As 2023 begins, there has been a lot of drum-beating recently about the supposed inevitability of a war with China. But this is not the only perspective on the present situation! Raising Peace members the Marrickville Peace Group and Independent and Peaceful Australia Network are hosting an event at Marrickville Town Hall (and on live stream) this Sunday:
Can war be avoided or will our peace be shattered?
Hosted by Mary Kostakidis, the forum will feature a diverse and distinguished panel: Prof Bob Carr, Senator David Shoebridge, Dr Alison Broinowski and from the US, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson.
Sunday 19 March, 4.30 PM, Marrickville Town Hall
Come in person or watch online at the Marrickville Peace Group’s Facebook page.
Raising Peace will also share a recording of the event on our website.
We meet on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In 2003, before the War in Iraq began, millions of people marched in protest. Despite this, the invasion went ahead, because of lies told by the two chief war protagonists: the USA and the UK. Those lies destroyed trust in political leadership and redefine the meaning of citizen responsibility.
Lies succeeded in dragging us into the Iraq invasion. Is that pattern being repeated? Are we being led into a new war (against China) by new lies?
Since 2003, a continual process of military expansion, preparing the nation for war, has taken place. Respected defence strategist, Hugh White, has suggested that Australia is sleepwalking into a war with China.
As citizens, we, the people, need to wake up and act! Political leadership must be challenged. It is our responsibility is to ensure that war is avoided.
War creates terrible suffering, the loss of countless lives, the waste of untold resources. International co-operation, so urgently needed in the face of the climate crisis, becomes impossible. The costs of war are far too high, while the benefits of PEACE are immeasurable.
It is up to us to steer the nation in the direction of peace!
During March 2023 three reports to parliament, of vital concern, will be released:
The Defence Strategic Review,
We have a collective responsibility, a duty, even, to counter the lies. We must get Australia off the path that leads to war. This is a job for every body!
Join an international team working on SCI’s Strategic Plan
This is a reminder that we are looking for people to join the SPDT. As you know our current Strategic Plan is finishing this year so time to start developing the next one. This is a wonderful opportunity to be directly involved in the strategic direction of SCI for the next for years. The IEC is asking for interested people to join the strategic Plan. We encourage people from all continents to apply.
Description of Tasks:Evaluate the 2020-23 Strategic plan based on the Plan of Action of the past four years. Develop a new Strategic Plan for 2024-27 partly based on the results of the PoA, feedback from the Vision Seminars in 2022 and feedback from branches.Timeline and commitmentThe SPDT will hold various online meetings to discuss the impact of the current SP and how to develop the next SP over the next months with the aim of having a new SP draft by June/July 2023. A final meeting will be held in Antwerp at the IS premises to finalise the final draft of the new SP in June 2023We estimate that your time commitment will be attending and participating in the online meetings and some prep time before and after the meetings about 4 to 5 hours per week up to June/July.The IC and IS will take care of the logistics of organising the meetings and collating and disseminating documents.How to Apply: Please send your motivation letter to Inge at email@example.com indicating your experience in strategic planning and anything which may be relevant.Deadline of Applications: Thursday 2nd February
More information can be found here .
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Inge Saris (she/her)
SCI International Secretariat
Antwerp – Belgium
Office : +32 (0)3 226 57 27
Colloquium on the abolition of the military on Costa Rica
Photo by Sunguk Kim on Unsplash
On 1 December 1948 the then President of Costa Rica, Jose Figueres Ferrer, abolished the military after a civil conflict earlier that year over a disputed electoral outcome. This was followed up a year later in 1949 by the introduction of Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution which provides that “the army as a permanent institution is abolished”. The budget previously dedicated to the military is now dedicated to security, education and culture.
Join the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies/ANCLAS, the Embassy of Costa Rica and a panel of speakers from academia, diplomacy and civil society to discuss (drawing on Costa Rica’s experience) the rationale for abolition of the military, the social, political and economic impacts of doing so and whether it could serve as a model for other countries to follow a similar course. Speakers will make brief presentations during a roundtable panel discussion followed by a period of comment, questions and answers from the fellow panellists and the on-line audience.
