- Get involved in the IFOAM Organic World Congress and the General Assembly to be held in South Korea from September 26 to October 5, 2011
- The OSEA project has started
- The African Union to support development of organic farming
- African ecological and organic agriculture stakeholders meet in Thika, Kenya, to develop an African Ecological Organic Initiative
- UNCTAD and UNEP push for recognition for the importance of sustainable agriculture in addressing the challenges of poverty and hunger in Least Developed Countries
- Upcoming Organic Agriculture related events
1. Get involved in the IFOAM Organic World Congress and the General Assembly to be held in South Korea from September 26 to October 5, 2011
| ||Don’t miss the great opportunity to participate in the world’s largest organic conference! |
Register online now to take advantage of the early bird rate!
Submit motions for the General Assembly (GA) by June 3rd 2011
This is a great opportunity for IFOAM African member organizations to have a real impact on the activities of the federation.
You can submit motions on topics you feel to be important for the organic sector, ranging from policy issues and long-term strategies of IFOAM, to the things you would change about IFOAM and the way it operates.
You don't have to be a big organization to submit a motion - all voting members can submit motions!
Submitters of motions are encouraged to apply the following requirements for the formulation of a motion in order to clarify the exact proposed decision: Only one topic per motion (the topic itself may have different actions items/subtopics); consistent with IFOAM’s mission and goals; clear and easy to understand; short; and no questions.
In addition, the submitter of the motion should send along with the motion text a short rational (maximum half page A4), which explains the reasoning of the motion and indicate in the motion text the target of the motion, i.e. the body to implement the motion (e.g. Membership, World Board, Committees, etc.).
Please send your motion to the IFOAM Executive Director Markus Arbenz at email@example.com by June 3rd 2011.
Vote by proxy if your organization can not send a representative
It is no doubt that all African members agree about the importance to be represented at the GA, but not all can send a representative to the GA. Proxy voting allows you to appoint another member to vote on your behalf.
If your organization cannot send a representative to the GA, please contact IFOAM member organizations close to you and transfer your voting right per proxy to one of them having your trust and being instructed with your decisions. According to IFOAM statutes a person can act as proxy for a maximum four other members.
Please note that you can only exercise your voting right during the GA if you have paid your membership fee for year 2011.
For more information about the GA, visit: www.ifoam.org/events/ifoam_conferences/GA_2011.html
2. The OSEA project has started
| ||In November 2010, Sida approved IFOAM’s OSEA II Project: Regional cooperation for organic standards and certification capacity in East Africa. The project aims at increasing income for rural communities through local, regional and international trade in organic products. |
The project is a continuation of the successful project to establish a regional organic standard for East Africa. The East African Organic Products Standard (EAOPS) was adopted by the EAC Council in April 2007 and officially launched by the Prime Minister of Tanzania at the organic conference in Dar May 2007. An East African Organic Mark (EAOM) was also established. This has provided the fundaments for a further development of the local and regional markets.
The project will accomplish the following results:
A regional partnership
- Improved certification services in East Africa.
- Appropriate conformity assessment systems for EA smallholders and local and regional organic marketing exist.
- Market access to the EU is improved.
- More comprehensive standard and standard revised according to practical experiences.
- Operators understand and implement the standards
- Improved local market opportunities.
- The East African Organic Mark is well managed.
- Increased intra-EAC trade in organic products
- Better government policies and plans for the organic sector.
- The sector in Rwanda and Burundi is further developed.
- Existence of comprehensive information about the development in East Africa.
The OSEA II Project is implemented by IFOAM and the National Organic Agriculture Movements in Burundi (BOAM), Kenya (KOAN), Rwanda (ROAM), Tanzania (TOAM) and Uganda (NOGAMU) in close cooperation with the organic stakeholders and governments in the East African countries. It is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. IFOAM contracted Grolink for the Project Management and Gunnar Rundgren is the Project Leader. The project started 1 November 2010 and will run up to 31 December 2013. The first meeting of the steering committee was held in January in Arusha.
Some of the first initiatives are presented at www.ifoam.org/partners/projects/osea.html.
3. The African Union to support development of organic farming
| ||The Executive Council of the African Union (AU) Resolution on Organic Farming is a significant outcome for the continuous lobbying efforts of the African organic initiatives and their international partners.|
The African Union’s recognition for the importance of Organic Agriculture is an important step for realizing the multifunctional benefits of Organic Agriculture and growing the capacity for African governments to develop sustainable, resilient and productive farming on the continent. More than ever, Africa needs the Organic Alternative to help overcome the pressing challenges of food security and climate change.
