Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Search in posts
Search in pages
Search in groups
Search in users
Search in forums
Filter by Categories
597
619
Campaign
cooperation
Cooperation
Debate
Editorial
Editorial
Education and Research
Europe
Event
Events
Featured
GA2016-workshops
GA2017
GA2018
GA2019
General Assembly
International
Members
News
News
Newsletter
Open Call
Public policies
Public Policies
Resources
State of the Art
Training
Uncategorized
UniverSSE2017
Video
Solidarity economy everywhere: the challenges of the new decade
Hundreds of people warn governments "there is no planet B" when it comes to climate

For this first newsletter of the year 2020, the members of the Coordination Committee of RIPESS Europe wish you all the best for your initiatives to spread solidarity in a context that requires from each one of us a lot of pugnacity and wisdom to resist the destructive tendencies of a world in full upheaval.

What to wish for at the turn of a new decade? The abandonment of nuclear weapons, the end of the scepticism on climate change and the initiation of real and effective measures to reverse the current trend of a deterioration in the living conditions of all species, including our own, the awareness of the obscenity of the fortunes of plutocrats compared to the appalling levels of misery in all countries that suffer the predation and devaluation of their wealth, the cultural change that breaks down borders and walls to make it possible to establish equality and fraternity among peoples. These are all pious wishes, but one cannot help but express them at the dawn of a new year.
In the meantime, RIPESS Europe continues its peaceful advocacy for a world where these wishes would become the norm.

The Coordinating Committee returned to work during a meeting dedicated to the development of the strategy for the current year and beyond. It took place in Elne, where we meet every year in January at the invitation of Eric Lavilunnière, whose knowledge of this region of France enables us to meet some of its local development figures.

Among the network’s projects, the WSFTE represents one of the most salient issues of this new year. It will take place from 25 to 28 June 2020 in Barcelona. All our members are invited to promote this Forum during their events. Its main objective is to encourage meetings, dialogue and the elaboration of common strategies between the movements that are building here and now economies to fight against the current decay and to propose solutions for the future.

In Occitania, the Regional Forum had given itself this mission. The 2019 edition welcomed more than 1500 people. This high point of information and mobilization allows MES Occitania to consider organizing a bus in June to transport SSE actors in the region.

The site is already ready to register proposals for workshops and events.

In Italy on 18 and 19 January the Italian SSE network RIES was officially constituted in Rome after a long maturation. A rejoicing news. All our best wishes to this network with which we are already communicating thanks to the Italian members already involved in RIPESS EU.

In Madrid the international climate summit was held while social movements such as Extinction Rebellion (among others) organized an animation. Jason Nardi participated in a round table on circular economy, as well as RIPESS members or allies in various workshops.

Europe is finalizing the Green deal and the Social Economy Europe Intergroup of the European Parliament is also manifesting its intention to promote an economy that respects the Planet.

Let’s be optimistic and hope that this new year will be a real turning point in the awareness of the ecological, social and democratic urgency. Solidarity economy everywhere!

By Josette Combes

With SSE, let’s march together for the climate

This month of September has been marked by climate demonstrations around the world, particularly those that saw the mobilization of young people who are rightly concerned about the deterioration of living conditions on the planet. We can welcome and congratulate them on these demonstrations, which are supposed to shake up the inertia and carelessness of governments. For us, one of the fundamental axes of the solidarity economy is ecological vigilance, which questions the meaning of production and consumption in relation to the close link that must be sought between these two poles. It is the root of agroecology, which works for the quality of food, the preservation of the land and that of its inhabitants. But in all areas of human activity, it is urgent to rethink the aims and means underlying it, and to be creative and proactive in finding solutions.

As we have already announced, the central objective of the World Social Forum of Transformative Economies (WSFTE) is precisely to organize the convergence of organizations that have set themselves the essential goal of resisting the harmful effects of a globalized political and economic system that threatens the vital balances of the planet. The process initiated by the first preparatory meeting in April 2019 is ongoing and should be reflected in each country. This is the case in France, for example, with the Regional Forum of the Social and Solidarity Economy. Feel free to share your own initiatives with us. And please note already the dates of the WSFTE which will take place from 25 to 28 June in Barcelona. Let us be mobilized to ensure that a fundamental awareness generates proposals to significantly transform our imagination and put into action an economy at the service of humans and respectful of the planet.
We will communicate regularly on the process by regularly inviting you to participate in the different steps.

