First Impressions from the IFOAM Conference, Bhutan
"Organic Himalayas", is what 100 participants from 30 countries are advocating for in Thimphu, Bhutan. Attracting huge media attention, the Bhutan Government, international scientists, NGO representatives, farmers, extensionists and organic traders are presenting a wealth of evidence proving that the organic paradigm is imperative for sustainable agriculture and food systems in vulnerable mountain ecosystems around the world. Initiators include Andre Leu (IFOAM president), Markus Arbenz (IFOAM ED), Vandana Shiva, Hans Rudolf Herren (Alternative Nobel Prize laureates from Navdanya and Millennium Institute) and Kesang Tshomo (Head of National Organic Program in Bhutan).
The audience is happy with the informative presentations given by IFOAM World Board members Roberto Ugas (Peru) and Volkert Engelsman (Netherlands), Pema Gyamtsho (Opposition leader in Bhutan), Markus Lanfranchi (farmer from the Alps), Azeb Worku (Tigray, Ethopia), Eklabaya Sharma (ICIMOD, Nepal) and Saamdu Chetri (Bhutan Center for Gross National Happiness). The participants’ workshops in Science, Farming/Value Chain and Policy synthesize the evidence, which will contribute to the Thimphu Declaration to be presented to the Bhutan Prime Minister at the conference closing session.
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