Paris (AFP) – French environmentalist and author Pierre Rabhi died on Saturday at the age of 83, his family said on Saturday.
The organic farmer and nature lover, whose admirers included French actress Marion Cotillard, suffered a cerebral haemorrhage, said his son Vianney.
Born in 1938 on the fringes of the Algerian Sahara, when it was still part of a French colony, he grew up a pioneer in agroecology or sustainable agriculture that seeks to rejuvenate nature without the use of pesticides or chemicals.
In the 1980s he repeatedly traveled to sub-Saharan Africa to put his ideas into practice there.
He was friends with Burkina Faso’s radical leader Thomas Sankara, an idealistic army captain who wanted to eradicate poverty in his country.
In 2002, he caught media attention when he submitted a failed presidential run. He said he did this to spark a debate on “the environmental and human urgency”.
âAgriculture must be reformed. We cannot have a system that destroys and pollutes under the pretext of production, âRabhi said in 2012.
“We see the planet as a repository of resources that need to be converted into dollars and depleted to the last fish and tree, rather than seeing it as an extraordinary oasis where we can create a life with more meaning and value.”
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