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From 20-22 April 2017, Navdanya joined Peliti at the Olympic Seed Freedom Festival, along with people and organisations from all over the world to join forces to sow the seeds of the future and sow the seeds of another vision for the planet and its inhabitants.

After the immensely successful mobilization tour and Caravan for Seed Freedom in May 2014, Navdanya International, Seed Freedom and Peliti organized The First Global Meeting of the Commons in May 2015. The meeting saw the integration of movements working with seed, soil, land as well as refugees into the global meetings of the Commons. Again Navdanya joined Peliti in 2016 for the annual Seed Festival. The core theme of 2016 Festival was on the principles articulated in the People’s Pact for the Protection of the Planet and each other – One Planet One Humanity : our bonds of diversity to make peace with the earth and each other. With our intense commitment, and deep solidarity, we will collectively defend our Seed Freedom, Food Freedom, and Democratic Rights to shape a future of food that protects life on Earth and the well being of all.

This 2017 Seed Festival is part of the global mobilization which culminated with the People’s Assembly and the Monsanto Tribunal in the Hague last October, co-organised by Navdanya,  along with multiple civil society organisations.

The program schedule saw two days of intense capacity building workshops: Working together towards a GMO-Free, Pesticide-Free, Corporate-Free future, Situation of traditional varieties in the US, Situations and strategies for Food Sovereignty in Africa, Seed Festivals and Seed Savers Networks Worldwide, European Legislation on Seeds.

Among the participants in both the workshops and the festival: Navdanya International, Ali Tapsoba, Terre à Vie – Burkina Faso, Shannon P. McCabe, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – USA, Father Gedeon, Monastery Agia Triada – Turkey, Matthieu Le Breton, Faucheurs Volontaires d’OGM – France, Mr Noufou, Federation Nationale des Groupements NAAM – Burkina Faso, SAVEGEA – Cyprus, Hannes Lorenzen, Agricultural Expert senior agricultural advisor at the European Parliament, Blanche Magarinos-Rey, lawyer and expert on seed issues.

The working group launched a Declaration at the Festival, which saw more than 4000 people, consisting of farmers, seed savers, gardeners and citizens from all over Greece and Europe.

Along with the Greece Minister of Agricuture Mr. John Tsironis, thousands of paritipants visited the stand of Navdanya to join the Seed Freedom and other ongoing Campaings, also by signing the  Declaration on Seed Freedom and the Citizens’ Pact for the Earth.

This year – as in previous years – this event represented a unique opportunity to build connections and strengthen the movement to shape Food Systems that produce more food, better food, more livelihoods, more meaningful work, more democracy, more freedom.

Movements across the world have joined this renewed “Call to Action against the Corporate Takeover of our Food and Health” and events and actions have taken place along the month of April and will continue beyond.


Declaration for the first Olympic Seed Festival


Program


Hand in hand for the Declaration of the #firstolympicseedfestival #peliti #pelitiseedfestival #seedfreedom #seedsavers #earthdemocracy #EarthDay

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Blanche Magarinos-Rey, Lawyer, expert on seed issues and Hannes Lorenzen Agricultural Expert senior agricultural advisor at the European Parliament at Olympic #SeedFreedom Festival. BMR: “The European legislation on the marketing of seeds regards an acceptance procedure for entering the catalogue, which requirements are: distinct, stable and uniform, which makes the registration of traditional varieties impossible". HL: “These requirements are designed for varieties which fit with industrial agriculture. Behind this legal framework on the marketing of seeds there is fear and mistrust from the governments that what people put on the market were of good quality”. BMR:" In the European regulation farmers are allowed to save seeds only of 21 species in which there isn’t any soya any Corn, or any vegetable". HL:" The real political intention was to bring the seeds out of the hands of farmers through property rights in order to create a new work for breeders" BMR:" We ask for the traditional varieties to be out of the standard procedure" HL:" What #SeedSavers want need to be brought out loud and clear to make the legislation change" #Peliti #SeedLaws #SeedSatyagraha

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Mr Noufou of the “Federation National Des Groupements Naam”, Burkina Faso: “The Power of the seed is one of the most beautiful on this Earth. We compare the seed with women, as both give life and both are powerful. We work on preserving and developing our own philosophy to defend ourselves from what MCNs are doing in our land. They are trying to destroy our culture and the identity of each population along with it. We are committed in making the link between farmers and the market. We aim to make producers reliable and in order to do that we have to give them the knowledge- education, even teaching through a radio programme. Our symbol is the germinated seed as for us it is the most powerful symbol of life and resilience." #Peliti #SeedFreedom #Agroecology #IndigenousKnowledge

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Matthieu Le Breton about how #Peliti and the coalition of “Rencontres Internationales des Résistances aux OGM” had the opportunity to connect at the People’s Assembly in The Hague and join forces with Navdanya and other organisations to strengthen the movement against the myths on GMOs perpetratred by the agrichemical industry through misinformation and propaganda. “These are techniques to occupy acceptance”. He also said “The experience of the Monsanto Tribunal is becoming a unique opportunity to bring certain topics to the attention of the media: how GMOs and pesticides based agriculture is affecting the right to food and health and how the corporate effort of hiding the truth is affecting the freedom of information” #Peliti & #RIRogm #SeedFreedom #ExposeMonsantosCrimes #stopgmos

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Navdanya’s Presentation – Workshop