11 Nov 2022 10:30

Cansiglio Forest Retreat 2022 / Forum on the Belt and Road Initiative & Social Ecological Systems

Cansiglio Forest Retreat 2022.  Exploring Social Ecological Alternatives along the Belt and Road Initiative 

Three years ago, a group of researchers  gathered in Cansiglio forest to design a charter of values for the coexistence and wellbeing of human and more-than-human communities in territories impacted by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The  “Cansiglio Declaration” has hence inspired engaged scholarship among a growing community of academics and practitioners.  

Twelve members of this community - coming from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America  -  and are about to gather once more for the "2022 Cansiglio Forest Retreat: Exploring Social Ecological Alternatives along the Belt and Road Initiative." The goal of the second edition of the retreat is to sustain the establishment of transformative socio-ecological relations along the BRI. We thus hope to give our contribution to promoting genuinely sustainable alternatives to obsolete paradigms of development. 

The group is going to employ co-creative techniques to prototype a holistic impact assessment model - applicable to BRI projects - giving salience to aspects often overlooked in planning development projects, such as ethics, esthetics, emotions, knowledge, and people’s participation.

The retreat will be hosted at Vallorch nature education center between November 8 and 10. After descending the mountain, participants will share in Venice the outcomes of their work at the “Forum on the Belt and Road Initiative & Social Ecological Systems”. The forum will take place on 11 November  (10:30-12:30) at Ca'Foscari Zattere Cultural Flow Zone. During this event, the outcomes from the retreat will be shared with the wider community, while also taking in fresh perspectives for future research and action. 

If you wish to join the forum, please e-mail at your earliest convenience Ms. Mengmeng Cui at:

The retreat is sponsored by the MaP Centre and co-hosted by the Laboratory on Area Studies for Sustainability Transformations, coordinated by Daniele Brombal at the Department of Asian and North African Studies (DSAAM). 

Photo Credit: Christine Thormählen


Department of Asian and North African Studies (Daniele Brombal); Marco Polo Centre for Global Europe-Asia Connections - MaP


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