A local group of activists simulated a mass death of bees in Orvieto, as a protest against monocultural farming practice and its excessive use of pesticides. The area has seen a huge proliferation of chemicals from thousands of hectares of hazelnuts that have been planted in this area, known as 'Tuscia'. The lake of Bolsena is particularly at risk from eutrophication, since many of the new hazelnuts have been planted within the hydrogeological basin of the lake. The beautiful Lake Vico, 30 kilometres further South, has already been killed off in exactly the same way by chemicals from the hazelnut industry and the Italian state is being sued by the EU as a result. The activists, mostly organic farmers, were all dressed in yellow symbolising bees. They marched from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza del Comune, and then enacted a mass spraying from toxic chemicals, simulating a mass bee death in the Piazza.
It is hoped that this action will raise awareness within the community, many of whom are responsible for planting new hectares of hazelnuts using traditional industrial farming methods. Unwilling to relinquish short term financial gains, the soil, water, and air, are being destroyed by these profiteers as a result. Given that the Ferrero company has committed to planting 20,000 hectares of hazelnuts in Italy by 2025, with no intention to farm these organically, this issue is extremely serious and needs local, national, and international support to avoid an Ecocide in the heart of Europe.
The Addio Pesticidi movement has been created by Antonella Litta, Famiano Crucianelli and Andrea Ferrante. Their overall objective is to protect water, soil, and air quality from carcinogenic and toxic pesticides, and thus preserve good food and public health in the region of Alto Lazio.
The committee has made the following pledges:
1) That local municipalities in Alto Lazio issue an immediate directive for the reduction and eventual eradication of the use of pesticides in their areas
2) That ISPRA (Higher Institute for Environmental Prevention and Research) publish the updated 2020 Report on the presence of pesticides in water
3) Companies trading in pesticides should declare publicly the quantities sold within each municipality
4) A national and European initiative to challenge the new proposed CAP which favours the status quo of industrial agriculture, rather than a change to agroecology.
The Addio Pesticidi Manifesto
4/12/20 - Ripa and stop.ecocide are now officially strategic partners.
We are very pleased to announce that RIPA and STOP.ECOCIDE are now officially strategic partners. STOP.ECOCIDE is the only movement campaigning for "ecocide". This means bringing in an International law to criminalise anyone person, company or state that commits mass destruction of the ecosystem, offenders could then be brought to justice in the International Criminal Court (ICC). This places Ecocide on the same level as other existing international crimes such as crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. RIPA is working to bring international attention to the hazelnut crisis in Tuscia and the partnership with STOP.ECOCIDE is a big step in the right direction. Read about their campaign in the Guardian and sign their petition https://www.stopecocidio.it/firma-la-petizione-internazionale
18/10/20 - inside out project bolsena
This is a beautiful initiative first launched in France by the artist JR and has now been developed here in Tuscia by the local artist run group 'La Porticella'. It's purpose is to use the identities of local people to demonstrate people solidarity for the preservation of biodiversity. By doing this authorities will understand that they must develop ecological policies to retain electoral support. The first action of this project is called 'Progetto Arbero' and will be published on this site when it is ready. The presentation took place in Bolsena despite the difficult conditions brought about by Covid.
25/09/20 - Azione cinematografica ORVIETO
'OMELIA CONTADINA' means 'A EULOGY FOR PEASANTRY' and is a cinematic action created by the french artist JR and the Italian film director Alice Rohrwacher. This 10 minute film was first projected at the Venice Film Festival 2020, and aims to avert the disappearance of traditional rural culture that has sustained land, preserved biodiversity and fed populations for many thousands of years. The film will be on general release November and there will be a link on this site for anyone to watch. It is a very moving short film, designed to awaken us to the eventual situation which the world is facing, intensive monoculture is destroying soil, and all wildlife. Eventually we will not be able to feed ourselves as a result. This is the stark reality.
JR's giant photo processing up the Grand Canal in Venice
27/07/20 - No alla monocoltura del nocciolo
This peaceful demonstration took place on the plains of Alfina where mono cultivated hazelnuts have had a huge impact. It was another opportunity to remind, inform, and motivate local people and farmers of the huge threats to their lands and livlihoods if concerted action to limit the blanket of chemicals which will poison 700 hectares on the Umbrian/Lazio border in order to profit large speculators who have no attachment to the area apart from a desire to extract all the mono-cultivated hazelnuts they can to profit without giving anything back to the Community. Laws must be introduced to stop this production.
19/10/19 - UN Abbraccio del lago
On Saturday 19 October Hundreds of locals of all ages joined hands around the banks of Bolsena. This was a show of solidarity for the health of this ancient beautiful lake. Il Lago di Bolsena is the largest volcanic crater lake in Europe and now its marine life, which was famous in the 1960's as one of the best fresh water fishing destinations in Italy, is seriously threatened by extensive pesticide and herbicide abuse. The new hazelnut planting will be the 'coup de grace' once producers start their spraying routines in 4 years time. We have to fight now!
22/06/19 - Convegno acquapendente su gli effetti di monoculture di nocciolette
In the municipal library of Acquapendente a conference was held to discuss the ever threatening quantity of new hazelnut planting in the area of Tuscia. There were also presentation of the damaging effects of pesticides and the significance to the Lake of Bolsena. These are difficult times for much of the agricultural community. Presentations were given by Gabriele Antoniella, an agronomist from the University of Viterbo, Daniela Sciarra, specialist in pesticides at Legambiente, Bengasi Battisti, former mayor of Corchiano, Rita Chiatti, councillor for the environment of the municipality of Montefiascone, Famiano Crucianelli, President of Bio-distretto of Via Amerina e Forre, Marco Lauteri fromf the CRN of Porano, concluding with Elisa Cortesi from the Comunità Rurale Diffusa.
16/03/19 - I noccioli del problema
The first organised manifestation took place at the Palazzo dei Sette, Orvieto on 16th March 2019. the title was "I Noccioli del Problema" (The Nut of the problem) comprised a series of lectures and meetings specifically to discuss and debate how best to deal with the huge amount of new hazelnut planting in the area of Alta Tuscia - see the Hazelnut Planting map. Eminent scientists, agronomists and ecologists from the area revealed the danger of allowing agrochemical hazelnut production to continue unchecked. The day kicked off with a rousing speech by Alice Rohrwacher, who has been the initial catalyser for the RIPA movement.
A fantastic 'bio' zero km lunch was provided by Janas Agriturismo and there was a beautiful market showing the diverse range of sustainable produce in the area.
The attendance was impressive for a grassroots event, there was standing room only left in the main conference room and the concert at the end of the day from the "Banda del Comitato" brought a unifying end to this first meeting.