ISEE 2012 in Rio de Janeiro

Nova Oikos.

ORAL PRESENTATION (ABSTRACT)

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF GREEN DEVELOPMENT

FOOD SOVEREIGNTY IN BRAZIL – ALTERNATIVES IN PERMACULTURE

MILDRED GUSTACK DELAMBRE.
NOVA OIKOS PROJECT, CAMBORIU – SC – BRASIL.

Keywords: Permaculture;Degrowth;Food sovereignty

Summary

Aiming to liberate men from the hard work in the fields, to increase production, while decreasing costs, prices and land used, the mechanization of agriculture and the introduction of new technologies (such as genetically molested organisms) were taken, and still are, as a solution for the hunger in the world and as a solution for energy crisis. A sixth of world’s population is undernourished, although the Food and Agriculture Organization from United Nations affirms that actual food production could easily feed all. Why do many people do not have access to the fruits of this development? Our central thesis is related to the fact that all technologies invented, all strategies to set people free from hard, physical work, from hunger, from stress and diseases, it all seems to have failed as we still can find whole societies in precarious conditions of life quality. We consider that the problem remains in the conception of development, centered in economic perspectives and strategies to reach a common welfare and well-being, and which is logically not suitable to man kind needs. The current model of development, is based on infinite exponential economic growth and is announced as a model to be adopted and succeed in order to achieve a better level of life quality, progress and prosperity. In this work, we explore the machinery of this system in relation to food security and food sovereignty. We analyses Brazilian political choices around the question: the first has been contemplated with great investments in social programs, such as the “Fome Zero”, while the other seems to have a lower priority. What is the difference between putting the political efforts into the food sovereignty or into food security? What does it requires? We will answer to these questions by showing where the environmental degradation, hunger and the economic system meet. Since early 1970′s, different branches of knowledge have given foresights of the consequences of an exponential and unlimited growth in our limited resourced planet, thus building the main arguments of the economic degrowth current. Many discussions and questionings take place about how to improve alternatives and sustainable solutions for food production and the access to it. The Permaculture movement with its practices and ethics shows up in this context with many examples of sustainable answers. According to Holmgren (2007) the permaculture is related to “consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fiber and energy for provision of local needs. People, their buildings and the ways in which they organize themselves are central to permaculture”. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimized, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions. In order to evolve alternatives for goods consumption and production, based on self-management, solidarity, cooperation and the quest for autonomy, the permaculture initiatives are in the fields of social & solidarity-based economy (SSE) and are also in the core of the economic degrowth current.

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