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OWC India: OWA winner Chamling celebrated in Delhi

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OWA winners 2017

The winners of the One World Awards 2017, Shri Pawan Chamling on the right next to Vandana Shiva. (Photo © One World Award)

On the occasion of the Organic World Congress 2017 of IFOAM – Organics International, which was held in Delhi from 9th to 11th of November, Honorable Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling of the Indian State of Sikkim was felicitated at the opening session of the congress in the presence of  the global organic movement. A day before, HCM Chamling has met Indian and International media for a press conference jointly organized by IFOAM – Organics International, the German organic pioneer company Rapunzel which has initiated and is funding the award, as well as Navdanya from India. A few weeks ago, Mr. Chamling had received the One World Award (OWA) Grand Prix award together with the United World Colleges in Freiburg and Pune/India at a very festive Gala. The award is only presented every three years by the German organic pioneer company Rapunzel and IFOAM – Organics International.

Chamling’s great achievements as Sikkim’s Chief Minister

The initiator and founder of OWA and CEO of Rapunzel, Joseph Wilhelm, shared his visions and reasons to establish this award in 2008, which was now presented for the 5th time: “After a very intense visit to Sikkim as founder and donor of the OWA, I'm happy and convinced that the decision of the jury to elect Chief Minister Pawan Chamling as one of the OWA grand prix award winners has been confirmed as a very wise decision. Together with the second grand winner UWC represented by the United World College in Pune we have to outstanding examples of encouraged activities, who will help to create a better future for the planet”.

Dr. Vandana Shiva (Navdanya), the activist, scientist, eco-feminist, laureate of the Alternative Nobel Prize and member of the international OWA jury, gave the Laudation speech at the Award Gala, which brought together about 1,000 guests from over 30 countries worldwide. She introduced the OWA laureate by stating among others: “Shri Chamling has done a great service to mother Earth, by striving for years to make his region organic. With one great step taken collectively by the farmers of Sikkim along with Pawan Chamling have proved that agro-ecological farming is not alternative, but it is the only option for the future. Shri Chamling’s efforts have made  Sikkim’s fields and society poison free, and has brought nutrition & food sovereignty to his people, while mitigating climate change.  His persistence and success serves as an example to all people of the world.”

Executive Director, Markus Arbenz, who represented the OWA partner IFOAM – Organics International at the press conference, highlighted the tremendous impact of the achievements of Chief Minister Chamling and the farmers of Sikkim with their complete conversion to organic agriculture - “The Organic Movement has so many brilliant cases that we contribute to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) for human development. The One World Award is a “best of… ” initiative  to inspire and energize the world to get closer to "Shangri La”. 100% Organic Sikkim in the Himalayas is really the best of the best!”

HCM Shri Pawan Chamling shared among others, what the OWA Award means for him, the people and namely the farmers of Sikkim: “I humbly feel that receiving the prestigious One World Award is the recognition for our work and an acknowledgment of the organic idea that we promoted successfully in the State. We are immensely happy that the achievement we have accomplished has been judged and found worthwhile by the global organic movement. All the people of Sikkim are happy and grateful for this Award. On their behalf, I would like to extend my heartfelt thank to the One World Award partners IFOAM - Organics International and Rapunzel for this recognition.”

The vision of converting all agriculture to organic farming

The globally unique success story of Sikkim under the leadership of Mr. Chamling is living proof of the conclusions of the “World Agriculture Report” (IASS Study) that only ecologically sustainable forms of agriculture will provide a future for farmers around the world. Furthermore, the example of Sikkim proves not only that a consequent and 100% conversion to organic agriculture is possible today, but also inspires to set the ambitious goal to convert all agriculture worldwide to organic farming methods. Yet, to reach the new and  highly ambitious goal it takes political leaders like HCM Mr. Pawan Chamling with strong grit and vision. With a generation of such new leaders it is our hope that the “rest of the world” in thirty years will achieve what Sikkim has already accomplished today: 100% poison free Organic fields and farms.
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