Consumer cooperatives, local business alliances, Transition Towns, permaculture projects, local finance initiatives and more will come together on 21 June 2022 to celebrate the third World Localization Day.
Grassroots organisations are springing up all over the world, and are proving invaluable in communities affected by climate shocks and covid-related supply-chain failures, explained Helena Norberg-Hodge, convenor of World Localization Day.
Read: A conversation with Helena Norberg-Hodge on Ladakh, relocalization, and our dysfunctional economic system.
Norberg-Hodge launched the day on 21 June, 2020 to celebrate and strengthen the movement, and inspire others by making the movements more visible. The event grew in 2021, when 80 organisations hosted events in 30 countries, on six continents.
Recent crises, including the blockage of the Suez Canal to the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have highlighted the need for greater regional self-reliance.
“It is becoming clear that dependence on global supply chains is risky, especially when it comes to basic needs. Meanwhile, the climate crisis demands an immediate shift away from a resource-intensive, polluting global economy – the same economy responsible for the unconscionable gap between rich and poor,” she said.
“In this context, localization–a way of bringing the economy home – is a systemic way to address our most pressing global problems,” she added.
Examples of localization movements from around the world include the island of Samsø in Denmark, the world’s first island powered by 100% local, renewable energy, where more than half of the island’s 21 wind turbines are owned by local farmers, and the entire community collectively decided on the placement of the turbines.
In the US state of Colorado, the Mountain Roots Food Project runs several projects to strengthen food systems, including a small farm; a multi-farm Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, featuring farmers from around the region; community gardens where members work together and share the harvest; and a food rescue programme, connecting food-insecure families with excess produce from backyard gardens and farms.
And in Andhra Pradesh, India, the Deccan Development Society has created its own seed banks, millet processing units, local food outlets, and restaurants, and allowed women to take control of the market, by pushing the state government to redirect public subsidies away from mass-produced rice and wheat, and towards their indigenous, climate-adapted, nutrient-rich, organic crops.
Seeds are exchanged rather than bought nor sold, allowing the women to escape the volatility of corporate-run markets.
More than 5,000 women have adopted millet-based agrobiodiverse farming approaches and conserved almost 100 indigenous and drought-resistant seed varieties.
World Localization Day will see online and in-person events throughout the whole of June, including talks, debates and workshops to local food feasts, festivals and community celebrations, presenting systemic solutions to the “crisis-ridden global system”, Norberg-Hodge said.
The campaign has garnered the support of prominent figures as the Dalai Lama, professor Noam Chomsky, environmentalist Jane Goodall, social commentator Russell Brand, journalist Naomi Klein, author and activist Vandana Shiva, and psychologist Gabor Maté – all of whom have participated in World Localization Day programmes.