The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and the University of Basel are collaborating in the organization of the international summer program Difficult Heritage. Coordinated by the Decolonizing Architecture Course from Sweden and the Critical Urbanism course from Switzerland, the program takes place at #Borgo_Rizza (Syracuse, Italy) from 30 August to 7 September 2021, in coordination with Carlentini Municipality, as well as the local university and associations.
The program is constituted by a series of lectures, seminars, workshop, readings and site visits centered around the rural town of Borgo Rizza, build in 1940 by the ‘ established by the fascist regime to colonize the south of Italy perceived as backward and underdeveloped.
The town seems a perfect place for participants to analyze, reflect and intervene in the debate regarding the architectural heritage associated to painful and violent memories and more broadly to problematize the colonial relation with the countryside, especially after the renew attention due the pandemic.
The summer program takes place inside the former ‘entity of colonization’ and constitutes the first intensive study period for the Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course 2020/21 participants.
#mémoire #héritage #Italie #Sicile #colonialisme #Italie_du_Sud #fascisme #histoire #architecture #Libye #Borgo_Bonsignore #rénovation #monuments #esthétique #idéologie #tabula_rasa #modernisation #stazione_sperimentale_di_granicoltura #blé #agriculture #battaglia_del_grano #nationalisme #grains #productivité #propagande #auto-suffisance #alimentation #Borgo_Cascino #abandon #ghost-town #villaggio_fantasma #ghost_town #traces #conservation #spirale #décolonisation #défascistisation #Emilio_Distretti
Architectural Demodernization as Critical Pedagogy: Pathways for Undoing Colonial Fascist Architectural Legacies in Sicily
The Southern question
In 1952, #Danilo_Dolci, a young architect living and working in industrial Milan, decided to leave the North – along with its dreams for Italy’s economic boom and rapid modernization – behind, and move to Sicily. When he arrived, as he describes in his book Banditi a Partinico (The Outlaws of Partinico, 1956), he found vast swathes of rural land brutally scarred by the war, trapped in a systematic spiral of poverty, malnutrition and anomie. After twenty years of authoritarian rule, Italy’s newly created democratic republic preserved the ‘civilising’ ethos established by the fascist regime, to develop and modernize Sicily. The effect of these plans was not to bridge the gap with the richer North, but rather, to usher in a slow and prolonged repression of the marginalised poor in the South. In his book, as well as in many other accounts, Dolci collected the testimonies of people in Partinico and Borgo di Trappeto near Trapani, western Sicily.1, Palermo: Sellerio Editore, 2009.] Living on the margins of society, they were rural labourers, unemployed fishermen, convicted criminals, prostitutes, widows and orphans – those who, in the aftermath of fascism, found themselves crushed by state violence and corruption, by the exploitation of local notables and landowners, and the growing power of the Mafia.
Dolci’s activism, which consisted of campaigns and struggles with local communities and popular committees aimed at returning dignity to their villages, often resulted in confrontations with the state apparatus. Modernization, in this context, relied on a carceral approach of criminalisation, policing and imprisonment, as a form of domestication of the underprivileged. On the one hand, the South was urged to become like the North, yet on the other, the region was thrown further into social decay, which only accelerated its isolation from the rest of the country.
The radical economic and social divide between Italy’s North and South has deep roots in national history and in the colonial/modern paradigm. From 1922, Antonio Gramsci branded this divide as evidence of how fascism exploited the subaltern classes via the Italian northern elites and their capital. Identifying a connection with Italy’s colonisation abroad, Gramsci read the exploitation of poverty and migrant labour in the colonial enterprise as one of ‘the wealthy North extracting maximum economic advantage out of the impoverished South’.2 Since the beginning of the colonisation of Libya in 1911, Italian nationalist movements had been selling the dream of a settler colonial/modern project that would benefit the underprivileged masses of southern rural laborers.
The South of Italy was already considered an internal colony in need of modernization. This set the premise of what Gramsci called Italy’s ‘Southern question’, with the southern subalterns being excluded from the wider class struggle and pushed to migrate towards the colonies and elsewhere.3 By deprovincialising ‘the Southern question’ and connecting it to the colonial question, Gramsci showed that the struggle against racialised and class-based segregation meant thinking beyond colonially imposed geographies and the divide between North and South, cities and countryside, urban labourers and peasants.
Gramsci’s gaze from the South can help us to visualise and spatialise the global question of colonial conquest and exploitation, and its legacy of an archipelago of colonies scattered across the North/South divide. Written in the early 1920s but left incomplete, Gramsci’s The Southern Question anticipated the colonizzazione interna (internal colonization) of fascism, motivated by a capital-driven campaign for reclaiming arable land that mainly effected Italy’s rural South. Through a synthesis of monumentalism, technological development and industrial planning, the fascist regime planned designs for urban and non-urban reclamation, in order to inaugurate a new style of living and to celebrate the fascist settler. This programme was launched in continuation of Italy’s settler colonial ventures in Africa.
Two paths meet under the roof of the same project – that of modernization.
Architectural colonial modernism
Architecture has always played a crucial role in representing the rationality of modernity, with all its hierarchies and fascist ramifications. In the Italian context, this meant a polymorphous and dispersed architecture of occupation – new settlements, redrawn agricultural plots and coerced migration – which was arranged and constructed according to modern zoning principles and a belief in the existence of a tabula rasa. As was the case with architectural modernism on a wider scale, this was implemented through segregation and erasure, under the principle that those deemed as non-modern should be modernized or upgraded to reach higher stages of civilisation. The separation in the African colonies of white settler enclaves from Indigenous inhabitants was mirrored in the separation between urban and rural laborers in the Italian South. These were yet another manifestation of the European colonial/modern project, which for centuries has divided the world into different races, classes and nations, constructing its identity in opposition to ‘other’ ways of life, considered ‘traditional’, or worse, ‘backwards’. This relation, as unpacked by decolonial theories and practices, is at the core of the European modernity complex – a construct of differentiations from other cultures, which depends upon colonial hegemony.
Taking the decolonial question to the shores of Europe today means recognising all those segregations that also continue to be perpetuated across the Northern Hemisphere, and that are the product of the unfinished modern and modernist project. Foregrounding the impact of the decolonial question in Europe calls for us to read it within the wider question of the ‘de-modern’, beyond colonially imposed geographical divides between North and South. We define ‘demodernization’ as a condition that wants to undo the rationality of zoning and compartmentalisation enforced by colonial modern architecture, territorialisation and urbanism. Bearing in mind what we have learned from Dolci and Gramsci, we will explain demodernization through architectural heritage; specifically, from the context of Sicily – the internal ‘civilisational’ front of the Italian fascist project.
