTITUZIONI EUROPEE: Valutazione della biodiversità e dei servizi ecosistemici per l’Europa e l’Asia Centrale