Category Archives: Event organization

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 (the responsible person for the Caritas’ Study centre 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 in 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 relational 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.

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, and farmyard chicken – all-natural inputs – allowed six cooks, also from the villages, to prepare a delicious collective lunch.

The Fair, in its 3rd edition, counted new supporters, as of the Núcleo Oikos, as well as long-standing ones, such 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. The 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 weekend.

The landraces call to mind the roça (cropping) issue, which stays at the crossroad of other issues, such as communities 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.