Speakers short biographical information

In the order of their appearance

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Gerald Lonauer
Network of GMO-Free Regional Governments

Gerald Lonauer is a graduated lawyer, working for the Upper Austrian governmental administration since 1985. Since 1995, he has served as Head of the Liaison Office of Upper Austria to the EU in Brussels.

Together with the representative of the Region of Tuscany, Gerald Lonauer represents the network of GM-Free Regional Governments in Brussels.

Monica Frassoni
Co-President Greens/EFA in the European Parliament

Monica Frassoni, born 1963 in Veracruz, Mexico, has a degree in Political Science from the University of Florence. She has been active in the European Federalist Movement, and in 1987 she was elected Secretary General of the Young European Federalists (JEF) and later as President of the European Co-ordinating Bureau of Youth NGOs.

From 1990 to 1999 she worked for the Green/EFA Group in the European Parliament championing the cause of European citizenship and fundamental rights. In 1999 she was elected to the EP in Belgium on behalf of the Belgian Green Party (ECOLO).

In 1999, she became a member of the Executive Committee of the Green Party in Italy (Federazione dei Verdi). In June 2004, she was re-elected to the EP with the Italian Greens. She is a member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and of the Delegation for Relations with Mercosur.

Since December 2001, she has been Co-President of the Green/EFA Group in the EP. She is also a member of the board of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank (PNoWB) and headed the EU's electoral observation missions to Bolivia and Venezuela in 2006.

Benedikt Haerlin
GENET, Foundation on Future Farming

Benedikt Haerlin works for the German Foundation on Future Farming (www.zs-l.de) in Berlin, Germany, and co-ordinates the European initiative "Save our Seeds" (www.saveourseeds.org) to keep conventional and organic seeds free of GMOs. He is also a member of the board of GENET, the European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering (www.genet-info.org) and of the International Commission on the Future of Food (www.future-food.org).

Haerlin was the global co-ordinator of Greenpeace International’s Genetic Engineering Campaign from 1996 to 2002. He continues to advise the organisation and represents it in the Bureau of the United Nations International Agricultural Assessment of Science and Technology for Development (www.agassessment.org). From 1984 to 1989 Haerlin served as a Member of the European Parliament (Green Group), where he specialised in genetic engineering issues. Before, he worked as a publisher and journalist in Berlin. Haerlin studied philosophy and psychology in Tübingen and Berlin and was born in Stuttgart in 1957.

 

Michael Flüh
EU Commission, DG Sanco, Head of Unit Biotechnology and Plant Health

Since September 2004, Dr. Michael Flüh has been Head of Unit “Biotechnology and Plant Health”, DG Health and Consumer Protection, European Commission. The Unit is responsibile for legislation in the areas of biotechnology (genetically modified food and feed), plant health (harmful organisms), seed and propagation material and plant variety rights. Prior, Michael Flüh served from 2000 to 2004 as Head of Unit in the Food and Veterinary Office in Ireland. The Unit covered a wide range of activities in relation to food of plant origin, such as residues, contaminants, food irradiation, GMOs, food hygiene, organic farming and plant health matters.

Before receiving his first appointment as Head of Unit in the European Commission, which he joined in 1995, Flüh worked in different areas involving inspections of Member States and Third countries on plant health and food safety matters, negotiations on SPS agreements, research and regional development projects.

Prior to his career in the Commission, he worked from 1988 to 1995 in the private sector (R&D for plant protection products). He holds a PhD in plant nutrition from the University of Kiel in Germany, where he also worked as a scientific assistant and lecturer. Michael Flüh was born in 1958. He is married and has three children.

 

Maria Grazia Mammucini
Head of the Agricultural Development and Innovation Agency, ARSIA, Toscana, Italy

Since 1995, Maria Grazia Mammucini has been the Director of the Agenzia Regionale per lo Sviluppo e l’Innovazione in Agricoltura (Regional Agency for Agricultural Development and Innovation, ARSIA) of the Regione Toscana. She is also an active member of the board of directors of the National Agricultural Research and Experimentation Council. She has been a town councilor of Montevarchi (1993-1997) and of Terranuova Bracciolini (1985-1987) and a member of the Tuscany Regional Council (1987-1995), where she served as Vice President of the Agricultural Committee.

