Toward the soil as common good

No abstract available

Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.

Terra Preta. Die schwarze Revolution aus dem Regenwald

Untertitel: Mit Klimagärtnern die Welt retten und gesunde Lebensmittel produzieren

Der Verlag: Terra Preta do Indio lautet der portugiesische Name für einen Stoff, dem man wundersame Eigenschaften zuschreibt. Die Presse überschlägt sich mit Berichten über das “Schwarze Gold”, die Wissenschaft glaubt mit der Schwarzerde aus dem Regenwald zwei der größten Menschheitsprobleme lösen zu können – den Klimawandel und die Hungerkrise. Das Gute daran: Jede(r) kann mithelfen, denn seit 2005 ist das Geheimnis um die Herstellung der Wundererde gelüftet – ein Geheimnis, welches mit dem Niedergang der einstmals blühenden Indianerkulturen Amazoniens verloren zu gehen schien. Die Rezeptur mutet dabei erstaunlich einfach an, denn mehr als Küchen- oder Gartenabfälle, Holzkohle und Regenwürmer sind nicht nötig – Terra Preta ist somit auf jedem Balkon und in jedem Kleingarten herstellbar.
Das Autorentrio Scheub, Pieplow und Schmidt hat sich auf Schatzsuche begeben und das Wissen um die fruchtbarste Erde der Welt in einem kundigen Führer zusammengetragen. Neben einer fundierten Gebrauchsanweisung zur Herstellung von Terra Preta und Biokohle (biochar) informiert das Handbuch über die Grundprinzipien von Klimafarming und Kreislaufwirtschaft. Es ist ein flammendes Plädoyer gegen Kunstdünger und Gentechnik und ein unerlässlicher Ratgeber für alle, denen gesunde Lebensmittel am Herzen liegen.

ISBN: 978-3-86581-407-4

Evaluating land consumption and soil functions to inform spatial planning

Abstract: The European Union, in the European Soil Thematic Strategy (EC. 2006a), recognises the need to improve the integration of measures to prevent soil consumption and degradation, in spatial planning and in those sector policies such as transport, tourism, commerce etc. that have a major influence on land use change. Indeed, there is a growing awareness at many territorial levels (Europe, Member States, Regions) of the problem of land consumption and its impact on environmental resources. Furthermore, it is recognised that one of the major drivers of land consumption is urban development, which in some areas of Europe, due to its sprawling nature, has higher impact in terms of energy and soil disturbance, than compact development. For a sustainable spatial planning, for the purposes of reducing the impact of new urban development, it is essential the knowledge of the many functions that soil performs such as biomass production, filtering, carbon pool, habitat support etc. and their spatial distribution. There is a need for spatial decision support tools and methods to allow the incorporation of soil information and the spatial knowledge of soil functions as part of planning decisions. In particular, for the purposes of soil conservation and soil management, it is recognised the high potential of spatial planning in order to limit soil loss, both in strategic environmental assessment and in plans. This paper presents an analytical approach to the problem of land consumption by urban development and its impacts on land resources with particular attention to soil resources. In the first part of this paper, trends in urban development are analysed for some regions of North Italy and for the provinces of the Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) region. Then a land evaluation model developed within a GIS for assessing the performances of selected soil functions in the Pordenone area (FVG region) is presented and is applied to demonstrate its effectiveness/validity for assessing the impact of future urban development on the soil resource.

Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.

Auswege aus der zunehmenden Flächenkonkurrenz

Abstract: Die Konkurrenz um Flächen verschärft sich sowohl international als auch in Deutschland. Steigende Pacht- und Kaufpreise für landwirtschaftliche Flächen unterstreichen dies deutlich. In Deutschland werden bereits über 110% der landwirtschaftlichen Flächen für die Nahrungsmittelversorgung benötigt. Die Steigerung der Flächenproduktivität ist für viele Prozesse bereits weit ausgereizt. Staatliche normative Regelungen wären denkbar, würden aber das Problem der schon bestehenden Übernutzung nicht lösen, wirkten lediglich sektoral und erscheinen derzeit kaum durchsetzbar. Die Veränderung der Lebensstile und die Frage nach dem Maß der notwendigen Suffizienz sind Dreh- und Angelpunkt. Umfassend wirken könnte eine Kombination von linearer Besteuerung fossiler Energie und progressiver Besteuerung des Bodenwertes, da diese unter richtig gesetzten Randbedingungen zugleich zu entlastenden Folgeeffekten führen könnten. Dazu gehört die wesentlich engere und mit weniger Transportenergie zu bewerkstelligende Verflechtung von Produktion und Konsumtion (Regionalisierung) ebenso wie Formen der Mehrfachnutzung der Siedlungen und der Landschaft. Damit wäre ein Ausgangspunkt für eine gesellschaftliche wie räumliche Selbstorganisation gegeben.

Human Scale Development… away from bullets and machines

Abstract: The expansion of the modern state implies the continuous conquer of territory, and people, in order to access to resources. This conquer expresses as the continuous substitution of production models from peasant self-sustainable to agro-industrial and/or extractive, resulting in the territorial homogenization of production. This substitution, associated to different conceptions of development, has generated a “deterritiorialization” process or a void integration of the territory leading the uneven presence of the state. As a result the low capacity of the state to provide the tools of formalization of property rights on the land, restraining the decision power on the use of land and therefore on the development itself. In this paper a new conception of development is presented as the process of how individuals organize themselves within a social set (community) to produce and consume through autonomous (not necessarily mediated by the market) and sustainable ways of relationship guaranteeing human security.

Towards a re-evaluation of the land sparing vs. land sharing debate from the perspective of peasant farming systems

Abstract: Worldwide agricultural land is a scarce and degraded resource, while the commoditisation of natural resources spatially decouples the environmental and societal impacts of production, trade and consumption. Sustainability, increasingly an explicit political and social desirable norm, seeks to reverse Nature’S degradation, while fostering human well-being in a fairer society. An often unchallenged premise is that synergies between environmental, economic and social spheres exist and can be exploited to harness global change. However, social groups and national and international actors compete for land and resources and their goals are often mutually exclusive. The implementation of the sustainability ideal thus implies prioritisation and choice, winners and losers over different spatial and temporal scales. The land sparing vs. land sharing framework, which stems from the ecological modelling community, has provoked a vivid debate on which LU strategies are most appropriate to best face global change. This presentation proposes a critical re-evaluation of this debate, through an analysis of its implications for peasant farming systems.
Keywords: peasant farming, sustainability, land use, livelihoods, global change

Peasant agriculture or agribusiness: what production model would lead to degrowth?

Abstract: There is a dispute between two agricultural models in Brazil: the agribusiness and the peasant agriculture. We need to discuss which agricultural model is more to our proposed degrowth. This paper aims to show that peasant agriculture in Brazil produces more food for the local population, occupies more manpower, uses fewer natural resources and emits lower amounts of greenhouse gases than the agribusiness. In spite of that, Brazilian government encourages and supports agribusiness more than peasant agriculture. The method used for the present study was to survey statistical data. The data used were from – IBGE- the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistic. Data were collected on the supply of public credit to production, the amount of land occupied, global production, food production for local populations and the labor employed. Apart from the IBGE data, some internal calculations were utilized, as well as data provided by CONAB – National Supply Company – on the transportation flow of some types of food in the two models of production.