67 policies from 36 countries contest for Future Policy Award received
Agroecology and organic agriculture in India and the Himalayas:
Enhancing fertile landscapes and improving living conditions
100% Organic Sikkim, World Future Councillor Vandana Shiva and Director Alexandra Wandel in the German Parliament with Former Minister for Food and Agriculture Renate Künast
On Thursday 29th November, Berlin provided a solace of winter sun after a week of heavy-hanging weather to welcome World Future Councillor and world-renowned environmental activist, Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva, and the Director of the World Future Council, Alexandra Wandel in the capital’s Parliament Complex. They were invited by Member of Parliament, Renate Künast, former Minister for Food and Agriculture to discuss the agro-political situation in India, the world’s first 100%-organic state and Gold-winner of the Future Policy Award 2018, Sikkim, as well as the road-map to sustainable global agriculture.
“Sikkim shows that we can turn this around and walk the agro-ecological path.”
In a simple yet elegant conference room, the Honourable Künast welcomed her guests and 30 audience members from the German Parliament, European environmental institutes and the general public, and opened the discussion. The conversation quickly turned to agriculture in India. As a country whose agricultural face was profoundly transformed under the Green Revolution of the mid-20th Century, India is a notable example of the extreme conflicts and contrasts in the current global food system. Councillor Shiva described the horrors incurred by input-intensive agriculture in the country, which she has repeatedly encountered across four decades of environmental activism. An ongoing suicide-epidemic of hundreds of thousands of debt-ridden farmers, a ‘cancer train’, from the Punjab the Rajasthan, and a youth driven from agriculture and into drug abuse were some of the images she invoked. But the old techniques based on an old reductionist “lego-logic” have been recognised and, by some, reversed in the most radical and inspiring ways.
“A new knowledge of an old knowledge will be the future of humankind.”
Over the past 45 years, Sikkim state in the Himalaya Region of India has made the transition to 100%-organic agriculture. Model farms, farmer field schools and a total ban on non-organic food-products have been instrumental in training over 65,000 farmers across 75,000 hectares into sustainable, fully-organic methods. World Future Council Director Wandel described how this unprecedented and entirely-successful transformation has earned the region countless benefits for its farmers and the health and well-being of the local people, as well as a 50% boom in tourism and recognition on the global stage. It is for this tireless work in organic agriculture that Sikkim was awarded the Gold Future Policy Award 2018 at the ceremony in front of 170 heads of state in Rome. Whilst 51 other nominations to the post were extensively researched and other policies from Denmark, Ecuador and Brazil received a Silver recognition, Sikkim’s efforts proved by far by the most exemplary.
“A truly visionary and holistic approach to agriculture.”
As part of her work with the Parliamentary Group on India, Hon. Künast recently had the opportunity to visit Sikkim experience their ground-breaking (and ground-making) work first-hand. She said she was wholly impressed by how the state uses public money to provide possibilities and livelihood dignity for its citizens in organic agriculture. Their valuing of traditional knowledge fuses with the goodness of the people in an atmosphere of respect for one another and the Earth.
“Sikkim is the light. The struggle must continue.”
After all speakers had passionately shared their experiences and knowledge, the floor was opened up for questions from the audience. The opportunities and risks of digitalisation of agriculture came first, and Councillor Shiva was quick to insist on the stark difference between the right to technology and free internet, versus the forced digitalisation of agriculture. We must remain wary of the dangers of commodification of agricultural data for use by big companies. “Defining the commons in this new context,” said Prof. Dr. Shiva, “is extremely important.”
A second audience member asked how Sikkim was perceived at national level – is this the dawn of an organic India? There certainly exist other positive examples, for example, efforts in the Northern state of Ladakh to become organic. However, at national level, major obstacles remain. Vital here is the ongoing commitment to a sustainable vision by all spheres of society.
“We need a real debate across all of our societies or the future is a dead-end. Only food democracy will feed us in 2050.”
The Director of the World Future Council Alexandra Wandel mentioned that unfortunately not a single German law was nominated for the Future Policy Award on Scaling Up Agroecology and that parliamentarians were invited to have a look at the awarded policies, including the organic policy of Sikkim and also the silver award from neighbouring country Denmark which received the Future Policy Silver Award and has the highest share of organic products in the world.
