Debate about poverty in the global South and North

June the 24th ActionAid organized in Turin the debate “Una Mole di lavoro: prospettive e interrogativi sulla lotta alla povertà tra Nord e Sud del mondo” (A lot of work: perspectives and questions about the fight against poverty in the global North and global South). Tiziana Ciampolini (responsible person of the Caritas’ Study center about Poverty and Resources) and Marco De Ponte (ActionAid’s Italian Secretary general) discussed with the participants what poverty in a country of the global South and in Italy have in common; whether promoting human rights in Africa, Asia and Latin America could suggest sound strategies and best practices to resist social exclusion and inequalities in a city as Turin, or not.

This debate inaugurated the activities of ActionAid’s territorial presence in Torino. I participated to the organization of this meeting, as a part of my new job at ActionAid in Italy. Some analysis brought me back to Italy: the fading of the dichotomy between the North and the South, new and widespread kinds of poverty in Italy, the depression of the social and relation capital in Europe, the opportunity to use in the North practices and methodologies I adopted during my work promoting sustainable development in Brazil.

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Participatory planning to reconstruct riparian forest

Detail of a map, with the current use of the riverbank, done by the geoprocessing laboratory of the Instituto Socioambiental in 2011
Detail of a map, with the current use of the riverbank, done by the geoprocessing laboratory of the Instituto Socioambiental in 2011

The Instituto Socioambiental is right now implementing a project, called “Plano diretor para recomposição florestal visando à conservação de recursos hídricos da bacia hidrográfica do rio Ribeira de Iguape e Litoral sul” [Planning scheme for the forest reconstruction, aiming at the conservation of the water resources of the basin of the Ribeira river and the southern coast].

The project will define priority riverbank areas, to be reconstructed as riparian forest. The project involves representative of public bodies, farmers, trade unions, associations, among others, from about 20 municipalities of the Ribeira valley region, in the S. Paulo state. The project uses sound mapping tools, combined with participatory methodologies.

I’ve contributed as animator in two regional workshop, in Registro and Juquiá.

Agroforestry and sustainable grassroots business

Participants of the course. Picture by Luca Fanelli/ISAFebruary the 15th two training courses started: Agroforestry management plan (agroecology production) and Business plan of agroforestry products.  They are part of a set of training courses that integrate the component of the project Ecoturismo na Mata Atlântica [Ecotourism in the Atlantic Forest] aimed at smallholders of the Ribeira and Alto do Paranapanema basins; the Instituto Socioambiental is implementing this component. The Secretária do Meio Ambiente do Estado de S. Paulo [Environment Secretary of the S. Paulo state] commissioned this project, with resources of the Interamerican Bank of Development.

I’m organising the Agroforestry management plan course, while I’m organising and give the Business plan one. The objective of the first one is: “strengthen the agroecological and agroforestry experiences, widespread them, in order to provide environmental services, as well as agroecological products”; of the second one: “qualify the participants to plan and monitor, in a critical and systemic form, sustainable business with agroforestry products”.

Landraces fair, now reaching the S. Paulo state

The idea of a fair of landraces exchange in the S. Paulo State rose within the Seed workgroup of the Council of Organic Production of the S. Paulo State (CPOrg/SP). The Instituto Kairós (of São Paulo) and the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) organized the Fair, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Centro Paula Souza (body responsible for the professional training in the State).

Beyond organizing the fair, the Seed workgroup is discussing the forthcoming legislation about organic seeds.

Landraces fair in S. Paulo. Foto by Luca Fanelli / ISA

The I Feira de troca de sementes tradicionais/ crioulas do Estado de São Paulo took place in November the 4th, 2010, in the Espaço Cultural Tendal da Lapa. Participated to the event: Ribeira Valley quilombola (afro-descendant), farmers from Cunha (who, supported by the Serracima NGO, orgnized too a landraces exchange fair), from Botucatu, Ibitinga and Pederneiras (invited by the Associação Biodinâmica), from Itaberà (Coapri co-operative); from the Fazenda Figueira (Minas Gerais), from the S. Paulo metropolitan region (especially from the Embu das Artes and Parelheiros neighborhood).

