Let's Liberate Diversity! Annual Forum
8th edition - Basel, Switzerland
"From planting to plate"
20th to 22nd September 2013
The Let's Liberate Diversity! forum is an annual gathering of farmers, seed-savers and groups from all across Europe who are working on bringing agricultural biodiversity to life on farms and in gardens. The eighth edition of this event was organised by ProSpecieRara in conjunction with the European Coordination: Let's Liberate Diversity! and partner organizations in Switzerland, including SwissAid, Declaration of Bern, Vogelwarte Sempach, Kleinbauern-Vereinigung Schweiz, Sativa Rhienau AG, IP-Suisse, SAG, etc...
In 2013 the forum devoted special attention to practices - 'from planting to plate' - which contribute to the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity as outlined in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT PGRFA). Methods addressed in the workshops included internal rules of functioning developed by community-based seed systems and tools for the on-farm management for agricultural biodiversity. An entire day was allocated to the long neglected issue of livestock diversity.
Also "on the menu" this year were discussions on alternative labels highlighting the added value of foods produced by methods that support agricultural biodiversity, and forms of direct marketing, with examples from Switzerland.
The forum's other main focus was on how national and international law affects farmers' efforts to enhance the diversity of local and locally adapted crops, varieties and underutilized species on farms and in gardens.
Sessions were devoted to briefings on the latest developments with the IT PGRFA, as well as on intellectual property rights managed by the Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), and a review of the European legislation on the marketing of seeds. In addition, experience was shared on progressive initiatives, such as attempts to register "seed exchanges" on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage - an area where Switzerland has shown particular commitment.
For background documents, presentations and workshop summaries please check the programme page.
On the practical side the program included a tour of the ProSpecieRara demonstration garden, an exhibition of Swiss heritage potatoes and farmers' products as well as field visits to a conservation orchard with a national collection of 350 apple varieties and to a conservation farm keeping a range of rare livestock breeds. On the festive side, participants had the pleasure of listening to live music performed on a variety of traditional and modern alpenhorn.
Photos from Basel 2013
In order to visualise the photos taken at the forum please click on one of the albums below or select the albums in the Gallery menu.