Family-Plot Food Gardens for a Sustainable Planet
Ringing Cedars of Russia
More Info at:
New York, New York
We, the undersigned, represent a movement of over eleven million voices strong. This is the growing number of people world-wide who are joining a brilliant "green" movement originating from Russia. We are all people who have become inspired and convinced of the urgent need for government supported development of family-size sustainably farmed land-plots, ideally located in eco-village settlements in every nation on earth. Robert Muller, Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations for many decades, said with great forethought: "The world of sovereign nations is in disarray. The Earth, our vital air, waters, nature, vegetation and many species which it took millions of years to form, our climate are in jeopardy. All this will end in a global disaster without precedent, if we do not react with urgency, vision and audacity." At the time, Dr. Muller implored the General Assembly of heads of states to "remain in session day and night if necessary, until we give birth to a new political system for our miraculous planet and our sacred human family." We, the undersigned, implore you with the same urgency, because we are convinced that this new political system will be generated easily and safely in the form of wide-spread, internationally blossoming eco-systems, renewing themselves one hectare, one eco-village, one society at a time - and at great speed.
You yourself, Your Excellency, along with Prince Charles, sent written word recently to the assembly of Terra Madre and Slow Food advocates who met last Fall in Italy emphasizing "the importance of traditional farming knowledge in finding a sustainable solution to the global food crisis." And you let them know that "the global food crisis requires a comprehensive and coordinated global response....This is why I have created a high-level task force, bringing together the UN, donor countries, civil society and the private sector in a global partnership for food.'" With your address, you were hoping to support small farmers and see that new technologies be adopted along with modern farming methods, which would "attract more young people to farming, especially in urban areas of the world.
We feel so very excited to have a Secretary General such as yourself, Your Excellency, with the deep wisdom that our beautiful Earth needs to prevent such a "global disaster without precedent", as Dr. Muller warned.
We have at hand simple yet highly intelligent, proven plans for action which can be implemented immediately all over the world, promptly healing our bleeding Earth and providing healthy food substances for its people; people who range from being concerned, hungry and even starving, depending upon the economic conditions of their home-nations.
Loosely embraced by the name Ringing Cedars of Russia, this rapidly growing, world-wide movement shares one vision: the creation of ecological settlements ideally consisting of one hectare sized family-plots of land. While there are also many ideas for sustainable living for city dwellers (notably the Transition Town movement), our appeal to you and the General Assembly is for the following:
There is much unused land, ranging from very fertile to presumably unusable, marginal, even arid land. And there are precedents for the governments of many nations having provided such land to families practically free of charge for the development of family-sized plots for micro-farmed family domains. (One hectare is ideally suited to feed a family in any climate and on any soil.) Russia's Dacha Gardens; Germany's Schrebergaerten and America's Victory Gardens all represent examples where a nation's people retained their ability to feed themselves, their family and neighbors through economic hardship and thereby stabilized the economy and viability of their entire country while providing an atmosphere of hope, pride and belonging.
The granting of such land-tracts must include guidelines for changing rigid local zoning and use-permit laws to facilitate the swift creation of such food-plots, ideally as part of eco-type settlements. Visual materials (such as DVDs of the Rodnoe Settlement in Russia; or Australia's "Greening the Desert" film and Sepp Holzer's Permaculture DVDs) are available to effectively introduce these simple yet profound concepts to the General Assembly. All three sets of materials represent and confirm the conviction that "we can grow a food-garden anywhere". This includes salinity stressed, arid desert lands which can regenerate within months with intelligent perma and polyculture installations. Indeed, these installations can provide training for more people to teach these methods even as they go along recovering land for family food-gardens, effectively multiplying the blessings of such an approach to national and world-healing.