She was Vice Chairwoman of the Umbrian-Tuscan Irrigation Agency (1993-1998); a member of the management of the Tuscan Regional Association of Farming Cooperatives (1983-1987) and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the of the Società Cooperativa Valdarnese di Servizi Agricoli (1983-1987) and the Cooperativa Agricola di Conduzione Terreni del Valdarno (1979-1985). Since 1990. she has co-owned a commercial vineyard.

She is a corresponding member of the Italian Academy of Forestry Sciences and of the Italian Vine and Wine Academy. She was awarded the “Salomone d’Oro” by the University of Florence for her activities in the field of agriculture and has published extensively on subjects related to farming and agricultural policies.

Born in Terranova Bracciolini in 1959 she holds a Diploma from the technical high school of Arezzo, with a specialization in chemistry and has professional training for agricultural workers.

 

Hannes Lorenzen
Chairman of PREPARE, Partnership for Rural Europe Network and Green Group

Hannes Lorenzen, from North Friesland, Germany, is the Green/EFA group advisor to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament and an expert in European agriculture and rural development policies. He is the co-founder of Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN) and European rural development networks like Forum Synergies and Partnership for Rural Europe (PREPARE). He has a Masters degree in Sociology and a postgraduate degree in International Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

Daniele Bianchi
Cabinet Member of Commissioner Fischer Boel

Daniele Bianchi is a dignitary of the European Commission. Currently, he is a member of the cabinet of Mrs. Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

• Dottore in Giurisprudenza, Faculty of Law, University of Pisa (IT) (1992)

• Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieurs in International Relations and Cooperation, Faculty of Law, University of Aix-en-Provence (FR) (1992-1993)

• Lieutenant of Guardia di Finanza, attached to the International Relations Division, Head-quarters, Rome (IT) (1993- 1994)

• COMETT Scholarship, European Insurance Association (C.E.A.), Brussels (1995)

• Robert Schuman Scholarship, European Parliament, Brussels (1995)

• European Commission, Directorate General for Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Cereals, oilseeds and protein crops unit (September 1995- December 1998)

• European Commission, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Legal advisor in Unit H-1 Agricultural law and simplification (January 1999-November 2005)

• Author of several publications on EC Agricultural Law, notably in 2006 a book on CAP Law

• Lecturer in Agricultural Law and EU policies in several universities and business schools

• Nationality: Italian

 

Thijs Etty
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thijs Etty is a Researcher in the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA) of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Since August 2006, he has been active as a research fellow with the Global Governance Project.

He is Editor-in-Chief of The Yearbook of European Environmental Law (YEEL), published annually by Oxford University Press and has been on its editorial board since its launch in 1998.

His current research focuses on the regulation of agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) foods in the European Union, in particular regulatory policies for the coexistence of farming with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with organic and ‘conventional’ (intensive) agriculture, a debate often referred to as the ‘final frontier’ of EU agricultural biotechnology policy.

Thijs is a member of the international organization Slow Food, and a research fellow in the Ius Commune International Legal Research School, section Transboundary Environmental Law, Member of Ius Commune Centre for Environmental Law (ICCEL), and research fellow in the Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE).

 

Ludmila Andreeva
Bulgarian Parliament, Bulgaria

Ludmila Andreeva is a Counsellor to the Member of the Bulgarian Parliament Borislav Velikov and to the National Movement Simeon the Second, for which she is currently up for election as a candidate in the European Parliament in Bulgaria. Until December 2006, she was the Attaché of Cultural and Communication Affairs at the Embassy of Bulgaria to Belgium and Luxembourg, where she was involved in the preparation of Bulgaria's accession to the EU. Before, she worked for the Diplomatic Delegation of Bulgaria to NATO as a Communication and Protocol Officer. In the Ministry of Regional Development she had served as an expert on infrastructure projects of the PHARE programme. She has also worked for Japan Tobacco International and other companies. Mrs Andreeva has been the international project coordinator of Bulgaria's Young European Federalists. She holds a Masters degree in International Relations and specialized in Marketing and Business Administration.

