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Newsletter AGTER. July 2019
Written by: Michel Merlet
Type of document: Newsletter
We are at an important milestone for AGTER, with the launch over the forthcoming days of a project that will build Territorial charters for the preservation and sharing of agricultural land in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
It is an opportunity to focus back on the distinctiveness of AGTER’s approach, based on long-term sharing between the members of the organization, who are present in different continents, belong to diverse cultures and own various skills. Most of them were or still are directly involved in field projects or several struggles, even though these works are often not carried out under the appellation AGTER. Our website of documentary resources (www.agter.org) gathers part of their work and experiences in the form of educational materials, studies, videos in multiple idioms (mainly French, Spanish and English). Thereby, it is neither a portal that would list all types of achieved work on a topic, nor a website that would only publish the work of an organization.
Nowadays, it is not the lack of information that creates difficulties but definitely the impossibility of using an increasing number of publications, books, studies, research activities and films to build responses to the twenty-one century issues. 830 articles and thousands of pages of the attached documents, which are freely available through the resource website of the association, are trivial compared to what you find on Internet. Their relevance come from elsewhere, from their articulation and their built inter-relations continuously updated from the collective members’ pondering. On this basis, the experiments once carried out or tried out today, both accomplishments and failures and not only “good practices”, can be shared, analyzed and valued, preventing us from relentlessly starting from scratch.
The unifying theme of the documents collected in this bulletin is Territorial Development. We resume here several works that Paolo Groppo, member of AGTER for many years, had coordinated when he was working with FAO. They remain very interesting from our point of view. Groppo invites us not to forget the importance of power relations between actors and to build processes that ensure a necessary long-term evolution for the benefit of all. Many other documents from our documentary resource base already tackle this topic. You will find most of them, files, scientific articles, popularized documents, videos and so on around the matter of Local Land Management. Among all these documents, we draw your attention to an interview with Gérard Leras, today vice chairman of AGTER, who accurately describes his experience as an elected member of the Rhône-Alpes Regional Assembly from 2010 to 2015, in charge of setting up a land policy. All of these experiences constitute our association network’s richness.
Working on development and governance issues in both Northern and Southern countries is not frequent for an NGO. It makes it easier to raise awareness about the distortions, which can always emerge back related to colonial legacy or to the dichotomous vision of the “developed countries” versus the “underdeveloped countries”. It is an essential dimension of our association, as evidenced by our new project, the first to be driven directly by AGTER in France.
You will find below the job offer published by AGTER these last few days in regard to the Territorial charters in New Aquitaine.
You will also find documents following the submitted work over our last newsletter about the necessity to Reform the agricultural land policy in France, and an important book about Agrarian Systems and Climate Change in the South, whose one of the coordinators is Hubert Cochet, first AGTER President and current Professor of AgroParisTech (the holder of the chair initially built by René Dumont, then led by Marcel Mazoyer (member of honour of AGTER) and later by Marc Dufumier). Among the new publications, we offer you various other articles about Women and land in Senegal, the fights against mining extractivism in Madagascar, the colonial roots of land issues in New Caledonia.
We would like to draw your attention to the very interesting video of Hadrien Di Roberto about the access for young people to the land in Madagascar, a topic we will resume soon when the results of the Land and Development technical Committee’s brainstorming, co-animated by AGTER in 2018, will be available.
Translation to English: Bernard-Gilbert, Caroline
Find here the full text AGTER newsletter of July 15, 2019