Photo (CC BY-NC-SA): Ägidius Wellenzohn
By banning pesticides in a referendum, the community of Mals in Southern Tyrol is set to garner worldwide attention. That does not mean that the conflict is settled.
The winds of change are blowing through Mals. In September 2014, this South Tyrolean community in the Upper Venosta Valley dared rise in a democratic rebellion, holding what must be the world’s first referendum against pesticides and triggering a torrent of threats, lawsuits, acclaim, and awards. Journalists from around the world descended upon the rebel village on the green banks of the Adige River to cover the “Miracle of Mals” and its unruly, freethinking residents.