Noel Campbell (Co-Director, Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies, ANU)
- Armando Vargas Araya (Ambassador of Costa Rica to Australia)
- Ned Dobos (Senior Lecturer, International and Political Studies, UNSW)
- Marianne Hanson (Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Queensland)
- Rita Warleigh (Founder, International Volunteers for Peace SCI in Australia)
- Sheri Ward (MA candidate, UN University for Peace, Costa Rica)
- Lizette Brenes Bonilla (Vice Chancellor Research, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Costa Rica)
- Alberto Mejía (Former Chief of the Defence Force of Colombia, former Ambassador of Colombia to Australia)
- Sue Wareham (President, Medical Association for Prevention of War)
- Carlos Moreira (MA candidate, Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Queensland)
- Alexandra Bonnie (Senior Program Office, International Organisation for Migration)
- Stuart Rees (Emeritus Professor, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney)
ASIAN VOICES NR 16, DECEMBER 2022
[Sci-exchange] Invitation to Webinar on antimilitarism [Monday, 15/08]
Dear partners and friends,
We invite you to a webinar hosted by young people at an international antimilitarist youth exchange “Not Your Soldier” taking place in Austria at the moment!
No war anywhere! The current war in Ukraine has changed Europe and the world massively in the past months. Prices of food, oil, gas and electricity are rising fast. And this in the midst of an ongoing ecological crisis, pandemic and militarized conflicts for example in Yemen, Myanmar, Tigray, Palestine and Syria. How can we respond to this as young people? What can we do to bring about longlasting peace? How can we stand up against war and militarism?
In all the countries participating in the youth exchange that hosts this webinar, the answer seems to be: Young people need to go to the military. Military service – or an alternative service to it – is obligatory for young men (or what the government perceives to be “men”) or they are thinking about introducing it. What does it mean for our societies that half of the young population is obligated to join the military? What experiences have we personally made around this?
The webinar will take place on Monday 15 August at 16:30 Central European Time (CET). Join us via this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82792941082?pwd=MUEzbnZadmJMYWJKTm5Qa0t6b0w3dz09
The webinar will mostly be discussion-based. Get in conversation with our participants around military conscription, militarization and what antimilitarist options we have out of this.
We will be very happy and grateful if you would join us and would appreciate it if you could share the event and spread the word!Best,
Team of SCI Austria
Service Civil International Austria
A – 1010 Wien, Schottengasse 3a/1/4/59
Tel.: +43 (0)1 535 91 08Bürozeiten: Montag bis Donnerstag von 9:30 bis 13:30 Uhr
ZVR-Nummer: 635 15 1139
Sci-exchange mailing list
PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
THURS 12 MAY 2022
PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT
END OF THE WORLD CLOSER NOW THAN EVER IN HISTORY?
NOT AN ELECTION ISSUE!
AUSTRALIA NEEDS AN ONGOING PUBLIC DEBATE ON NUCLEAR RISK REDUCTION POLICY.
A global thermonuclear war with the potential to end civilisation and make human survival itself problematic, is considered by those with expertise in the area of strategic stability and nuclear weapons policy to be closer to taking place right now than at any time in history including during the tensest parts of the cold war, with the possible exception of the very height of the cuban missile crisis (where Kennedy guesstimated the chances of a global nuclear exchange at between one on three and 50/50), and short periods on Sept 26 1983 and November of the same year. With the Doomsday clock officially at 100 seconds to ‘midnight’, and with continual threats from Putin and other Russian figures to use tactical nuclear weapons on Ukraine, the use of nuclear weapons – with the escalatory potential to progress to global strategic nuclear war – has never before been so brazenly and unashamedly spoken of.
With the main decision-maker in this matter, President Putin, in bad health and possibly dying, and with his reportedly suicidal moods at times, the mere fact that the use of nuclear weapons would result in his own likely demise cannot be counted on to deter him.
Whether or not the world experiences global thermonuclear war is largely up to decisions that will be taken by a single individual whose rationality and desire for self preservation cannot be taken for granted.
In the (hopefully still unlikely, but we really do not and cannot know) event that things do progress from use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine to use of tactical nukes against NATO, to use of strategic nuclear weapons, Australia will be a high priority target.
‘Joint installations’ at Pine Gap, and Northwest cape, are critical parts of the US nuclear command and control network. They are not merely just any old target – they are right at the top of the targeting priority list of Russia, China, and the DPRK.
Australian cities are hopefully further down the priority list, but those with naval bases (Sydney, Perth, Darwin) would be targeted for just that. A standard Topol M Russian warhead (800Kt) would produce 3rd degree burns out to Gladesville and damage out to Parramatta if exploded over the CBD.
The ALP has committed (subject to various caveats) to sign on to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) or Ban Treaty. However, the TPNW will not produce the fruit of global nuclear disarmament for years and the urgent need is for action that will diminish nuclear risks in the immediate term.
