Who is Pierre Rabhi?

A French farmer, philosopher and writer of Algerian origin, Pierre Rabhi is one of the pioneers of agroecology and has founded several organizations, including Terre et Humanisme, the Colibris Movement and the Oasis concept. He is also the author of numerous books, including Paroles de Terre (Albin Michel), Du Sahara aux Cévennes (Albin Michel), Conscience et Environnement (Editions du Relié), Graines de Possibles, co-authored with Nicolas Hulot (Calmann-Lévy), Eloge du génie créateur de la société civile (Actes Sud), Vers la Sobriété heureuse (Actes Sud-Babel), Pierre Rabhi, semeur d’espoirs, with Olivier Le Naire (Actes Sud), Le monde a-t-il un sens? with Jean-Marie Pelt (Fayard) and La puissance de la modération (Hozhoni 2015).

Pierre Rabhi advocates for a paradigm shift, for lifestyles that respect people and the Earth and for the development of agricultural practices that are accessible to everyone – especially the poor – while ensuring the preservation of food heritage and the free circulation of seeds. The International Charter for Terre & Humanisme, which he drafted, federates all the initiatives undertaken in his name.

An international food security expert, he has been working to transmit his know-how in sub-Sahelian African countries as well as in Europe and the Middle East since 1981. He also participated in the drafting of the United Nations Convention for the fight against desertification.

His lectures, books and films – inspired by his life experiences and work – are reaching a wide audience and receiving considerable media attention.

The Pierre Rabhi Circle

An informal network yet closely linked to the Pierre Rabhi Endowment Fund, this Circle of business leaders, artists and society figures, brought together by their shared support for Pierre Rabhi’s philosophy, is a place to gather, share ideas and propose new solutions.

The philosophy

Terre & Humanisme’s International Charter

Based on the alliance of all consciences sharing the same values, the Terre & Humanisme Movement is free from ideological, political or religious references as well as any spiritual or secular authority. Planet Earth is, to this day, the only oasis of life we know in this vast, sidereal desert. Caring for it, respecting its physical and biological integrity, enjoying its resources with moderation and building peace and solidarity between peoples while respecting all life forms is the most realistic, beautiful project that is.

Facts: The Earth and Humanity are critically endangered

– The tragedy of chemical agriculture

The industrialization of agriculture and massive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, hybrid seeds and excessive mechanization have seriously damaged Mother Earth and farming culture. Unable to produce without destroying, humanity risks unprecedented famine.
– Humanitarianism without humanism

While the natural resources necessary to meet the basic needs of all people exist in sufficient quantity today, shortages and poverty continue to worsen. As the world not was organized based on humanism – in other words, equity, sharing and solidarity – we now have no choice but to use the humanitarian stopgap. The rationale of the pyromaniac fireman has become the norm.

– Disconnect between humans and nature

Predominantly urban, modernity has built a “soilless” civilization disconnected from reality and natural rhythms. This only exacerbates the human condition and damage to the earth.

– The myth of unlimited growth

The industrial, productivist model on which the modern world was founded has adopted “always more” – the pursuit of unlimited profit on a limited planet – as its credo. Access to limited resources is gained through looting, competition and economic war. This model, entirely dependent on energy combustion and rapidly depleting oil reserves, is not sustainable.

– The almighty power of money

The sole measure of nations’ prosperity (ranked according to GDPs and GNPs), money controls our collective destiny. In other words, that which does not have monetary value has no value, which translates to the social annihilation of those without income. But while money can satisfy our every desire, it still cannot buy happiness or joy.

What kind of planet are we leaving for our children?


What kind of children are we leaving for our planet?

Proposals: Living and caring for life

– Embodying idealism

Idealism is not a pipedream but rather the “non-place” of possibility. Confronted with the limitations and impasses of our model of existence, it is a force of life that makes the seemingly impossible possible. The solutions of tomorrow can be found in the idealism and reverie of today. But we must first learn to embody this idealism within ourselves; social change cannot occur without human change.

-Happy moderation

Faced with the “always more” philosophy that is ruining the planet to the benefit of a few, moderation is a conscious choice inspired by reason; it is an art, an ethic of living and a source of deep satisfaction and well-being. It is also a political position and act of resistance in the name of the Earth, sharing and equity.

-Women at the heart of change

The subordination of women in a violent, oppressive male world is still one of the major obstacles to the positive evolution of humankind. Women are more inclined to protect life than to destroy it. We must therefore honor women, the guardians of life, and listen to feminine voice that exists in all of us.

– Agroecology, an essential alternative

Of all human activities, agriculture is the most essential because no human being can go without food. The agroecology we advocate as an ethic of life and an agricultural technique enables people to regain their independence and ensure food security and safety, while regenerating and preserving their food heritage.

-The Earth and humanism are inseparable

We recognize the Earth – the common good of humanity – as the sole guarantor of human life and, hence, our survival. Inspired by the principle of active humanism, we are consciously committed to promoting respect for all life and well-being and fulfillment of all people. Finally, we consider beauty, simplicity, fairness, gratitude, compassion and solidarity as essential values for building a viable, livable world for everyone.

– Relocating the economy

Producing and consuming locally is an absolute necessity for securing populations’ basic and legitimate needs. Without negating the possibility of complementary exchanges, territories can become autonomous cradles that value and care for their local resources. Agriculture on a human scale, handicrafts and small shops should be rehabilitated to ensure that a maximum number of people can reclaim their role as actors in the economy.

– A different kind of education

We hope that one day, education will be based not on fear of failure but rather on enthusiasm for learning, and that the principle of “every man for himself” will give way to the power of solidarity and complementarity, putting individual talent at the service of all. Education that balances the opening of the mind to abstract knowledge with manual intelligence and concrete creativity, that connects children with nature (to which they owe and will forever owe their survival), that awakens them to beauty and their duty towards life, is the goal. All of this is essential to raising their awareness.

 

“In order for trees and plants to flourish, in order for the animals that eat them to prosper, in order for men to live, we must honor the earth.”

Pierre Rabhi