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PIERRE RABHI

"To grow one's garden is a political act of legitimate resistance"

Pierre Rabhi is a French farmer, philosopher and writer of Algerian origin and one of the pioneers of agroecology. He has founded a number of organizations such as the Terre et Humanisme association and the Colibris Movement and is the creator of the Oasis en tous lieux (Oasis in all places) concept. He has also written a large number of books such as Paroles de Terre (Albin Michel), Du Sahara aux Cévennes (Albin Michel), Conscience et Environnement (Editions du Relié), Graines de Possibles jointly written with Nicolas Hulot (Calmann-Lévy), Eloge du génie créateur de la société civile (Actes Sud), Vers la Sobriété heureuse (Actes Sud) and – in 2013 with Olivier Le Naire – Pierre Rabhi, semeur d’espoirs (Actes Sud). Pierre Rabhi advocates a change of paradigm, stands for a society that is more respectful of people and the earth and supports the development of agricultural practices accessible to everyone, particularly the most destitute, the preservation of life-giving assets and the free circulation of seed varieties. The International Charter for the Earth and Humanism that he has drawn up brings together all the initiatives taken in his name.

An international expert on food security, he has been passing on his expertise since 1981, mainly in the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and he helped to draw up the United Nations Convention for the fight against desertification. Today, his lectures and books and the films that have been inspired by his life and work attract a wide audience and considerable media attention.

International Charter for Terre & Humanisme

 

The Movement for Earth and Humanism is based on a coming-together of people with a conscience who share the same values. It has no ideological, political or denominational affiliations, no spiritual or secular authority. To this day, planet Earth is the only oasis of life that we know, surrounded by an immense, star-filled desert.
Taking care of this planet, protecting and preserving its physical and biological integrity, making use of its resources with moderation and establishing peace and solidarity among humans, with respect for each and every form of life, is the most rational and magnificent project that exists.

Findings: Earth and Mankind are gravely under threat

 

– The disastrous effects of chemical agriculture

The industrialization of agriculture, the widespread use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and hybrid seeds, as well as excessive mechanization, have gravely damaged our life-giving earth and small-scale farming. Unable to produce without destroying, mankind is exposed to unprecedented famine.

– Humanitarian, for want of being humanist

The natural resources available today are sufficient to meet the basic needs of all – and yet shortages and poverty are increasingly common. Because our world has not been organized in a way that is based on humanism, fairness, sharing and solidarity, we must turn to the palliative action of humanitarianism. “Fire-raising, fire-fighting” has become the norm.

– A disconnection between human and nature

Our modern world is predominantly urban. A civilization has been built that has no link with the earth, no connection with real life or natural rhythms. This can only worsen the human condition and the damage inflicted on the earth.

– The myth of unlimited growth

The modern world is based on an industrial, productivist model that purports to apply the ideology of “always more” and the quest for unlimited profit on a limited planet. Access to resources is gained through pillaging, competitiveness and economic wars between individuals. This model is dependent on energy combustion and oil – reserves of which are running out. It is not generalizable.

– Money is all-powerful

The wealth of nations, ranked by their GDP and GNP figures, is measured exclusively by money, which has gained complete power over the destiny of everyone. So it is that anything that does not have a monetary equivalent has no value, and individuals have no place in society if they have no source of income. But even if money can fulfill all desires, it remains incapable of giving joy, the happiness of being alive…

What kind of world will we leave to our children? What kind of children will we leave to our world?

Proposals : live life – and look after life

– Bring utopia to life

Utopia is not a dream, but the realm of all possibilities.
Faced with the limits and deadlocks of our model of existence, utopia is a “drive” for life – the ability to make possible what we consider impossible.
It is in the utopias of today that the solutions of the future can be found.
The first utopia must be brought to life within ourselves, as social change cannot happen without a change in mankind.

– A happy simplicity

In the face of this desire to “always have more,” which benefits a minority at the cost of ruining the planet, moderation is a conscious choice inspired by reason. It is an art of living and an ethic of life, a source of satisfaction and profound well-being. It represents a political position and an act of resistance in favor of the earth, of sharing and of fairness.

– The feminine, at the heart of change

The subordination of the “feminine” to a world dominated by men that is excessive and violent continues to be one of the biggest hindrances to the positive development of mankind. Women are more inclined to protect life than to destroy it. We must pay tribute to women, the guardians of life, and tap into the female side that we all have within us.

– Agroecology : an essential alternative

Of all human activities, farming is the most essential – for no human being can survive without food. The agroecology that we advocate as an ethic of life and agricultural technique enables communities to regain autonomy and security with regard to their food while regenerating and preserving the life-giving land that is their heritage.

– Earth and humanism are inseparable

We recognize that the earth – which belongs to all mankind – is the only guarantor of our life and our survival. Inspired by active humanism, we commit, in all consciousness, to contributing to the respect of all life forms and the well-being and achievement of all human beings.
Finally, we consider that beauty, moderation, fairness, gratitude, compassion and solidarity are values that are fundamental to building a world that is viable and livable for all.

– Relocalize the economy

Producing and consuming locally is an absolute necessity for the safety of communities with regard to their basic and legitimate needs. While remaining open to additional forms of trade, areas would become “cradles of autonomy”, making use of and taking care of their local resources.
Small-scale farming, crafts and small businesses, etc. should be restored, so that as many citizens as possible can once again become players in the economy.

– A different education

We aspire, with all our hearts and all our minds, to an education that is not based on the fear of failure, but on an enthusiasm for learning.
An education that does away with the “each for himself” mentality and gives importance to the power of solidarity and mutual cooperation. An education that promotes the use of each individual’s talents to the benefit of all, that balances an openness to abstract ideas with manual skills and real creativity. An education that connects children with nature – to which every child owes, and always will owe, its survival. An education that awakens children to beauty and their responsibility to life. Such an education is essential if we are to raise children’s awareness.

« For trees and plants to thrive, for the animals that feed on them to prosper, for humans to live, the earth must be honored. » – Pierre Rabhi.

Discover the team from Pierre Rabhi Endowment Fund