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We now pick up from where the SIP leaves off, starting, in our "integral green" terms, with an orientation toward communally based self-sufficiency.

Sentrupert is a village in the traditional Lower Carniola region with a total population of 2,800. In the past it was the cultural and economic centre of the Mirna Valley, but after the railway line bypassed the town the centre shifted to nearby Mirna. The local parish church, from which the settlement gets its name, is dedicated to Saint Rupert, dating back to 1163. In 2011 the Municipality of Sentrupert built its first ever open-air museum of hayracks, which are unique to this area, in the southern part of the village. The collection includes the oldest preserved one from 1795. The main organizer, Rupert Gole, the Mayor of Sentrupert, is also piloting, and indeed pioneering, a self-sufficient economy in his municipality (see Figure 14.2). While he starts with wood, Jelovica, as we shall see, ends with it.

We believe that our strategic natural material is wood. Therefore we have designed a wood processing centre in which wood waste will emerge as our village's source of energy. We seek to become a model for the rest of Slovenia.

Sentrupert, as we have now seen, centred upon the "Breath of Gaia" for its moral economic core, while then building primarily on nature and community, is also, secondarily, aligned with its own culture (hayracks) and also spirituality (Saint Rupert – Catholicism). So there is more to the opening act of the integral green economy, in Slovenia, than meets the immediate technological and economic eye.

Community-based Self-sufficiency at Sentrupert

Figure 14.2 Community-based Self-sufficiency at Sentrupert


We now turn more explicitly to culture – including agriculture – and spirituality, via the research and educational establishment, BC Naklo. The Biotechnical Centre Naklo, located in the rural outskirts of Ljubljana, was founded in 1926, and today functions as a biotechnical gymnasium, incorporating primary, secondary and tertiary education, in agriculture, horticulture, food-processing, as well as nature conservation. It also has its own organic farm, as well as a retail outlet, while functioning as a catalyst for the development of agriculture, locally and regionally. More specifically, and educationally, it is driven by its interest in working with students, teachers, partners and individuals that have a positive social and environmental impact. As such, and more specifically, it promotes Slovenia's national heritage, develops intercultural relations, develops cooperation and team work, and generally promotes the exchange of our experiences. From a research perspective, moreover (see below), BC Naklo is engaged in both nature-oriented (seed production, medicinal plants, dairy production, biotechnology, sustainable energy, agro-systems) and culture-oriented (education and tourism) research (see Figure 14.3).

BC Naklo Research Centre

Figure 14.3 BC Naklo Research Centre

In fact, and as of September, 2103, BC Naklo and Trans4m, with the intermediation of Darja Piciga, have decided to form a Slovenian Centre for Integral Development together. The intention then is for the Centre to build on the paradigm of integral development and on the concept of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), duly initiated by UNESCO, with its rich implementation at national, European and national levels, with a special emphasis to be put on the moral core (values) and the cultural dimension of sustainable development.

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