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Without diversity everything is grey!

WECF joins Planet Diversity, the world congress on the future of food and agriculture

14.05.2008 |Karin Adolph

During the negotiations of the UN-Convention on Biodiversity in Bonn, Planet Diversity a congress and festival on cultural and natural diversity, organised by leading environment- and development-NGOs takes place nearby.

WECF joins in together with numerous partnerorganisations from Armenia, Georgia and Poland at this festival, under the motto "local, diverse, GMO-free".

Read Karin Adolph's full report in German on the Planet Diversity website.

The festival started earlier this week with a demonstration for the preservation of biodiversity, free exchange of seeds and agricultural knowhow and for the right of consumers and farmers to decide.

"The same apple every day keeps (bio) diversity away. Save biodiversity now!" was written on WECF banners and members as well as their guest appeared in their traditional costumes in order to display their own cultural diversity.

There were many other NGOs, farmers and consumers who were marching for a regional, sustainable and fair agriculture. Alltogether there were approximately about 6000 people joining the protest march, and activists from all over the world like Vandana Shiva, Percy Schmeiser or Hubert Weiger took a speech about GMOs and the protection of biodiversity.

In order to literally make biodiversity visible and tasteable WECF invited its partner organisations to present - apart from their work and projects - their own costumes, local food and traditions. On location there are representatives from the Georgian Ecological Agriculture Association (SEMA), the Social Ecological Institute (SIE), the Greens Movement of Georgia as well as from the Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) all of them NGOs, which work on rural development and agriculture in their countries of origin.

As an example of cultural biodiversity WECF invited a family from Kurpie, a very traditional region of Poland, who run an eco-touristic farm. Next to their colourful costumes they presented the handcraft which is very typical for this region: silhouettes and paper flowers.

In the WECFtent local food and traditional recipes from Georgia and Poland were on display and the visitors could try as much as they wanted. Georgian farmers showed their ancient seeds, which are now almost totally replaced by monocultures.

Apart from this WECF presents its exhibition on strewing fruit meadows, which the Landschaftspflegeverband Ebersberg coud only organise with the support from WECF.