Connect with us

Localization

The need for Localization

Published

on

From Local Futures

Economic localization offers multi-faceted solutions to the problems created by globalization.

In Local Futures learning guide on globalization, we sketched the outlines of the current economic system, in which corporations rule and people are increasingly deprived of the deep connections with community and with nature that they need to thrive.

Now, let’s imagine a very different world, one in which most of your food comes from nearby farmers who are part of your community and who ensure food security year round. Imagine children being free to play and explore their world safely under the watch of neighbors who you know and trust. Imagine the money you spend on everyday goods continuing to recirculate in the local economy, building community wealth along the way. Imagine local businesses multiplying and providing ample, meaningful employment opportunities, instead of your hard-earned cash being immediately siphoned off to some distant corporate headquarters. Economic localization can make these visions a reality for all.

In this learning guide, we’ll cover what economic localization is and why it’s so beneficial for human, societal, and ecological wellbeing.

What is Economic Localization?

Ultimately, economic localization is about re-scaling the economy back to a human level. It is the process of building economic structures which allow the goods and services a community needs to be produced locally and regionally whenever possible. Localizing economies can strengthen community cohesion and lead to greater human health and material wellbeing, all while reducing pollution and degradation of the natural world.

From community gardens to credit unions, from alternative learning spaces to small business alliances and co-ops, local economies create networks of place-based relationships that affirm our human desire for connection to each other and to the earth. By creating this structural basis for community, local economies make caring for one another and for the land into guiding principles of daily life.

Watch the video below for more on why localization is so beneficial  and so necessary.

An important point to note is that localization does not mean total isolation. It isn’t about eliminating all trade; communities can still export surpluses once local needs are met, and they can still import goods that can’t be produced locally. But localization allows local, regional, and even national self-reliance to replace dependence on distant, unaccountable corporations.

Localized economies are created by and for the people who live there. Rather than subscribing to a global monocultural model, localized economies respect local cultures and needs, while allowing for the free exchange of knowledge and ideas across borders. In fact, localization requires international cooperation and collaboration to address global problems like climate change, and to forge agreements to scale back the rapacious power of global corporations and banks.

Bottom-Up and Top-Down Actions

Another key point is that any systemic shift towards localization will need to be driven by a combination of bottom-up grassroots initiatives and top-down policy changes.

Millions of local and regional enterprises are already demonstrating that they can do a better job providing for basic needs – including the fundamental human need for community – than the handful of giant corporations that currently dominate the world’s economy. We’ll talk about this in more detail further down the page, in the section “Benefits of Localization”.

But as those initiatives build a new economy from the ground up, we also need to pressure our governments to make policy changes, such as:

  • Shifting taxes and subsidies to support local, sustainable businesses instead of global corporations.
  • Renegotiating trade treaties so that they protect the rights of countries to support their local business sectors and conserve natural resources.
  • Changing regulations in the finance sector so that our financial security, as individuals and nations, isn’t dependent on the risky gambles of financial institutions that are falsely considered “too big to fail”.
  • Modifying food, health, and land-use policies so that they support local projects rather than multinational corporations.

This kind of strategic restructuring of economic supports and policies would create the conditions for grassroots localization initiatives to flourish and multiply. For example, ending subsidies for fossil fuels, pesticides, mechanized agriculture, and long-distance trade would enable healthy local food to become the cheapest and most accessible food on the market. Just imagine what that one change could do as far as helping community-based livelihood opportunities to become widespread and abundant.

As we often say, there is no single blueprint for localization. Instead, there is a set of core guiding principles and common threads: supporting small-scale enterprise, embracing diversity and connection, and prioritizing the wellbeing of people and planet over corporate profits. But because localizing inherently means adapting economic activity to a specific place and culture, it will look a little different wherever you go.

Local economies cover a wide spectrum of needs, and the range of possibilities for local economic initiatives is staggering. 

Get Mobilized and Make Love Go Viral!
Continue Reading

Economics

Local food sourcing saves people and climate

Published

on

World traffic in food by massive corporations harms environment, jobs, and health; yields no net change in food availability; and harms jobs and food security everywhere. Swedish linguist Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of International Society for Ecology and Culture (now Local Futures), tells Helen Lobato of Women on the Line how prioritizing local food production and distribution will build back local economies and roll back corporate oil-dependent hegemony.

