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)”

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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”

The first Agroecology Europe Forum

In 2014, the FAO in Rome hosted the first International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition . In the wake of the symposium, several follow-up meetings were organised, also at the FAO’s initiative, on several continents. In Europe, the meeting was held in Lyon (France) on 25-27 October 2017, within the prestigious Isara University. Over 300 guests, representing farmers, technicians, researchers, students, national and international public institutions, civil society and NGOs attended this first Agroecology Europe Forum.

As a reminder, agroecology is understood as the implementation of ecological principles to agriculture, whether to produce food or other products, all of which is based on the management of agrosystems. This word encapsulates an agricultural concept whereby the scientific and social components of the ecosystem are taken into account. In other words, it is about creating a sustainable way of farming, able to feed the growing world population without jeopardising the environment and its natural resources. Naturally, it must also bring about economic viability to the farmers. The fundamental binding factor here is the soil. Continua a leggere “The first Agroecology Europe Forum”

When farmers are supermarket owners (France)

When we enter a supermarket, we become the final ring of a chain, which starts from the farmer, works its way through other commercial actors, and ends on the counter in front of our very eyes. The first “ring”, the farmer is in the least favourable position. His or her production must be approved by market law… technically by those who control commercial networks and sales. It is not a coincidence that the mafia have taken control of this “space” in the commercial chain which ensures high revenue, and at the same time gains agricultural land in order to speculate on recycling capital. Continua a leggere “When farmers are supermarket owners (France)”

4 per 1000 initiative: Poster Session

On 29th and 30th June of this year the second meeting for Members of the 4 per 1000 Consortium took place in Montpellier, and it aimed at reviewing all progresses made by the initiative, and recommendations from the Technical and Scientific Committee

In this occasion, an interesting Poster session presented projects related to the initiative, more specifically on food security, and on how to adapt to climate change.

The secretariat will present these posters at the SIP Forum’s meeting, which will take place in Bonn on 16 November.

The IRTA poster illustrates ways of retrieving data on emissions in agricultural systems in Mediterranean countries. This data makes it easier to evaluate the equilibrium of the organic matter in the soil, and suggest specific cultural practices for each case.

European Network of Cities for Agroecology

What brings Spanish, English, German, Belgian and French cities together?

The will to achieve environmental recovery in suburban areas by supporting ecosystems and organic agriculture. Under this light, around 15 cities including Bristol, Bruges, Freiburg, Grenoble and Madrid created the European Network of Cities for Agroecology. This idea came from a European Commission Life Project, and was launched last December in Zaragoza, at a convention entitled Huertas Life Km 0 (Vegetable Gardens, Life Km 0).

This laid the ground for the European network shortly joined by 15 cities. Continua a leggere “European Network of Cities for Agroecology”

EuropaCity – property speculation (France)

An old joke on city pollution ends with the following sentence: “Cities should be built in the countryside, because the air is cleaner”. This alone sums up the entire soil consumption issue!

Few people know (and those who do know, do not stress this enough) that Italy is the “leader” in Europe in terms of highest soil consumption. Italy alone accounts for 24,13% of the total loss of agricultural soil at EU level. This does not however mean that other States are much better off. Next in line is Spain with 19,61% and France with 11,85% , and there are other areas worse off than the Italian average. Continua a leggere “EuropaCity – property speculation (France)”

4 per 1000 Initiative: Some data on national policies relating to 4per1000

An analysis on how a State can put a 4per1000 initiative into practice has been missing until now. The French Ministry for Agriculture filled this gap and, on 19 July, published a booklet (only in FR) entitled “Implementation of policies related to 4per1000 at national level”.

The starting points are clear: a) climate change is the top challenge for the agricultural sector, it has to be acknowledged by the large number of draughts and increasing environmental disasters over the past few years; b) promoting more carbon accumulation in soil is a strong contribution for the safeguard of agriculture; c) increasing organic matter in soil allows further fertility, which could confront the food security challenge as well as increasing resistance to erosion, and water accumulation.

The framework is well defined and gives full meaning to the 4per1000 initiative. Continua a leggere “4 per 1000 Initiative: Some data on national policies relating to 4per1000”