Sicily’s fascist colonial settlements
In 1940, the Italian fascist regime founded the Ente di Colonizzazione del Latifondo Siciliano (ECLS, Entity for the Colonization of the Sicilian Latifondo),4 following the model of the Ente di Colonizzazione della Libia and of colonial urban planning in Eritrea and Ethiopia. The entity was created to reform the latifondo, the predominant agricultural system in southern Italy for centuries. This consisted of large estates and agricultural plots owned by noble, mostly absentee, landlords. Living far from their holdings, these landowners used local middlemen and hired thugs to sublet to local peasants and farmers who needed plots of land for self-sustenance.5 Fascism sought to transform this unproductive, outdated and exploitative system, forcing a wave of modernization. From 1940 to 1943, the Ente built more than 2,000 homesteads and completed eight settlements in Sicily. These replicated the structures and planimetries that were built throughout the 1930s in the earlier bonifica integrale (land reclamation) of the Pontine Marshes near Rome, in Libya and in the Horn of Africa; the same mix of piazzas, schools, churches, villas, leisure centres, monuments, and a Casa del Fascio (fascist party headquarters). In the name of imperial geographical unity, from the ‘centre’ to the ‘periphery’, many of the villages built in Sicily were named after fascist ‘martyrs’, soldiers and settlers who had died in the overseas colonies. For example, Borgo Bonsignore was named after a carabinieri (military officer) who died in the Battle of Gunu Gadu in 1936, and Borgo Fazio and Borgo Giuliano after Italian settlers killed by freedom fighters in occupied Ethiopia.
The reform of the latifondo also sought to implement a larger strategy of oppression of political dissent in Italy. The construction of homesteads in the Sicilian countryside and the development of the land was accompanied by the state-driven migration of northern labourers, which also served the fascist regime as a form of social surveillance. The fascists wanted to displace and transform thousands of rural laborers from the North – who could otherwise potentially form a stronghold of dissent against the regime – into compliant settlers.6 Simultaneously, and to complete the colonizing circle, many southern agricultural workers were sent to coastal Libya and the Horn of Africa to themselves become new settlers, at the expense of Indigenous populations.
All the Sicilian settlements were designed following rationalist principles to express the same political and social imperatives. Closed communities like the Pontine settlements were ‘geometrically closed in the urban layout and administratively closed to farmers, workmen, and outside visitors as well’.7 With the vision of turning waged agrarian laborers into small landowners, these borghi were typologically designed as similar to medieval city enclaves, which excluded those from the lower orders.
These patterns of spatial separation and social exclusion were, unsurprisingly, followed by the racialisation of the Italian southerners. Referring to a bestiary, the propaganda journal Civiltà Fascista (Fascist Civilisation) described the Pontine Marshes as similar to ‘certain zones of Africa and America’, ‘a totally wild region’ whose inhabitants were ‘desperate creatures living as wild animals’.8 Mussolini’s regime explicitly presented this model of modernization, cultivation and drainage to the Italian public as a form of warfare. The promise of arable land and reclaimed marshes shaped an epic narrative which depicted swamps and the ‘unutilised’ countryside as the battlefield where bare nature – and its ‘backward inhabitants’ – was the enemy to be tamed and transformed.
However, despite the fanfare of the regime, both the projects of settler colonialism in Africa and the plans for social engineering and modernization in the South of Italy were short-lived. As the war ended, Italy ‘lost’ its colonies and the many Ente were gradually reformed or shut down.9 While most of the New Towns in the Pontine region developed into urban centres, most of the fascist villages built in rural Sicily were meanwhile abandoned to a slow decay.
Although that populationist model of modernization failed, the Sicilian countryside stayed at the centre of the Italian demographic question for decades to come. Since the 1960s, these territories have experienced a completely different kind of migration to that envisaged by the fascist regime. Local youth have fled unemployment in huge numbers, migrating to the North of Italy and abroad. With the end of the Second World War and the colonies’ return to independence, it was an era of reversed postcolonial migration: no longer white European settlers moving southwards/eastwards, but rather a circulatory movement of people flowing in other directions, with those now freed from colonial oppression taking up the possibility to move globally. Since then, a large part of Sicily’s agrarian sector has relied heavily on seasonal migrant labour from the Southern Hemisphere and, more recently, from Eastern Europe. Too often trapped in the exploitative and racist system of the Italian labour market, most migrants working in areas of intensive agriculture – in various Sicilian provinces near the towns of Cassibile, Vittoria, Campobello di Mazara, Caltanissetta and Paternò – have been forced out of cities and public life. They live isolated from the local population, socially segregated in tent cities or rural slums, and without basic services such as access to water and sanitation.
As such, rural Sicily – as well as vast swathes of southern Italy – remain stigmatised as ‘insalubrious’ spaces, conceived of in the public imagination as ‘other’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘backward’. From the time of the fascist new settlements to the informal rural slums populated by migrants in the present, much of the Sicilian countryside epitomises a very modern trope: that the South is considered to be in dire need of modernization. The rural world is seen to constitute an empty space as the urban centres are unable to deal with the social, economic, political and racial conflicts and inequalities that have been (and continue to be) produced through the North/South divides. This was the case at the time of fascist state-driven internal migration and overseas settler colonial projects. And it still holds true for the treatment of migrants from the ex-colonies, and their attempted resettlement on Italian land today.
Since 2007, Sicily’s right-wing regional and municipal governments have tried repeatedly to attain public funding for the restoration of the fascist settlements. While this program has been promoted as a nostalgic celebration of the fascist past, in the last decade, some municipalities have also secured EU funding for architectural restoration under the guise of creating ‘hubs’ for unhoused and stranded migrants and refugees. None of these projects have ever materialised, although EU money has financed the restoration of what now look like clean, empty buildings. These plans for renovation and rehousing echo Italy’s deepest populationist anxieties, which are concerned with managing and resettling ‘other’ people considered ‘in excess’. While the ECLS was originally designed to implement agrarian reforms and enable a flow of migration from the north of the country, this time, the Sicilian villages were seen as instrumental to govern unwanted migrants, via forced settlement and (an illusion of) hospitality. This reinforces a typical modern hierarchical relationship between North and South, and with that, exploitative metropolitan presumptions over the rural world.
The Entity of Decolonization
To imagine a counter-narrative about Sicily’s, and Italy’s, fascist heritage, we presented an installation for the 2020 Quadriennale d’arte – FUORI, as a Decolonizing Architecture Art Research (DAAR) project. This was held at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, the venue of the Prima mostra internazionale d’arte coloniale (First International Exhibition of Colonial Art, 1931), as well as other propaganda exhibitions curated by the fascist regime. The installation aims to critically rethink the rural towns built by the ECLS. It marks the beginning of a longer-term collaborative project, the Ente di Decolonizzazione or Entity of Decolonization, which is conceived as a transformative process in history-telling. The installation builds on a photographic dossier of documentation produced by Luca Capuano, which reactivates a network of built heritage that is at risk of decay, abandonment and being forgotten. With the will to find new perspectives from which to consider and deconstruct the legacies of colonialism and fascism, the installation thinks beyond the perimeters of the fascist-built settlements to the different forms of segregations and division they represent. It moves from these contested spaces towards a process of reconstitution of the social, cultural and intimate fabrics that have been broken by modern splits and bifurcations. The project is about letting certain stories and subjectivities be reborn and reaffirmed, in line with Walter D. Mignolo’s statement that ‘re-existing means using the imaginary of modernity rather than being used by it. Being used by modernity means that coloniality operates upon you, controls you, forms your emotions, your subjectivity, your desires. Delinking entails a shift towards using instead of being used.’10 The Entity of Decolonization is a fluid and permanent process, that seeks perpetual manifestations in architectural heritage, art practice and critical pedagogy. The Entity exists to actively question and contest the modernist structures under which we continue to live.https://edit.internationaleonline.org/staged/assets/9fvtv565kpogsgog?key=1152#.jpg https://edit.internationaleonline.org/staged/assets/8sl7ji0x78ws4co0?key=1152#.jpg
In Borgo Rizza, one of the eight villages built by the Ente, we launched the Difficult Heritage Summer School – a space for critical pedagogy and discussions around practices of reappropriation and re-narrativisation of the spaces and symbols of colonialism and fascism.11 Given that the villages were built to symbolise fascist ideology, how far is it possible to subvert their founding principles? How to reuse these villages, built to celebrate fascist martyrs and settlers in the colonial wars in Africa? How to transform them into antidotes to fascism?