ICAN is to be congratulated for its work on the TPNW, both within Australia and internationally. However there is also a need for work on immediate term nuclear risk reduction.
One immediate term measure that can be taken is the adoption of policies and postures of No First Use. In theory if all countries were to adopt and stick by such policies, nuclear war would become impossible because no one would fire first.
Other risk reduction policies include lowering of nuclear weapons alert status, and improved or merely resumed, military to military communications.
A list of possible risk reduction measures can be found at:
As things currently stand, we can be thankful if we even make it as far as election day. The risk that a possibly dying and possibly suicidal Putin decides to hit the button is just too great.
The cost of living, housing, interest rates, aged care and health care are all important issues – as long as our medium term survival is not in question.
But our immediate term survival (along with that of the rest of the planet) most emphatically IS in question.
40 years ago, a situation like this would have resulted (and did result in) protests with hundreds of thousands of people.
At the very least, nuclear weapons policy, and how it affects Australia, should be both prominent election issues, and ongoing issues of public discussion.
Yet they are nowhere to be seen.
(If I am wrong I would be glad to be wrong. But thus far I have not seen nukes mentioned at all in the upcoming election).
Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner
People for Nuclear Disarmament
Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk Reduction
[SCI] Online International Volunteering Fair #2
After the success of the first edition in December, we are so happy to invite you to the second edition of our Online International Volunteering Fair:
- 📆 9 May 2022
- 📍 Online on Gathertown – free entrance!
- 🔎 Open all day, and with time allocated to meet with organisations at 10:00-11:00 CEST and 16:00-17:00 CEST
The Online International Volunteering Fair is a chance for young people and anyone interested in volunteering to get real-time information about the hundreds of opportunities that are available. Sometimes it is difficult to choose among so many different projects, so we are here to help!
You can meet us online, in Gathertown, for a fun and interactive experience, on 9 May – Europe Day.
Anyone can access the fair all day (CEST times), for free, and explore our different rooms:
- The hallway, with booths from different organisations from all over the world and information about their projects
- The Fly-in Movie Room, with movies about volunteering and SCI projects
- The Chronicles’ room, to read testimonies from our volunteers
- The Info Room, to know more about SCI and volunteering in general, including short-term, long-term and European programmes
At 10:00 to 11:00 CEST, and at 16:00 to 17:00 CEST, participants can meet with our organisations in person: volunteers, activists, camp coordinators, staff members or organisers will be available to answer all your questions about volunteering opportunities, what to expect from their projects, the application process, the impact of your volunteering, and more.
You will be able to meet people from SCI Switzerland, SCI Madrid, SCI Catalunya, KVT Finland, PVN Albania, EST Yes, INEX Slovakia, SCI Slovenia, the International Secretariat, and IVS-GB, who will welcome participants in personalised spaces and activities to discover their work and their workcamps.
This event is part of the European Year of Youth activities and it’s an opportunity for all European and non-European young people to discover and choose among more than 200 volunteering projects where they can learn new skills and ideas, while being engaged in activities that benefit local communities and promote positive peace around the world.
Don’t miss your chance to make a difference this year: come to the fair, get your questions answered, and launch your volunteering journey!
NVDA Newsletter – April 2022
Dear NVDA members,
We are happy to send you the newsletter issued since 4 months ago.
It was wonderfully edited by Vice President, Thu again, but as she is now in the airplane,
I’m sending you instead. Enjoy our recent news flash😊
As to the GA which first mailing with the Call for the participants was sent out by
General Secretary, Thazin on the Apr. 8th, we now have 14 registered participants
from 9 member NGOs (8 will join online and 6 will join physically in Thailand).
We have got a great news from the hosting member, DALAA that from May 1,
there is no more quarantine (incl. one night stay in the specified hotel) if vaccinated &
PCR negative, so going there has getting easier!
The first deadline is coming tomorrow, Apr. 30th. As we have many more places
for both online and physical, we can keep receiving registration after Apr. 30th,
but your early registration is highly appreciated to have better preparation!
Kai, President on behalf of the Executive Committee
Annual General Meeting 2022
Saturday 28 May 2022; 2:00-4:00pm AEST
To be held on-line.
Members are invited to attend the 2022 AGM of International Volunteers for Peace Inc. You do not need to register to attend. The formal requirements are acceptance of minutes of the last AGM and the 2021 finance, followed by reports from office holders in the present committee (available beforehand through the website) and Elections for the new Committee.
