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5. World Organic Forum - Localizing SDGs

BiO Reporter International attended the 5. World Organic Forum from 27.- 29. 6.2022 at Schloss Kirchberg. This is a compilation of important statements during these days and a selection of speeches on video. The international conference was packed with information and inspiration from exciting speakers, networking and collaboration in different workshops, and celebration - among others 50 Years of IFOAM and 50 Years of Club of Rome. To assume it: very fruitful days for the global organic movement with the participation of 150 attendees from 12 countries.

The conference took part at Akademie Schloss Kirchberg

Current Situation and Perspectives for the European and Global Organic Movement

At the press conference the speakers, Jan Plagge, IFOAM Europe Organics International, Thomas Cierpka, IFOAM Organics International, Prof. Dr Franz-Theo Gottwald, Head of the Kirchberg Academy and Rudolf Bühler, initiator of the World Organic Forum and Chairman of the Haus der Bauern Foundation, discussed the current situation and the perspectives of European politics - Farm to Fork Strategy, 25% organic land target - and the global organic movement as SDGs, no hunger, climate-positive agriculture etc.

"Organic is much more than a product, so much more than a label. It is a system for humanity to cooperate in order to survive on this planet“ (Jan Plagge)

Main topics

The 5th World Organic Forum under the motto "Localising SDGs" focused on the task of furthering the cooperation of organic regions around the world: How can the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) be successfully implemented in rural regions? During the press conference, the different thematic focal points of the international conference were presented and the speakers addressed the situation and perspectives of the European and global organic movement, whose world umbrella organisation celebrated its 50th birthday during the conference.

Summary of the contributions by Jan Plagge, Thomas Cierpka, Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald and Rudolf Bühler during the press conference (in German).

"We organic farmers show how it is possible without pesticides and chemical-synthetic fertilisers," explained Rudolf Bühler, initiator of the World Organic Forum and Chairman of the "Stiftung Haus der Bauern" (Kirchberg Castle) at the beginning of the conference. We see ourselves as a think tank and a place for the exchange of experience, but we also put the goals we have worked out into practice at the regional level. This is shown by the 29 projects with which one is currently in exchange and cooperation.

Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald and Rudolf Bühler (right side)

50 years of IFOAM Organics International

The global organic movement celebrated 50 years of IFOAM Organics International and looked back at the beginnings as well as the development. The co-founder Prof. Dr. Hardy Vogtman, the former IFOAM President and current IFOAM Ambassador Gerald A. Herrmann and the President of IFOAM Organics Europe, Jan Plagge, discussed the achievements, challenges and perspectives of the umbrella organisation of the global organic movement with strong regional committees (video below in English).

Vandana Shiva: Organic farming is care for the earth

Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva internationally renowned eco-activist and among others winner of the World Livelihood Award/ Alternative Nobel Prize used many examples in her speech to draw attention to the connections and negative effects of the globally dominant agro-industry with genetic engineering, pesticides and seed patents and condemned its unscrupulousness. In contrast to this is agroecology with organic farming, fair, regional structures and peasant farming practices.

Dr Vandana Shiva's keynote at the 5th World Organic Forum at Kirchberg Castle was an exciting experience! With her profound knowledge of nature and life and her commitment to organic farming, she transported her message: Farmers' rights, bio-cultural diversity in food and regenerative agriculture in farming communities are the expressions for localising the SDGs.

A king from Ghana advocates organic farming

His Majesty Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin King of the Akyem Abuakwaaus region in Ghana, accompanied by his entourage, was also a guest at Kirchberg Castle. He promotes organic farming in Ghana and has, among other things, founded the Okyeman Environment Foundation (OEF), which runs a development programme for reforestation, environmental sustainability and tourism together with the United Nations. He also founded the University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies in Bunso, which focuses on organic farming. In his keynote address, he stressed, "A healthy nature means healthy people and a healthy planet. We have been put in charge of this by God and should humbly accept this beyond all our cultural diversity."

Seine Majestät Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin König der Region Akyem Abuakwaaus in Ghana, begleitet von seinen Gefolge während seiner Rede.

Conclusion: High-profile speakers, inspiring workshops and special guests, did honour to the World Organic Forum's mission "to organise and nurture a global network of regional organic networks".

Author: Karin Heinze, BiO ReporterIn

Pictures of the event (by Karin)

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