 

Odo Wöhry
Regional Parliament of Styria, Austria

Since 2000, Mr. Wöhry has been a member of the Styrian Parliament representing the Austrian Peoples Party. He is their speaker on land use planning and regional development. He has been instrumental in the design of the Styrian precautionary law on genetically modified organisms in agriculture and participated in the negotiations with the national government and the European Commission on this law. He is also a member of the Committees on Europe and Infrastructure of the Styrian Parliament.

Mr Wöhry holds a degree in agro-forestry from the University of Vienna. He is the technical director of the Agricultural Administration of the district of Leibnitz in Styria as well as the technical co-odinator of the Agricultural Services of Styria as a whole.

Katalin Rodics
Ministry of Environment, Hungary

Mrs. Rodics works for the Hungarian Ministry for Environment's Nature Conservation Authority as Head of CITES Management Authority of Hungary since 1987. Since 1998 she is the Head of the Unit for International Nature Conservation Treaties (including the Biodiversity Convention and Cartagena Protocol) and since 2004 she is also responsible for the issue of GMOs.
Before she worked for the National Institute of Occupational Health. Mrs. Rodics, born in 1951, holds a PhD in biology and specialised in Nature Conservation Ecology.

 

Helen Holder
Friends of the Earth Europe

Helen Holder has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bristol (UK) and a Masters in Business from the E.M. Lyon (Ecole de Management de Lyon, France). After working for two years for a consultancy firm to the pharmaceutical industry, she started working on GMO issues in 1999, with the activist network ASEED Europe (Action for Solidarity, Equality Environment and Diversity). Following 4 years working on EU policy and advocacy for a development NGO, she has been the European GMO Campaign Coordinator at Friends of the Earth since 2005.

Hiroyuki Hashimoto
Hokkaido Food Safety Divison, Japan

 

Hiroyuki Hashimoto is the Director of the Food Policy Division of the regional government of Hokkaido. Since 2005, he has led the Bureau of Food Safety Promotion in the Department of Agriculture. Since 2004, he has also been.the Director of the Agricultural Management Division, Department of Agriculture and since 2001 the Executive Director of the Regional Policy Division of Kushiro Subprefecture Office. He joined the Hokkaido Prefecture Government in 1979 and was born in 1954 in Matsumoto City. Mr Hashimoto holds a degree in Agriculture from Hokkaido University.

 

Chantal Bruetschy
European Commission, DG Environment, Biotechnolgy

Mrs. Bruetschy is the Head of Unit “Biotechnology, Pesticides and Health” at the Directorate General for the Environment since June 2006. Until May 2006 she was Head of the Directorates Unit “Health and Urban Areas”. Before she was Deputy Head of Unit DG Health and Consumer Protection “Food Safety” Responsible for Enlargement negotiations in Food Safety and a Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Bangemann responsible for Industrial Policy Space, maritime, automotive, defence and worked for the Directorate General for Industry Administrator (Negotations with Turkey, Japan, United States, South Korea on automotive issues) as well as the Directorate General for Internal market and industrial Affairs Administrator (WTO negotiations on industrial issues). She also worked for the Directorate General for Internal Market as Administrator (Legislation on public procurement in the context of 1992 Internal Market programme) and the Directorate General for Competition (competition rules in Air and Maritime Transport).

Mrs. Bruetschy was also a member of a Brussels Law Office and a Consultant on European Affairs on copyright issues and audio visual industry Air France in Paris, France at the Directorate of International Relations, in charge of negotiations of commercial agreements with other airlines She studied Law and Economics in France, UK and Germany. She is a French national.

