The Initiative’s Day in Madrid and the Niwamori experience

After Marrakesh, Bonn, and Katowice, the 4 per 1000 Initiative held its Day in Madrid  on 11 December, once again to coincide with COP25, that is the UN Conference on the Climate. The day was divided into several parts: a) in the morning, there were official presentations by various organizations, both international and not; b) the afternoon session was reserved for Members of the Consortium only, to make functional and strategic decisions; c) poster sessions were held throughout the day.

The Day was preceded by the meeting of the Initiative’s Scientific and Technical Committee on 9 and 10 December, also in Madrid.

We will return at a later date to the outcome of the Day as regards the action points and organizational decisions that were taken to modify the Initiative’s structure. Here we just want to mention a video that received the approval and support of the 4 per 1000 Initiative.

The video recounts the experience of a Japanese farm in Niwamori owned by the same extended family for around 400 years. The farming practices are carried out with respect for the rules of permaculture and nature. The soil has become ever richer in organic carbon, thus reducing its accumulation in the atmosphere.

The farming and forestry are highly productive, respect the environment and produce no waste. Everything is grown there, from clover to strawberries to garlic, while wooded areas are used to produce timber.

Crops are alternated in a way that gives little space to pests, but the plant remains are left in the soil to increase the presence of bacteria, fungi, and worms, storing organic carbon in a  natural way.

This approach has led to the creation of a community with the other residents of the village. Many have learned the techniques and methods of cultivation used on the farm in order to produce their own food, naturally and without the use of fertilizers.

So at the start of this year we can say that yes, it is possible to create a more resilient and sustainable ecosystem for future generations. The starting point is the protection both of biodiversity and the fertility of the soil in a way that is natural and respects the rhythms of nature.

Fortunately some people are already doing this, and not just in Japan!