Luca Alinovi

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INTERVIEW WITH Luca Alinovi
(Head of the Office a.i. of the "Food Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in Somalia" -  www.faosomalia.org)

Premise
Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world: its Gross Domestic Product at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is $5.9bn (USA’s GDP at PP is $15,290 bn) and its GDP per capita is $284 per year (it is about $600 at purchasing power parity; in the United States is $49,000 and in Quatar $104,300). Somalia has been in protracted crises since 1991 due to an ongoing conflict involving the army, clans and sub-clans, as well as proscribed groups and frequent droughts. Recently, (2010-2012) the country experienced one of the severest droughts in its history which contributed to a famine that, according to a FAO commissioned study, may have contributed to the deaths of about 258,000 people (about 2.5% of Somali entire population), half of whom were children under the age of five. Why is Somalia so poor? Can its young population do something to change the destiny of this country? Can new famine phenomenon be avoided? What priorities must be followed to make possible a reborn of this troubled country? And what is being done by the international organizations in alleviating the problem? Luca Alinovi, Head of the Officeof theFAO in Somalia answered to these and other questions.
 

Pieter Tans

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INTERVIEW WITH Pieter Tans 
(Head of the "Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Group, NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory" - http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/)
 
Premise
Climate change is becoming the most important challenge for humanity in the near future. Understanding the driving factors of global warming is a starting (and key) point in this challenge. One of these factors is the measure of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. According to the record of CO2 and temperature preserved in ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, there is a clear correlation between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and air temperature (the higher the concentration, the higher air temperature will be). On May 9th 2013 CO2 concentration at the Mauna Loa Observatory (the site chosen by Charles D. Keeling, the scientist who started the studies on  the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) reached 400 parts per million (ppm). During the last glaciations CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was 180 ppm; in 1800 (pre-industrial era) CO2 concentration was 280 ppm; now it has reached 400 ppm. A concentration of 500 ppm is considered by some scientists as an irreversible point, by which Earth will reach a new hotter equilibrium. What does all this mean? Is there something to worry about? What can we do to reverse this process? Pieter Tans, Head of the Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Group, answered to these and other questions.
 

James Fergusson

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INTERVIEW WITH James Fergusson
(Journalist, Author of “The World’s Most Dangerous Place,” a book which unveils the problems, risks and solutions for Somalia - http://www.jamesfergusson.info/index.html)

Premise
Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world: its Gross Domestic Product at Purchasing Power Parity (GDP at PPP) is $5.9bn (USA’s GDP at PPP is $15,290 bn) and its GDP per capita (at PPP) is $600 per year (in the United States it is $49,000 and in Quatar $104,300). Somalia is a land of war, where the army, clan-based armed opposition groups and Islamists have been fighting to take the power since 1991. Moreover, Somalia has recently (2010-2012) experienced one of the severest drought in its history, which, worsened by the ongoing civil war, sparked a deep famine that killed about 260,000 people, half of them children under the age of five. The conflict may now be coming to an end, but many problems remain. What distinguishes the civil war in Somalia from other civil wars? What is Somalia’s destiny? Can another famine be avoided? What is the key to a rebirth of this country? James Fergusson travelled widely throughout both the homeland and the diaspora in a bid to answer these and other questions.
 

David Holmgren

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INTERVIEW WITH David Holmgren
(Permaculture, Co-founder; "Holmgren Design Services," President - http://holmgren.com.au/)


David Holmgren
(born 1955) is an ecologist, ecological design engineer and writer. He is better known as one of the co-originators of the Permaculture concept with Bill Mollison. Since 1983 Holmgren has acted through his company Holmgren Design Services as consultant for a large number of projects. Holmgren started teaching on Permaculture design courses in 1991 and from 1993 taught PDCs at his Hepburn home. Since the “70s, when the concept was born, thanks to the work of David Holmgren and Bill Mollison, the Permaculture method has spread around the world and now in many countries there are schools, courses and farm that adopt Permaculture principles. The word 'Permaculture' comes from 'permanent agriculture' and 'permanent culture' - it is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature. But what exactly means Permaculture? Could be it the way to face the Peak Oil? How much progress Permaculture has done since its beginning? David Holmgren, co-founder of the Permaculture concept, answered to these and other questions?
 

Carlo Petrini

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INTERVIEW WITH Carlo Petrini
(Founder of “Slow Food” -  http://www.slowfood.com/)

Carlo Petrini is an Italian gastronome, journalist and writer, founder of the nonprofit international organization Slow Food. Carlo Petrini is a staunch supporter of the centrality of agriculture in promoting a sustainable development of Italian peculiarities and of an environmentally friendly agriculture, respectful of the landscape. According to Carlo Petrini, we should give new importance to disappearing jobs, those crafts that are necessary for our society and represent opportunities of employment, such as the refiner, the baker, the brewmaster and so on. For this reason, he is launching, in collaboration with the University of Gastronomic Sciences, the courses of High Apprenticeship aimed at those who wish to learn such jobs (http://www.unisg.it/apprendistato/presentazione/). Carlo Petrini is at the forefront in the battle against GMOs. On 9 December 1989 in Paris he founded the International Slow Food Movement, whose objective is explained in three principles: 1) educating to taste, nutrition, and food science; 2) safeguarding biodiversity and traditional food production associated with it; 3) promoting a new food model that respects the environment, traditions and cultural identities and bring consumers to the world of production. Why the current agricultural model doesn’t work, especially in consideration of the challenges we are facing (climate change, growing population, growing consumption levels in emerging countries) and how should it change? Carlo Petrini answered to this and other questions.