Being aware and being consistent – Forum General Meeting, Milan, 12 October 2019

What is the main takeaway from the SIP Forum General Meeting held in Milan on 12 October?

Greater awareness of the road to take, rationalization of our aims, renewal of energy. The 5 points discussed allowed the path to putting them into action to be set out. We know, then, where we need to get to, now we need to firm up the actions required for getting there.

What sore points emerged that need to be resolved?

  • The need for broader participation to be passed on to the younger generations. It’s time for a step back from the “differently young” (who have experience, contacts and often money too) and leave responsibility to the younger generations with their abilities, ideas and energy. This means building a genuine intergenerational dialogue that can lead to those radical changes to protect the environment and create an inclusive society, which previous generations have failed to do.
  • The lack of financial resources. We are in fact hard up, but this should not stop us from acting. Indeed it can perhaps increasingly be a spur to creating ideas and synergies that involve others. The Forum’s strength lies in the fact that it does not need to be the “first”, or the most “visible”, or to get economic or political returns. It simply wants to show that its aims are in the interests of the future of everyone, including those who are opposed to us, and if anyone wants to “imitate” us or replace us in achieving our common aims then they are more than welcome.

This is the spirit that gradually emerged from the discussions: it can be found in the Meeting’s final report which, as regards the European dimension (see the attached publication), sets out the following actions:

  1. a) Within the SIP Forum: informing ourselves about the European institutions, how they work and how they deal in particular with questions of the soil / land / landscape;
  2. b) At the level of every SIP Forum group: make connections at least with national representatives of the European institutions in their own areas, providing them with data, information, experiences and realities;
  3. c) At the external level: take part in European and international actions with awareness and conviction, identifying and developing existing opportunities that are often not exploited (training, projects, meetings, grants, …).

The Forum’s national associations already have their own structures and representatives at the European level, and links and exchanges of information with these should be strengthened. It is the local groups that – incorrectly – regard themselves as cut off, and the activities of the GSE will be directed towards them. Local committees and groups are requested to nominate from within their ranks someone who will be responsible for the European dimension with the specific role of liaising with the Gruppo Suolo Europa. Their names should be sent to suolo.europa@gmail.com.

A short publication produced for the General Meeting is available and can be downloaded from the following website: http://bit.ly/32Gj6zA

HERE (in Italian only) the note to the General Assembly from the group Soil Europe.