By Luciane Lucas dos Santos (Ecosol-CES, UC/RIPESS Europe/RedPES)
I RedPES-RIPESS Series’ third seminar (March 23th), with Ana Margarida Esteves (ISCTE-IUL):
Regenerative development aims to promote human settlements and supply chains based on synergies between communities and the resources of their territories, with the goal of improving the resilience of social and natural systems. Central to this process is re-embedding human activities in territories and their resources through Community-Led Initiatives (CLIs), based on groups of actors “involved in sustained social interaction through commoning” to (re)produce common pool resources. This talk will explore how solidarity economy and bioregionalism represent two distinct but convergent perspectives on regenerative development:
Solidarity economy approaches this commons-based process of bottom-up development from a political economy perspective. Since community-based solutions and shared management towards production and consumption are valued as key concepts, it could be said that it is committed to fostering economic democracy. Solidarity economy also promotes the resilience of social and natural systems by focusing on the scaling, political organization and institutional recognition, through government and regulatory support, of economic practices based on reciprocity, redistribution and householding. Its ultimate goal is to reconcile economic and social goals, as well as promote the resilience of territories, by promoting the self-organization and self-determination of citizens within CLIs such as cooperatives, community-based currencies, microcredit systems and alternative commercialization networks such as short food supply chains.
Bioregionalism approaches regenerative development from a technical perspective, based on weaving cross-sector, multi-stakeholder collaborations for the regeneration of ecosystems. The goal is to redraw economic and political borders along ecological lines and according to principles of decentralization, participatory democracy and cooperation within and among political units. Its strategies are based on the application of biomimicry-based, holistic sets of design principles such as permaculture, agroforestry and traditional ecological knowledge to promote ecosystem regeneration through decarbonization of energy supply, restoration of natural cycles and relocalization of supply chains.