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


Organic Agriculture and Peace Education. P2; 89

Willenswaard, H. van

IN/I Foundation, P.O. Box 11514, NL - 1001 GM Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Social conflict is an integral element of change, and results in a new situation of dynamic balance. Violent conflict, at the contrary, is destructive and harmful. It results in continuous hate and revenge.
Whereas conflict resolution has been most often approached from the political angel in the first place, the 'new' environmental consciousness (with »RIO'92« as its Turning Point) based on total interdepenence of all phenomena has brought about new approaches towards 'conflict transformation' and the prevention of conflict.
This pre-supposes a holistic world view in which organic agriculture, bothin fact and as a powerful symbol, in principel represents the basic model of »Peace« - at the micro, meso and macro level.
The Organic Agriculture Movement can draw inspiration from an enormous diversity in historic leadership as represented, to name some examples, by Mahatma Gandhi (in Asia) and Rudolf Steiner (in Europe); and from actual streams in spiritual activity and emancipation, as representede.g. by Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Paolo Freire.
Peace Education programmes should integrate the seasoned wisdom emerging from the praxis (failures and succeses) of organic agriculture as a central theme. The associative pattern of co-operation between producers, consumers, processors, tradespersons and recyclers, as well as related communication, administration and education,provides the field of fundamental exercise towards a new economic world order.
One of the basic threats opposed to this 'Organic Agriculture Movement' is the impact of modern 'consumerism' (Sivaraksa, 1996) as an alienating power and hindrance for efforts to proceed towards an associative economy and »Culture of Peace«.

Sivaraksa, S. (1996): »Alternatives to Consumerism« - 'visionary voices tel spiritual stories'. Report on the first RegionalCo-ordinators Conference in Asom Wongsanit, Thailand, 11/14 January, 1996.