Borgo Rizza was built in 1940 by the architect Pietro Gramignani on a piece of land previously expropriated by the ECLS from the Caficis, a local family of landowners. It exhibits a mixed architectural style of rationalism and neoclassical monumentalism. The settlement is formed out of a perimeter of buildings around a central protected and secured piazza that was also the main access to the village. The main edifices representing temporal power (the fascist party, the ECLS, the military and the school) and spiritual power (the church) surround the centre of the piazza. To display the undisputed authority of the regime, the Casa del Fascio took centre stage. The village is surrounded on all sides by eucalyptus trees planted by the ECLS and the settlers. The planting of eucalyptus, often to the detriment of indigenous trees, was a hallmark of settler colonialism in Libya and the Horn of Africa, dubiously justified because their extensive roots dry out swamps and so were said to reduce risks of malaria.
With the end of the Second World War, Borgo Rizza, along with all the other Sicilian settlements, went through rapid decay and decline. It first became a military outpost, before being temporarily abandoned in the war’s aftermath. In 1975, the ownership and management of the cluster of buildings comprising the village was officially transferred to the municipality of Carlentini, which has since made several attempts to revive it. In 2006, the edifices of the Ente di Colonizzazione and the post office were rehabilitated with the intent of creating a garden centre amid the lush vegetation. However, the garden centre was never realised, while the buildings and the rest of the settlement remain empty.
Yet despite the village’s depopulation, over the years the wider community of Carlentini have found an informal way to reuse the settlement’s spaces. The void of the piazza, left empty since the fall of fascism, became a natural spot for socialising. The piazza was originally designed by the ECLS for party gatherings and to convey order and hierarchy to the local population. But many locals remember a time, in the early 1980s, before the advent of air-conditioned malls that offered new leisure spaces to those living in peri-urban and rural areas, when people would gather in the piazza for fresh air amid summer heatwaves. The summer school builds on these memories, to return the piazza to its full public function and reinvent it as a place for both hospitality and critical pedagogy.
Let’s not forget that the village was first used as a pedagogical tool in the hands of the regime. The school building was built by the ECLS and was the key institution to reflect the principles of neo-idealism promoted by the fascist and neo-Hegelian philosophers Giovanni Gentile and Giuseppe Lombardo Radice. Radice was a pedagogue and theoretician who contributed significantly to the fascist reforms of the Italian school system in the 1930s. Under the influence of Gentile, his pedagogy celebrated the modern principle of a transcendental knowledge that is never individual but rather embodied by society, its culture, the party, the state and the nation. In the fascist ideal, the classroom was designed to be the space where students would strive to transcend themselves through acquired knowledge. A fascist education was meant to make pupils merge with the ‘universal’ embodied by the teacher, de facto the carrier of fascist national values. In relation to the countryside context, the role of pedagogy was to glorify the value of rurality as opposed to the decadence wrought by liberal bourgeois cultures and urban lifestyles. The social order of fascism revolved around this opposition, grounded in the alienation of the subaltern from social and political life, via the splitting of the urban and rural working class, the celebration of masculinity and patriarchy, and the traditionalist nuclear family of settlers.
Against this historical background, our summer school wants to inspire a spatial, architectural and political divorce from this past. We want to engage with decolonial pedagogies and encourage others to do the same, towards an epistemic reorganisation of the building’s architecture. In this, we share the assertion of Danilo Dolci, given in relation to the example of elementary schools built in the fascist era, of the necessity for a liberation from the physical and mental cages erected by fascism:
These seemed designed (and to a large extent their principles and legacies are still felt today) to let young individuals get lost from an early age. So that they would lose the sense of their own existence, by feeling the heavy weight of the institution that dominates them. These buildings were specifically made to prevent children from looking out, to make them feel like grains of sand, dispersed in these grey, empty, boundless spaces.12
This is the mode of demodernization we seek in this project: to come to terms with, confront, and deactivate the tools and symbols of modern fascist colonization and authoritarian ideologies, pedagogy and urbanism. It is an attempt to fix the social fabric that fascism broke, to heal the histories of spatial, social and political isolation in which the village originates. Further, it is an attempt to heal pedagogy itself, from within a space first created as the pedagogical hammer in the hands of the regime’s propagandists.
This means that when we look at the forms of this rationalist architecture, we do not feel any aesthetic pleasure in or satisfaction with the original version. This suggests the need to imagine forms of public preservation outside of the idea of saving the village via restoration, which would limit the intervention to returning the buildings to their ‘authentic’ rationalist design. Instead, the school wants to introduce the public to alternative modes of heritage-making.https://edit.internationaleonline.org/staged/assets/36gmbdt5j800wo8o?key=1152#.jpg https://edit.internationaleonline.org/staged/assets/4ib2i96f1ke8s8ko?key=1152#.jpg
In the epoch in which we write and speak from the southern shores of Europe, the entanglement of demodernization with decolonization is not a given, and certainly does not imply an equation. While decolonization originates in – and is only genealogically possible as the outcome of – anti-colonialist struggles and liberation movements from imperial theft and yoke, demodernization does not relate to anti-modernism, which was an expression of reactionary, anti-technological and nationalist sentiment, stirred at the verge of Europe’s liberal collapse in the interwar period. As Dolci explained for the Italian and Sicilian context, there is no shelter to be found in any anachronistic escape to the (unreal and fictional) splendours of the past. Or, following Gramsci’s refusal to believe that the Italian South would find the solutions to its problems through meridionalism, a form of southern identitarian and essentialist regionalism, which further detaches ‘the Southern question’ from possible alliances with the North.
Demodernization does not mean eschewing electricity and wiring, mortar and beams, or technology and infrastructure, nor the consequent welfare that they provide, channel and distribute. By opposing modernity’s aggressive universalism, demodernization is a means of opening up societal, collective and communal advancement, change and transformation. Precisely as Dolci explains, the question it is not about the negation of progress but about choosing which progress you want.13
In the context in which we exist and work, imagining the possibility of an architectural demodernization is an attempt to redraw the contours of colonial architectural heritage, and specifically, to raise questions of access, ownership and critical reuse. We want to think of demodernization as a method of epistemic desegregation, which applies to both discourse and praxis: to reorient and liberate historical narratives on fascist architectural heritage from the inherited whiteness and ideas of civilisation instilled by colonial modernity, and to invent forms of architectural reappropriation and reuse. We hold one final aim in mind: that the remaking of (post)colonial geographies of knowledge and relations means turning such fascist designs against themselves.
#Partinico #Borgo_di_Trappeto #Italie_du_Sud #Italie_meridionale #Southern_question #colonizzazione_interna #colonisation_interne #Ente_di_Colonizzazione_de_Latifondo_Siciliano (#ECLS) #Ente_di_Colonizzazione_della_Libia #modernisation #bonifica_integrale #Pontine_Marshes #Borgo_Bonsignore #Borgo_Fazio #Borgo_Giuliano #latifondo #Pietro_Gramignani #Caficis
La part du feu - Mon blog sur l’écologie politique
Est-ce là un débat pour spécialistes ? Ou un choix de société ? Le modèle de sparing est écocentré, ce qui le rend plutôt sympathique. C’est le modèle vegan. C’est aussi un modèle très favorable aux classes dominantes. Car c’est bien sûr chez les ploucs du monde entier, les ruraux occidentaux et les peuples autochtones du Sud, que ces surfaces seront protégées, y compris par la coercition. Quand bien même, dans le cas des peuples autochtones, ils ne seraient nullement responsables de la dégradation infligée au reste de la planète par la société industrielle.