The resolution requests the AU Commission and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) to initiate and provide guidance for an AU-led coalition of international partners on the establishment of an African organic farming platform based on available best practices; and to provide guidance in support of the development of sustainable organic farming systems and improve seed quality.
IFOAM is ready to work with the African Union and the African organic sector in the framework of its Organic Alternative for Africa to help coordinate activities and maximize the potential of the resolution.
4. African ecological and organic agriculture stakeholders meet in Thika, Kenya, to develop an African Ecological Organic Initiative
| ||Interest in pushing for the development of ecological based farming in Africa led some key stakeholders to organize a strategic planning meeting in Thika, Kenya, from May 2-3 2011. The event was organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Kenya and with the financial support from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC). IFOAM was official represented at the meeting by Herve Bouagnimbeck, IFOAM Africa Office Coordinator.|
The meeting, attended by 21 participants, led to the creation of an African Ecological Organic Initiative and proposed an Action Plan which aims to mainstream “Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA)” into national agricultural production systems by 2020. The Action Plan developed is aligned with the goals of the Africa Union’s Resolution on Organic Farming and will therefore aim to assist its successful implementation. Pillars for the action plan are:
A Steering Committee chaired by a representative of the AUC has been appointed to coordinate the initiative. Members of the Steering Committee include:
- Research, training and extension
- Information and communication
- Value chain and market development
- Networking and partnership
- Supportive policy and programs
- Institutional capacity development
Next step includes submission of the Action Plan to interested partners/donors for funding support.
- Dr. Sarah Olembo, African Union Commission (Ethiopia)
- Sue Edwards, ISD (Ethiopia)
- Zachary Makanya, PELUM (Kenya)
- Musa Muwanga, NOGAMU (Uganda)
- Herve Bouagnimbeck, IFOAM (Germany)
- Dr. Charles Sseyewa, Uganda Martyrs University (Uganda)
- Ngugi Mutura, SACDEP (Kenya)
- Dr. Olugbenga AdeOluwa, University of Ibadan and NOAN (Nigeria)
- Dr. David Amudavi, Biovision Foundation (Kenya)
- Munshimbwe Chitalu, OPPAZ (Zambia)
The African Ecological Organic Initiative fits nicely with the objectives of IFOAM’s Organic Alternative for Africa and IFOAM looks forward to contributing to the success of the initiative.
5. UNCTAD and UNEP push for recognition for the importance of sustainable agriculture in addressing the challenges of poverty and hunger in Least Developed Countries
| ||UNCTAD and UNEP have released two excellent advocacy tools for encouraging the uptake of organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Both tools were launched at the recent high level LDC IV Conference on Food Security. |
The short film “Organic Agriculture: Good Option for LDCs” features Organic Agriculture in Uganda, including Vincent Ssongo, an organic farmer, and Moses Muwanga, CEO of the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU) and IFOAM World Board member. Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary General of UNCTAD, and Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, explain how organic agriculture improves food security in LDCs and reduces their vulnerability to external price and climatic shocks.
Watch the film here!
In addition to the short film, UNCTAD published a very comprehensive and good policy brief on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in LCDs. The policy brief uses the IFOAM definition of Organic Agriculture for sustainable agriculture. It underlines the importance of sustainable agriculture and calls for an urgent need for fundamental shift in national and donor policies.
Read the brief here!
Use these tools
The tools can be used to continue advocating for the Organic Alternative for Africa. For example, by sending the policy brief or writing a letter with the link or sending a DVD to targeted offices and requesting for a meeting while the LDC Conference is still fresh in the minds of the participants.
To identify the delegates from your country who attended the LDC Conference, please visit: www.un.org/wcm/content/site/ldc/home.
6. Upcoming Organic Agriculture related events
| ||Ugandan National Organic Day|
For more information, please contact Musa Muwanga: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second West African Organic Summit
August 29-31, 2011
For more information, please contact Ibrahima Seck: email@example.com.
The 17th IFOAM Organic World Congress and General Assembly
September 26 – October 5, 2011
Gyeonggi Paldang, South Korea
Head Office Contact Information
53113 Bonn, Germany
© 2011 IFOAM - All rights reserved.
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) e.V.
Trial Court Bonn, Association Register no. 8726