The General Assembly in Lyon has enabled new members to join us and this is welcome because social and climatic emergencies are accumulating and demand more than ever that we broaden the circle of people of good will.

In conclusion of this very brief editorial, it should be noted that in October two Peace marches will start, one the Jay Jagat from New Delhi in October and the other “La caravane pour que vive la terre” from Senegal in January. They will meet in Geneva on 25 September 2020.

Resources of September 2019 (in collaboration with socioeco.org)

The potentially disastrous effects of global warming force each of us to ask ourselves questions about the impacts of our way of life and the economic model we want to see implemented. What documents can be found on the keyword “global warming” in socioeco.org? As you will see, the alert was given a long time ago.

What role for SSE in the ecological transition?

Pour une transition sociale-écologique. Quelle solidarité face aux défis environnementaux ? Eloi Laurent, Philippe Pochet, Editions Les Petits Matins, Paris, France, novembre 2015

Petit Traité de résilience locale, Hugo Carton, Pablo Servigne, Agnès Sinaï, Raphaël Stevens, Editions Charles Léopold Mayer (ECLM), Paris, France, septembre 2015

Commerce équitable et justice climatique. Les Carnets de la Plateforme pour le Commerce equitable, avril 2010

La grande transition : maintenir le cap sur le changement social, économique et écologique en périodes de turbulence, Michael Lewis, Patrick Conaty, octobre 2009

The Great Transition: Navigating Social, Economic, Ecological Change in Turbulent Times, Michael Lewis, Patrick Conaty, October 2009

Europe in transition. Local communities leading the way to a low-carbon society. Eamon O’Hara, June 2013

Sharing for Survival. Restoring the Climate, the Commons and Society, Brian Davey, FEASTA, Ireland, April 2012

The Transition Companion Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times, Rob Hopkins, October 2011

Agricultural practices, food and climate change

Les petits agriculteurs et l’agriculture à petite échelle refroidissent la planète, 2009, La Via Campesina

Video : L’agriculture biologique au Burkina Faso – La meilleure réponse aux effets du changement climatique, Anne Schiltz, 2013

Alimentos y cambio climático: el eslabón olvidado, 2011, GRAIN

Food and Climate Change: The forgotten link, 2011, GRAIN

Cocinando el Planeta : Hechos, cifras y propuestas sobre cambio climatico y sistema alimentario global, Virginia Martínez, Ferrán García Edicion, octubre 2009 GRAIN

Eat the Sky: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork., Anna Lappé, 2008, NEI

Fifty Million Farmers, Twenty-Sixth Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures October 2006, Richard Heinberg, 2006

Transformative economies to fight global warming

GUÍA La Nueva Economía como herramienta frente al cambio climático en las ciudades Diego Isabel La Moneda, Daniel Toro González, julio 2018

The importance of public policies

La contratacion publica sostenible, clave para alcanzar los compromisos del acuerdo de Paris, Articulo de ICLEI, 02/09/2016, septiembre 2016

Positionning

Posicionamiento político de organizaciones sociales de América Latina y el Caribe hacia la COP 21, diciembre 2015

La CLOC/Vía Campesina ante Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra, marzo 2011

Community Supported Agriculture and Climate Change

How does the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) contribute to the fight against global warming? Judith Hitchman, President of Urgenci, explains the role of Community Supported Agriculture and its benefits in mitigating our impact on the climate.

Written by Judith Hitchman, President of Urgenci

Climate change, or climate crisis as it is now more correctly called, is the elephant in the room. Everyone knows it is there, and is acting as though it is invisible. Yet it is the single most deadly threat to humanity and life on earth. This September will see several key global events, from the Climate Action Summit to the Global Climate Strike from September 20th to 27th.

Sadly, when you work deeply on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at UN level, you fast realise that they are built on an inherent growth model that continues to exploit more planetary reserves and fossil fuels than our planet or climate can support. And that the indicators that exist can not be changed. But that should not and hopefully will not stop us from acting on the ground!

Yet although we have probably now reached the tipping point where the damage to our climate has become irreversible, we can still do much to mitigate the impacts. And indeed we must address the issues as urgently as possible, with legal frameworks at State and Local Authority level. Placing the responsibility on individual consumers is not and can not provide more than a sticking plaster on the haemorrhage of runaway climate change.