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Declaration in support of immediate creation and promotion of sustainable family-plot permaculture land development:
We, the undersigned, are supporting the vision of acquiring parcels of land, one hectare in size, for the purpose of setting up Family Domains to build a more perfect living environment for ourselves and our families. There, food and forest gardens can be planted in accordance with careful permaculture planning and healthy seeds, so that we can grow food such as fruit, berries, nuts, vegetable crops and might include such additions as ponds stocked with fish, bee colonies or farm animals.
As practical experience has shown, the creation of such Family Domains, though developed in different nations and climates, is capable in the very near future of solving the food and living problems of many nations. Ecovillages and agricultural cooperatives around large and small cities that are able to provide the urban population with ecologically pure plant products have proven to be very viable, immediate solutions to the planet-wide problem of availability of wholesome, affordable foods.
There is no doubt that a world-wide food crisis is looming, such as sharp, significant and continuing increases in the price of food products along with poor availability. Political, scientific and economic sources of information confirm these difficulties in countries all over the world. The World Agrarian Report IAASTD (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development) is a recently published 2000-page international report which was gathered during a meeting of approximately 400 independent individuals and groups from various social sectors, such as science, research, politics, business, agriculture and consumer protection. It offers advice of a very similar sort as is advocated herewith. Also represented at that world gathering were institutions such as the FAOs, World Bank, UNEP, UNESCO, WHO, UNDP, GEF.
It should be an intolerable fact to any intelligent individual or government to know that from thousands to up to tens of millions of hectares, and even larger numbers in acreage, depending upon the size of the country in question, remain uncultivated and are overgrown with weeds while up to 40\% or more of food-stuffs - very often of poor quality - are imported from foreign countries at great waste of resources, while compromising the economies and viability of such countries. This includes, of course, the destruction of vitally important rainforests and therefore, imperils our entire planet. No polite words, but only terms such as "stupid" or "criminally immoral" can adequately describe what is going on in the world regarding certain agricultural approaches including the resulting, totally unnecessary starvation of innocent people in Third World countries.
This unacceptable travesty also affects a large percentage of the world's farmers who are practically enslaved to giant, heartless corporations due to the competitive struggle with which such agriculture is maintained along with the pressure tactics employed by such inhuman corporate entities. Struggling for profit with large agricultural farming approaches forces farmers to use pesticides and herbicides, grow harmful, genetically modified products via unhealthy mono-cultures, and endanger the lives of millions of people and indeed, the viability of our entire planet. And short-sighted actions such as infusions of cash into agriculture have not changed the situation for the better in any nation, but only aggravate it, as the core problems are never addressed.
While we believe it counter-productive to accuse governments or individuals, the fact that many countries are standing at the brink of great social upheavals demands immediate action. We believe that in such a situation, it is necessary that each individual or family make concrete commitments toward self-reliability and individual sustainability in the most immediate future. But they need help from their respective governments with appropriate legislation.
We posit that a fundamentally new and universally applicable global vision for another way of life for all of Earth's families is of vital and urgent importance. We have several guiding paradigms available, including the aforementioned Ringing Cedars vision for global healing, so as to be able to proceed immediately. There are already several hundred eco-villages flourishing all over the planet and 300 eco-villages in various stages of planning and development which apply the Ringing Cedars ideas for Family Domains. For instance, hundreds of families, having each obtained a hectare of land, are already building their own domains, domains in which children are being born and raised now in a more perfect ecological environment in specific areas in Russia, with many more emerging in other countries.
We, the undersigned, respectfully request that Your Excellency, bearer of the highest office of the United Nations, kindly join us in this urgent quest and realistic vision by assembling the relevant UN agencies to proactively pursue the possibility of realistic global healing, one hectare, one eco-village, one nation at a time. First and foremost, we need your powerful support toward the development of official positions and recommendations for the world-wide creation of hectare-size sustainable family-plots for food and forest gardens in all nations.
Please accept our gratitude for your attention to this important request to create a world which will work for everyone - Now.
Our appreciation goes to all individuals who have helped with the gathering of the initial information for this letter: www.ringingcedarsofrussia.com and www.spaceoflovemagazine.com.