Sicilian Region Agroecology Law

The Agroecology Coordination of Sicily has produced, starting from 2017, a series of meetings, conferences and documents which subsequently led the Regional Assembly of Sicily to the discussion of some bills and, finally, to the issuing of the Regional Law. 29 July 2021, n. 21 (qui la gazzetta ufficiale), the so-called Agroecology law which dictates “Provisions on agroecology, the protection of biodiversity and Sicilian agricultural products and technological innovation in agriculture. Rules regarding maritime state concessions.”
The L.R. 29 July 2021, n. 21 is a regulation which, for the first time in Europe, not only follows recent FAO indications to guide the transformation of agricultural systems, but also virtuously implements the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU Biodiversity Strategy.
With this rule a long but necessary process of conversion of the agri-food system begins which aims to:
– optimize interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment;
– increase soil fertility;
– eliminate the use of biocides and agrotoxic substances;
– conserve biodiversity and landscapes.
This rule, by starting the conversion of agricultural systems towards agroecology, allows ecological and social values to be gradually integrated into the design and management of agri-food systems and, ultimately, allows the agri-food system to be gradually brought back into sync with the ecological system.
The L.R. 29 July 2021, n. 21 promotes, in summary:
a) the protection of human health, the natural environment, biodiversity, ecosystems and agricultural activities;
b) the fight against desertification, hydrogeological risk and fires;
c) the protection of Sicilian agricultural products and all related production sectors;
d) an agro-forestry-pastoral model compliant with agroecology criteria;
e) an efficient control and verification service in the agri-food sector.
We can define law n. 21 the first Constitution of the Agroecological model since, as this discipline should be correctly framed, it does not only address the way of producing and agricultural systems but also the connections with other interconnected aspects.
Thus in the art. 3 prohibits the use of biocides in particular areas of the regional territory, such as in the sites of the Natura 2000 network or along the edges of all public roads and along railway routes, with the subsequent and consequent supervisory actions to comply with these prohibitions.
The art. 5. provides activities to support the transition towards agroecology.
The art. 6 provides the rules for controls and checks on imports and production, establishing an innovative system of certification of the compliance of goods coming from non-European countries with the criteria adopted in the Community and therefore Italian context.
The art. 7 defines the methods for being recognized as an agroecological company, a recognition that not only allows these companies to have rewards within the Rural Development Program (PSR) starting from 2023 (pursuant to art. 8) but to trace a important furrow both in the drafting of the next PSR and in terms of implementation of the eco-schemes and the next CAP.
Finally, some regulations follow regarding the protection of the introduction of invasive alien species, technological innovation in agriculture and applied research for the better development of the law in question.
Now, for the application of L.R. 21/2021, we will have to wait for the issuance (within 90 days of the date of entry into force of this law) of the councilor’s decree to give implementing provisions to some articles. Below you can find the guidelines on which the aforementioned decree could be drawn up.
Beyond the principles contained in this law, it should be underlined that this law opens up a new scenario in which, inevitably, a series of reforms of social and ecological systems will then have to converge towards that Circular Economy model which is so important for reducing the Ecological Footprint. on our Planet.
Furthermore, this law must be cited for a new way of looking at the common good. A law desired and promoted in Sicily by the Hon. Valentina Palmeri, deputy of the Greens – Green Europe, passionate and politically committed to environmental battles, naturalist by university education, with the collaboration of the undersigned and with the great involvement of associations and organizations that have given a fundamental contribution to an overall vision of the norm.
The L.R. 21/2021 is not only, as mentioned in the introduction, a milestone for agroecological conversion but also a new model of social concertation to achieve those objectives that will allow us to carry out a true ecological transition (or rather conversion).

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