Articles

Economic Inequality: Facts, Figures, Causes and Consequences

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By Dario Ruggiero (May 2015)

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For many years, the World Economic Forum (Global Risk 2012, 2013 and 2014) has ranked income disparity as one of the ten global risks of higher concern: income disparity has been rising over the last decades, weakens social cohesion within countries and threatens political stability.  

The Right to Share Seeds: the UPOV Convention and Its Implications on the Parctice of Seeds Sharing

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Written by Grazia Giordano and Dario Ruggiero (May 2014)

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One of the most important challenges in the near future is the loss of agricultural biodiversity. This process began in the nineteenth century and enhanced in the twentieth century; determining factors in the escalation of this phenomenon have been the UPOV Convention (International Union pour la Protection des Obtentions Vegetales), the TRIPS (Trade -Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) and the WTO (World Trade Organization). The UPOV Convention favors the marketability of patented seeds, those that are new, distinct, uniform and stable; that means the exclusion of ancient and local crop varieties (which rarely satisfy those conditions) from the market.

Land Grabbing: Development or Antidevelopment?

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Written by Dario Ruggiero (May 2014)

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In the last few years “Fertile Lands” in poor countries have attracted a huge amount of investments from rich countries and corporations for different reasons: feeding rich populations, producing biofuels, simply making profits. These investments are often made in a non-transparent way, and at the expenses of local communities’ rights and wellness. This phenomenon is known as “Land Grabbing” and was first disclosed by “GRAIN”, a non-profit organization that supports the activities of local farmers around the world.

Focus - Deep Ecology

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Written by Dario Ruggiero (December 2013)
 
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Today, ecology is a term strongly subject to disinformation. It is often used by politicians (when they talk of environmentally sustainable growth, or environmental policies), in order to awake people’ sense of responsibility and increase their pool of votes; it doesn’t matter if the proposed solutions are definitely not effective, or if, in reality, they tend to benefit the profits of big corporations.

FOCUS – Why growth cannot last indefinitely

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Written by Dario Ruggiero (December 2013)

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Almost all countries in the world are increasingly obsessed with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. The most explicit reasons (in the sense that they are used by politicians) are the needs to improve citizens’ standards of living and to raise employment. However, these needs are specific only to a world characterized by a consumerist society and a strong competition between countries in the international relations; on the other hand, they decay in societies that focus on the improvement of social and environmental relations at the expense of material consumption.