Newsletter n.70


1.EXPERIENCES: The Last Judgment  – Invert the process



4.WE ARE NOT ALONE! UNEP – Emissions Gap Report 2019


The Last Judgment – Invert the process

International agreements, especially those relating to the climate, create an obligatory frame of reference for all states that are parties to them. Inaction and failure to observe these commitments are obvious to everyone. The huge demonstrations, the movements of young people asserting their right to a sustainable future, scientific reports warning of catastrophic consequences, appeals from academic communities: all of these have done little good. The world of politics is resistant and in many cases deaf to such appeals. Who is responsible for this failure to act? Governments and politicians come and go, but no one takes responsibility for the choices that lead to the inaction that continues today.

Some organizations and individuals have analysed the problems around responsibility: we have the data on a social and environmental crisis that limits normal and generally recognized human rights (to life, health, work, a future); we know the causes of this crisis; solutions have been suggested by scientifically proven research and studies. So if a State has not taken the necessary decisions to halt the deterioration, then its government is legally as well as politically responsible. Continua a leggere “The Last Judgment – Invert the process”


SIP Forum: GSE Programme for 2020

We learned a lot from the new consultation method used to draw up the GSE’s programme for 2020. The method is interactive, allowing for greater participation. The results were made available immediately and more thorough analysis has allowed us to set out the working programme for 2020 for the whole of the GSE and more.

In brief:

A. The following are regarded as positive or fundamental:

  1. the amalgamation of GSE – created 5 years ago – and the GSE network – which emerged from the last SIP Forum meeting in Milan last October;
  2. increase in the number of contact people in GSE to at least 6;
  3. the setting up of a European Forum similar to the SIP Forum with the aim of obtaining a European soil directive;
  4. twinning of Italian local organizations with their European equivalents;
  5. a dialogue between different soil users (builders, administrators, farmers, representatives of civil society etc)
  6. participation in actions at the European level as part of the remit of the whole of the SIP Forum and GSE.

B. Three main aims emerge clearly from the consultation:

    1. Develop actions to bring political pressure to bear on the various European institutions (Commission, Council, Parliament, Committee of the Regions, Economic and Social Comittee …)
    2. Develop a dialogue with the various different groups interested in the soil: builders, administrators, farmers, academics, planners, civil society
    3. Represent the SIP Forum officially in European and international actions

C. Potential partners for actions at the European level are above all the NGOs already involved in the environment. Only then should we consider students and young people, followed by organizations that are not involved with the environment, from university departments to citizens’ groups.

D. An important activity would be to encourage MEPs to take initiatives to defend the soil while developing ways of assessing and supporting their initiatives, along with direct contacts.

E. As regards the cultural dimension, it is important for the GSE to contact the General Directorates of the EU institutions for culture and education. The purpose of this would be to offer opportunities and facilitate contacts between artists and cultural communicators of various nationalities who are already alert to the theme of the soil. In parallel, meetings, conferences, performances and other activities can be organized with artists and communicators.

F. The survey indicates that the people best placed to insert the soil/land/landscape into schools’ programmes and into specific communicative opportunities are the local SIP Forum groups, followed in particular by the Forum’s new “education group”.

G. The best way to attract the interest of young people seems to be to get them involved through social media, but the other suggestions (funding, degree dissertations, paid internships, study grants etc) are also positive ideas.


GNDE (Civil Society) ≠ GNE (European Commission) – Vive la différence!: Let’s plant trees for free

According to an old Italian proverb “Sometimes more happens in an hour than in 100 years“. In the same way, nothing happens for a long time on a particular matter and then suddenly a whole lot of things happen one after another.

This is what has happened with the Green New Deal which gathered pace as soon as it was launched and forced the world of politics as well as individuals to take notice of the enviornmental limits that have been reached and surpassed, thanks in part to demonstrations that have taken place around the world. Had it not been for the Coronavirus pandemic, the Green New Deal would probably be the main talking point for discussions in the media as well as in politics.

As promised, we are providing a space here to set out the dynamics of the ongoing debate while giving concrete examples of possible options and solutions. Continua a leggere “GNDE (Civil Society) ≠ GNE (European Commission) – Vive la différence!: Let’s plant trees for free”


The European Rural Parliament

The European Rural Parliament (ERP) has emerged from a movement of rural people getting organized on the local, regional, national and European level to remind governments that urban agglomerations are not the only place to live and be, but that rural regions and people have much to offer to society and to current challenges.

This movement started in the 1980s in Sweden, where rural people opposed the one-sided attitude of politicians that farming and farmers were the only relevant activity and reason to live in rural regions. The first rural parliament took place in Sweden, then followed by similar movements and rural parliaments in the whole of Scandinavia, the Baltic countries and then mainly in the new member states of the EU, now also including the West Balkans, and finally more West European countries. Continua a leggere “The European Rural Parliament”


UNEP – Emission Gap Report 2019

UNEP’s report on global emissions is a must-read: it provides further indisputable proof of our folly in not seeing what we are doing. The Executive Summary is available in several languages.

We draw your attention to a positive note summarized in the figure below which shows the reduction in the cost of alternative energy between 2010 and 2018. Which is proof that where there’s a will there’s a way.

UNEP 1 aprile


AHDB’s Horticulture Manual (UK)

If you visit the site of the AHDB (the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) you can get an idea of the many questions that British farmers  – and fruit and vegetable growers in particular – are asking following Brexit. We hope that this “agreed separation” will not create further problems for people and producers who are working to achieve a civil cohabitation, at least on the subject of food. We turn to the AHDB, not because of their detachment from the EU but because of the important contribution they make through their attention to the soil and their programme of research on its management. The website has a section called “Greatsoils” where you can find publications that are based on scientific data while remaining easy to read and understand. One in particular sets out how someone can assess their own soil: a handbook with the title Soil management for horticulture. Continua a leggere “AHDB’s Horticulture Manual (UK)”


Agroecology Info Pool

One of the partners of the 4per1000 Initiative is Biovision, a Swiss non-profit organisation engaged in agroecology especially in Africa with the aim of alleviating poverty and increasing food security.boll 1 aprile

Agroecology Info Pool is actively engaged in advocacy and policy dialogues to strengthen the global policy framework for sustainable development and particularly sustainable food systems.

For example, the project “A4A – Advocacy for Agroecology” aims to upscale scientific and applied research about the potential of agroecology by analysing current lock-ins and leverages. The evidence created is subsequently used for consulting with key decision-makers from the donor and research communities. In a second workstream, the A4A project is addressing the role of agroecology as a solution to adapt and mitigate climate change. Continua a leggere “Agroecology Info Pool”