L’agroécologie, et particulièrement son versant paysan, sont un modèle de société plus tenable socialement que la concentration des richesses de l’agro-industrie. Intensive en main d’œuvre, répondant aux besoins alimentaires plus qu’aux prix des marchés, elle fait aussi la preuve de son intérêt écologique.
Cette huitième édition, consultable et téléchargeable librement en ligne constitue un travail de compilation et de réécriture, dans un langage simple, de définitions de termes utilisés dans les domaines de la diversité biologique, de la conservation de la Nature et de la gestion des sites naturels bénéficiant d’une protection. Ce sont ainsi plus de 5000 définitions qui s’offrent à l’étudiant, au gestionnaire d’espaces naturels mais aussi au décideur et à l’enseignant de biologie-géologie.
L’objectif poursuivi est de permettre à chacun de disposer les éléments de base pour comprendre la définition d’un terme, d’un concept, et d’ouvrir sa curiosité pour aller rechercher ailleurs les compléments qui peuvent lui être utile. Disposer de ce document permet de disposer rapidement d’une définition qui permet de comprendre un texte. Cela est d’autant plus utile que pratiquement tous les mots sont donnés avec leur version en anglais.
Crédits carbone et déforestation évitée : impact réel ou risque de greenwashing ?
Malgré cela, selon notre analyse, ils peinent à contrebalancer ces pressions, au moins à court terme, et à éviter la déforestation. Ce résultat tend à souligner une difficulté à combiner protection de l’environnement et développement.
À l’inverse, les seuls projets pour lesquels nous trouvons des preuves d’additionnalité ont été menés par des entreprises privées dont l’objectif se focalise uniquement sur la conservation des forêts mais qui sont localisés dans des zones où la pression à déforester semble plus faible.
La crédibilité de la certification carbone en question
Nous pouvons tirer deux enseignements de cette étude. Premièrement, si nous ne pouvons en aucun cas affirmer que certains types de porteurs sont systématiquement plus performants sur la base de six projets, les entreprises privées ne sont pas forcément moins efficaces que les ONG pour réduire la déforestation. Deuxièmement, il peut-être difficile de combiner #conservation forestière et #développement_rural.
Au total, bien que notre analyse ne porte que sur un nombre restreint de projets, elle questionne fortement la crédibilité des mécanismes de certification carbone. Sur six projets certifiés, à même d’émettre et d’échanger des crédits carbone, un seul semble avoir donné lieu à des baisses d’émissions effectives.
Sans nécessairement remettre en question l’opportunité de la #compensation_carbone, nos résultats alertent donc contre un risque de « hot air », c’est-à-dire des crédits carbone qui ne correspondent à aucune réduction d’#émission, et soulignent le besoin d’une #évaluation plus rigoureuse des impacts.
Geoinspirations Podcast Series: Dr. Paulette Hasier - Curating Generations of Cartography
Today, Dr. Joseph Kerski interviews Dr. Paulette Hasier, Geography and Map Division Chief at the Library of Congress. She discusses the varied journey she made through academia and government before arriving at the world’s largest library. She describes their collection of story maps and data while inspiring us to explore the deep cartographic treasures in the Library of Congress. She offers words of advice as you follow your own career pathway.
Nature left alone offers more than if we exploit it | News | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific
They have demonstrated that in its pristine state − mangrove swamps, wetlands, savannahs, forests and so on − nature left alone is of more value to humankind than as exploited real estate.
Carbon & Climate
UN survival plan offers new hope for the planet
This argument has been made already, and more than once. But this time the researchers can provide the detail for their argument: they report in the journal Nature Sustainability that they had devised an accounting methodology to test such arguments, and then applied this in 24 selected sites around the planet.
Some of the value would be in intangibles such as providing a shelter for the wild things and wild plants; some of it would be measurable.
For instance, if the damage inherent in carbon spilled into the atmosphere through habitat destruction or fossil fuel combustion presents an overall cost to society of $31 a tonne − and this is a conservative estimate − then almost three quarters of the sample sites have greater value simply as natural habitats.
And that includes 100 per cent of all forests. If that greenhouse gas carbon was valued at a paltry $5 a tonne, almost two thirds of the sites would still be, over a 50-year period, a better investment left untouched.
Keep Out... Come Again. The underbelly of American-styled conservation in the Indian Himalayas.
IN DECEMBER, THE ROAD leading to the #Tirthan_Valley entrance archway of the #Great_Himalayan_National_Park (#GHNP), a #UNESCO World Heritage site in India’s mountain state of Himachal Pradesh, is a potholed mudslide: For miles, a fleet of excavators and tunnel-boring machines are lopping and drilling the mountains to widen and extend the highway. Most of the traffic passing through a big, dark tunnel blasted through the mountain is headed to Manali — the mass-tourist hub of the Western Himalayas, about an hour’s drive farther north.
My partner and I pass through the archway and weave the motorcycle along a cliffside road into the gorgeous, narrow valley. Villages and orchards dot the ridges. The first snow is melting off the roofs, and far below the Tirthan River runs free and fast. This is still the off-beaten path. But around every turn, we see signs that development is on the rise. Guesthouses, campsites, cottages, hotels, and resorts are sprouting up outside the park’s boundaries. Trucks carrying construction material drive traffic off onto the shoulder. On the opposite ridge, a new helipad access road is being carved out. The area appears to be under construction, not conservation.
It seems that by putting this once little-known national park on the global map, conservationists have catalyzed a massive wave of development along its border. And ecotourism, though ostensibly a responsible form of development, looks over here, as one researcher put it, more like “old wine in a new bottle.”
In the two decades since it was formed, the park has displaced over 300 people from their land, disrupted the traditional livelihoods of several thousand more, and forced yet more into dependence on a risky (eco)tourism industry run in large part by outside “experts.” In many ways, the GHNP is a poster child of how the American national park model — conceived at Yellowstone and exported to the Global South by a transnational nexus of state and nonstate actors, continues to ignore the sociopolitical and cultural realities of a place. As a result, protected areas around the world continue to yield pernicious impacts on local communities, and, to some extent, on the local ecology as well. It also raises the question: If protecting one piece of land requires moving its long-time human residents out, developing adjacent land, and flying in tourists from around the world — what is actually being conserved?
IN THE EARLY 1980s, at the invitation of the Himachal government, a team of Indian and international wildlife biologists led by a British researcher named Tony Gaston surveyed the Western Himalayas for a possible location for the state’s first national park. The state government had been eyeing the Manali area, but after a broad wildlife survey, Gaston’s team recommended the Upper Tirthan and Sainj valleys instead.
The ecosystem was less disturbed, home to more wildlife, and thus had “excellent potential for attracting tourists”— especially foreign tourists — who might constitute both a “substantial source of [park] revenues” as well as “an enormous input to the local economy,” the team’s report said.
