Italy & Slovenia : A New Mediterranean Alliance

There are many uncertainties in the Mediterranean. North, South and East of the region have been experiencing different, complex and ongoing socio-political as well as economic and environmental transitions.

However, while uncertainties dominate the geopolitical, economic and social spheres, there are certainties about the fundamental issues that need to be addressed collectively in the Mediterranean.

The sustainable development of agriculture, food security, and rural areas are at the heart of the international agenda, and these issues are particularly relevant and urgent.

The region has to deal with water scarcity, overexploiting fishery, polluted sea, limited arable land, vulnerable forests and a threatened biodiversity. The population is increasing, climate change is exacerbating stresses on water and land resource.

Consequently, more than any other region in the world, the Mediterranean relies heavily on international markets to feed its people. Many Mediterranean countries are characterized by an increasing deficit in their agricultural trade balance, as their demand for numerous food commodities is far beyond their production capacities.

The region’s subsequent structural dependency on international markets for its basic needs is problematic for food security, especially in the current global context marked by a volatile and upward trend of the prices of agricultural commodities.

More than ever, agriculture, food and rural development are important geostrategic issues in the Mediterranean. Their sustainable development is vital as they condition the daily livelihood of 450 million individuals, the development and wellbeing of societies and regional socio-political stability. In this perspective, it is crucial to foster innovation while preserving traditional Mediterranean know-how.

It is important to promote the richness of the Mediterranean diet and maintain the nutritious qualities of its various products.

Being the first touristic destination in the world, the Mediterranean needs to encourage responsible and sustainable tourism and to integrate touristic activities with the enhancement to human capital, rural territories and biodiversity. The Mediterranean should become able to generate inclusive growth that protects its small agricultural and fish farmers and benefits its population. It should also benefit territories equally because there is no difference between areas to be developed and regions with no future.

In order to reach these goals, local solutions that take into account specificities of each territory are certainly necessary. Nevertheless, sharing best practices and finding cooperative approaches to common challenges are strategic in order to build a more prosperous, secure and sustainable Mediterranean.

This is what MEDIPERlab (Laboratorio di Permacultura Mediterranea) strives for through its projects, research activities and network. In fact we believe that is necessary to implement a strategy founded on dialogue, solidarity and effective multilateral cooperation in the Mediterranean in order to address these new challenges.

So we started building our network by running international PDCs late in the 2013 around Puglia, Italy. We know we need to share our know-how before it is too late and we are doing our best to move rapidly into our neighbouring countries.

When we met Goran at our last PDC

We knew that Slovenia would have been soon the perfect country to build a strategic relationship with.

Hence an active cooperation between the Italian MEDIPERlab and the Slovenian S.U.R.F. Institute has started to build foundations for projects concerning permaculture dissemination thanks to the teaching of talented PRI certified instructors.

Our goal is to establish a strong international community that will provide individuals and communities with the necessary skills and knowledge to make ethical and responsible decisions within their own lives, because we truly deem that Permaculture is the valid answer to many critical questions through Earth care, People care and Return of surplus.

Now we now find ourselves involved in the organization of this amazing PDC taking place next May in beautiful Slovenia and featuring a great permaculture experts: Rhamis Kent.

The course will be held in English and translated into Slovenian language by permaculture designer Luka Pekolj if necessary. During those 12 days the class will offer an appealing mix of perspectives, experiences and knowledge. The lessons will cover sustainable living systems for a wide variety of landscapes and climates, including the application of permaculture principles to food production, home design, construction, energy conservation and generation. Also alternative economic structures and legal strategies supporting permaculture solutions will be thoroughly discussed.

Slovenia is the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst. The changing landscape is constantly surprising, time and again. You can have one eye on the sea, then look in the other direction and be surrounded by high mountains. Heading up into the forests, you can see the green plains below you. From upland meadows your view stretches into river gorges. This proximity of opposites and contrasts is a hallmark of the country.

The breathtaking location chosen for this course is the Šeruga Farmhouse, which lies peacefully in a remote, green valley, surrounded by woods and forests and encircled by a bubbling stream. Once a flour mill, it is now a welcoming retreat for nature lovers and those who appreciate home-made, local cuisine. Everything produced on the farm, whether meat, fish, vegetable or fruit is 100% organic.

Those who are willing to learn more about Permaculture and live a unique experience should not miss the chance to join this PDC. If interested, please note that registrations will be officially closed on April 25th, 2016. For bookings or more information please contact Ana Colic @ [email protected]


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