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The Women from Planet Diversity - DVD available in five languages

45 minute documentary of Planet Diversity demonstration, festival and conference on food, agriculture and biodiversity

01.06.2011 |Anna Gyorgy, WLOE & Magdalena Black, WECF




People from around the world talk about safe food, free from genetic engineering, and the problems with industrial global agriculture.  There are alternatives! The film, featuring interviews in five languages, is now available in English, German and Spanish, French and Polish.

The DVD in its colourful paper folder is available for 12 Euros (plus postage). See information on the women's workshops at Planet Diversity here. More information about women and biodiversity and the next Convention on Biological Diversity



Background
In May 2008 a new planet was spotted for a few days in Bonn, Germany: 
a bright 'critical mass' of people and projects from around the world focused on ways to meet current crises of hunger, rising food prices, loss of biological and cultural diversity, and climate change. The occasion, the 9th UN Convention on Biological Diversity and its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The place, the Planet Diversity demonstration and festival of diversity, May 12th, 2008, followed by a three day international conference of 700+ people from 100 countries. 

Such a large event can be seen and experienced in many ways. Berlin filmmakers Kirsten Wagenschein and Michael Zimmer agreed to document the women's program of Planet Diversity, working with its organizers, Anna Gyorgy of Women and Life on Earth e.V.and Sabine Brückmann, of WECF. Happily, the German Filia Foundation
 
It was clear that the two 'women's workshops' would be filmed, and key participants interviewed. But while the organisers were off and busy, the two filmmakers filmed events around Planet Diversity with an eye for different stories and voices and a deep interest in north-south and globalisation themes.

The first product of their 20 hours of taping is "Women from Planet Diversity", a 45 minute collection of sights, sounds and expertise from some of those who made Planet Diversity possible. We hear from students, environmental and farm group members and well-known activists like Vandana Shiva from India and Farida Akhter from Bangladesh.

Background: the challenges
The dramatic loss of biodiversity and seemingly unstoppable climate change are the greatest ecological challenges of our time. Food and agriculture are central to these global problems. Increasing industrialisation, monopolisation and the standardisation and globalisation of agriculture and food production are not the answer, but make the things worse.

Women are key to both the present and future of sustainable agriculture. They are the collectors of seeds, the keepers of traditional knowledge of plants for food and health. Despite this, they are often prevented from owning or using land effectively, and can lack legal rights, appropriate technology and knowledge.  Other problems include the industrialisation of agriculture, which destroys both biological and cultural diversity, and genetically modified (GMO) seeds, which ? along with their health, safety and ecological risks -- cannot be saved, and lock producers into expensive contracts for seed, fertilizers and pesticides. These are some of the issues addressed in the film, along with solutions.

Shortly before Planet Diversity took place, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) issued its initial report, based on four years of work by some 400 experts. A main conclusion was that diversified small farming and regional markets are key to fulfilling future food needs. 

The current model of industrial agriculture with its high oil and water use cannot guarantee food security and sovereignty. The report is important to "Women from Planet Diversity" activists, and is mentioned as the film opens.

For more information:
Anna Gyorgy, Women and Life on Earth e.V.: www.wloe.org Women in international cooperation for peace, ecology and social justice (German assoc.) Magdalena Black, WECF: magdalena.black@wecf.eu

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