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Recognition of Agroecology is now law

Recognition of Agroecology is now law

July 29, 2021 is a very important day not only for Sicily but, in general, for that conversion process which, on a global level, sees agroecology as the solution for a model of food production and local economies that respect Nature. and of Humanity.
July 29, 2021 is the date of issue by the Sicilian Region of the so-called Agroecology law which dictates “Provisions on agroecology, the protection of biodiversity and Sicilian agricultural products and technological innovation in agriculture. Rules on maritime state-owned concessions. ”
The L.R. 29 July 2021, n. 21 (here the official gazette) is a norm that, first in Europe, not only follows the recent indications of the FAO, to guide the transformation of agricultural systems, but also incorporates the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU on Biodiversity.
With this standard, a long but necessary process of conversion of the agri-food system is launched which aims to:
– optimize interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment;
– increase soil fertility;
– eliminate the use of biocides and agrotoxic substances;
– conserve biodiversity and landscapes.
This standard, by initiating the conversion of agricultural systems towards agroecology, allows for the gradual integration of ecological and social values ​​in the design and management of agri-food systems and, ultimately, allows the agri-food system to be gradually put back in sync with the ecological system.
The L.R. 29 July 2021, n. 21 promotes, in summary:
a) the protection of human health, the natural environment, biodiversity, ecosystems and agricultural activities;
b) the fight against desertification, hydrogeological risk and fires;
c) the protection of Sicilian agricultural products and all related production sectors;
d) an agro-forestry-pastoral model in accordance with the criteria of agroecology;
e) an efficient control and verification service in the agri-food sector.
We can define the law n. 21 the first Constitution of the Agroecological model since, as this discipline should be correctly framed, it does not address only the way of producing and agricultural systems but also the connections with other interconnected aspects.

Thus in art. 3 there are bans on the use of biocides in particular areas of the regional territory, such as in the sites of the Natura 2000 Network or along the edges of all public roads and along railway routes, with subsequent and consequent supervisory actions in compliance with these prohibitions.
Art. 5. provides for activities in support of the transition to agroecology.
Art. 6 has the rules for controls and verifications in imports and productions, placing an innovative system of certification of the compliance of goods from non-European countries with the criteria adopted in the Community and therefore in Italy.
Art. 7 defines how to be recognized as an agroecological company, a recognition that allows not only these companies to have rewards within the Rural Development Program (PSR) starting from 2023 (pursuant to art.8) but to draw up a important furrow both in the drafting of the next RDP and in terms of implementation of the ecosystems and the next CAP.

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Finally, there are some rules on the protection of the introduction of alien pests, technological innovation in agriculture and applied research for the better development of the law in question.
Now, for the application of the L.R. 21/2021 you will have to wait for the issuance (within 90 days from the date of entry into force of this law) of the council decrees to give implementation provisions to some articles.
Beyond the principles contained in this law, it should be emphasized that this law opens up a new scenario in which a series of reforms of social and ecological systems must then converge towards that model of Circular Economy which is so important to reduce the Ecological Footprint. on our planet.
Furthermore, this law must be cited for a new way of looking at the common good. A law desired and promoted in Sicily by the Hon. Valentina Palmeri, deputy of the Greens-Green Europe, passionate and politically committed to environmental battles, naturalist by university education, with the collaboration of the undersigned and with the great involvement of associations and organizations that have made a fundamental contribution to an overall vision of the norm.
The L.R. 21/2021 is not only, as mentioned in the introduction, a milestone for agroecological conversion but also a new model of social consultation to achieve those objectives that will allow us to make a real ecological transition (or better conversion).

Guido Bissanti

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