What is Syntropic
Syntropic Restoration is an effective ecological gardening approach towards rebuilding forests
Syntropic Restoration is a new approach we can apply to landscape regreening based on the principles of syntropic agriculture (also described as successional agroforestry)[i], a highly successful productive form of cultivation. First and foremost, it is a change in perspective, proposing a new way of reading the ecosystem that enables us to find answers based on an understanding of increasing complexity, richness, and autonomy of life processes.
Syntropic agriculture makes use of natural processes which are translated into sensible interventions in the composition, form, function and dynamics of vegetation.
Thus, with careful and intelligent land use, we can kick-start the regreening of dry land by establishing highly productive areas that are ideally independent of inputs and irrigation. This novel approach results in the reestablishment of ecosystem services, with a special emphasis on soil formation, microclimate improvement and the regulation of the water cycle. In short, syntropic restoration aims to sync ecological cultivation that starts on bare soil and eventually leads to a full regeneration of climate-regulating forest ecosystems.
[i] Ernst Götsch defines syntropy: “We are more familiar with the thermodynamic concept of entropy, which refers to the disorder-related function of a given system associated with energy degradation. Everything about energy consumption and dissipation is therefore explained by the Entropy Law which governs the physical world. In trying to bring the concept of entropy into dialogue with living systems, great scientists concluded that there was a need to describe a complementary tendency. For the mathematician Fantappiè (1942), if on the one hand entropy has brought the understanding that all concentrated energy in the universe tends to dissipate, simplify and dissociate, syntropy manifests itself by forming structures, increasing differentiation and complexity, as does life itself. That is to say, whereas entropy disperses, syntropy concentrates. Without using the term “syntropy”, physicists such as Erwin Schrödinger also reached a similar conclusion in the 1940s: “life feeds on negative entropy”. The idea that there is some opposite or complementary force to entropy – and that life on planet Earth would be the manifestation of that force – has intrigued scientists from a variety of fields, such as Albert Szent-Györgyi (chemistry), Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (economics), Viktor Schauberger (Natural Sciences), Ulisse di Corpo & Antonella Vaninni (psychology). As early as the 1970s, this very idea would help compose the premises of Lovelock and Margulis’s Gaia Theory.