Mayotte Nature Environnement, more commonly known as MNE, is one of the most important environmental associations on our island. No less than twenty associations join each year to actively participate in the biodiversity and balance of the terrestrial and marine ecosystem of our small archipelago.
As its leaders point out, the MNE is a major player in Mayotte’s civil society. For ten years she has been involved in supporting environmental associations in the area, developing projects to protect the environment, raising public awareness and defending the environment to public representation bodies.
Ten years is something to celebrate
At the end of a general meeting, which allows for a positive assessment of the last two years, despite the crisis, it is a small committee that was offered a buffet with very local scents. The happiness of each of the guests, being able to swap with each other, a tropical cocktail in one hand and a samosa in the other.
In all these years, MNE has marked the Mahoran landscape with strong environmental measures, especially due to the awareness raising efforts. It was necessary to mark the occasion of its 10th anniversary, to emphasize the importance of standing together and also to commemorate the many advances made in associations, long-term partners and newcomers.
Its president, Houlam Chamssidine, also a great local figure in the environment, does not fail to emphasize that, above all, we must not let go despite this cohesion, for the battle is still not won.
Every environmental association that wants to join the association can participate online on the HelloAsso page, but also follow the various actions through the very active social networks: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The awakening of permaculture, a film to exchange
For the occasion, the MNE team offered a new screening (on our island) of the documentary “The awakening of permaculture”, a documentary by Adrien Bellay, distributed in 2017 in French cinemas.
The film focuses mainly on the testimonies and life experiences of great modern permaculture figures, as well as those who discover it. A kind of work that tells the story of a group of people gathered around an information campaign.
To explain a little, and according to Larousse’s terms: permaculture is a form of agriculture based on the principles of sustainable development that seeks to respect biodiversity and humans and consists in mimicking the functioning of natural ecosystems.
Behind this approach, the documentary filmmaker makes a rather radical choice to penetrate into an almost wild world that one could identify with, but from which man has completely moved away by his evolution. We find the pronounced taste that the main characters both want to preserve the environment and thereby create their self-sufficiency. The film focuses mainly on learning and discovering the basics, because according to specialists, permaculture is a life’s work.
Despite the film’s strong interest, sometimes through beautiful sequences in the countryside, we have the feeling of seeing something quite caricatured under certain axes. The vast majority of the “actors” resemble hippies or bourgeois bohemians who promote social life as a way out of a polluted and human-damaged world. Not sure the most skeptical of the environment will respond positively to the requests of “Jean-Etienne” students at Science Po, who testified barefoot in front of a caravan, wearing dreadlocks. As a kind of seventies ideology that forgets to get on with its time.
The accuracy of the main point, on the other hand, makes us reflect on the possibility of a solution in Mayotte, where many are those who conceive their “bangas” around their cultures. The basis is there, but could be more scalable in organic, especially since permaculture is adaptable to all climates, provided we keep a healthy agriculture free of pesticides. Unfortunately, our island is still a victim of products that are still banned on national territory.
It was at the end of the show that a dialogue was opened with presenters and Houlam Chamssidine, about the existence of permaculture in Mayotte, including with the “Mahorais Garden”. But there is still work to be done to guarantee the sustainability and efficiency of farmers. We learned during this evening that no less than thirty farmers will be labeled as organic before the end of the year.
Another cultural breakthrough, strong for our island.
To be continued.
Germain Le Carpentier