So let us look at some of the aspects where it might be possible to make small but significant impacts to mitigate the burning issues. And burning they are right now, from the Amazon to the Arctic…

The benefits of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Peasant agriculture, small-scale family farming, artisinal fisheries and Indigenous practice combine in agroecology to provide us with a science, a practice and a social movement that includes solidarity economy. This has been recognised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the 10 Elements of Agroecology. And short/direct food chains, especially Community Supported Agriculture can be placed high on the list of linking producers to consumers to build sustainable territorial food systems. The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model works on the basis of a tandem of producer/consumer direct localised solidarity-based relations, and has the concept of shared risks and benefits at the heart of the concept.

How does CSA benefit the climate? Well firstly, agroecological practice involves using no chemical inputs or plastics (in some cases this may involve a transitional period). It uses techniques such as mulching and cover crops as well as the use of good old-fashioned manure as fertiliser. And it is possible to fight insects and pests through either companion crops or natural insecticides produced on-farm. So no fossil fuels or externalisation involved.

There are also a number of ways in which the impact on the soil can be minimised, such as ‘no till’ or using draft horses to plough the fields. Again, no fossil fuels involved. In the case of harvesting, much is done manually as well, as in the case of Rupert Dunn, a wonderful peasant-baker who grows his own heritage grains in Wales, and harvests the fields using a scythe! In most CSAs, there are also farm days when the CSA members come and help on the farm. My grandsons soon learnt that picking up potatoes on their CSA was hard, back-breaking work. They now have a new appreciation of what work goes into the potato crop!

As the climate becomes increasingly unstable, it is essential to use local peasant seeds that can adapt progressively to these changes. They stand a far better chance of resilience, compared with hybrid or even GM- CRISPR modified seeds sold by the big seed companies. They are also far higher in nutritional value, both instrinsically and because the soil is healthy, living soil with a rich micro-biome. Which leads to a healthy human micro-biome and healthier, happier people!

In terms of nutrition, climate change is set to reduce the nutritional value of food in a serious way. The agroecological approach and fast food-to-fork turn over means that nutritional value is optimised. Many greens lose 30% of their nutritional value and vitamins in particular after the first 3 days. Chemical inputs (pesticides and fetilisers) are now proven to cause over 20% more cancers than a diet of organic/agroecologically grown food. So imagine if your salad is grown in the South of Spain, on a farm using chemical inputs, and has travelled for several days to reach your supermarket…

The impact of our current model

The global trend is also the capture of the complete food chain by the industrial food companies (the same groups as those who own the seeds, the inputs, and the farms also own the food processing companies and supermarket chains…). Sadly “cheap” processed food and ready meals that are high in fat and sugar are widely bought by many consumers. People have in many cases forgotten how to cook, if indeed they ever knew how, which is the norm for many of the younger generation. This represents a quadruple danger: the destruction of the environment and climate change through industrial agriculture; the myth of “cheap” food based on exploitation of labour and lack of real nutritional content in the food (calories versus nutrition is a serious global issue); the excessive use of fossil fuel in the processing, transport and excessive packaging. And finally the cost of excessive healthcare linked to obesity and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) from eating an unhealthy diet.

This article would not be complete without some mention of climate change and the management of our rivers and oceans. Excessive chemical inputs on large industrial conventional farms and release of slurry has created a very toxic situation for many of our rivers through the run-off first into streams and rivers and then into the oceans. And this in turn contributes to the acidification of our oceans. And just as large-scale industrial farms are producing poor quality meat and vegetables, industrial fisheries are destroying the oceans. Artisinal fishers can provide local communities with fresh fish, and there are a growing number of Community Supported Fisheries that operate in the same way as Community Supported Agriculture. Urgenci is currently working to develop this activity.

In terms of sustainable territorial food systems, and CSA in particular, there is also a low carbon footprint concerning the delivery from farms to the eaters. Delivery points are often in the schools or a neighbourhood café, so parents can easily access these points without having to use their car any more than they already would be using it. It is aslo quite common to have multiple producers deliver at the same point, thus allowing consumers to do a ‘one-stop-shop’ just like at the supermarket. Except that it is far more convivial!

The importance of community lands

There is also a shift to the remunicipalisation and relocalisation of public procurement: moving to local food production and preparation for school meals and Green Public Procurement is a strong emerging trend in many cities. It can even involve Community Land Trusts, or use local Municipal Land to grow the food. The question of land is indeed one of the key issues today in building sustainable territorial food systems and guaranteed urban rural linkages. Green belts need to be preserved to ensure food production can continue, and access to land for young producers also needs to be facilitated.

