The dinner was good, the conversation lively; a way to exchange food and solidify relationships. It is exactly these traditions and farming methods that are inscribed in the UNESCO intangible heritage list and are intended to be preserved according to EU heritage regulations (see post June 13). Also, the small-scale farmers are considered a key component in meeting the challenge of global food supply in the future. These landscapes and traditions however may disappear fast.


Last week (June 13) the New York Times ran an article entitled “From Untended Farmland, Reserve Tries to Recreate Wilderness From Long Ago”. It describes one project, as part of a a larger trend in Europe to ‘rewild’, if that is a verb. In many of these projects species are introduced that were part of these regions at some time in the past. One of the criticisms is that the science is not solid or absent in these projects. Another criticism is that these projects that purport to be environmentally driven, are in fact a covert component in the carbon trade exchange market (‘landgrab’). When atmosphere and water become economic commodities and are no longer part of the commons we should pay attention.

In Spain, the projected revenue from increased tourism as a result of the Reserve did not happen.

“Land concentration, land grabbing and people’s struggles in Europe”, published by Transnational institute (TNI) for European Coordination Via Campesina and Hands of the Land network, April 2013.

“Smallholders, food security, and the environment” report IFAD, UNEP, 2013