The proposed 754.4-square-kilometer park included the upper mountain glacial and snow melt water source origins of the Jiwa Nal, Sainj Tirthan, and Parvati rivers, which are all headwater tributaries to the Beas River and subsequently, the Indus River. Given its location at the junction of two of the world’s major biogeographic realms — the Palearctic and Indomalayan — its monsoon-fed forests and alpine meadows sustain a diversity of plant, moss, lichen, bird, and mammal species, many of which are endemic, including the Himalayan goral, blue sheep, and the endangered western Tragopan pheasant and musk deer.
The park’s boundary was strategically drawn so that only four villages needed to be relocated. But this glossed over the problem of resource displacement. To the northwest, the proposed park was buffered by high mountain systems that include several other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, but the land in and around its southwest boundary was home to about 150 villages with a total population of at least 11,000 people, all of whom were officially dispossessed of the forests they depended on for centuries when the Indian government inaugurated The Great Himalayan National Park in 1999. These villages are now part of a 265.6-square-kilometer buffer, or so-called “ecozone,” leading into the park.
A large majority of these families were poor. Many of them cultivated small parcels of land that provided subsistence for part of the year, and they relied on a variety of additional resources provided by the forestlands in the mountains around their homes to meet the rest of their food and financial requirements. That included grazing sheep and goats in the alpine meadows, extracting medicinal herbs that they could sell to the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, and collecting gucchi, or morel mushrooms, that fetched high prices in international markets.
“IN THE INDIAN CONTEXT, the notion that you can have a landscape that is pristine and therefore devoid of humans is an artificial creation,” says Dr. Vasant Saberwal, a wildlife biologist and director of the Centre for Pastoralism, an organization based in Gujarat state that aims to enhance our understanding of pastoralist ecosystems. “India has [long] been a heavily populated country. So, when you think of alpine meadows at 15,000 feet above sea-level, they have been used by pastoral communities for several hundred years. You cannot now go into those landscapes and say we want a pristine alpine meadow. There’s no such thing.”
In keeping with the lingering idea, tracing back to early American conservationism, that pastoral societies destroy their own land, the Gaston team’s original report claimed that firewood collecting, hunting, and especially overgrazing, were degrading habitat within the area. It recommended a ban on grazing and medicinal plant collection in order to maintain the park’s biodiversity.
But Saberwal’s research shows that grazing practices in the park’s high alpine meadows — which constitute almost half the park’s area — were likely necessary to maintain its high levels of herb diversity. Before the area was closed off to people, traditional herders of the Indigenous Gaddi tribe would travel up to the alpine meadows with about 35,000 sheep and goats entrusted to them by individual families, and graze them in these meadows for six snow-free months from April through September.
“So, when you talk to people and suggest to people that their use of the park leads to degradation, they say that we have been using these resources for the past 150-200 years,” he says. “They say, if our presence here has been such a threat, then why would there be biological diversity here?”
Saberwal’s findings are consistent with reams of scholarship in recent years documenting how local and Indigenous communities, without external pressures, live convivially with nature.
That is not to say that external pressures aren’t impacting the region. There has definitely been an uptick in morel and medicinal herbs extraction from the park area, especially since the early 1990s when India “liberalized” its economy. Yet today, without adequate enforcement, it remains unclear just how much the park actually helped curtail extraction of these herbs or instead just forced the market underground.
Other threats include poaching, human-wildlife conflicts, and hydropower development. Ironically, a 10-square-kilometer area was deleted from the original map of the GHNP for building of a hydro-power project, underscoring a typical approach towards conservation “wherein local livelihoods are expendable in the interests of biodiversity, but biodiversity must make way for national development,” Saberwal says.
India’s Wildlife Protection Act, which prohibits all human activities within a national park, does recognize people’s traditional rights to forest resources. It therefore requires state governments settle or acquire these rights prior to finalizing a new national park’s boundaries, either through financial compensation or by providing people alternative land where such rights can be exercised. But India’s record of actually honoring these rights has been sketchy at best. In GHNP’s case, the state chose to offer financial compensation to only about 300 of the 2,300 or so impacted households, based on family names listed in a colonial report with census data for the area dating back to 1894. It eventually provided the rest of the villagers alternative areas to graze their livestock, but this land was inadequate and nutrient-poor compared to the grasses in the high alpine meadows. Only a handful of families in these villages still have sheep and goat herds today.
Saberwal, and many mainstream conservationists, says there is an argument to be made for allowing villagers into the park, and not only because it supports their livelihoods. “The presence of people with a real stake in the biological resources of the park can also lead to far greater levels of support for effective management of the park, including better monitoring of who goes into the park, for what, and at what times of the year. Poaching could be more effectively controlled, as could the excessive extraction of medicinal herbs,” he says.
DESPITE STIFF LOCAL RESISTANCE, the forest department — with support from an international nonprofit called Friends of GHNP, as well as the World Bank, which chipped in a $2.5 million loan — developed an ecotourism industry in the area to help local communities adapt.
Eco-development, of course, is the current cool idea for making exclusionary conservation acceptable. On paper, it requires community involvement to create “alternative livelihoods” to reduce locals’ dependence on a park’s resources. So, with the support of Friends of GHNP, the forest department helped form a street theater group. It developed firewood and medicinal herb plantations in an effort to wean villagers off of foraging for these the park. A women’s savings and credit collective called Sahara was set up to produce vermicompost, apricot oil, and handicrafts. The Forest Department also handed out “doles” — stoves, handlooms, televisions, pressure cookers — what Mark Dowie, in his book Conservation Refugees, calls “cargo conservation,” or the exchange of commodities for compliance.
Yet, the project was mired in corruption and mismanagement. The male director of the women’s collective, for instance, was discovered to be siphoning off the collective’s funds. Meanwhile, local ecodevelopment committees set up to coordinate expenditure on livelihood projects were run by the most powerful people in the villages, usually upper-caste males of the devta (deity) community, and chose to spend the money on things like temple and road repairs. According to a 2001 study of the ecodevelopment project, 70 percent of the funds were spent on infrastructure initiatives of this kind. Much later, in 2002, in an attempt to distance itself from the program, the World Bank concluded ecodevelopment had left “very little or no impact … on the ground.”
In 2014, the park, along with the adjacent Sainj and Tirthan wildlife sanctuaries, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, again in spite of more protests from the impacted local communities. Friends of GHNP wrote the application.
If creating the park cracked the door to development in the Tirthan Valley, minting it a UNESCO World Heritage site flung it wide open.
On the economic front, it’s certainly true that the influx of tourists has injected more money into the Tirthan Valley than ever before. And it’s true, too, that many locals, the youth especially, are excited, or at least hopeful, that the industry will improve their lives and alleviate poverty. But on the whole, locals are losing opportunities to outside entrepreneurs who come with deeper pockets, digital marketing savvy, and already established networks of potential clientele.
“That kind of investment and marketing involvement is difficult for locals for figure out,” says Manashi Asher, a researcher with Himdhara, a Himachal-based environmental research and action collective. “Basically, what many locals have done instead, is circumvent local ecotourism policies by turning their properties into homestay or other kinds of [tourist] lodgings and leasing them out to outsiders to run.”
Though there are no official estimates yet, there’s a consensus among locals that outsider-run guesthouses have already cornered a majority of the valley’s tourism revenue. “City-based tourism operators are licking out the cream, while the peasantry class and unemployed youth earn a pittance from the seasonal, odd jobs they offer,” Dilaram Shabab, the late “Green Man” of Tirthan Valley who spearheaded successful movements against hydropower development on the Tirthan river, wrote in his book Kullu: The Valley of Gods.
