Cocktail and permaculture on the 10th anniversary of the Mayotte Natural Environment

Mayotte’s Natural Environment, more commonly known as MNE, is one of the most important ecological consortia of our island. At least twenty associations join each year to actively participate in the biodiversity and balance of the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of our small archipelago.

As its leaders point out, multinational corporations are a major player in civil society in Mayotte. For ten years, she has been involved in supporting environmental associations in the region, developing projects to protect the environment, raising public awareness and defending the environment before public representative bodies.

Ten years is something worth celebrating

At the end of a general meeting, allowing a positive assessment of the past two years, despite the crisis, it is a small commission for which a buffet was served with a very local aroma. Happiness for each of the guests, that they can exchange with each other, a tropical cocktail in one hand and a samosa in the other.

Throughout these years, multinationals have marked the Mahoran landscape with strong environmental measures, particularly due to awareness raising efforts. It was necessary to celebrate its tenth anniversary, to emphasize the importance of unity and also to recall the many developments regarding associations, old partners and newcomers.

Its president, Halim Shamsedeen, who is also a great local figure in the environment, does not fail to stress that we must above all not give up, despite this cohesion, because the battle is not yet won.

Each environmental association wishing to join the union can join online on the HelloAsso website, but also track various actions through very active social networks: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Permaculture Awakens Trainees Working on the Land (Permaculture Awakens © Destiny Films

Awakening permaculture, interchangeable film

For the occasion, the MNE team presented a new screening (on our island) of the documentary “Awakening Permaculture”, a documentary by Adrien Pillay, which was distributed in 2017 in French cinemas.

The film mainly focuses on the testimonies and life experience of the great modern figures in permaculture, as well as those who discover it. A kind of work that tells us the path of a group of people gathered around an awareness campaign.

To explain a little, and on the terms of Larousse: permaculture is a method of farming based on the principles of sustainable development, the desire to respect biodiversity and people, and consists in simulating the work of natural ecosystems.

Behind this approach, the documentary filmmaker makes a rather radical choice to penetrate into a semi-wild world, which one can identify with, but from which man, by his evolution, has completely moved away. We find the obvious taste of champions wanting to preserve the environment and create self-sufficiency through this. The film mainly focuses on teaching and discovering the basics, because according to specialists, permaculture is a lifelong business.

Traditional buffet for blowing out ten candles

Despite the intense interest in the film, sometimes through beautiful scenes in the countryside we get the feeling of seeing something a bit caricatured under certain axes. The vast majority of “actors” look like hippies or bourgeois bourgeoisie, promoting communal life as a way out of a polluted and devastated world. I’m not sure that even the most skeptical of the environment respond positively to the requests of “Jean-Etienne”, a student at Sciences Po, to testify in front of a caravan, dressed in dreadlocks. Like a form of 1970s ideology that forgets to move forward with its times.

On the other hand, the subtlety of the main point makes us think about the possibility of a solution in Mayotte, where many imagine “Panga” around their own cultures. The foundation is there, but it can be more scalable in organic farming, especially since sustainable farming is adaptable to all climates, provided we keep the path of healthy farming without pesticides. Unfortunately, our island is still a victim of products that are nevertheless prohibited on the national territory.

movie poster

And at the end of the show, a dialogue was opened with the speakers and Holam Shamseddine, about the existence of sustainable agriculture in Mayotte, among other things with the “Mahorais Garden”. But there is still work to be done to ensure sustainability and efficiency for farmers. We learned during this evening that no less than thirty farmers will be certified organic by the end of the year.

Another, powerful cultural breakthrough for our island.

Germaine Le Carpenter

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