Slow Food
   

Slow Food Bestows Awards for Biodiversity


Italy - 15 Oct 01

The second edition of the International Slow Food Award for Biodiversity was held in Portugal in Porto’s San Bento da Vitória Monastery. The Award acknowledges work for agricultural and alimentary biodiversity worldwide

560 jurors from 80 nations – among them the Indian scientist Vandana Shiva – voted to select the five Special Jury Award winners from thea poolof 14 finalists. The Special Jury Award adds a bonus of 7,500 Euro to the 3,500 Euro awarded to all the finalists. This year’s Special Jury Award winners were: the Amal Cooperative of Berber women of Morocco, producers of argan oil (made from the fruit of a tree species that is intensively harvested for lumber), who also work to counteract the desertification of the region through deforestation; India’s Bija Devi, who has promoted organic agriculture by cataloging the seeds at risk of disappearing in her area; Doña Sebastiana Juarez Broca from Mexico, who produces chocolate using traditional production techniques, employing the women of her village thereby encouraging the expansion of biological and eco-compatible cultivation; Thierno Maadjou Bah and Mamadou Mouctar Sow from Guinea, one of world’s poorest countries, who oppose the invasion of industrial products and protect the neré tree that produces the ‘soumbara’ condiment used by the local ‘Peul’ people; and, finally, the Portuguese Necton society that has saved the salt pans of the Ria Formosa National Park and is trying to rebuild the fabric of the economy that had been lost through the abandonment of this artisan industry. In his introductory speech, Slow Food president Carlo Petrini emphasized the richness of the work of the Award winners, not only in terms of agriculture and food but also of ethical and cultural contributions.
>/br>This year’s edition of the Slow Food Award 2001 has benefited from important partnerships with various entities: the Ministry of Agriculture, do Desenvolvimento Rural and das Pescas; the Ministerio do Turismo; the Instituto do Vinho do Porto; ICEP; the Portuguese Ministry of Commerce and Tourism; and the Gastronomy Cultural Heritage project, which works to encourage the consideration of Portugal’s gastronomic heritage on a par with the country’s other cultural assets.