Article by Ripess Europe

“LAND NOT WAR : Agroecology for Peace” is the name of a charter which puts the spotlight on the importance of agroecological agriculture and identifies food sovereignty as standing at the core of many a conflict and thus also a solution for peace, between people and for people as part of nature. Without healthy land there are no healthy people. 

The Charter was signed by participants at the ‘Agroecological Visions’ event held in San Casciano (Florence) mid April, which was organised by the Italian National Union for organic and biodynamic agriculture (UpBio) and the Humus network (a network of organizations operating in organic farming) and RIES – the Italian solidarity economy network) in collaboration with the Italian Agroecology Association, the Italian Seeds network and the Association for Biodynamic Agriculture. Participating in the event on the beautiful farm La Ginestra outside of Florence, and among the first subscribers of the charter, were also RIPESS General Delegate Jason Nardi as well as RIPESS co-coordinator Ruby van der Wekken.


LAND NOT WAR: Agroecology for Peace


Saturday, 20 April 2024

The serious crises afflicting humanity, which simultaneously threaten the global economy, peace and the ecological integrity of the planet, place agriculture and global food security in serious jeopardy. Industrial agriculture and intensive livestock farming, which occupy the majority of global agricultural land, are part of the problem as they are a major biosphere-altering factor, emitting no less than 30 percent of greenhouse gasses. This form of agriculture is expanding more and more, at the expense of natural ecosystems, the landscape that is our common home, expelling peasant and indigenous populations, failing to solve world hunger, and leaving a huge ecological footprint associated with deforestation and the intensive use of agrochemicals and transgenics.

The dependency of food systems has been highlighted by the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict that has sent fertilizer, fuel and food prices skyrocketing, proving that true food sovereignty is necessary for all communities in and around the world.

We are directly hurt by this war in Ukraine as by the one waged in Gaza and in 31 other countries, with its shameful sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of innocent victims and needless young warriors, waste of resources invested in weapons, destruction of cities as well as nature and land and animals.

Fortunately, an alternative path exists: agroecological agriculture, capable of mending the social, human, and environmental rift created by the war against nature. Agroecology is led in various corners of the world by movements of farmers and citizens in solidarity, with concrete actions for a path of socioeconomic equality and ecological sustainability.

Spread across the globe, there are thousands of groups in cities and rural areas engaged in initiatives for a truly sustainable agriculture that preserves biodiversity, adapts to climate change and addresses issues of hunger, poverty and social justice.

Agroecology can bring peace and solve the planet’s ecological problems, but it also requires the development of a spiritual relationship between man and the environment and reaffirms the concept of harmonious coexistence with all living beings on Earth. It is increasingly necessary to see the ecological crisis, war and climate change as a spiritual as well as an ecological and political challenge.

Without a healthy land there are no healthy people, and without them there can be no peace between human beings and between human beings and nature. We recognise ourselves in this agro-ecological practice, which means feeling part of a whole, never the other side. From many parts of the world, we launch this appeal to gather and unite the commitment of so many for Land and not War.

First signatories:

Miguel Altieri, University of California, Berkeley and Centro LatinoAmericano de Investigaciones Agroecologicas – CELIA
Clara Nicholss, University of California, Berkeley
Lucio Cavazzoni, BioDistretto Appennino Bolognese
Carlo Triarico, Italian Biodynamic Agriculture Association
Maurizio Agostino, Humus Network
Jason Nardi, RIES – Italian Solidarity Economy Network and RIPESS Europe
Michele Monetta, UP Bio
Rada Zarcovik, Founder and President of the cooperative “Together” Fruits of Peace” Srebrenica
Gaio Cesare Pacini, Professor Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Forestry Sciences and Technologies DAGRI
Fabio Caporali, former Professor of Agricultural Ecology at the University of Tuscia
Silvia Francescon, Head of Ecology Agenda Italian Buddhist Union
Ruby van der Wekken,  Food cooperative ‘Our Soil’, Finland and RIPESS Europe

Charter in Italian :