The writer and philosopher Pierre Rabhi, figure of agroecology in France, co-founder of the Colibris movement, died at the age of 83, AFP learned from his family on Saturday. Author in particular of “Towards happy sobriety”, sold more than 460,000 copies, this activist of the environmental cause, admired by personalities like Cyril Dion and Marion Cotillard, died Saturday following a cerebral hemorrhage, indicated to the ‘AFP his son, Vianney.
This pioneer of neo-ruralism had settled in 1961 on a farm in the south of France. Born in 1938 at the gates of the Algerian Sahara, Pierre Rabhi will remain as one of the pioneers of agroecology – an agricultural practice aimed at regenerating the natural environment by excluding pesticides and chemical fertilizers. A method applied from the 1980s in sub-Saharan Africa, where he made many trips.
In him, the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard saw a “brother of conscience”. And he was admired by figures as diverse as actress Marion Cotillard and former minister Nicolas Hulot.
His countless works have each time met with undeniable success. With Cyril Dion – the author of the successful militant documentary “Demain” – he co-founded the citizen movement of Hummingbirds, which calls for local actions, such as shared gardens, educational farms or even short supply circuits.
“Sometimes presented as a technician, he was interested in the interiority of people,” said his son Vianney to AFP. “He touched a lot of people.”
Reference in the ecologist and alter-globalization seraglio, the one who was the friend of Thomas Sankara or the legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin, experienced some media exposure in 2002, during an ephemeral presidential candidacy, to already “introduce into the debate the ecological and human emergency “.
Father of five children, he then divided his time between interviews, animation of his foundations, conferences and writing of books.
A great admirer of Socrates, he said that “every human being must try to know himself in order to change himself positively”.