Presented yesterday at the headquarters of the Foreign Press Association in Rome were the 10 winners of the Slow Food Award for the Defense of Biodiversity 2003, as well as the International Congress in Naples, where more than 600 delegates from all over the world will come together from November 6 to 10.
Teresa Armato, spokesperson for the Board of Tourism of the Campania Regional Authority, opened the conference by underlining her sympathies with Slow Food’s task of safeguarding typical products and biodiversity. “The Campania region,” affirmed the spokesperson, “is proud to host these events which have such international importance as the fourth International Congress and the Slow Food Award.”
Giacomo Mojoli, international vice-president of Slow Food, reasserted that the Slow Food Award for the Defense of Biodiversity offers concrete and practical examples of the conscientious and balanced use of territorial resources. Experiences which, as testified by the award winners, are based on a sustainable and positive rapport with their ecosystem. These examples demonstrate valid alternative methods of agriculture to those based solely on productivity —to the detriment of quality and regardless of environmental sustainable.
Cinzia Scaffidi, in charge of the Slow Food Award, presented the stories of these heroes of biodiversity, farmers, researchers and animal breeders from all over the globe—from Ethiopia to the Republic of Tuva (former USSR), from the USA to Georgia, from Burkina Faso to Mexico, who have worked to save the agro-gastronomic heritage of their lands.
At the end of the conference, Silvio Barbero, national secretary of Slow Food, presented the themes and meetings of the congress in Naples, to be held in collaboration with the Campania Regional Authority, the City, Province and Chamber of Commerce of Naples.
Among the new challenges that Slow Food faces are the development of several educational projects: the beginning of the first ever University of Gastronomic Sciences and the opening on an international level of the ‘School Gardens’ project, as well as the safeguarding of biodiversity through the Slow Food Foundation for biodiversity that works to sustain projects to revive the cultivation and production of quality foods at risk of extinction.