Source: WINGS: Womens International News Gathering Service

 

Get Mobilized and Make Love Go Viral!
Continue Reading

Economics

Can Covid-19 be the Opportunity to Shine the light on the need for Localization?

Published

on

Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was believed that globalisation would lead to development and prosperity. However, the whole scenario has changed now with almost every part of the world under some form of lockdown, which has posed a major challenge to the fulfillment of the demand for various goods and services. This is has shifted focus to the importance of the ‘local’.

The situation was no different in Ladakh when restrictions were placed on the transportation of various supply chains during the crucial period (summer months). I am describing summer months as a ‘crucial period’ for Ladakh as it is the only period when we are open for economic activities. These are difficult in the winter months when the roads to the outside world remain closed. Ladakhis stockpile all basic commodities in the summer to last them for the rest of the year.

During the lockdown, vegetables and fruits were nowhere to be seen in Ladakh, and there was a shortage of other food items too. This was primarily due to travel and transport restrictions at a time when these commodities are usually brought to Ladakh. Such a situation calls for a return to the days of the past, when Ladakh was a self-sustaining and self-reliant kingdom and dependent on the outside world for very few commodities. However, with gradual improvement in connectivity and the increased impact of globalisation, we became dependent on the outside world for all of our basic necessities, and for economic development.

The arrival of tourists from 1974 onwards revolutionised Ladakh’s economy, with many preferring to invest in tourism-based businesses instead of traditional agriculture and animal-based livelihoods. In time, the occupational shift became so prominent that people in Ladakh are now completely dependent on the transportation of basic commodities such as vegetables, fruits, and oils from the outside world.

I am not saying that we should all move back to traditional agriculture and animal farming. However, I am trying to highlight the unsustainable dependence we have nurtured to meet even our basic needs, which we can easily produce in Ladakh. For instance, a wide variety of vegetables and basic goods like oil, butter, flour, etc. can be produced in Ladakh, and imports can be reduced as we scale-up local production. Once we have enough production in Ladakh, there will be no need to transport them from outside. At the same time, there would be more employment and people would not need to migrate outside for job opportunities.

Localisation doesn’t necessarily mean to become completely self-reliant. Instead, it refers to a reduction in the distance between producers and consumers and consequent need for unnecessary transportation. This idea of being local has been emphasised by German economist E. F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful (1973), and by Helena Norberg-Hodge, director of Local Futures and co-founder of the Ladakh Ecological Development Group and the Women’s Alliance of Ladakh.

Ladakh has the potential to be a self-reliant and self-sufficient Union Territory wherein we will not need to unnecessarily transport basic goods from outside as they can be grown and produced in the region. This includes vegetables and fruits as well as education facilities and job opportunities. There are many advantages to being local and consuming locally-produced goods. It ensures a quality assurance for products as one can trace their origins easily. Perishable vegetables and fruits will be safer to consume with less chemical content and preservatives, which in turn will help boost our ability to withstand various infections.

Localisation also has a number of positive environmental impacts. The reduction in unnecessary transportation will lead to a major reduction in the carbon footprint of each commodity, help conserve natural resources, reduce environmental pollution, ensure food security and mitigate climate change. In addition, it will create new job opportunities, reduce economic conflicts and increase contentment amongst local communities.

We already have numerous goods being produced locally, with several entrepreneurs making new innovations. For instance, the increased demand for facemasks and hand-sanitisers has led to many volunteers producing these locally in Ladakh. These are small acts of being local.

In my opinion, we must consider the COVID-19 pandemic as a wake-up call from nature. It signifies that it is time for us to give back to nature what we have been taking from it till now. It is not the last pandemic and global disaster that we will have to overcome. Hence, it is essential that we learn our lessons so that we are able to meet these challenges when we face them again. I feel it is the right time to reboot the system, build local capacity, and promote local production to create a more resilient society with a localised economy.

 

This essay originally appeared in the Ladakhi news magazine Stawa.

Get Mobilized and Make Love Go Viral!
Continue Reading

Business

Free to Download Fight the Fire: Green New Deals and Global Climate Jobs

Published

on

Fight the Fire

Fight The Fire Book Cover

OUT NOW!

“The most compelling and concise guide to averting climate breakdown.” – Brendan Montague, editor, The Ecologist.