When I read this quote to Upendra Singh Kamra, a transplant from the northwestern state of Punjab who runs a tourism outfit for fishing enthusiasts called Gone Fishing Cottages, he emphasizes how, unlike at most properties, they don’t lay off their local staff during low season. Some have even bought motorcycles or cars. “Logically, you have nothing and then you have something and then you’re complaining that something is not enough. So it doesn’t make sense for me.”
Many locals see it differently. Narotham Singh, a veteran forest guard, told me he leased his land for 30 years, but now worries for his son and grandchildren. “If they don’t study, what they’re going to be doing is probably cleaning utensils and sweeping in the guesthouses of these people. That’s the dark future.” Karan Bharti, one of Shabab’s grandsons, told me many youth are so ashamed to work as servants on their own land that they’re fleeing the valley altogether.
More broadly, tourism is also a uniquely precarious industry. Global market fluctuations and environmental disasters frequently spook tourists away for years. (The Western Himalayas is primed for an 8.0-plus magnitude quake tomorrow). And when destination hotspots flip cold, once self-reliant shepherds turned hoteliers are left holding the bill for that high-interest construction loan.
Sadly, this is exactly what’s happened. In Himachal, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed just how dependent the state has become on tourism. After the borders were shut in late March, pressure to reopen to salvage a piece of the summer high season was palpable in the press. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur proposed Himachal advertise itself for “Quarantine Tourism.” The hotel unions shot down the idea as absurd.
THERE’S NO SIGN NOR ROAD to Raju’s Guesthouse. To get to it, you have to cross the Tirthan River in a cable basket or makeshift plank bridge and climb up the opposite bank into a fairytale. Vines climb the dark wood facade. There are flowers, fruit trees, and a fire pit. When I visit, kittens are playing around an old cherry tree and a pack of dogs bark up the steep south face; leopards, I learn, come over the ridge at night sometimes and steal dogs.
Raju, in his late sixties, toothpick-thin, and wearing a baseball cap, is the pioneer of ecotourism in Tirthan Valley. He is also Shabab’s son. When I first spoke with him on the phone, he called the park an “eyewash.” What he meant was that most people don’t come to the park for the park. It’s a steep, half-day trek just to the official boundary, and, inside, the trails aren’t marked. Most tourists are content with a weekend kickback at a guesthouse in the ecozone.
Still, if real ecotourism exists, Raju’s comes as close as I’ve ever seen. Food scraps are boiled down and fed to the cows. There’s fishing and birding and trekking on offer. No corporate groups allowed, even though that’s where the big bucks are. And no fume-expelling diesel generator, despite guests’ complaints after big storms. There’s a feeling of ineffable wholesomeness that has kept people coming back year after year, for decades now.
In a 1998 report titled “Communtity-Based Ecotourism in the GHNP,” a World Bank consultant was so impressed by Raju’s that she recommended it be “used as a model for the whole area.” But this was a consultant’s fantasy. Rather than provide support to help locals become owners in the tourism industry, the government and World Bank offered them tour guide, portering, and cooking training. Today, similar second-tier job trainings are part of an $83 million project funded by the Asian Development Bank to develop tourism (mainly by building parking lots) across Himachal.
Varun, one of Raju’s two sons who runs the guesthouse, doesn’t think any tourist property in the area is practicing ecotourism, even his own. People are illegally catching trout for guests’ dinners, cutting trees for their bonfires, and dumping their trash into the river, he says.
In 2018, Varun founded the Tirthan Conservation and Tourism Development Association (▻https://www.facebook.com/Tirthan-conservation-and-tourism-development-association-101254861218173), a union of local guesthouses that works to “eliminate the commercialization of our neighborhood and retain the aura of the valley.” They do tree plantings, enforce camping bans around the river, and meet regularly to discuss new developments in the valley.
Yet, Varun doesn’t see any way of stopping the development wave. “I mean, it’s inevitable. No matter how much you resist, you know, you’ll have to accept it. The only thing is, we can delay it, slow it down.”
#Inde #montagne #conservation_de_la_nature #nature #protection_de_la_nature #parc_national #Himachal_Pradesh #Manali #tourisme #colonialisme #néo-colonialisme #circulation_des_modèles #Hymalayah #Jiwa_Nal #Sainj_Tirthan #Parvati #rivières #Beas_River #paysage #conservationnisme #biodiversité #Gaddi #élevage #ressources #exploitation_des_ressources #Friends_of_GHNP #banque_mondiale #éco-tourisme #écotourisme #cargo_conservation #corruption #devta #deity #éco-développement #développement #World_Heritage_site #énergie_hydroélectrique #Asian_Development_Bank #Tirthan_Conservation_and_Tourism_Development_Association
Conservation Refugees. The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples
#Kimchi: from field to lunch – in pictures
Originally a means of preserving vegetables during winter, kimchi is emblematic of Korean cuisine and accompanies almost every meal served in the country. Kimchi-making is still an important annual ritual for many families.
Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
La nature confisquée, histoire du “colonialisme vert” - Ép. 1/4 - Et l’homme créa la nature
Sous l’impulsion d’organismes internationaux, poursuivant le mythe d’un éden vierge de toute présence humaine, les populations africaines sont expulsées d’espaces qu’elles fréquentaient jusqu’alors. Une vision héritée de la période coloniale aux lourdes conséquences sociales.
#Bernard_Ronot préserve notre patrimoine pour sauver l’agriculture durable
Bernard Ronot s’est engagé pour la force de vie des semences anciennes en conservant 200 variétés de blés. Le principe consiste à planter en permanence ces variétés. Chaque année Bernard offre ces semences aux paysans volontaires qui préservent à leur tour ce patrimoine de l’humanité.
Bernard a ainsi fondé l’association #Graines_de_Noé (►http://www.graines-de-noe.org).
Agriculteur de 83 ans, il raconte la #Révolution_Verte de l’agriculture d’après-guerre, utilisatrice d’intrants chimiques, dans laquelle il s’est engagé à 100%.
Ce documentaire est surtout l’histoire d’une #reconquête et d’un engagement pour la #conservation_des_semences anciennes de blé. L’histoire d’un cheminement, d’un modèle d’agriculture à un autre pour redécouvrir le sens du mot « #paysan » : celui avant tout de nourrir le monde.et d’un retour, après 30 ans de cultures intensives, à un choix d’une agriculture vivante et naturelle. L’histoire d’une
Bernard Ronot :
« (La révolution verte) ça a été un restant des guerres sur toute la ligne. Si le nitrate est un explosif, les fongicides sont des restants des gaz de guerre. Tout ce qui a fait éclater l’agriculture, c’est le restant des guerre. Les énergies de guerre qui ont été maîtrisées par l’homme quand ils ont arrêté de se battre, elles étaient toujours existantes »
La science est indispensable pour faire évoluer. On a besoin des chercheurs. Si ils ont des têtes et des neurones développées, c’est pas par hasard. C’est eux qui font évoluer une société. Mais il faut la faire évoluer dans l’#indépendance de l’homme, et pas dans la #dépendance.
La société c’est qui ? C’est d’abord nous, c’est pas les autres. C’est nous. Et la société du bas, c’est nous, individuellement. Et si nous on croit à ce qu’on fait, si on croit vraiment à ce qu’on fait, rien peut nous démonter. Si on se met en unité avec la #nature... les plantes, la terre, les animaux et bien des hommes silencieux, attendent. Ils sont prêts à partir, mais ils sont silencieux.
