ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark


Education: Introductory presentationW22/P2

Mansvelt, Jan Diek van; De Silva, Ranjith; Njoroge, John W.; Nunez, Miguel A..

IFOAM Third World Working Group, c/o P.O. Box 176, NL - 3970 AD Driebergen, the Netherlands.

Since the inception of IFOAM (Founding Assembly, Versailles, 1972) a great part of its membership has been engaged in education and training. However, no institutionalised co-operation - comparible to committees concerning standardisation and certification of production, processing and trade - has taken position within the organisational framework of IFOAM until today.
It is encouraging and meaningful that the initiative to propel the process of institutionalised co-operation concerning education withinIFOAM, was undertaken by the Third World Working Group. Encouraging, because the Third World Working Group (TWWG) - within the relatively very short period it has been operational in IFOAM (since the 9th Assembly, SaoPaulo, 1992) - provides evidence of its potential. Meaningful, because it indicates that the TWWG has some distinct missions to fulfill within IFOAM. The interest in education correlates with two other important streams of the IFOAM dynamics: 1) the process of regionalisation (e.g. Africa, Asia, Latin America) 2) the adoption of social guidelines as part of the Basic Standards.
The first step on its way to tackle the subject of Education and Training, has been to inventorise existing activities in training for tropical organic agriculture. It should be admitted that there was some pressure from donor agencies to decide for this fact finding approach. However, the result of this exercise (1) - which is a first step only - was convincing enough for donor agencies to allocate funds for (almost) the complete programme » Organic Agriculture until 1999« («OA'99«), which was previously adopted by the IFOAM World Board in 1993. This programme consists of 7 interactive projects, and 'Education and Training' (project6) is one of them.
The TWWG of course does not monopolise the Education- stream within IFOAM. Therefore it convened this Workshop.. The workshop concerns seven issues:
1) General introduction on Education and IFOAM context - how to proceed from the » filling of a barrel« to the »lighting of a fire« type of teaching (2)
2) Directory of Training and Education Opportunities for Tropical Organic Agriculture; short reference to content so far and on-going process
3) The aims of »OA'99« 'project 6'. Progress reports on experiences in thefirst year of the programme: + Institutional profiles - example Africa: typology of training institutes; related to part A of Directory (Njoroge) + Course Characteristics - example Latin America: participatory methodology; conversion of conventional education institutes, including Universities; related to part B of the Directory (Nunez) + Topics and issues - example Asia: comparison of curricula and identification of training needs; initial experiences with training regarding certification; related to part C of Directory (De Silva).
4) Additional and comparitive information and activities: a) Education-related sections of Benchmark Survey (PAN-AP and IFOAM Asia) b) Training Directory Temperate Zones (IFOAM General Secretariate) c) Formabio Network (Europe)
5) Report on Education Meeting, Monday 12 August, Copenhagen a) the process b) the results; recommendations c) issues of discussion among workshop participants
6) Discussion 7) Synthesizing reflection.

Witte, Rob (ed.)(1995): Directory of Training and Education Opportunities for Tropical Organic Agriculture. IFOAM, Tholey-Theley.

Mansvelt, Jan Diek van (1992): Human Resource Development in Organic Types of Agriculture - Actual Demands and Conceptual Outline. In:Kopke, U. (1992): Proceedings, 9th International Scientific Conference IFOAM - Sao Paulo, Brazil. IFOAM, Tholey-Theley.