On the stalls you could find more than 150 etnovarieties of seeds and seedlings: many varieties of maize and beans, not many of rice (these, from the Ribeira Valley and from Cunha), some vegetables varieties (20 from a farmer of Ibitinga, some others from Cunha), seeds and seedlings of different kinds of trees, seedlings of sweet potato, cará, sugar cane and cassava, mainly from the Ribeira Valley.

The fair showed the great wealth of realities within the State, working with landraces. At the same time, demonstrated the challenges to strengthen the event, as the involvement of other groups and the improvement of the number of etnovarieties, especially of the less represented species.

But the main challenge is actually to strengthen the groups engaged with the conservation and use of landraces, that has to bear on the farmers’ commitment and on suitable public policies, as recommended in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Gastronomic event in S. Paulo

My badge at the Semana Mesa SP

Semana Mesa SP is one of the most important Latin American gastronomic events; in 2010 comes to its 4th edition; this year issue is “What gastronomy could do for the plantet?”, an incipient, but clear stance to put gastronomy outside the restaurants walls.

I participated to the event presenting the piracui (fish flour) Tamuá both in the Instituto Slow Food São Paulo stall and the Gustavo Rocha panel “Poke de filhote com guyoza de piracuí ao molho de açaí [Amazonian catfish* poke and piracui guyoza with açai** sauce]”, and speaking about landraces in the Claudia Mattos panel “Petit Gateau Nativo [Native petit gateau]”, that presented an innovative way to combine rice and beans.

* Branchyplathystoma filamentosum.

** Pulp of the Euterpe oleracea palm fruits.

Landraces fair boosts quilombola peasants union

Translated from the news appeared on the Instituto Socioambiental website.

A woman from Ivaporunduva showing her landraces and seedlings. Eldorado, October the 23, 2010. Photo by Glenn Makuta.
A woman from Ivaporunduva showing her landraces and seedlings. Eldorado, October the 23, 2010. Photo by Glenn Makuta.

The Feira de Troca de Sementes e Mudas Tradicionais [Fair of Landraces Exchange] presented this year more than 100 etnovarieties of landraces and traditional seedlings. A generous offer of rice, beans, cassava, farmyard chicken – all natural inputs – allowed six cooks, also from the villages, to prepare a delicious collective lunch.

The Fair, at it 3rd edition, counted with new supporters, as of the Núcleo Oikos, as well as with long-standing ones, as the Norwegian Church Aid, while grew the engagement of the Instituto de Terras do Estado de São Paulo [Land Institute of S. Paulo State] and of the municipality of Eldorado and Itaóca. Local business supported with little sums the event too, and that it is very important, showing the involvement of the local society.

The renown the Fair is obtaining in wider circles was proved by the participation of other quilombola (afro-descendant) of the region (Peropava village, in Registro), craftswomens’ groups (Feito a Mão, from Apiaí), urban farmer (Ana do Mel and her family, from Embu-Guaçu), rural trade unions (of Cajatí), governmental bodies, as Ministério da Agricultura [Agriculture Ministry], Sabesp (in charge of the water), Cetesb (environment licensing) and Incra (land policy), among others. A group from S. Paulo, interested in knowing more about quilombola villages participated too, and after the Fair they followed, going to the Ivaporunduva e São Pedro villages, and spending there their week-end.

The landraces call to mind the roça (cropping) issue, that stays at the crossroad of other issues, as: community organization, the quilombola cultural system, biodiversity conservation, income generation, food security, involvement of the young generations and cropping normative framework. These issues were debated during a round of talks, held after the lunch, that involved quilombola villages representatives and invited visitors. […]

New challenges follow the work of those who are involved with roça (cropping), preparing a new fair. The fair, in the words of Ms. Zulmira, from Porto Velho, more than bringing food, brings much union: “For each fair, the sales grow and the relationship strengthen”, she said.

The fair was covered by the Globo Rural. Watch the video here (in Portuguese).

I Agroecology Meeting of the S. Paulo State

The I Forum Paulista de Agroecologia [I Agroecology Meeting of the S. Paulo State] was held in Araras (S. Paulo), between October 13th and 14th, 2010. The main aim of the meeting was gather most of the representatives of those who are working with agroecology within the state, as well as exchange experiences and draw a path for future actions.

Mohamed Habib (IB/Unicamp) speaking, during the opening debate. Credit: Edemilson de França.
Mohamed Habib (IB/Unicamp) speaking, during the opening debate. Credit: Edemilson de França.

