Supporting a Regenerative Agri-touristic Center in the Alpine Region of Switzerland
|Category|| Regenerate |
This project responds to global and regional climate threats by providing opportunities for regenerative agriculture and tourism in the alpine region, focusing on solutions that can be provided from the inspiration of nature. It integrates the principle of circular economy in all its activities, creating synergies like an organic system and showcasing many solutions to climate challenges in one place.
In particular, the goal is to inspire regional farmers to implement regenerative agriculture practices and to make consumers more aware of their consumption habits for the good of the planet.
Votre Cercle de Vie (Your Circle of Life) plans to build an educational and regenerative farm-hotel with a holistic restaurant, a wellness and natural health space, and a skills center to encourage a response to the climate crisis through regenerative agriculture.
The existing activities are a 27-hectare (about 67 acres) biodynamic farm with two organic shops, a second-hand store, and a therapy center. This stage of the project was initiated 14 years ago, and in mid-January of 2023, after ten years of collaboration with the Canton of Vaud, the green light was received to move forward on the public inquiry. The project is thus in the final phase for the building permits, but the construction will represent only the achievement of a long journey that is contributing to changing mentalities and rules of the game of our political and economic partners.
This project will demonstrate that another economic system based on a circular economy is viable and mutually beneficial in the agriculture and hospitality sectors with all the economic partners and stakeholders. To achieve its vision, Votre Cercle de Vie needs to continue the work it has started and finance the short-term costs of the project.
Construction of the buildings will begin in 2024 for about two years and cost $ 43 million. During this period, Votre Cercle de Vie will continue building its educational park and increase the biodiversity on its 27ha of land cultivated with regenerative agriculture. The project is led by Esther Mottier, with the support of her family and more than 500 people who are directly or indirectly contributing to the project. The current team consists of 11 women employed in existing activities who are led by the principles of resilience, authenticity, sustainability, innovation, and solidarity.
The project is for people and nature. It is based on raising awareness of one’s ecological footprint, involving the guests in activities for the protection of nature and minimization of waste, and for mental and physical health care. Its success would be the creation of a model of a regenerative economy that inspires the general public, companies, schools, and other project leaders to become one of the key places in the world that demonstrates that solutions do exist to face our climate crisis and build another world for future generations.
On an individual level, Votre Cercle de Vie wishes to create an ecosystem in which human beings live in harmony with nature and inspire each individual to transform him or herself from destroyer to creator. On a collective level, It wishes to create a fully sustainable economic operating model to inspire and accompany the current economic world in this transition, to encourage meetings and exchanges to share transition experiences, and to support other sustainable project leaders.
While regenerative agriculture is the heart of the project, Votre Cercle de Vie wants to underline the innovation integrated into the planned building. The architecture is organic, with green roofs and walls; materials are natural and local (wood), some of which are recovered from the soil excavation for the production of concrete and clay for the walls. It integrates its own clean, renewable energy production sources (individual biogas station, recovery of heat sources via low-tech systems, solar panels), recovery of water (rain and drainage), and the treatment of wastewater for the use of organic material. The project will also meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create 58 jobs.
Esprit Ensemble Foundation supports and promotes projects implementing initiatives in favor of a balanced, holistic society linked to nature. The Foundation is currently focusing on the Votre Cercle de Vie project.