Press Release, Milan, 2 May 2015
PRESENTATION OF “TERRA VIVA”, CIVIL SOCIETY’S MANIFESTO FOR A NEW SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL PACT
IN THE PRESENCE OF VANDANA SHIVA, DON CIOTTI, MARTINA AND BIGGERI
In the last 60 years, 40% percent of wars have been climate, land and resources related.
By 2030, an urbanized expanse equal to the whole of South Africa will be added to the already urbanised land. Fertile land has been eroded at a rate between 10 and 40 times superior to its regenerative capacity. In the last 60 years, 40% percent of wars have been caused by climate, land and resources issues.
The war in Syria and Boko Haram terrorism have been spawned, among others, by climate change.
The current industrial agricultural model has been a failure. Completely intertwined as it is with the dominant economic model, which is based on extraction and never on reintegration, on economic systems that are life-destroying and cause the extinction of animal and vegetable species, it eventually leads to ecosystem collapse.
This model is for the benefit of the few, and is the cause of economic injustice, dangerous instability, desperate poverty, hunger and unemployment. For the first time in the history of humanity, the future of the human species is no longer certain: climate catastrophes, conflicts and war are pushing us to the brink ofecological, economic and social collapse.
However we can choose another path. A path based on global citizenship and the sharing of resources, a path which aims for a circular economy based on regeneration of resources. Agriculture plays a key role within this new vision. The new agriculture restores fertility to the land through organic regenerative farming practices. It ensures farmers receive fair pay thus enabling them to remain on their land, while continuing to provide food to cities and communities. It exchanges a linear process of exploitation of land and resources with a circular process based on reintegration and regeneration which in turn guarantees resilience, sustainability, justice and peace. This new agriculture is part of a process which aims to redefine the very concepts of democracy and freedom. It is capable of generating both a new economy and a new democracy; Earth Democracy.
This is the core of the message contained in Manifesto Terra Viva, presented today at Cascina Triulza by Navdanya International, Banca Etica and Fondazione Triulza.
The Civil Society Pavillion at Expo 2015 has chosen to open it’s cultural programme with a particularly significant event attended by Vandana Shiva, president of Navdanya International, Don Luigi Ciotti, President of Libera, Maurizio Martina, Minister of Agricultural, Alimentary and Forestry Policies with responsibility for Expo Milano 2015, Ugo Biggeri, President of Banca Etica and Etica Sgr, Sabina Siniscalchi, deputy Vicepresident of the Fondazione Triulza, Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food.
“Terra Viva” both analyzes and denounces the current extractive linear economic model, but more importantly puts forward proposals on how to make the shift in favour of the circular regenerative model to make the necessary economic and social choices.
“The economy, which is part of society, has been placed above society, out of democratic control”, comments Vandana Shiva, leader of Navdanya International. “The wellbeing of people and of communities has been replaced by the wellbeing of multinationals. At the same time real production has been replaced by the abstract multiplication of capital. The result is that democracy has disappeared and economic imbalances have increased. What is needed is a new pact that recognises that we are the soil; we come from the soil and we are sustained by the soil. Caring for the land is the most important task that any farmer can undertake. The message we are putting out is loud and clear; the new democracy is the Democracy of the Earth”.
“Terra Viva” Manifesto is the fruit of the labour of an international panel of researchers and experts from around the world, spearheaded by Vandana Shiva, which included Luc Gnacadja, former secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification; Andrea Baranes, economist; and Nnimmo Bassey, alternative Nobel Prize winner.