Climate change, GMO’s and food security were all discussed at an important international conference held over October 1-2 in New Delhi, organized by the Indian organization Navdanya together with the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology and Diverse Women for Diversity.
In addressing the interlinked issues of climate, food and GMO’s the conference also focused on defending the rights of all people to safe healthy and nutritious food and the rights of farmers to secure and sustainable livelihoods, and to seed sovereignty and seed freedom.
‘Climate Chaos and the food crisis compel us to revisit the dominant paradigm of food and agriculture,’ said Dr. Vanda Shiva, Slow Food International Vice-President, Navdanya’s founder and world-renowned scientist and environmentalist. ‘Industrial, globalized agriculture has contributed to climate change as well as to the current food crisis and food insecurity.’
‘More than 40 countries have experienced food riots. Rising oil prices and food prices are being defined as a security issue. However, at the high-level UN Food and Agriculture Organization meeting in June 2008 on the food crisis and climate change, the World Bank and global corporations promoted the disease as the solution. They called for higher levels of chemical fertilizer use even though the cost of fossil fuel based fertilizers has tripled with the rise in oil prices and synthetic fertilizers are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions leading to climate change,’ said Shiva.
Navdanya is actively involved in the rejuvenation of indigenous knowledge and culture and is working in India to create awareness of the hazards of genetic engineering and to protect food rights in the face of globalization. The Navdanya biodiversity conservation program is supporting local farmers, rescuing and conserving crops and plants that are being pushed to extinction and making them available through direct marketing. The organization also has its own seed bank and organic farm spread over an acres of 20 acres in Uttranchal, northern India.