By Isabel Alvarez Vispo, President of the International Committee
Photo credit: Herttoniemen Ruokaosuuskunta
“A year ago we were preparing our symposium in the midst of a pandemic atmosphere of great uncertainty. Today, some of the pandemic uncertainty has passed, but we are suffering from a series of other crises that existed before, like climate chaos or wars, but which are becoming more and more serious. If we look at the most visible face of all these disasters, we can fall into a certain amount of despair. That is why we need to look at where we have always looked from URGENCI, at the people, at the earth, and at how we continue to support each other.
This year the crises have become more visible, but we have also continued to build alternatives, generating relationships and building community. A community that grows every day and that we need to sustain together.
In URGENCI we are becoming more visible and it is all thanks to the effort of each and every one of the people who make it up and the incredible work of our team. Thanks to all of us, we generate networks, we can get projects that help us in our local networks and we can move forward every day towards food sovereignty. All of this is sustained thanks to our work and also thanks to the funds that we obtain, both from different projects and from the contributions of our partners. We are reopening the Bidding round, a model, as you know, in which everyone contributes what they can and consider fair. With this model we have been making progress in our contributions, and we hope that this year the trend will continue, as our sustainability also needs it.
I would like to thank each of the people who are part of this network for their work and contribution to make us all stronger, each contribution is important because they all form the diversity and richness of our network. In the face of multiple crises, today more than ever the answer is community.”
Photo credit Ilaria Turini
How does the Bidding Round work?
Step 1 – URGENCI sends out an email to all its members calling on them to pledge their membership fee. The bidding round 2022 will start on October 1st, 2022.
Step 2 – Each member responds to URGENCI at <firstname.lastname@example.org> within 4 weeks before 31st October 2022 with the amount of its bid.
Step 3 – Members then pay their membership fee by bank transfer or paypal before November the 30th. URGENCI shares the result with all members.
What do we all get out of this?
Our goal is to be able from now on to raise the resources to sustain the position of the General Secretary from within our network. By collectively sustaining the position of a part time General Secretary for our network, members ensure that URGENCI, as an international secretariat, works on
Coordinating experience sharing, with actions such as:
- Showcasing successful stories from the field and
- Encouraging exchange between Local, Solidarity-based Partnerships for Agroecology (LSPA).
Strengthening movement building, with actions such as:
- Providing decisive support to create nascent networks in different parts of the world, pooling of tools and experience.
- Strengthening the mobilisation of local producers’ and consumers’ networks.
- Creating alliances with other initiatives at local, regional, national, and international levels.
- Coordinating the actions at international level (and facilitating consistency).
Providing resources and tools, with actions such as:
- Providing access to capacity building or other forms of training.
- Developing information and communication tools.
- Developing tools to reinforce the viability of the partnerships.
- Creating international financial and methodological tools to further LSPAs.
- Undertaking research to support the Member’s efforts.
- Implementing other actions that help serve the objectives of the Network.
Increasing visibility, with actions such as:
- Representing the LSPA movement at the UN level.
- Supporting and advocating for LSPA policy support at the various regional levels (especially in European policy).
- Creating dialogue with public institutions. » Developing mass mobilisation campaigns.
How do members collect the membership fee within their own networks?
Each member is free to decide how they collect the membership fee within their own national network, as and however applicable. Some members charge an additional dedicated fee to URGENCI per individual basket. Other members decide during their GA how much of their general budget they will contribute. There are as many options as there are members!