Release Conference of the Report "Sowing Diversity Harvesting Security Sustaining Future: An Impact Assessment of China’s Seed Policy" and Traditional Farming Culture Exhibition held in Beijing

  • 19 December 2020  |  News

On December 19, 2020, the release conference of the report "Sowing Diversity Harvesting Security Sustaining Future: An Impact Assessment of China’s Seed Policy" and Traditional Farming Culture Exhibition was held successfully in Beijing. Ms. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP, hosted the opening ceremony. UNEP-IEMP senior research fellow Dr. Yiching Song announced the official release of the report "seeds: global challenges and China's reality" and delivered a keynote speech.

Under the guidance of the Executive Committee Office of the 15th Conference of the parties to the Convention on biological diversity (COP15), the event was hosted by United Nations Environment Programme - International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), and the Farmers' Seed Network (Nanning Green Seed Poverty Alleviation Service Center), with the support of OXFAM (Hong Kong) Beijing office.

Liu Ning, the Executive Deputy Director of the Executive Committee Office of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), the chief negotiator, and representatives of several partners attended the ceremony and extended their congratulations. About 120 farmers, researchers, government officials, representatives of social organizations, and media from all over the country were invited to attend the event.

Focusing on the theme of "Sowing Diversity, Harvesting Security", a series of activities such as photo exhibition, report release, salon, etc. were set up at the conference. At the same time, an online live broadcast was launched to present China's successful experience in the field of biodiversity conservation and utilization in an all-round way through video exhibition, conference discussion, and public participation. 

At the opening ceremony, Director Zhang said that seeds are the first link of agriculture and the basic resources of society, which are of great significance for promoting the green transformation of agriculture, building a sustainable food system, ensuring national food security, and implementing the ecological civilization strategy and sustainable development goals. The highlight of this activity is the combination of the farmers’ wisdom of working with nature and the scientific research results. The exhibition presented the experiences in the form of art, including the natural and cultural features of 12 villages in 6 provinces of China and the efforts of Chinese farmers to protect seed diversity and traditional farming knowledge through exquisite art pictures. The report evaluates China's seed policy comprehensively with a scientific and rigorous attitude and interdisciplinary approach. On the basis of abundant cases and experiences accumulated in the course of 20 years' effective in-situ protection and utilization of seeds, the report puts forward a feasible scheme for the protection and utilization of agricultural biodiversity in China, which is "sowing diversity, harvesting security, making joint efforts in innovation, and green transformation".

Director Zhang hosting the opening session of the release ceremony

In the report release session, Dr. Yiching Song, senior research fellow of UNEP-IEMP, reviewed the achievements of the report on small-scale farmers' seeds and the exploration of promoting farmers' efforts into in-situ seed diversity protection in the past 20 years with the theme of "Gratitude, report, and praise". She expressed her gratitude to everyone that supported or participated in the process of the development of the report and hoped that everyone would have the opportunity to feel the vitality, warmth, and strength from farmers, land, and seeds in the activities and subsequent work and life. At the end of the conference, the distinguished group of experts gave excellent comments on the report from their perspectives.

UNEP-IEMP senior research fellow, Dr. Yiching Song, making the keynote report

This activity is also one of the achievements of the PAN-TPE programme of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. More than 50 farmers from 23 villages in 10 provinces and cities including Beijing City, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Guangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Qinghai, and Hunan Province were invited to participate in the project. The farmers dressed in national costumes brought more than 300 seeds and soil from their place to decorate the event site. With these fresh seeds and soil, they conveyed their praise for the protection and utilization of seed diversity inherited by Chinese farmers from generation to generation with vivid life stories.

Farmer representatives in national costumes

To view the replay of the press conference and salon, please click the following link:

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