Spreading agroecology in Trentino
In Trentino, sound local practices of natural resource management often lack a solid and widespread ecological knowledge base. In both farming and water management, today’s citizens are unaware of the ecological-environmental reasons behind certain actions. In agriculture, for example, few citizens understand why certain winegrowers in the Cembra valley keep hedges along their vineyard boundary adjoining busy roads or sensitive areas. Or why during spring time, many farmers in Piana Rotaliana place beehives in the inter-rows of their apple orchards. Or why farmers in Rovereto cannot cultivate on the bed and banks of the Adige River.
This knowledge cannot be restricted to only experts working in the field or students of agricultural studies. To the contrary of what many believe, a basic environmental education is easily acquired through easy logical sequences and a few simple illustrations. Above all else, a more outdoor-based lifestyle can truly incentive a general understanding of environmental dynamics. Due to Trentino’s society transition towards more urbanized and nature-disconnected lifestyles, this culture has dramatically deteriorated over the decades. Once widespread in our grandparents’ generation, it has become niche knowledge, accessed and preserved only by field experts.
The recent “Fridays For Future” environmental campaigns have revived young people’s desire to reconnect with nature. In thousands of squares around the globe, young environmental protesters shouted out their anger towards current minuscule, ineffective, and often hypocritic climate crisis actions by international politics, and their request to preserve the natural environment in order to protect their future. Yet, the environmental activism of such campaigns must be accompanied by a more solid ecological-environmental awareness and culture so that concrete and feasible solutions can be found to safeguard present ecosystems.
Increasing the agroecological knowledge and know-hows of Trentino’s citizens and competent local authorities can enhance Trentino’s natural capital. It represents both a noble goal and a necessary effort to regain that lost and widespread environmental education and culture.