The Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH) is a Swiss foundation that makes grants to civil society movements and organisations to support their actions in favour of a social and ecological transition.
Budget 2018-2020: 560 000 €
Despite urbanisation, rural territories still possess most of the natural resources necessary to all life on earth, and they produce most of the food that nourishes the world’s people. In industrial societies, these rural territories have often been dedicated to specialised agricultural production that is aimed at the world market and makes massive use of fertilizers and pesticides. Yet alternatives to this situation abound, and they are giving many functions back to territories. An eco-system approach to rural territories can be developed on the territorial scale, but to develop these ‘territorial laboratories’ we need to win back territorial autonomy and relieve actors from market pressures of all types, including those involving land, agricultural products, energy, etc.
In the 1990’s, FPH converted its Bergerie domain in France into an open, experimental centre that is also used for debate and training in how to influence agricultural and territorial development policies. To bring the centre to life, the foundation supports the ‘Villarceaux Eco-development Centre’, the Bergerie’s think tank that consults with other experimental centres on the challenges of rural development.
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