The 16th Organic World Congress of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
The Sixteenth IFOAM Organic World Congress will be held in Modena from 16th to 20th June. Evo Morales, Vandana Shiva, Serge Latouche, Carlo Petrini and Wolfgang Sachs are among the delegates to have confirmed their attendance. Over 750 papers have been sent in from all over the world. Registration opens on 20th February.
If names and numbers are anything to go by, the Sixteenth IFOAM Organic World Congress promises to be one of the most noteworthy and top level organic sector conferences ever.
This June, Modena will play host not just to the Indian Vandana Shiva and the Ethiopian scientist Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher, both winners of the Right Livelihood Award but also to the Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales, former trade union leader of the “cocaleros”. The food and wine connoisseur Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement and recently featured in the authoritative columns of The Guardian as “one of the 50 people who could save the planet” will partake as well in this global event. Also the agro ecologist Miguel Altieri, from the University of Berkeley (California), the doctor and obstetrician Michel Odent, pioneer of natural childbirth, and the American Frances Moore Lappé, author of the book “Diet for a Small Planet” will show presence.
The sociologist Wolfgang Sachs, Scientific Director of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, has already confirmed his attendance, as have the agronomist and geneticist Howard-Yana Shapiro, who has been one of the major exponents of organic agriculture for the past 35 years or more, the Director General of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Achim Steiner, the anthropologist and economist Serge Latouche, one of the greatest advocates of downscaling society and localism, and the Indonesian obstetrician and environmentalist Ibu Robin Lim.
The Conference is being organized by IFOAM and ModenaBio, a consortium created by the Province of Modena and AIAB Emilia-Romagna, and is expected to bring together about 2000 participants. It will run for five days and will provide a platform on which the latest developments in scientific research will be expounded and it will act as a catalyst for the strategies and instruments needed to preserve diversity and to disseminate ecologically and economically sustainable methods of production. 757 papers have actually been submitted by as many researchers and activists from all five continents; they will be screened by a team of 100 scientists and experts who will then select the most innovative and ground-breaking ones.
Two main threads will drive the discussions: information (Systems Values Track) regarding the presentation and exchange of practical experiences, and science (Scientific Research Track), which will illustrate the most outstanding on-going research projects. In over 100 sessions, scientists, producers, consumers and activists from all over the world will debate themes ranging from nutritional safety to the role of women in organic agriculture, international cooperation in renewable energy, market access and the importance of widespread health education, from GM products to the right to food, the protection of biodiversity to the very real contribution that Organic can make towards mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. Wine and viticulture, textiles, organic cosmetics, aquaculture and fruit farming will be dealt with in specialized pre-conferences and modules.
Registrations for the IFOAM Organic World Congress will be accepted from 20th February onwards. Bookings can be made either online or by sending in the completed application form downloadable from the following Internet sites: www.ifoam.org.
For any further information and program updates, details of those attending and the cultural events that will be held as part of the IFOAM Congress, please log on to www.ifoam.org or www.modenabio2008.org (latter in Italian language).
IFOAM Press Release, Responsible: Angela B. Caudle