“The difficulties encountered in the move towards sustainable development are not technical, they are institutional./…./ The privileges granted to industrial lobbies and various kinds of inflexibilities which accumulated during the period of rapid “growth” during the second half of the 20th Century are the cause./…./ The Rio + 20 conference, also called the “Earth Summit” confirms this evolution towards institutional inflexibility : the participating States were incapable of making any significant decisions. However, the associations and local councils, which were joined by the unions, worked hard to achieve a concertation of viewpoints and exchange experiences.” Thierry Gaudin (Extract from the book “L’Impératif du Vivant”, Editions de l’Archipel, pp. 223-224 February 2013)
The group ICI VIE is the heart of the civil initiative Our Living World.
Who are we ?
The group Initiative Citoyenne pour l’Imperatif du VIvant et de l’Ecologie [ICI VIE] (translated into English – citizens’ initiative for the imperatives of the living world and ecology) is an informal movement to influence opinion which has been initiated by a number of professionals of the “living world” (arable farmers, livestock farmers, research scientists, vets practising “alternative” medicine…) as well as by ordinary citizens, associations and organisations having similar viewpoints and orientations.
Groups and individuals who have declared their support and involvement in ICI VIE and the action of Our Living World include :
- La Confédération Paysanne – French farming union which campaigns for farming at the human-scale – smaller farms with strong social and environmental principles
- Nature et Progrès – French Organic producers label which certifies producers who choose to go beyond the rules required by the Organic production standards
- L’Ortie – a French association for education about the environment
- ASPRO PNPP – French association which works to develop and promote natural alternatives to pesticides for agricultural and garden use
- MIRAMAP – French Inter-regional federation of Community Supported Agriculture groups
- Eric Petiot – Landscape gardener and co-author of the book “Purin d’Ortie et compagnie” [Nettle liquid manure and co.]
- Thierry Thevenin, producer of plants, herbalist and spokesperson for the French association “SIMPLE”
- Guy Kastler, project leader for Nature et Progrès and general respresentative of the network “Semences Paysannes”
- Philippe Labre, veterinarian and author of “Santé en Élevage Durable ou Biologique” [Health in Sustainable or Organic Livestock Production]
- Raoul M. Jennar, essay writer, author of “Europe, la Trahison des Élites” [Europe, the betrayal of the elite]
- Christophe Bonneuil, researcher at the CNRS [the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique], co-author of “Gènes, Pouvoirs et Profits” [Genes, Power and Profit]
- Camille Ristori, PhD in genetics, ex-researcher at the CNRS, Organic livestock farmer
- Alain Boutonnet, veterinarian homeopath
- Cécile Albert, PhD in ecologie, researcher at the CNRS
- Groupement des Agrobiologistes de l’Yonne (GABY) – group of Organic farmers in the Yonne region of France
- Agribiodrome – group of Organic farmers in the Drome region of France
- Adabio – Local association for the development of Organic farming in France
What are our aims ?
The group ICI VIE wishes to channel and dynamise the civil opposition to the attacks on the living world and the attempts by the State to undermine its intrinsic inalienability i.e. the fact that it should remain beyond the scope of the notions of ownership and legislation. The population of Europe is becoming more widely and profoundly aware of these issues and the group feels that this opposition, voiced via numerous associations for the defence of natural products and ecology, is not taken into consideration by the political decision-makers – neither at national nor European level, when the interests of big industry and the issue of economic competition are brought into question.
Throughout Europe, the feeling that we are being walked all over by “Europe” and that laws are being imposed upon us which are the exact opposite of what is needed, is more and more widespread. However these feelings are often expressed with resignation and fatalism.
We wish, by using the civil initiative Our Living World, to provide a legitimate platform for expression by professionals linked to agriculture and natural health products, and citizens in general, who have been dispossessed of their basic necessities and their means of production for the future. We wish to unite people and motivation throughout Europe in order to have the collective strength to push for the re-orientation of decisions which have been imposed by force by the public authorities and go completely against the common good, against the wishes of society and against the imperatives of the living world. (See the page entitled “The Imperatives of the Living World”.)
The accelerating disruption of numerous of these fundamental parameters which allow a stable equilibrium of the living world is a subject which is becoming more and more worrying for many independent scientists, professionals and citizens. The authorities must not ignore or legislate against the imperatives of the living world, which will not itself submit to legal reasoning, especially when such reasoning does not defend the interests of the common good and does not conform with the vital, sanitary and ecological needs of the population and future generations.
Faced with the natural, living, inalienable world, the lobbies and the authorities are trying to impose artificial life – industrialised, standardised and patented – which does not take into consideration the imperatives and delicate balances of the natural living world.
The group Civil Initiative for the Imperatives of the Living World (ICI VIE) demands that the authorities at the National and European levels take into account the imperatives of the living world, focusing specifically on the following issues :
- The refusal to accept the notion of individual ownership, the confiscation of natural resources and the imposition of disproportionate regulation and industrial-style standardisation of the natural world.
- The right to free, unrestricted access to the use of products containing or originating from living organisms which are considered as being of low concern (have little or no legitimate safety concerns), and are not intrinsically rare or protected.
- The liberty of natural health practices by allowing the free access to and use of health products which are considered to be of low concern.
- A simple and specific statutary group for medicinal plants of popular and traditional usage, which is easily accessible and distinct from the statutary group for mono-molecular pharmaceutical medicines.
- The refusal to accept the plundering of naturally-occurring genetic diversity and of natural resources which have been used traditionally in agriculture, food and medicine. These resources must remain outside the field of application of the notions of intellectual or industrial property.
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Translated into English by Matthew – if you have any comments regarding the translation, please feel free to make them known.