The event in the German Parliament came a day after the World Future Council and Councillor Shiva were invited to celebrate Bread for the World’s (Brot für die Welt) 60th anniversary in the German Theatre, and proceeded two exciting events at the historic Babylon Cinema in Berlin’s Mitte district. The first – “Vision for Agriculture 2050”   – was a debate between Councillor Shiva, Norbert Lemken, Director Agricultural Policy at Bayer and Prof. Dr. Sonoko Dorothea Bellingrath-Kimura of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF). As the audience outed their respective support and outrage, the debate raged over the science behind chemical inputs, the capacity to feed the world and the morality behind this monumental task. After a short break where audience members could inform themselves with Councillor Shiva’s literature and speak with Liam Innis about the World Future Council and the Future Policy Award, the night continued with the screening of “SEED: The Untold Story” . The film, wherein Councillor Shiva is a protagonist follows the rich and treasured history of Earth’s 12,000 year-old food legacy, which continues to be threatened to extinction by – and fight back against – an all-encompassing agro-industry.
“I think it’s time to bring care, sharing, love, the commons and our brains back into the picture of agriculture.”
The World Future Council and Bread for the World are hereby cordially inviting you to their side-event on the margins of the High-level Political Forum 2018 in New York, on 17 July, at 3.30 pm in the Church Center of the UN.
3.30 – 5.00 pm; 17 July 2018
Church Center of the United Nations
777 United Nations Plaza, NY 10017, USA
The event describes the vital relationship between renewable energy (RE) and sustainable development. In particular, it demonstrates how supporting the transition to 100% RE is a driver for sustainable development that leaves no one behind. Hereby, it unveils how transitioning to 100% RE contributes to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The event convenes civil society organizations, policy makers, development agencies and community leaders involved in sustainable development especially in countries in the Global South. Learnings from Tanzania and Bangladesh will be presented to catalyze replication in other countries.
Achieving a transformation of the energy sector to stipulate pathways and scenarios for SDG7 is a necessary pre-condition for the achievement of the Agenda 2030 in full and the highly urgent implementation of other international commitments such as the Paris Agreement. Therefore, this event seeks to highlight the interlinkages between SDG 7 and the other 16 SDGs and how a strategic transformation towards 100%RE contributes to achieving all of them. How do these interlinkages manifest itself in different national contexts and how can we replicate learnings and findings? What is the role of the national government and how can 100%RE benefit domestic socio-economic development? What lessons can be learned from the German “Energiewende”?
Facilitator: Rob van Riet, World Future Council
|3.30 – 3.40||Introduction||Johannes Grün, Bread for the World|
|3.40 – 4.00||100%RE and the national dimension of Agenda 2030||Sixbert Mwanga, Director, CAN Tanzania; Jahangir Masum, Executive Director, Coastal Development Partnership|
|4.00 – 4.35||Roundtable Discussion||Joyce Msangi, Energy Officer, Government of Tanzania; Dr. Bettina Hoffmann, Member of German Parliament, MdB; Jahangir Masum, Executive Director, CDP; Sixbert Mwanga, Director CAN Tanzania|
|4.35 – 4.55||Q&A|
|4.55 – 5.00||Concluding Remarks||Rob van Riet, World Future Council|
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Project Manager Climate & Energy
A Homage to the Future Policy Award 2017 at the UN in Geneva
On October 31st, 2017, the United Nations in Geneva paid tribute to the Future Policy Award 2017. The UN Library in Geneva partnered with the World Future Council, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations, the University of Oxford’s Enacting Global Transformation Initiative, the Theatre of Transformation Academy and Green Cross International to host an event entitled ‘From Degraded Drylands to Green Landscapes’ featuring a unique format of theatre, testimonies and a high-level roundtable dialogue.
On 4 September 2017, a charity concert will take place in the Kammermusiksaal of the Berliner Philharmonie in order to support the World Future Council.
