To relocalise effectively we need to map the productive potential of our regions and communities, including resource, material, waste and energy flows and identify threads and opportunities for relocalising production and consumption. How are we dependent on imports and what resources do we have in regional abundance?
Apart from mapping data on the bio-productivity, hydrology, geology, climatology, and ecology of the region, to identify material and energy resources that can be sustainably used and regenerated locally or regionally, communities will also have to become clear what skills, knowledge, technology, infrastructures, and financing will be needed and how to put these resources in place. Creating and maintaining a high level of knowledge and skills within the region requires investment in education and innovation over the mid and long-term.
Shifting local and regional economies towards increased local production for local consumption will only be achieved in complex multi-stakeholder integration processes with people taking a whole systems design perspective in a collaborative effort to create regional abundance. Such a transition will require skill, persistence and patience, yet it promises diverse and vibrant regional economies, resilient and thriving communities, and the protection and regeneration of regional bio-cultural diversity.
“Oral histories and historical research can offer fascinating insights into how people used to feed, employ and heat themselves. Clearly, not all of it is relevant and collecting reminiscences carries a danger of romanticising the past and devaluing the present, but there is much that can be learned.’”
— Rob Hopkins
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