« La transmission de la vie, c’est la semence. Il faut rentrer dans l’#action. (...) Si nous avons la chance d’avoir compris quelque chose, notre travail c’est de savoir comment le transmettre. On peut avoir le meilleur langage du monde, mais si il n’y a pas réceptivité en face, ça ne fait rien. »
« Dans la vie nous sommes des #locomotives. Ou nous sommes le voyageur sur le quai, ou nous sommes le wagon, ou nous sommes la locomotive. Il faut savoir où on va. Si nous avons la chance de savoir où on va, nous avons le devoir d’être une locomotive, qui va peut-être doucement, qui va lentement et qui va surement. »
#agriculture #semences #blé #nitrates #paysannerie #vulpin #fertilisants #oligo-éléments #champignon #rendement #fongicides #pucerons #insecticides #guerre #restant_de_guerre #énergies_de_guerre #se_remettre_en_cause #reconversion #semences_anciennes #dégustation_du_pain #conservatoires #circuit_lent #agriculture_biologique #rendements #valeur_énergétique #prise_de_conscience #circuits_courts #céréaliculture #gratuité #endettement #recherche_fondamentale #science #partage
Graines de Noé
Créée en 2010 en Côte d’Or, Graines de Noé est une maison des semences Paysannes : l’association conserve plus de 200 variétés de blés anciens et œuvre pour le maintien de la biodiversité cultivée.
Héritage du travail de Renée et Bernard Ronot, Graines de Noé est une association qui sauvegarde plus de 200 variétés de céréales anciennes et paysannes.
En effet, après plus de 10 ans de travail consacré à constituer et à maintenir cette collection, Renée et Bernard RONOT décident de la transmettre à une association. C’est ainsi que 2010 naît Graines de Noé.
Graines de Noé fédère toute la filière des paysans actifs ou en retraite, des transformateurs (meuniers, boulangers), des distributeurs (magasins...), des associations et des particuliers.
Les membres de Graines de Noé sont très actifs pour faire vivre ses collections dans le but d’obtenir une meilleure adaptabilité des variétés aux différents types de sols régionaux.
L’Union européenne réduit son soutien au WWF, accusé de bafouer les droits des Pygmées au Congo
L’Union européenne (#UE) a décidé de suspendre une partie de ses financements au Fonds mondial pour la nature (#WWF), en raison de manquements au respect des droits humains dans le projet de création de l’aire protégée de #Messok_Dja, au Congo-Brazzaville. La sanction, entrée en vigueur le 17 avril, n’a fait l’objet d’aucun communiqué de presse. Elle constitue pourtant un sévère avertissement pour la plus grande organisation mondiale de protection de la nature et donne pour la première fois gain de cause aux communautés autochtones du bassin du #Congo menacées d’éviction par un projet de #conservation.
Hunting is ‘slowly dying off,’ and that has created a crisis for the nation’s many endangered species - The Washington Post
Even as more people are engaging in outdoor activities, hunting license sales have fallen from a peak of about 17 million in the early ’80s to 15 million last year, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data. The agency’s 2016 survey suggested a steeper decline to 11.5 million Americans who say they hunt, down more than 2 million from five years earlier.
“The downward trends are clear,” said Samantha Pedder of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, which works to increase the diversity of hunters.
The resulting financial shortfall is hitting many state wildlife agencies.
In Wisconsin, a $4 million to $6 million annual deficit forced the state’s Department of Natural Resources to reduce warden patrols and invasive species control. Michigan’s legislature had to dig into general-tax coffers to save some of the state’s wildlife projects, while other key programs, such as protecting bees and other pollinating creatures, remain “woefully underfunded,” according to Edward Golder, a spokesman for the state’s natural resources department. Some states, including Missouri, are directing sales tax revenue to conservation.
The crisis stands to worsen with as many as one-third of America’s wildlife species “at increased risk of extinction,” according to a 2018 report published by the National Wildlife Federation. In December, environmentalists and hunters united in Washington behind two bipartisan bills aimed at establishing new funding sources and facilitating the recruitment of hunters.
The needs are becoming more urgent as development eats into habitats and new challenges crop up, such as climate change and chronic wasting disease, a neurological condition infecting deer. The Trump administration’s recent rollback of pollution controls on waterways will put a greater burden on states to protect wetland habitats.
The financial troubles are growing as baby boomers age out of hunting, advocates say, and younger generations turn instead to school sports and indoor hobbies such as video games.
The link between hunting and conservation dates back more than a century to when trigger-happy gunmen all but blasted the bison population to oblivion and finished off North America’s most abundant bird, the passenger pigeon. (Martha, the hapless final specimen, died in 1914 in the Cincinnati Zoo before being shipped, on ice, to Washington and put on display at the Smithsonian.)
Small wonder that hunters were asked to curb — and pay for — their excesses. Avid outdoorsmen such as Theodore Roosevelt put their stamp on an enduring ethos that combined sport with conservation and led to the 1937 passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act, which imposed an 11 percent excise tax on the sale of firearms that is apportioned annually to state agencies for conservation.
House legislators also took bipartisan steps to advance the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would provide states and tribes with $1.4 billion annually from the general fund to restore habitats and implement key conservation strategies. The bill now heads to the House floor for a full vote.
“It’s exciting to see sportsmen’s groups working with greener groups,” O’Mara said.
Still, at Middle Creek and beyond, conservation remains a constant balancing act — not only among the plentiful waterfowl, the returning bald eagles and rare bog turtles — but also among the people.
In a month or so, busloads of tourists will park along the lake, many having flown in specially from Asia, to see tens of thousands of snow geese stop over on their route north to their breeding grounds.
Un projet de plusieurs années de collecte des berceuses dans la ville, en 35 langues, puis de mélange de tout ça, d’organisation d’un concert et ensuite d’un livre sonore… (et inscription des 200 comptines aux archives municipales)
Dans toutes les langues, dans toutes les cultures, les berceuses et comptines nous disent le frémissement de la vie, les joies, la tendresse, la mort… des histoires qui racontent la vie et les imaginaires des peuples. Chuchotées au cœur de l’intimité familiale, elles rappellent l’enfance et rassemblent l’humain dans ce qu’il a de plus universel.
En 2017, à Tremblay-en-France, la municipalité a lancé une vaste opération de collecte de berceuses et comptines qui a permis de récolter 200 chants en 35 langues auprès d’une centaine de familles. Cette collection de chants illustre la richesse culturelle des habitants et la multitude de langues parlées à Tremblay, c’est un « Trésor municipal de la diversité ».
La municipalité de #Vitré a eu la même idée :
Le Monde en Berceuses
Vitré Communauté, Décembre 2020
Kenya’s Embobut Forest: Attacks and evictions in the name of conservation?
The #Sengwer Indigenous people have lived in the #Embobut Forest in the North Rift Valley of Kenya for centuries. They are now being forced from their land in the name of conservation. More than 2,000 homes have been burnt down and 5,000 people evicted. After a Sengwer herder was killed the European Union was forced to withdraw funding for conservation projects in the area. Pablo Orosa reports.
Italie : 400 experts des #papyrus partagent leurs découvertes - Culture - RFI
Le 29e congrès de #papyrologie commence le 29 juillet 2019 à Lecce, en Italie. Organisé par l’université du Salento, il accueille les spécialistes du papyrus durant une semaine, venus partager leurs dernières découvertes sur le sujet.