Before the concert, a round table discussion will take place at 6 pm in the lounge of the Kammermusiksaal, with Jakob von Uexkull, founder of the World Future Council, and Dr. Peter Hauber, IPPNW Concerts, moderated by Gerhard Forck, Head of the Philharmonie’s Communications Department.
The concert will begin at 7 pm, with a welcome speech by Jakob von Uexkull.
After the concert, the audience is invited to join a reception in the lounge of the Kammermusiksaal.
The charity concert is a joint event by IPPNW-Concerts, Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin and Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation
Amore Perduto – Music of the Early Italian Baroque
MARCO UCCELLINI [ca. 1610-1680]
Sinfonia seconda for five instruments in C major 
LUIGI ROSSI [ca. 1598-1653]
from the opera L’Orfeo 
SALOMONE ROSSI [1570-1630]
The Songs of Salomon (selection) 
ANTONIO SARTORIO [ca. 1630-1680]
Excerpts from L’Orfeo 
ALESSANDRO STRADELLA [1639-1682]
Sinfonia for violin, cello and basso continuo in D minorl
“Affligetemi pure, amare memorie”
Cantata for soprano and basso continuo
JOHANN ROSENMÜLLER [1617-1684]
Sonata nona for five instruments in D major 
Sinfonia quarta for five instruments in C major 
FRANCESCO CAVALLI [1602-1676]
Dunque, Giove immortale – Verginella io morir vo‘
Recitative and aria of Calisto from the opera La Calisto 
Sinfonia sesta for five instruments in D major 
Sien mortali o divini – Non è maggior piacere
Recitative and aria of Calisto from the opera La Calisto 
Claudio Monteverdi’s contemporaries, pupils and successors in spirit assemble here to perform virtuoso works with and without vocal accompaniment. Salomone Rossi, named “Hebreo” due to his Jewish origins, was one of Monteverdi’s colleagues in Mantua. His instrumental works, as well as his many-part compositions for a reformed synagogue service, which he published under the title “Songs of Solomon”, were pioneering pieces of music. Luigi Rosso and Antonio Sartorio, who were one to two generations later than Monteverdi, are just two examples of the stimulating history of reception of Monteverdi’s “Orfeo” on later composers. Francesco Cavalli was summoned by Monteverdi to his court chapel at San Marco in Venice; first as a boy soprano, then as a tenor, he soon became the most famous opera composer of his generation after Monteverdi. Marco Uccellini’s musical-theatrical works have not survived; but his instrumental works, which are virtuoso in their demands, have an original use of form, survived. Alessandro Stradella extravagances in art, both vocal and instrumental, corresponded to escapism from life.
Media & Communications Manager
Phone: +49 40 307 09 14 19
To mark Human Rights Day, the World Future Council and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights are co-organizing a special event on December 8th, focusing on the “Transformative Power of Justice”.
Through a combination of diplomatic and political expertise as well as a dynamic performance, multi-media presentation, and an interactive dialogue, the event will address some thorny questions: can justice prevail over power? Can humanity survive brutality? Can right overcome might? And, most importantly, can the human rights agenda be strengthened and not circumvented during turbulent transitions?
Eminent guest speakers confirmed their presence for the high-level round table that will be moderated by World Future Councillor Dr. Rama Mani and that will provide diverse perspectives on human rights challenges and transformative justice applications in times of volatile transition:
- H.E. Ambassador Suraya Dalil, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan
- H.E. Ambassador Beatriz Londoño, Permanent Representative of Colombia
- H.E. Ambassador Andreas Ignatiou, Permanent Representative of Cyprus
- Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, Director of Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies Mechanisms Division, OHCHR
Moreover, a lively theatrical performance by Dr. Rama Mani, who is also Director of the Geneva Academy’s MA course on Transformative Justice, will vividly portray real cases of transformative justice, accompanied by renowned musician Mr. Paul Grant and by MA course participants hailing from transitional societies and diverse countries.
Held at the United Nations Office in Geneva from 12:30 to 2:15pm, the event and reception are kindly co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan and Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations Office in Geneva.
Invitees not in possession of a UN badge should register on the UNOG website at www.unog.ch/librarytalks, bring a valid ID and a copy of this invitation on the day of the event to the Pregny Gate, located at 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10.