Biodiversity is an indispensable resource
for maintaining life on our planet,
Agriculture plays a key role in protecting and enhancing biodiversity in the widest meaning of the word, including the quality of the soil, the flourishing of vegetation, and the general look and feel of the landscape. There are various types of cultivation and their impact on the environment, both negative and positive, are continuously examined.
However, the negative influence of the typical agro-industrial model is undisputed when it comes to environmental and social impact. It solely exploits resources without conjuring up a long-term strategy for the livelihood and life cycle of the soil, water, air, land, and energy.
There is a need for alternative answers to the problems that this dominant agricultural model conjures up. Answers that don’t interfere with the socio-economic expectations of local communities and don’t exhaust the environment or landscape. The future needs to turn biodiversity into an operational construct, not a constraint or a mere compensation, that restores dignity to those who cultivate the land, as well re-establishing the nutritional value of the food we consume.
The world needs a multidisciplinary and integrated approach, inspired by the dynamics of natural ecosystems, able to generate environment-oriented agrosystems.
In a nutshell: we need to produce agricultural landscapes. Now, more than ever!
Vision for the long-term
Setting up an alternative agricultural model, as well as measuring its success, requires scientific accuracy and thorough experimentation in the field.
We need clear ideas, data, measurements and evaluations. Long-term experimentation is vital, as long as it is free from preconceptions and ideologies.
RFV is a long-term project, drawing inspiration from the Syntropic Agriculture model that was developed in Latin America by Ernst Götsch, and aiming to support a range of diversified, qualitative production systems that respect and accommodate biodiversity.
These practices are being adapted to suit a temperate climate, starting with the municipality of San Salvatore Monferrato in Italy, with the aim to roll it out to a wide range of European countries.
The field work will be supervised and carried out with scientific rigour. The collected data will make for a tangible agro-ecological model, providing social, environmental and economic insights.
The project will be developed in a rural area that hasn’t been used for a couple of years after the soil was exhausted by conventional cultivation practices. Our desired outcome is a process that allows us to generate the pasture and increase its biodiversity, but most of all, to create an integrated agriculture management model.
The project will be financed by Fondazione Capellino and will be carried out in Italy by Villa Fortuna Società Agricola Sperimentale srl (100% owned by the foundation) in collaboration with the University of Milan. It will be adapted to a variety of different European contexts at a later stage.
The Workshop at Villa Fortuna
We officially and actively started to involve people with a background in academics, research or agriculture on 26 and 27 October 2019 when we held a conference and workshop in Villa Fortuna and the Theatre of San Salvatore Monferrato.
There were convivial, practical and theoretical moments during the workshops, which always revolved around the subject of syntropic agriculture, thanks to the presence of Ernst Götsch. It was a great opportunity to officially present the Regenerating Villa Fortuna project to all attendees, who in turn provided their insights and contributed to an open debate that facilitated an exchange of opinions and suggestions to the project team.
We would like to thank all participants, especially:
EURAF (Jo Smith, João Palma), INRA (Diana Ortiz, Loup Rimbaud), European Comission Joint Research Centre (Gregory Duveiller, Melaine Weynants, Andrea Schievano), ARPA PIEMONTE (Enrico Rivella), Ente di Gestione Aree protette del Po vercellese-alessandrino (Luca Cristaldi), Scuola Agraria di Monza (Pio Rossi),Slow Food (Paola Nano).
The restoration project
We will experiment on the land surrounding a derelict villa (which will be named Fortuna) that is of historical interest and is intended to become the headquarters of Fondazione Capellino once it’s restored.
The restoration project will be launched after we are given consent by the Italian Cultural Heritage Agency, which is legally required to protect foundation property.
How can we accomplish this together?
If you have a dog or a cat, choose Almo Nature over any other brand
Spread the word! Talk about our initiative to relatives, friends, or anyone else who could possibly help.
Support initiatives and sign petitions that are related to the project
100% of Almo Nature’s profits are used to help animals through various projects of Fondazione Capellino, in total transparency and without any external funding.
When you buy Almo Nature products, you act for change.
Support the project
Our next step, after finalising the recovery phase, is to share the results with each and every academic institution and community that could find this interesting.
We also hope that this experiment can also become a cue for other projects to develop.