L’incendie de #Notre_Dame l’a montré, le #patrimoine a servi et sert à la construction des #identités nationales ou locales. Et sa #conservation est l’objet d’#enjeux politiques, symboliques, économiques... ►https://sms.hypotheses.org/19307
L’incendie de Notre-Dame repose - aussi - la question du #patrimoine_religieux des #communes
Alors que le conseil des ministres du 24 avril a validé le projet de loi pour la #restauration et la #conservation de la cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Paris en instituant une souscription nationale, des débats passionnants réinterrogent la relation des #collectivités_territoriales avec leur patrimoine religieux. Débat autour de l’entretien, de l’insuffisance du financement des communes, de l’écart Paris-province... et l’on prend soudain conscience qu’une bonne partie des opérations financées par le #Loto du patrimoine sont des monuments religieux.
Le #WWF accusé de «#colonialisme_vert» au #Congo - Page 2 | Mediapart
« Le système occidental de conservation se fait généralement contre les populations »
Au moins une partie des personnes concernées manifestent depuis longtemps leur opposition au projet de parc. Fiore Longo rapporte avoir rencontré en février une douzaine de communautés locales disant toutes leur désaccord. Une situation que le WWF connaît : en 2017, une étude qu’il a financée a montré, elle aussi, qu’une partie des habitants étaient « réticents à l’idée de la présence d’un parc ». Pour l’instant, le WWF a surtout facilité des négociations entre l’État congolais et deux grosses #entreprises_forestières : le parc national tel qu’il a été envisagé couvre une petite partie de leurs concessions, à laquelle il faudrait donc qu’elles acceptent de renoncer. L’ONG au panda a aussi eu des discussions avec les autorités pour les convaincre d’annuler des permis miniers accordés dans Messok-Dja.
Pour le journaliste allemand Wilfried Huismann, auteur d’un livre et d’un film critiques sur le WWF, il n’y a pas grand-chose à attendre de ce dernier en matière de respect des droits des populations locales : « Le WWF a toujours vu dans les #peuples_autochtones du Sud une source potentielle de danger pour la nature pure et intacte. C’est un modèle de conservation raciste qui est dans ses gènes », a-t-il dit dans un récent entretien avec Der Spiegel.
La controverse autour de Messok-Dja a un mérite : elle remet la lumière sur l’échec de la politique de conservation introduite dans la région par la colonisation européenne. Malgré l’évolution des discours et des règles, la création de parcs et autres surfaces de protection reste associée à l’expulsion de ceux qui y vivent. Ces aires protégées couvrent aujourd’hui 9,8 % du bassin du Congo, contre 0,12 % attribuées formellement aux communautés forestières. Elles remplissent mal leur objectif de conservation : la biodiversité est en déclin dans près de 50 % des aires protégées établies dans des forêts tropicales dans le monde, selon une étude scientifique publiée en 2012 qui a pris en compte l’Afrique. Le WWF n’a pour sa part pas été en mesure de fournir à Mediapart un bilan du système de conservation dans le bassin du Congo.
Samuel Nguiffo, qui dirige une #ONG camerounaise, le Centre pour l’environnement et le développement (CED), fait partie de ceux qui constatent depuis longtemps les limites de cette politique. « Le système occidental de conservation est conçu par des biologistes et se fait généralement contre les #populations, alors que ces dernières ne sont pas forcément opposées à l’idée de conservation, souligne-t-il. Nous avons des croyances selon lesquelles la nature est un être vivant, capable de réfléchir, d’agir et de punir. Nous avons des habitudes de conservation, avec des forêts sacrées, des interdits sur des animaux qu’on ne tue pas à certains endroits et certains moments, etc. La conservation aurait pu être construite sur ces fondements. Quand ils se voient imposer, sans explication suffisante, des restrictions d’usage et d’accès, les gens ne comprennent pas. »
Aujourd’hui, les traditions ne permettent pas de protéger l’environnement à grande échelle, en particulier là où la démographie et la pression sur les ressources augmentent. « Il est donc important de trouver un mécanisme de protection. Mais avec un impératif : les communautés locales doivent avoir une responsabilité dans la gestion. Il faut avant tout répondre à leurs besoins de développement local, créer une relation de confiance, et avec elles faire de l’aménagement du territoire », insiste Samuel Nguiffo.
Dans l’immédiat, le WWF et ses bailleurs de fonds doivent gérer le feu déclenché par Buzzfeed, qui fait se multiplier les réactions. L’ONG britannique Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) a demandé par exemple à la Commission européenne de prendre ses responsabilités en ordonnant une enquête indépendante sur les financements qu’elle a donnés aux aires protégées du bassin du Congo – soit au moins 258 millions d’euros en vingt-sept ans. En 2016, cette organisation avait elle-même rassemblé de nombreuses preuves de violations des droits de l’homme commises dans au moins neuf de ces zones protégées bénéficiant du soutien de l’UE. La Commission européenne a jusqu’ici ignoré ses données, tout comme celles de Survival.
#Wikipédia décrit les mesures prises suite à l’incendie du #musée au Brésil. Au moins, grâce aux photos prises dans le musée avant l’incendie, tout n’est pas complètement perdu (rappelons que les musées français interdisent souvent de prendre des photos).
Liban : #graines de guerre
Ali Shehadeh a fui Alep et la guerre en laissant derrière lui l’un des trésors les plus précieux de #Syrie : une collection de plus que 140.000 variétés de graines capables de nourrir une région confrontée au réchauffement climatique.
Ces semences appartenaient à l’#ICARDA, le #Centre_international_de_recherche_agricole_pour_les_zones_arides. Quand les combats se sont rapprochés d’Alep, les agronomes ont lancé une opération désespérée pour sauver leur collection. Entre les groupes armés, les enlèvements, les bombes, ils ont réussi à exfiltrer presque toutes leurs graines hors de Syrie. Direction le Pôle Nord et la réserve mondiale de semences de #Svalbard. C’est une arche de #biodiversité unique au monde, un coffre-fort de glace qui conserve une copie de secours de toutes les cultures indispensables à l’humanité. Aujourd’hui les scientifiques syriens en exil font le voyage au Pôle Nord pour récupérer leur collection et la replanter à partir du #Liban et du #Maroc.
Cette histoire du conflit syrien dépasse le temps des hommes et des régimes. La #biodiversité est en effet devenue une victime collatérale de cette guerre. Mais l’espoir existe, au bout d’un long voyage. L’équipe d’Arte Reportage a suivi les agronomes de la plaine de la Bekaa aux neiges éternelles du Svalbard.
#Liban #agriculture #film #documentaire #semences #banque_de_graines #conservation #agronomie #Plaine_de_la_Bekaa #changement_climatique #climat #diversité_génétique #recherche #herbier #sécurité_alimentaire #réfugiés_syriens
Une étude décrit l’empiètement des humains sur les #zones_protégées | AFP.com
Des autoroutes, des forages et mêmes des villes apparaissent au beau milieu de zones qui ne sont protégées que sur le papier, ont averti jeudi des chercheurs après avoir passé en revue des millions de kilomètres carrés d’aires protégées de la planète.
Un tiers des aires désignées officiellement dans le monde par les États comme « protégées » subissent une « importante pression humaine », conclut le rapport, publié jeudi dans la revue de référence #Science.