Posted by: Mahdi Ebrahimi | April 24, 2008

16th Organic World Congress in Modena/Italy

During the plenary of the first day, June 18th, Jørgen E. Olesen, professor in adaptation and mitigation to climate change in agriculture, and Vandana Shiva, Indian activist scientist involved in research on the effects of biodiversity loss, will frame their speeches within the Principle of Ecology. Olesen, author of several IPcc assessments will focus his speech on ecology related to climate change, one of the most worrisome man-made ‘natural’ phenomena of this time. Agriculture impacts climate change and is affected by it. Humanity may need to shift to other ways of thinking in terms of agricultural production that should no longer destroy the resources it depend upon. Shiva, author of a long list of books, including “The violence of Green Revolution” and “Monocultures of the Mind” will add from her perspective how the unbalanced relationship of human and nature caused the current global environmental crises. A workshop during the rest of the day will dig deeper into the relation between Organic Agriculture and Climate Change. This module is organized in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program and Tewolde Berhand Gebre Egziabher, General Manager of the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia will concentrate on the Principle of Care. Tewolde will speak to care for the environment, that has shown, for instance in the Tigray region, how communities could gain back self-sufficiency, when respecting and working with the given natural circumstances and using nature’s ‘black gold’ i.e. compost. Achim Steiner opened the final session of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) with the words: “Agriculture is not just about putting things in the ground and then harvesting them…it is increasingly about the social and environmental variables that will in large part determine the future capacity of agriculture to provide for eight or nine billion people in a manner that is sustainable”. Exactly the social and environmental dimensions are of core-importance in Organic Agriculture.

During the first day of the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress the participants can choose from more than 10 parallel sessions, varying from Women and Organic Agriculture, Soil Organic Management, Organic Practices, International Cooperation for Development and Group Certification to Biodiversity, Animal Welfare and Consumers Perspectives. The organizers are convinced that sharing and exchanging these scientific and practical experiences will help cultivating the future. Open space in the evening provides for spontaneous meetings on upcoming urgent matters.

Cultural Events in the evening offer possibilities for leisure and cultural enrichment and the over 1500 participants will find their ways in the beautiful historic centre of Modena.



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