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The Agora at a Glance
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'How we shape the landscape we inhabit is a reflection of our inner wisdom. Ecology begins with us; it is spiritual'
–Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer, Miraculous Abundance, 2016
The name of Eco Pax Mundi Agora attests to its mission. This international (hence 'Mundi') non-governmental organisation is intent upon making peace with the planet (hence 'Eco Pax') by regenerating the Earth and the local economy of municipalities with the establishment of agoras (hence 'Agora'). An agora...
(a) practises regenerative organic farming: an agora subscribes to the principles of regenerative organic farming thereby regenerating the soil, sequestering carbon, making agriculture resilient to a changing climate, and being capable of feeding a growing world population with wholesome foodstuffs.
(b) abides by the principles of permaculture: all the facilities that are set anew on the agora are organised according to the principles of permaculture design.
(c) is low-tech: an agora chiefly explores the technological devices that can be built with the resources available within its bioregion.
(d) secures bio- and genetic diversity: regenerative organic farming enhances biodiversity. Moreover, each agora keeps a seed bank whereby a wide genetic pool is preserved. Added to this seed bank, most agoras run a nursery so that seedlings of difficult-to-find crops can be put at the disposal of other agoras.
(e) strives for food security: new settlers can go and live around an agora as this secures food for all the members of the municipality an agora depends upon. The agora may even generate some surplus produce that can be sold in local and regional farmers' markets to secure some income.
(f) delivers economic security: regenerative organic farming is low-tech and is thus more labour intensive than industrial agriculture. This advantage coupled with the literacy that co-stewards receive and the fact that the latter enjoy usufruct rights over the agora they tend to, secure employment to all co-stewards.
(g) imparts eco-literacy: as part of the package of advantages that Eco Pax Mundi Agora membership offers to the villages that associate with it, co-stewards receive training in regenerative organic agriculture, permaculture design and other low-tech trades to help them provide themselves with basic needs including artisanal food-processing, and the manufacturing of soaps, deodorants and pottery.
(h) is post-ecocidal and embodied: the agora mimics and potentiates the ecocycles proper to Mother Earth. An agora understands that photosynthesis is the chief free gift of the Sun: it allows carbon to be an input of soil fertility by halting its performance as a global warmer and climate destabiliser. The pace of life at an agora flows within the biorhythms of nature and the human body alike.
(i) is participatory: the arts, sports and the development of additional skills within an agora have a participatory character as opposed to a competitive one. Co-stewards pursue artistic and sportive endeavours for their enjoyment and the socialising dimension of the event –neither to compete against each other nor to turn into venerated celebrities.
(j) is spiritual: co-stewards don't necessarily profess a religious creed although they may –tolerance towards any religious background being the norm within Eco Pax Mundi Agora. On the other hand, co-stewards are invited to explore their spiritual purpose in the world.
(k) runs upon the principle of solidarity: once an agora has taken root and is already functional –it has become an ecosystem agora that is, it turns into a learning centre for co-stewards of newly-founded agoras –for seed agoras and seed co-stewards that is. That is the case since Eco Pax Mundi Agora, like Heifer International –to which the former owes some inspiration in its functioning, operates upon the principle of solidarity.
(l) is ecohumanitarian: an agora is multicultural. It invites people from all nationalities, cultures and religions to cohabit harmoniously amongst themselves and with the creatures in the natural environment.
(m) is part of the altermondialiste and localisation movements: co-stewards also receive literacy in relation to geopolitics and economic globalisation to better understand and play out their role in the entwined altermondialiste and localisation movements.
(n) is bioregionally oriented: political boundaries fail to recognise the spontaneous contours of Mother Earth. Bioregions do. From this observation follows the fact that the steering bodies of Eco Pax Mundi Agora oversee agoras in the same bioregion and are therefore dubbed steering bioregional agoras.
(o) is global: although Eco Pax Mundi Agora will initiate its experiments in Spain, the organisation is intent upon scaling up globally: first within the rural areas of the developed world, subsequently into the urban sprawls of developed countries, and eventually into the rural and urban areas of developing countries.