Download Jonathan Neale’s Fight the Fire from The Ecologist for free now.

The Ecologist has published Fight the Fire for free so that it is accessible to all.

We would like to thank our readers for donating £1,000 to cover some of the costs of publishing and promoting this book.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [2.23 MB]

Get Mobilized and Make Love Go Viral!
Continue Reading

Translate:

Editorials17 hours ago

The “Myth” of Independence (When in Reality, We are Interdependent)

Editorials3 days ago

Screen addiction, there’s still hope

Editorials3 days ago

Saying Yes to Food Sovereignty, No to Corporate Food Systems

Editorials3 days ago

La Via Campesina: The UN Food Systems Summit is hogwash. It is a threat to peoples’ food sovereignty

Editorials3 days ago

The Foreign Policy We Need

Editorials5 days ago

Why Our Pay to Play System is Destroying Democracy and What We Can Do About It

Featured5 days ago

The Spy Who Phoned In

Featured5 days ago

Scientists: Make it Easier for the Public to Understand Your Reports!

Economics5 days ago

Our Population Challenge Beyond Climate Change

Asia6 days ago

Sustainable Development: Strategies for the long road ahead in Indian cities

Editorials7 days ago

Current education systems inhibit identity development

Energy and Transportation1 week ago

Greens leader slams Green infighting

International1 week ago

Costa Rica’s Energy Independence: Renewable Energy

Europe1 week ago

A Leftwing victory in Norway election puts oil exit at the heart of coalition talks

Energy and Transportation1 week ago

The Clean Facts about Renewable Energy

Editorials1 week ago

By Jeremy Corbyn: Climate Crisis Is a Class Issue

Agriculture1 week ago

Dairy Free Milk for Disadvantaged Families

Agriculture1 week ago

Meat without the Moo

Africa1 week ago

South African Energy plant considering spending billions on wind and solar

Chuck W.1 week ago

The Interconnected structure of reality

An Empowered World2 weeks ago

Your front-row seat to the change you wish to create in the world

An Empowered World2 weeks ago

The Mobilized Exchange: Community Power: Are We finally ready?

An Empowered World2 weeks ago

Environmentalists, Scientists and Policymakers Converge at Environmental Media Summit Sept. 30

An Empowered World2 weeks ago

A GPS for Humanity’s Next Adventure

An Empowered World2 weeks ago

Manifesto and Principles

An Empowered World2 weeks ago

The World Unites for World Ecologic Forum on December 10

An Empowered World2 weeks ago

Action Plan for Re-Thinking Humanity

Editorials2 weeks ago

Mea Culpa

An Empowered World2 weeks ago

Communities unite for World Ecologic December 10th

Editorials2 weeks ago

Idjitz Stoopidshitz and-Dumfux

An Empowered World3 weeks ago

Decentralized Production Hub for Humanity’s Next adventure

Editorials3 weeks ago

Rethinking Climate Change Solutions

An Empowered World4 weeks ago

Dive in to the Ecosystem of Opportunity

An Empowered World4 weeks ago

It’s what you want, the way You want It

An Empowered World4 weeks ago

The Mobilized Exchange

The Web of Life4 weeks ago

Communities Take a Stand for The Rights of Nature

The Web of Life4 weeks ago

Excuse Me, But What is in that “Food” I’m Eating?

The Web of Life4 weeks ago

Healthy Soil for Healthy, Nutritious Food and Healthy Climate

The Web of Life4 weeks ago

A Paradigm Change Starting with Your Lawns

The Web of Life4 weeks ago

Communities Fight Against Polluters and Miners

The Web of Life4 weeks ago

Cooperatives as a Better Community Service

Chuck W.4 weeks ago

Truth or Consequences

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

Systemic Change Driven by Moral Awakening Is Our Only Hope

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy finds that existing coal, oil and gas production puts the world on course to overshoot Paris climate targets.

Featured1 month ago

Sign Up

Featured1 month ago

Environment

Featured1 month ago

COMMUNITY MEDIA EVENTS

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

About Mobilized

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

See the opportunity to return to the sacred

A web of Life for ALL Life2 months ago

Climate Change and Earth Overshoot: Is there a better “Green New Deal?”

Groups

Trending

Translate »
Skip to toolbar