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 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)”
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.
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”
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)”
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”
With Emmanuel Macron’s election, recent political events in France have led to many changes in ministries. The new minister for agriculture as of 21 June 2017 is Stéphane Travert, replacement for Jacques Mézard whom had been nominated just a few weeks before to replace Stéphane Le Foll. The latter had acquired international visibility with the 4per1000 initiative itself. The International Union of Soil Science (IUSS) had even shown recognition of his merits by awarding a medal. Thanks to his personal commitment, we must add that the notion of carbon accumulation in soil as an element guaranteeing food security and an answer to climate-related challenges has once again been set on the international agenda.
It is still too early to tell what direction the new French minister will take. In theory, the new political climate should not affect the 4 per 1000 Initiative too much, as it is already structured and consolidated. Perhaps at the next meeting in Bonn we will be able to understand if the current Minister will keep on with the initiative in an equally passionate manner. His physical presence would confirm that the French government is still marching along the same indicated path.
The EU people4soil campaign is in full swing. Initiatives to attract people’s attention and gather more signatures are even more creative. France is known for alternative transport ideas, particularly cycling: this summer one of the people4soil organisations, France Nature Environnement will be touring festivals and other local events with fully equipped tricycles. Time and dates are available on their website.
A nice video in French was made to request funding for the tricycles: it also explains the subject of soil and the signature gathering in just 90 seconds.