There will be opportunities to put your thoughts or queries to the outgoing committee. If you wish to express an interest in becoming more involved in IVP please put your name forward for the new committee either at the meeting, or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
IVP in its eventful years of existence has affected the lives of many Australians who have come in contact with it – at one of the actions close to home, or as volunteers placed at workcamps overseas. We warmly welcome reconnection with workcamp volunteers, or activists from earlier days. It might be too that you now have time or opportunity to resume the journey or encourage others to set out.
For the 2021 IVP Committee
[CCIVS] Soil Manifesto
WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYE
A collaboration by concerned people of the world
The time to act is Now!
Our planet and the beings who reside here and make up the complex, whole, living system on which all life depends are under serious threat. Life functions are being threatened by exploitation, short term thinking, and a worldview that values economic and financial growth over the continuity of life and living systems.
The complex, interconnected systems through which life on our planet has been able to flourish and grow over millennia have been misunderstood, misrepresented and ill treated for too long. We, as humans, have attempted to detach ourselves from the web of life. We have created a hierarchical worldview and placed our species at the top, instead of playing an integrated part in its life processes. This attitude and behaviour is destroying our planet´s ecosystems, creating desertification, malnutrition, hunger, species-loss and other dangerous and destructive effects that will be felt for generations to come. This anthropocentric worldview and entitled behaviour needs to transform now.
There is still a window of possibility to transform our governance systems, shift the economic priorities, by placing our focus on restoring the Earth and the systems we depend on for life.
The tools we need are available. The knowledge, skills and methods to regenerate and restore soils are available. If the global resources spent on war alone were redirected to ecosystem restoration, reconciliation and the recognition of all living organisms as having responsibility to the whole, the harmony and balance could be restored. A shift is required to see the Earth, not as belonging to us to receive and exploit, but as a common responsibility, entrusted to us, placed in our care, to nurture and protect, that we may be nurtured and protected in return. We need to come back into balanced reciprocity with the living biomes that sustain us.
We have the right to live, but with that right comes responsibility to protect and care for all that gives us life. This common responsibility needs to be at the centre of decision makers´ focus and energy.
This is not a mystical concept. The source of life, health and all well-being is found in the Earth, air, water, sun, soil and sky. These elements are the foundation of life itself. If we cause harm or damage in any way to them, we are, in fact, damaging ourselves.
The time to restore our Earth is now. The time to recognise our dependence on living soil and the soil microbiome has come- for what is essential to life, is often invisible to the human eye and only recognised and valued in the moment of death.
We urge leaders and local, national and international decision makers to have the courage and heart to make immediate choices and actions that respect the environment for the present and future generations, and to step bravely into actions on behalf of life.
Can there be any greater reason than our very own lives depending on it?
Healthy, living soil is essential for all life to thrive. In recent human history quality and care of soil has been largely ignored and misunderstood and due to mismanagement soils are under serious threat. Soils must be understood as a complex, living creation formed as a result of a multitude of inter-related micro and macro organisms working together in a web of nutrient exchange. The complex, living nature of soil is still largely unstudied and misunderstood.
The vital role that living soils play in our ecosystems needs to be recognised, protected and restored. Soil is where 95% of all our food comes from: living, biodiverse soil means healthy food and healthy people. Soil and access to land is directly linked to the right to local, food sovereignty. Human health is directly linked to the food we consume and the environment, which is founded on the ground we live on and the living soil that fulfills our need for nourishing, nutritious, vital food.
Living soils, and the microflora and macroscopic organisms that form them, are not only the foundation for vital and life-sustaining food, they are the main source of fuel, fibre and medicinal products. Living soil is essential to all ecosystems, playing a key role in the carbon cycle and all other nutrient cycles, storing and filtering water, improving resilience and mitigating impact of floods and droughts. Indeed the soil microbial flora serve as important carbon sinks, which have a direct impact on climate change mitigation. The ecosystem services which soil offers are vital and immeasurable!
Soil is alive!
Soil health is directly related to human survival and wellbeing.
It is life for future generations.
We must protect and regenerate it immediately in order for life to continue, not just humankind, but all life on Earth.
