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Kazakhstan: 3rd International Conference on the Organic Sector Development in Central/Eastern European and Central Asian Countries Successfully Concluded

During September of this year of international biodiversity, the 3rd International Conference on the organic sector development in Central/Eastern European and Central Asian countries took place and focussed on the relationship between organic agriculture, biodiversity, rural development, and eco-tourism.

Landscape in Kazakhstan. Picture: Organic Centre Kazakhstan, www.organiccenter.kz

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One hundred and twenty participants from 18 countries came to Astana, Kazakhstan, from September 17-18, 2010. More than half of the participants were from Central Asian countries. Furthermore participants came from countries like Ukraine and Georgia, but also from Turkey and some Western European countries.

By holding the conference in Astana, the organizers deliberately decided to strengthen the movement in a region where organic is just emerging as a solution compared to Georgia and Ukraine, where the two previous conferences were held. In Kazakhstan, like in its neighbouring countries, there are only very few certified organic farms and even fewer manufacturers. Markets are mostly export oriented as domestic markets are non-existent or in their very early development.

A total of 43 speakers in ten parallel and six plenary sessions presented during the conference. Papers of all speakers compiled in English and Russian in the conference proceedings were given to the participants to support dissemination of knowledge. After two intensive days of exchange, discussion, and inspiring presentations, the 3rd international conference closed by presenting the conference declaration that was passed.

Enthusiastic conversations during lunch and coffee breaks confirmed the overall positive feedback from the evaluation forms and gave a good indication that the conference was very successful. Participants could not only listen to organic experts and learn from experiences of other participants, but also share their visions on how to further develop the organic sector in their region. Networking was highlighted as equally important as the information gathered.

Following the conference, about 35 participants joined the excursion to the Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve. Participants could learn about the wetland in the visitors’ centre, and enter the nature reserve. The excursion continued on the second day with visiting four farms, respectively project sites.

The conference was organized by the Foundation for Integration of Ecological Culture, Organic Services, Agro Eco Louis Bolk Institute, and Organic Federation of Ukraine.

Source:Organic Center of Kazakhstan, www.organiccenter.kz

Further information

Links

Contact

  • Evgeniy Klimov, Director of the Organic Center and director of the Foundation for Integration of Ecological Culture

Editor's note

According to data provided by the Organic Centre of Kazakhstan/FiBL/IFOAM, 87'563 hectares were under organic management in 2008, constituting 0.04 percent of the country's agricultural land. A major part of the organic land - more than 70'000 hectares, were dedicated to cereals (see presentation on land use and crops world-wide-2008). In the 2011 edition of 'The World of Organic Agriculture' an extensive report about Kazakhstan will be pubslished, provided by Evgeniy Klimov, Director of the  Organic Center of Kazakhstan

Background

Organic Center of Kazakhstan

In April 2009 the Foundation for Integration of Ecological Culture (FIEC) from Kazakhstan and the Louis Bolk Institute - Agro Eco from the Netherlands initiated a two-year project in order to set up an organic resource centre for Central Asia and to develop organic agriculture in Kazakhstan. The project is mainly financed by the European Union. The general aim of the project is to contribute to the sustainable development of organic farming in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries with the specific objective of creating an enabling environment for the development of the organic sector: improved policies; capable institutions, enterprises, and farmers; and a positive public opinion.

Agro Eco - Louis Bolk Institute

Agro Eco - Louis Bolk Institute, (Driebergen, The Netherlands) is a research and consultancy center in the field of organic and sustainable agriculture. Main activities include: to help farmers with practical solutions for farm management, to provide greater insight into healthy nutrition, to help doctors to promote human health and vitality, and to help researchers throughout the world with scientific innovation. The institute has a track record in more than 60 countries, especially regarding development of certified organic agriculture, linking production, processing and marketing, setting up institutions and inspection and certification systems.

Foundation for Integration of Ecological Culture (FIEC)

The Foundation for Integration of Ecological Culture (FIEC) (Almaty, Kazakhstan) is a foundation mainly focusing on creating awareness of global issues among the Kazakh society. So far, it has experience in sustainable rural development, especially in setting up projects on eco-tourism. Since some years the organization is involved in the discussion around Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and therefore got interested in developing organic agriculture, which hardly exists in Kazakhstan or in other Central Asian countries.

Contact

Evgeniy Klimov
Organic Center of Kazakhstan
40, Orbita-1, Office 107 B
050043 Almaty
KAZAKHSTAN
Tel.  +7 727 255 27 11 and +7 727 296 93 41
Fax +7 727 255 27 11
E-Mail fiec@no-spam.mail.ru, snechka84@no-spam.gmail.com
Internet www.organiccenter.kz