The need to reconcile humanity with nature
On Thursday, November 8, 2018, Pierre Rabhi met with 300 students from both public and private educational institutions in Monaco had the unique chance to partake with the father of agro-ecology at Espace Leo Ferre in Fontvieille, and openly discuss their concerns about the fate of humanity.
Later that evening more than 1,000 people of all ages were present at his conference debate. (Photo insert: Pierre Rabhi @CelinaLafuentedeLavotha)
The event was organized within the framework of a partnership with the Ministry of National Education, Youth & Sports and Town Hall in the Principality, and the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation whose mission is the protection of the environment and sustainability. The revenues benefited the Fonds de Dotation Pierre Rabhi and the Monegasque association Monacology.
The multifaceted Pierre Rabhi, French of Algerian origin, writer, farmer, speaker and environmentalist, is notably the founder of the association Colibris (Hummingbirds). Created in 2007 this citizen movement is made of individuals who invent, experiment and cooperate concretely, to build models of life common to all, respectful of both nature and human beings, each doing their part in their own way. Their objective is to increase awareness about the protection of our ecosystem and a call for immediate corrective action.
Pierre Rabhi has also been at the initiative of several other structures: Association Terre & Humanism, the agro-ecological center Les Amanins, and the Fonds de Dotation Pierre Rabhi. He is a prolific author who published more than 20 works: Vers la sobriete hereuse; Pierre Rabhi, semeur d’espoirs, or L’Agroecologie, un etiquette de vie, & La Puisance de la Moderation.
Some of the questions from the audience, presented to Pierre Rabhi by moderator Laurence Genevet General Director of EPI Communications, dealt with his rapport with humanism, whether the damage towards nature cause by humans were irreversible and how to be motivated to take corrective action, among others. Rabhi proposes a society operating in a way that respects people, animals and land, supporting the development of agricultural techniques that safeguard the environment while protecting natural resources. When asked if he was optimistic about the future, Pierre Rabhi responded that, if there is no love and kindness, humanity will continue with its mindless self-destruction. Nature will surely make it but not the human species.
Living better with less
According to Pierre Rabhi, the ethical question on how we can reconcile humanity with nature requires us to think intelligently about life, to act conscientiously and cooperatively. The beauty of life and nature must re-emerge, sparking joy and wonder and fostering change in the world. He advocates a paradigm shift, one where humanity and nature are the central focus. He reminds us that if humans themselves don’t change, they won’t be able to change the world in any lasting manner.
He offers a vision of a simpler, happier lifestyle, one that has deference for the planet’s limitations. The time has come for simplicity, sobriety, and no-growth or de-growth of material production. Pierre Rabhi believes that there is real urgency in placing human and nature at the heart of our concerns and economy at their service. To persist in maintaining an unlimited profit and indefinite growing as the world fundamental order is a slow suicide.
It is the simple idea of living better with less that requires that we put the brakes to the competitive consumerism race. Pierre Rabhi describes it perfectly when saying: “Society pushes people more and more to buy non-essential goods, eating food that is toxic for our bodies. There are armies of shopping carts pushers in the beautiful supermarkets with nice background music, that enrich multinationals while the small vendors die of hunger.”
“We have to follow our real vocation, that is not to produce and consume until the end of our lives, but to love, admire and care for life in all its forms.” Pierre Rabhi