A debate between smallholder, university and government representatives opened the meeting. The second day was dedicated to workshop, both practical and aimed at experiences exchange. The last day has as main objective the organization of the next steps of the Articulação Paulista de Agroecologia, the state branch of the Articulação Nacional de Agroecologia.

During the second day I organized, together with José Maria G. Ferraz, a workshop about landraces, where two experiences were presented (the Feira de Troca de Sementes e Mudas Tradicionais das Comunidades Quilombolas do Vale do Ribeira [Landrace Fair] and the work with landrace of the Associação das mulheres agroecológicas – AMA), and where the norms affecting landraces were presented and some proposal drawn.

More information about the meeting here (in Portuguese).

IV Vale do Ribeira’s Research Seminar

Presenting two posters at the IV Seminário de Pesquisa do Vale do Ribeira:

Fanelli, Luca; Pasinato, Raquel. Sementes tradicionais em comunidades quilombolas do Vale do Ribeira (SP) [Landraces in quilombola villages of the Ribeira Valley].

Oliveira Junior, Clovis José Fernandes; Fanelli, Luca. Populações de palmeira juçara em comunidades quilombolas no Vale do Ribeira [Juçara palm population in quilombola villages of the Ribeira Valley].

1st National Meeting of Tourism in Quilombolas Villages

The I Encontro Nacional de Turismo em Comunidades Quilombolas [I National Meeting of Tourism in Quilombolas Villages] is happening in the Ribeira Valley city Registro, 250 km from S. Paulo, within the S. Paulo state (Brazil). The meeting was organized by: Instituto Socioambiental, Ministério do Turismo, Fundação Cultural Palmares, SEPPIR, Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário, among others, and supported by the ITESP and SEBRAE.

44 villages from the whole Brazil are participating to the meeting, sharing their experiences and expectation about tourism in their villages.

In the first day (June the 8th) the representatives of some villages, like Monte Alegre (Espirito Santo state), Campinho (Rio de Janeiro state), Ivaporunduva (S. Paulo state) and Boitaraca (Bahia state), presented their activities related to tourism.

An open letter to the chamber of deputies was written, pointing out the preoccupation of the quilombola villages representatives about the decision of the Supreme Federal Court (STF). In the middle of June the STF will decide about the constitutionality of a law regarding the quilombola land recognition. This decision threaten many villages that had received or would like to receive the land title.

In the second day (June the 9th) the villages of Ivaporunduva and André Lopes was visited. In this way, the participants from so many places, could know the local reality and compare with their ones.

In the last day, some proposals and recommendations about strategies and policies regarding quilombola community tourism was. These proposals will be presented to a panel of public bodies representatives, among whom: Ministry of Tourism, of Environment, of Equal Racial Opportunities.

Each night was delighted by cultural representations, including traditional dances and singing.

I’m contributing in the organization of the event, mainly in the report sector (text an video).

More information:

A blog about the meeting hosted by the Ministry of Environment (in Portuguese)

A news by the Instituto Socioambiental (in Portuguese)

Workshop about Native Bees Breeding

During the last weekend I attended in Cuiabá (Mato Grosso, Brazil) the “Technological Exchange Workshop about Native Bee Breeding, between producer communities, researcher and civil society organizations. Produtction and preservation systems and native bees honey legal framework”.

There were represented the following institutions: Instituto Iraquara, Projeto Abelhas Nativas (Maranhão), Universidade de São Paulo / Laboratório de Abelhas do Instituto de Biociências, Apruscipesc (Santarém), Centro de Apóio a Projetos de Ação Comunitária – CEAPAC (Santarém), Instituto Peabiru, Instituto Sociedade População e Natureza, RETE; some representatives of the indigenous peoples (Judiá e Kaiabí); some others producers.

In the first days were presented the different experiences, with focus on: number and caracteristics of the involved communities, kind of breeded bees, experiences’ history, breeding and managing techniques, honey collecting technologies.

In the second day, the focus was turned on the marketed products, and on the organizational arrangements. The participants tasted the honey produced by: Wilson Mello, Apruscipesc (Neida Rego), pelo Francisco Melo e Instituto Iraquara. The legal framework was discussed.