The Soil 4 Life Manifesto recognises the principles put forward in the following instruments:
UN Declaration of the decade of ecosystem restoration
Bringing environmental protection nearer to the people
Status of the World’s Soil Resources Report
Natural Capital, Ecosystem Services, and Soil Change: Why Soil Science Must Embrace an Ecosystems Approach
Human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment
The Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils has completed the first State of the World’s Soil Resources Report
The impact of soil degradation on human health
Small Scale Sustainable Farmers are Cooling Down the Earth
The Rights to Food Sovereignty and to free, prior and informed consent
Caring for Soil is Caring for Life
We therefore call for:
A Soil Commons- legally based rights for soil and ethical responsibilities
The legal recognition of soil and the microbes that create it, as a living, shared and valuable resource that deserves protection and restoration. The legal responsibility for leaders and decision makers to ethically steward, protect and enhance the natural processes and living matter of the soils they govern at national and global levels.
Immediate protection and conservation of living soils
(i) ethical: management of soils based on the Ecosystem Approach and the principles of the Convention of Biodiversity.
(ii) epistemological: (see Article 3 and 7) recognition of the validity and wisdom of different knowledge systems including indigenous soil knowledge and use of land (Ethnopedology).
(iii) ontological: recognition of the different situations and conditions of soil; depending on the different states, situation, place, function, ways of being and the maturity of soil, different rights and obligations emerge.
(iv)The creation of a multi plural governing system on soil protection and conservation through collaboration, a Commons regime and an ethical approach.
Updated monitoring of soil, its living organisms and relationships across biologically-diverse systems
Monitoring on the state of global soils through regulatory, mandatory frameworks and existing environmental laws, using targeted strategies, based on validated and updated monitoring systems as well as local, positive conservation practices.
Recognition, reward and guaranteed income for small and medium scale farmers, including indigenous peoples and peasants
Based on valuing the benefits, products and services they provide to society, their stewardship of the land, and the ecosystem services they generate.
Support for farmers while transitioning to regenerative, organic, chemical free, natural and sustainable methods
For example those who adopt the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) and who increase the living quality of the soils they steward.
The end to damaging subsidies
Remove scale as the basis for subsidies and instead reward good stewardship and creation of ecological and societal goods and services. It is imperative to end the unjust subsidies to large agri-business and industrial farmers which economically and intentionally favour land practices which cause soil damage and inhibit and prevent small scale and peasant farmers to earn a living and compete on markets. Subsidies are unjust if they do not support and take into account the natural capital that small farmers are more likely to generate; support for farmers to transition to sustainable and organic practices, and reward for the provision of services which they provide to their local ecosystem and societies is essential for soil conservation.
Recognition, valuing and protection of traditional wisdom and sustainable land-based cultures
Recognition and protection of Peasant Agroecology, indigenous knowledge and experience relating to soil protection and preservation that enhances the living microbiome in soil. Acknowledgment and support of traditional cultures´ rights to land that has been their heritage and life source for many generations; recognition of the heritage of local competence and intergenerational knowledge regarding soil management of people who work and live on the land, traditionally and historically (small and medium size farmers, landless people, rural women and youth, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers)
Urgent urban adaptation, regeneration and damage limitation
Support and action for urban initiatives that reform *brownfield land to green space and regenerate and prevent soil sealing. Rewarding green cities with increased living soil and plant coverage.
Integrating soil as a living entity within urban development, and managing it for continued functioning. Improve living soil coverage and common areas in urban planning and development that provide ethical access to growing spaces such as allotments, parks and green belts. Respecting the right to a healthy, secure and safe environment by creating and protecting green areas with living soils that increase biodiversity in our urban ecosystems.
* Brownfield Land definition in urban planning: brownfield land is any previously developed land that is not currently in use that may be potentially contaminated.
Support for research and education
Support for interdisciplinary research that delivers the knowledge and mechanisms to allow ethical, good stewardship of land. Support for research regarding diversity of soils and their role in our global ecosystem and society. Qualitative assessments, investigation, education and dissemination regarding ethical soil regeneration and conservation strategies Integration and inclusion of soil education at local and international level.
Soil and the Sustainable Development Goals
Living Soil affects ALL life on Earth. It is connected to our food, water quality, biodiversity, construction, farming, health and urban expansion. The state of soil is intrinsically linked with a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) but of particular importance are Zero Hunger, Climate Action, Life on land and Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Therefore as part of the local and global commitment to the United Nations SDGs , we call for:
- Support for sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices and networks of pioneers in this field to create working models that can be imitated and scaled.
- Guaranteed access to arable land and pastures for local and indigenous communities to continue to produce their food and to stop the illegal and forced removal of people from their original lands.
- Counteraction of land acquisitions by big enterprises through protective laws and restrictions.
