September 21, 2010
Inspiration for Living Change
On the 16th of September over 200 participants traveled to Bonn from 15 countries in order to participate in the conference Inspiration for Living Change, jointly organized by IFOAM and COLABORA.
Eleven Alternative Nobel Prize laureates, Vandana Shiva (India), Percy and Louise Schmeiser (Canada), Ibrahim and Helmy Abouleish from SEKEM (Egypt), Frances Moore Lappé (USA), Taeko Ogiwara und & Ikuko Sasaki from the „Seikatsu Club Consumers Cooperative Union“ (Japan), Melaku Worede (Ethiopia), Maria Salete Campigotto from the „Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra“ (Brazil), Pat Mooney (Canada), as well as the World Food Prize laureate, Hans Herren (Switzerland), introduced themselves and their work during informative plenary sessions.
Jakob von Uexküll, founder of the Right Livelihood Award, stressed in his welcome speech the need for our society to embrace change.
With topics like ‘Food Policies for Food Security and the Potential of Eco-Intensification’, ‘The Political Agenda for the Paradigm Shift’, ‘Organic Agriculture – the way Ahead towards Sustainable Food Production’, ‘Biodiversity versus Monotony’ and ‘From Genetic Engineering to Nanotechnology – How to Combat Paramount Threats’, participants were inspired to ‘live change’ themselves. The diversity of the topics that were debated reflected not only the wide range of the laureates’ activities, but highlighted how manifold the foci of interest within the organic movement are.
During the workshop sessions, participants were able to meet laureates, prominent dialogue partners and moderators face-to-face. Virtual teams in Germany, Tunesia, China, Belgium, Italy, Zambia, USA and Switzerland were tied into the workshop discussions via video livestream.
The publication of the ‚IFOAM Declaration for Living Change’ during the final plenary session was another highlight of the day: common convictions and demands, jointly formulated by the organizers and laureates, and endorsed by dialogue partners and moderators, serve as an appeal to embrace change.
This Declaration, supported by committed speakers and participants, puts in the foreground trust in Nature’s capacities, respect for humankind and the environment, the urgency of a sustainable development that respects biodiversity and social well-being. The Declaration can be signed by interested parties and is available for download in English and German via the IFOAM website www.ifoam.org
Video impressions and key statements of the laureates will also be published via www.ifoam.org
Background: Founded in 1972, IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, is the international umbrella organization for the organic movement. Currently, IFOAM represents over 800 member organizations in over 100 countries. IFOAM represents the common interests of the organic movement based on the principles of organic agriculture (ecology, health, fairness and care).
COLABORA works internationally focusing on environment issues, sustainability in all its facets as well as on ecological agri- and food culture. The three main working fields are communication, events and consultancy.
** This conference was carbon neutral thanks to our cooperation with Soil & More: www.soilandmore.com
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