Environment Day 2020. How do we think we can talk about environmental justice without also addressing racial justice?


Days of the Land, days for theEnvironment, Friday for the Future, are all occasions that should emphasize our sense of gratitude, which should bring together and accelerate the much needed, as urgent, paradigm shift.

But, how do we think we can talk about environmental justice without facing that too racial?

Five years after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, an endless marathon of global awareness-raising activities on sustainability issues, New Green Deals, tangible changes that were beginning to be felt both in the industrial sector and in the world of finance with the increase in ESG investments[[Environmental, Social, Governance]aimed at supporting “responsible” activities, and again, millions of young people – without cultural barriers – who have filled the squares of every corner of the planet to shout loudly “SAVE THE PLANET“; 2020 arrives and showcases all the brutality and legacies of a system that presents flaws on all sides, environmental, economic and more dramatically human.

So, navigating between the sense of unease and the objective complexity that this historical moment offers us, I connect the dots of my ecosystem, between food, sustainability and community, trying to extrapolate that “goodaftercovid19”That, as a somewhat exhausted optimist, I persist in seeking.

I am passionately confronted with colleagues from the Food for Climate League, based in Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C., San Francisco, where the tension that we perceive only through the media is made up of sirens, helicopters, curfews and burnt streets. I read the article in New York Times which focuses on the spread of new outbreaks of racism that are gripping America, highlighting how it is impossible to live sustainably without facing inequalities.

Then I think of Italy and call my friend and partner Chris Richmond, Founder of Mygrants, to listen also to his point of view on the matter. Chris was born in Ivory Coast, raised between Europe and the United States of America, an expert on international law and diplomacy enough to devote his life to studying and understanding the complexities of migratory flows, but above all to propose appropriate solutions and solutions.

“There is no part of our society that has not been touched and shaped by our migratory background: religion, politics, business art, education, sport, entertainment. It is time to take note that the dynamism brought about by immigrants in the host communities is the cornerstone that has made the United States of America the main driver of innovation and prosperity in history.
Laying the foundations for a sustainable future means giving that 3% of the world population undeserved (% of migrants in the world) “the credit” and the attention it deserves, if only to “thank” it for that 10% of the global GDP that it is capable of producing. ” – underlines Chris

Throughout history, especially Africa has suffered a disproportionate impact from climate change; and the difficulties of access, the depletion and pollution of environmental resources, and much more. Today, however, the struggle against this seemingly institutionalized oppression is becoming more important than ever.

Facing the climate crisis, solving the social crisis: a path that, for me, starts from food

We pollute by eating and eating what we pollute. It is now clear: our consumption habits are among the main factors in accelerating the degradation of the ecosystem and climate change, and the agri-food sector is the victim and executioner. Acquiring a new awareness of the impact of our food choices as well as unsustainable production methods have been occasions for too long postponed to a future that is never near. Now this is an imperative necessary for the continuation of a species very close to us: ours. This is certainly a process accelerated by the recent pandemic which, despite the drama of the global economic crisis, has abruptly reoriented the world by guiding it towards a return to essentiality

But food is also culture, health, experience, inclusion and sociability. There are many examples that from the world bring out the link between food and community, stories of reciprocity and collaboration, aid and cohesion, which bring a little light to phenomena that are still dramatically current, such as close connection existing between food insecurity, educational poverty is conflicts.

“Climate Shapers” generation. It’s all about mindset.

“Be different.” “Don’t be a me too.” A mantra for me, because the “diversity“Is wealth and an opportunity for enrichment for the whole society.

With Food Innovation Program and the Global Mission (together with Matteo Vignoli), and in with i Climate Shapers Boot Camp (together with Claudia Laricchia and in partnership with FAO), I came across missions that offered me constant lessons and food for thought. Interdependencies, that between food and the climate crisis, which must go through an inclusive and extensive participation, in which sustainable eating habits are accessible to all. Thus, training citizens of a global society, where heterogeneity is an added value, a stimulus to encourage contamination regardless of religious affiliation, origin, gender and skin color, favoring inter-generational experiences, has helped us brought to understand the complexity of a system where inclusion is not a foregone factor is train the “mindset” to change, is to systemic thinking it becomes more necessary than ever.

Learn now and learn everyone.

Is it possible to start imagining the good, while the wounds are still open? How and why will the world be different and perhaps better after Covid-19?

These are the questions that together with Carlo Giardinetti we started at the beginning of March, giving birth to “Good After Covid19” a path of listening and study that is involving activists, scholars, educators, theologians, economists, diplomats, philosophers, farmers, entrepreneurs, young people, innovators, scientists who underline how urgent it is to rethink and rebuild a new model of production, consumption, development, starting from the bottom, from the essential values ​​of humanity. The new world, that of Post-Covid, calls for listening and compassion, reciprocity and collaboration. There is talk of coopetition, there is talk of a new collaborative leadership that transcends selfish conceptions and personal interests, of a new economy, which becomes that of giving and not hoarding, the ranks of new collaborations intertwine, such as those between science and spirituality . The individual returns to regain a central value, to be empowered but also to be protected and respected, within a holistic and inclusive vision in which everything is closely interconnected. So behind an increasingly pressing need for social justice, environmental is feed, forms of racism are increasingly clearly condemned, LImpoverishment of the ecosystem increasingly opposed by the need for unity and community. The value of the ancestral “Golden Rule “, of the rule of reciprocity, do to others what you would like to be done to you and do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you, it is rediscovered and re-valued, a compass not only to better manage possible conflicts, but even to prevent them upstream, from “conflict” to “nonflict“, To use the words of Stephen Hecht.

And I can not help but find that the fragility, the level one social, that it reverberates in a distorted relationship with the entire ecosystem.

Change the shape but not the substance: racism is for the social fabric what the continuous depletion of resources is for the environment. Different externations of the same violence.

And so also vice versa: one cannot speak of sustainability without social equality.

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