- The end to unfair subsidies to industrial farming: instead, we demand support for small farmers by public investments in services for rural communities, such as public transport, schools and health services.
- An independent judiciary on the potential negative health effects caused by industrial agrochemicals on soil biodiversity and soil health.
- The reduction of the use of industrial agrochemical fertilisers and pesticides, and the promotion of organic and agro-ecological farming methods with an emphasis on encouraging balanced microbial life relationships for fertilisation and pest control.
- Support for the horizontal cooperation and the vertical integration in the food and farming system, in order to increase the added value of local agricultural production and the vitality of agricultural small enterprises, ie. Farm to buyer markets, an end to unfair market subsidies.
- The strict limiting of intensiveanimal farming which causes degradation, erosion and contamination of soil ecosystems. We demand a reduction in livestock intensity based on local capacity to produce feed for livestock, as opposed to importing feed from foreign areas where soils are degraded in the production process.
- Limits to the allocation of arable land for the production of feed for industrial livestock and biofuels. Instead we call for support in the production of protein-rich crops for human consumption.
- A global effort by the national health services to promote a shift towards less meat and animal product consumption, promoting protein-rich alternatives and disclosure of how concentrated, industrialised meat production is polluting the soils.
- The enforcement of clear labeling systems to enable consumers to be able to make ethical decisions about how the food they buy is farmed.
- Preservation and protection of intact soils of forests, pasture lands and permanent meadows, assigning a special status of conservation to peatlands and organic soils – these soils are unique, under threat and little understood, their value is immeasurable and their loss could lead to fatal implications.
- Programs to support local people to choose protection of old forests as a source of potential income over slash and burn methods, thereby valuing and recognising traditional relationships between people and forests and creating new relationships as stewards of forests that have been home to humans over eons.
- Limitation and regulation of the use of fire in the management of crop residues, forests and pasture lands. Fire releases enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and can damage soil diversity and life irreversibly.
- Immediately stop the conversion of forests, savannas and prairies to arable land and to plantations for food for livestock or for biofuel production.
- Halt land degradation and support soil restoration and adoption of regenerative techniques in farming, putting a ban on all harmful and toxic farming practises.
- Support of agroforestry, organic and regenerative agriculture and the conversion of croplands to permanent meadows in order to increase the organic matter in the soil, limiting soil erosion and preventing desertification, also recognising and promoting the economic value of carbon capture as a valuable ecosystem service provided by farmers.
- A balanced application of organic fertilisers to soils, rotating the cultures with nitrogen-fixing species and cover crops, and reducing the intensity of livestock farming to ensure a reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal farming and industrial fertilisers,
- Investment for the conversion from conventional to organic agriculture with the long term goal to eliminate the use of pesticides and industrial fertilisers entirely.
- Recognition and payment for the accountable provision of societal- and *ecosystem-services from sustainable farming (*ecosystem services like increased carbon content, water holding capacity, water infiltration, biodiversity, photosynthesis, climate change mitigation, nutrient cycling, etc.).
- A total halt to all subsidising regimes, such as the basic Common Agricultural Policy of the European Commission (CAP) payments based on the volume of productions or on managed land extension, as they are generic subsidies to industrial farming and land appropriation by big enterprises and those that allocate resources are not complying with the principle ‘public money for public goods’.
- The permanent end to the transformation of green fields into urban settlements. Always give priority to the reuse of brownfield land and to the regeneration of abandoned and under-exploited settlements.
- Increased support for regeneration of degraded soil for creating urban green areas and community gardens.
- Economic valuation of healthy, living soils that reflects their true value according to the services and benefits to society they offer such as well-being, potential food production, climate mitigation, pollution reduction, etc.
- Increased permeability through the de-sealing and re-vegetation of urban surfaces, in order to realise green infrastructures for water drainage and storage and counteract the urban heating with nature-based solutions.
- Updates on infrastructure strategies, in order to face the real needs of communities and enterprises, avoiding a further extension of land-consuming road networks in developed countries and evaluating the alternatives in terms of land efficient use eg. more efficient public transport networks, cycle lanes, etc.
- Adoption of criteria of sustainable remediation and site-specific risk assessment, for the management and reuse of contaminated soils.
- Better studies and testing to show pollution and toxicity levels of previously exposed soils (ie near factories).
- Transparency and disclosure of the levels of toxicity in urban soils, particularly in industrial areas
- Limit and regulate the amount of concrete and areas of soil sealing in urban development instead always favour green, permeable living soil coverage.
Can there be any greater reason than our very own lives depending on it?