Newsletter n.65

16/11/2019

1.EXPERIENCES: The European Parliament’s Commissioner Hearings

2.NEWS FROM THE SIP FORUM:

2.NEWS ON THE SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: Ruralization

3.WE ARE NOT ALONE!

The European Parliament’s Commissioner Hearings

The new European Commission will officially take office … but not on the planned date of 1 November 2019!  This delay should not be viewed in a negative light; rather it is a sign of democracy working. The hearings for the individual Commissioners nominated for the new European Commission were held in October. They can all be viewed on the European Parliament’s website in all 23 community languages. Their interest lies not so much in how well the nominees managed to “defend” themselves against the MEPs’ questions, but rather in order to understand what their priorities will be in the overall context of the policies set out by the new Commission and approved by the Council and the Parliament. Here are some brief thoughts about the nominee Commissioners in relation to the issues that concern us most closely.

The Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius (Latvia), replied to questions on biodiversity, forestry, pollution, the air, plastics, cement, the circular economy, medicines, endocrine disruptors, and above all fisheries. Although he is new to this field, he showed evidence of being both competent and serious. Continua a leggere “The European Parliament’s Commissioner Hearings”

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.

Continua a leggere “Being aware and being consistent – Forum General Meeting, Milan, 12 October 2019”

EFFAT – Denmark case

We have spoken before about EFFAT (the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism sectors) and their interest in environmental matters.

We would like to bring to your attention a publication by their Danish Food section, a 20-page booklet on what the bioeconomy is and how to develop a “bio” society. The approach is a combination of educational and scientific, presented and illustrated in a way that is accessible to everyone. This is the introduction:

“The population on Earth is growing and we need more food. Climate change is both a reality and a threat. The answer is simple: We absolutely must use our biological resources better, so there will be food for more people with less environmental and climate impact per unit produced, and renewable biological material enough to produce the replacement for what we currently get from fossil crude oil (e.g. materials, chemicals and plastics). Continua a leggere “EFFAT – Denmark case”

Ruralization

ruralisationRuralization is a project – funded by DG Research of the European Commission, May 2019 / April 2023 – that aims to rebalance the unequal development of growing urban and declining rural areas. It develops a novel perspective for rural areas to trigger a process of ruralization as a counterforce to urbanization, that is, a development towards a new rural frontier offering new generations stimulating opportunities for economic and social sustainability within a rural context. The research consortium is composed of 18 partners from 12 different countries.

Ruralization is a research project that focuses on the collection and analysis of data in order to reach a possible model for decision-making. It uses an original approach that highlights the aims, ideas, and dreams related to rural areas of the younger generations. Innovations will centre on facilitating rural newcomers, rural jobs, and new entrants into farming and access to land for new generations. It will design and reflect with rural stakeholders and focus groups in terms of possibility, probability and preferability. The outcomes of the project will result in novel options for policymakers and practical tools for rural actors. Continua a leggere “Ruralization”

Total ban on glyphosate in Austria

From words to deeds: on 2 July 2019, the Austrian Parliament approved a total ban on the use of glyphosate anywhere in the country, making it the first EU State to forbid the use of the controversial weed killer in the name of the ” precautionary principle”. This is in complete contrast to the renewal of the product’s licence for use throughout the EU, which has been renewed until 2022 by the European executive.

Classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the WHO since 2015, glyphosate has been used under various trade names since the patent held by the US Company Monsanto was released in 2000. Among the best-known of these, Roundup produced by Monsanto now belongs to the German chemicals giant Bayer. Continua a leggere “Total ban on glyphosate in Austria”

Planet A® Appeal “Land Matter Planet – Quality of the soil for the health of life”

Participants in the Planet A® session held 27-28 June 2019 at Chalons en Champagne in France with the title “Land Matter Planet – Quality of the soil for the health of life“, drew up and signed an appeal to those responsible for decision-making in Europe. We are reproducing it here in its entirety because of its importance. In addition to various office holders in the 4 per 1000 Initiative, the lead signatory is Rattan Lal, professor of soil science and co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded in 2007 to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

LIVING SOILS, A GLOBAL PUBLIC GOOD

“Preserving and restoring terrestrial ecosystems, including soils and forests, by ensuring their sustainable management, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation and biodiversity”: This is one of the 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. For us scientists, observers and cultivators of land and soil, the focus on soil is a vital imperative. Continua a leggere “Planet A® Appeal “Land Matter Planet – Quality of the soil for the health of life””

Newsletter n.64

16/10/2019

EXPERIENCES: Notebooks for thinking – The climate crisis

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

NEWS ON THE SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: GROW Obervatory

WE ARE NOT ALONE!