Bio-district, a meeting

09/01/2015, Tirana, Albania, Lucia writes:

Bio-district, a meeting

One morning, during our daily work in the BAZH’s office, we received an invitation to take part in a three-day workshop, entitled "Bio-distretti come luogo di innovazione sociale, economica e tecnologica (Bio-districts as place of social, economic and technological innovation)" in Rome. Bio-districts are part of one of the projects I am working on here in Albania. Besides fundraising activities aimed at implementing a bio-district in the Gjirokaster region- in south-east Albania- I am in touch and starting to collaborate, even if at an early stage, with two Italian realities: Presila (Cosenza), in Calabrian, and Val Fortore, in Campania. Two very different realities with which we can exchange ideas and common experiences on this issue.

In Calabria, solid experience has been acquired through fieldwork, thanks to the work of associations and local committees on environmental, participative and responsible waste management. Amongst other activities, they have organized workshops in school to raising awareness within the communities of the countries involved, and proposed a Zero Waste project in cooperation with local and academic institutions.

In Campania, a group of people has started to map the Region’s territory and are working to identify valuable experiences and key-actors to involve in a project to promote and value natural and productive resources of the area. The geographical isolation of the six Communes involved is the reason why local traditions resist: one example is the “norcinerie”, a local production of pork

Because I happened to be in Italy to meet the group from Val Fortore the days before the workshop, I proposed that BAZH’s Scientific Consultant, Davide Rossi, and I take part in the meeting in Rome.

There I had the pleasure of getting to know all about the Via Armenia and Forre Bio-districts, as well as that of the BioVallée in France. I learnt about a shared sensibility on environmental protection and territories enhancement. It was interesting to see the images of the bio-school created by INBAR (International Institute of Bio Architecture), to meet people of local administrations and workers, the main actors of a sustainable development. By getting to know each other, the formal manners - typical of these meetings - were quickly overcome.

The second day of the workshop, we visited Corchiano (Viterbo), a beautiful little town in the countryside where each family has its own composting machine, so the humus produced by organic waste can be used for agricultural purposes. By adopting this practice, the citizens receive a reduction on local waste tax. I collected all this information, hoping to contribute to the promotion of this positive type ofpractice in the lands of my past and of my present: Calabria, where waste emergency has been ongoing for the last 20 years, because of the link between mafia and political administrations; Albania, where only the Roma people seem to be interested in recycling (to sell plastic and paper, they separate them from the rest of the waste).

I’d like to see each person take care of his land, like he does of his  home.

The bio-district as an administrative reality: a dream not easy to make come true. But difficult objectives are useful to draw a path.

The bio-district means territory, tradition, environment, culture and, above all, relationships: bodies in connection with their places.


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