Community Land Trusts are one of the key ways of doing this, as well as incubator farms and agroecology farmer-to-farmer field training schools. Local Authorities have a vital role to play in facilitating these aspects. Good policy exists in terms of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance and Tenure of Land, Forests and Fisheries, as well as the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries. Likewise, there are a growing number of farmer-led and consumer led co-operative shops, and many different manifestations of a growing movement to relocalise our food systems and fight climate change. This shift is clearly aligned with many values of solidarity economy, generally involves participatory governance, and has the growing implication of Local Authorities at different levels. Different mechanisms exist to ensure affordability for those who are socially excluded.

The commitment to CSA does involve learning to use what is in your weekly share and to cook somewhat differently than if you make a shopping list and go to the supermarket, but it is a collective adventure and generally a return to how our grandparents ate and cooked. Community Supported Agriculture and Community Supported Fisheries are by far the most committed model, and the fight to re-appropriate our food system through food sovereignty and the right to food lies at the core. Human rights are indivisible. The rights of Mother Earth and the right to a healthy nutritious diet are closely linked and at the core of our fight to stop runaway climate change.

Alternatiba 2018: we are the last generation that can save the Planet

By Jason Nardi

Under the pouring rain, the city of Bayonne (in the French Basque country) is nonetheless beautiful and full of life: on Sunday 7th of October the “Alternatives Village” was all over the old town, with hundreds of people in the streets and squares dedicated to many of the existing “alternative” practices – most of them if not all we can say Social Solidarity Economy – that today are not only possible but being done and used by more and more people. Collective Renewable energy solutions, shared mobility (the symbol of Alternatiba is a tandem bicycle – and the bicycle tour that involved thousands of people throughout France, Switzerland and Belgium a success, arriving in Bayonne on the 6th), food agroecological production and collaborative distribution, the Eusko social currency (with both its paper and electronic version) and ethical banking, but also community and cooperative housing, a strong eco-feminist presence (in streets and debates) and a special attention to the migration crisis, brought to us by the current dominant “growth” economy and the climate change that it engenders.

The latter was the main underlying theme of this Festival, started 5 years ago in Bayonne by the citizens group Bizi, full of “normal” and young people, families, and of course activists – who debated together with a rich program (https://alternatiba.eu/2018/10/programme-du-weekend-d-arrivee-du-tour-alternatiba/) as well as cultural and artistic events. While the urgency of a radical, systemic change was clearly perceived by all participants, the convivial and festive atmosphere gave much hope and renewed energy. Saving the Planet is no longer an option – now is the time to engage: “change the system, not the climate”.

Extract from the article Climate: 15,000 people in Bayonne for the release of the IPCC 1.5°C report

More than 15,000 people joined Bayonne this weekend for a major climate campaign. The two days marked by the arrival of the Tour Alternatiba, a gigantic village of alternatives, conferences and an atmosphere of popular emulation ended with a manifesto to initiate the immediate metamorphosis of the territories. Among them, nearly 200 personalities, scientists, political and associative leaders, artists, former ministers. In a duplex from South Korea, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, a member of the IPCC scientific committee, gave the public gathered in Bayonne the first opportunity to adopt the 1.5°C ratio and encouraged the continuation of citizen actions such as the Tour Alternatiba.

On the eve of the release of the IPCC 1.5°C report, Bayonne delivered a strong message. The final manifesto, read by Gaby, a young high school student from Poitiers and Moriba, a young Guinean saved from drowning by a maritime rescue boat while crossing the Mediterranean, both sixteen years old, launched a vibrant appeal for the immediate metamorphosis of our territories.

With nearly 50 conferences (attended by 6263 people) on such fundamental issues as the current government’s climate and energy transition assessment, obstacles to transition, economic relocation, transition financing, transport, renewable energies, solidarity and climate justice, this weekend also contributed to the ongoing discussions. Concrete alternatives such as the 100% renewable electricity supplier Enercoop or the eusko, already Europe’s leading local currency in terms of volume of currency in circulation, which passed the 1 million euskos mark that same weekend, have demonstrated the possibility that alternatives have to change scale.

This civic effervescence in Bayonne reflects what was observed during the 4 months of the Alternatiba Tour, where a total of more than 77,000 people showed their determination to take action to make a real difference. Under the guise of a great popular celebration, Alternatiba 2018 has once again confirmed that the crucial challenge of the fight against climate change is not only a vital challenge that tens of thousands of citizens are ready to take up, but also the foundation for more sustainable and desirable societies.

Text of the Manifesto  (in French) here.

Videos and photos here.

Skip to toolbar