RE-ENCHANTING TERRACES is essential for constructing the landscape of the Macaronesian Islands. Perceiving, representing and acting on terraces in the Canary Islands, the Azores and Madeira means "constructing the landscape", where terraced landscapes territory are of a fundamental importance due to the very nature of these archipelagos.
It can be said that the landscapes of Macaronesia are the historical fruit of the intervention of its inhabitants on their different ecosystems. Human beings have been the fundamental element in the construction of the landscapes of the islands. In order to understand the architecture and territory of the rural areas of these islands, one must begin by understanding the needs of creating land for cultivation. The construction of terraces, an absolute necessity in areas of steep slopes, is an absolute change in orography and an essential element in the construction of its landscape.
At present, the terraces, their structures and their ecological functions are in retreat (breakage of the retaining walls and subsequent loss of crop soils ...) with a consequent significant change in the value and perception of the landscape.
There is a real concern to experience and share new visions, strategies and innovative features for terraced territories and their inhabitants. Caring for terraced territories is recognizing the fact that they can respond with clarity to a series of demands of today's society, such as the preservation of historical and cultural value, the improvement of the quality of life, the human need of a sense of belonging to their territory and sustainable development.
It is encouraging to see the recent interest in the re-enchantment of terraced territories, led in many places by the local communities themselves, local authorities and farmers. There is a growing involvement of many young people in working on the land and a demand for support for local authorities and society to fulfill their ambitions. The challenge in these territories is to find new ways of living that make good use of resources. The viability of agricultural development in terraced territories can be significantly improved by consolidating new economies, adding value to local products and introducing more circular systems in small-scale economies.
March 13th to 15th – Gran Canaria
The first day (March 13) after the inauguration performed by the authorities and the management of the Congress, will be when the plenary session with the opening session begins. This will be followed on the 14th and 15th by the plenary sessions with Speaker-notes, Debates and Speakers (scientists and specialists). These sessions will be divided into the following thematic blocks.
Plenary Session I LIVING/ HABITAR
Plenary Session II WISDOM / SABERES
Plenary Session III LABOUR / LABORES
Plenary Session IV LEARNING / APRENDER
The last Plenary Session on March 15th will be followed by the Presentation of the candidatures for the V ITLA World Congress.
On the last day of the first block, participants will receive information on the methodological and organizational aspects of the congress as well as texts and conclusions that have been developed during the different preceding and parallel events to the Congress.
March 16th to 18th –MACARONESIAN ISLANDS
(El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife y Madeira)
On the second day (14th March), the participants will travel to the eight working islands: El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Lanzarote, La Palma, Tenerife and Madeira (the Azores and Cape Verde will also be involved at times during the congress for a global vision of the terraced landscapes of Macaronesia by specific and complementary studies).
Upon arrival at each of the local venues, the participants will be provided with the materials and information necessary to start their fieldwork. They will be informed in greater detail about the places and work to be carried out, the Participatory Action Research methodology to be used and the Practical Landscape Manual.
During the three days of fieldwork (15th, 16th and 17th March) the different teams on each island will listen to and take note of what the agents involved in the terrace systems (administration, institutional, local …) tell them concerning the knowledge of the wisdom and practices that they deem necessary to regenerate the conditions for these areas to be inhabited in the future. After hearing these stories, visits will be made to some of the terraced areas, and the participants will meet the professionals at the end of each day. The work, of a compilation-proposal nature, will be presented during the plenary sessions of the congress. The workshop will have a suitable place to perform the activities – a training center, a rural center or a community hall – on each of the islands where the fieldwork is done which are a number of terraced zones chosen in different areas of each island where it is feasible to carry out fieldwork and which are suitable and meaningful for the purposes of the congress.
As part of the fieldwork, there are planned visits to specific places on each island where the congress will be held by each of the work teams: El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Lanzarote, La Palma, Tenerife and Madeira.Visits will be made to places of particular interest and with experiences in landscape design and terraced farming areas that offer a point of reference for the study of Macaronesia and that can actively contribute to this end. These specific places will be determined prior to the congress based on the fieldwork currently being performed, during 2018.
March 19th to 21st – La Gomera
The transfer to La Gomera from the different islands where the fieldwork has been developed is planned for March 19th.
The third block of the congress will take place on the island of La Gomera. The development of the IV Congress, the conferences and the debating spaces will take place in the building of the Visitor Center of San Sebastián de La Gomera. During the first day on the island of La Gomera, the participants will elaborate the fieldwork through an exchange and reflection session between the working groups.
The following day, March 20th, will be when the work developed by the participants during the fieldwork days (BLOCK II) is presented after a debating session.
March 21st will be entirely dedicated to a general debate and coming to the final conclusions. The results of the IV Congress will be closely related to the mix of work and research carried out in each fieldwork island with the experiences that have been provided by the representatives from the different countries and continents of the world in the speeches and articles presented in the different plenary sessions.
La Gomera, the final and conclusive plenary meeting place, will be where the conclusions drawn from each insular condition are channeled in a single direction, so that the plenary sessions have a general and global nature and where the research works will be presented, providing a solid reference framework for the study of these territories. Over the course of the congress, learning and a deeper understanding can generate surprising, unprecedented and unexpected final results in the IV Congress, leading this line of research to new directions of work.
March 22nd– Tenerife
The transfer of the participants and team members will be on March22.
Institutional reception given by the Canary Islands Government, all the participating Cabildos and especially the Cabildo of La Gomera.
On the 23rd and 24th the participants will be able to take part in side events and parallel activities and acts.