 

Friedrich Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf
MEP, Vice President of Agricultural Committee, Germany

Graefe zu Baringdorf, born in 1942 in Spenge, Germany, has been a member of the European Parliament since 1984 (Green Group). He has been the Vice President of the Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development since 1989 (Chairman 1999-2002). He is also a founding member and the acting President of the German Small Farmers' Association (Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft, AbL). During the 80ies, Graefe zu Baringdorf converted the 50 hectare estate his family has been holding since the 10th century into an organic farm. He holds a Masters degree in agricultural sciences and a Ph.D. in educational sciences, where he specialised in 'Labour relations and socialisation of young farmers'.

 

Daniela Valentini
Minister of Agriculture of Lazio, Italy

 

Wolfgang Koehler
German Ministry of Agriculture, Germany (EU presidency)

 

Marco Contiero
Greenpeace International

Marco Contiero is the Senior Policy Officer on Genetic Engineering of the Greenpeace European Unit in Brussels. Before, he worked for Greenpeace as an expert on toxic trade and the REACH programme, as a legal advisor to the European Environmental Bureau. Contiero has also worked as a lawyer in Padua. He holds a Masters of Law from the University of Amsterdam with a specialisation in European Environmental Law and graduated from the University of Padua.

 

Andoni García Arriola
COAG, Spanish Farmers Union, Spain

Andoni Garcia was born in 1962 in Carranza (Vizcaya), is married and has one daughter. His parents and grandparents were livestock farmers and Andoni worked on the family dairy farm since he was sixteen.

For two years he was a member of the Friesian Cow Association in Vizcaya and for another two years was a member of the Executive Committee of the Basque Farmers' Union EHNE.

At 27 he became a working member of EHNE, responsible for livestock sector issues of three counties within Vizcaya. He soon became responsible for livestock farming issues for the whole of the Basque Farmer's Union, EHNE and later for Spain through COAG.

He was elected member of the Executive Committee of COAG in the 9th General Assembly held in Madrid in november 1997, a post that was ratified in the 10th and 11th Assemblies of COAG held in Toledo in 2000 and Madrid 2003 respectively.

He is currently responsible for the areas of Work Relations, Income Policies, Production Costs, Rural Platform, Food Security and the Environment within the Excutive Committee of COAG.

 

Pascale Loget
Vice-President of the Council of Britanny, France

Pascale Loget is a 48 year old, visual artist by profession and member of the Green Party. She served as Deputy Mayor of Rennes, the capital of Brittany (Breizh), from 1995 to 2004. Since then she has been the Vice-President of the Council of Brittany, after winning 9,7% of the votes as chief candidate of a coalition between Greens and a regionalist party.

For 12 years, Pascale Loget has been working against the dispersal of GMOs. She is in charge of the working group on “International Agreements" in the Network of GM Free European Regions and Local Authorities (40 regions) and organised a fact-finding mission to Brazil of the authorities on the soy trade. She hosted the 4th conference of the Network of GM-free European Regions in Rennes. At present, she is preparing a conference on "Non-GM foodstuffs and a European Regional Agricultural Strategy" in Brussels (December 4-5, 2007).

 

Veronika Kochetova
Moscow Duma Committee on Public Health, Russia

Veronika Kochetova, graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University as a public relations manager. She works for the Moscow City Duma's Commission on Healthcare as Press-Secretary for Liudmila Stebenkova, the Chairwoman of the Commission.

 

Ryoko Shimizu
No!-GMO Campaign, Japan

Ryoko Shimizu is a staff member of the Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative, which has 270,000 members all over Japan. She is now working as an international coordinator at the Policy Research Institute for the Civil Sector, which functions as a think tank for the Seikatsu Club. She also works as a member of the steering committee of the No! GMO Campaign

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Pawel Polanecki
Government advisor, Poland

Pawel Polanecki, born in 1951 in Milanówek near Warsaw, is an independent expert and advisor to the Polish Ministry of Agriculture. Until 2006, he was the Vice President of the Mazovia Regional Parliament. Since 1996 he has been connected with Conservative Polish Catholic movements and was a co-founder of the of League of Polish Families (LPF). He is a member of the political council of the LPF and the Vice-President of LPF’s Mazovia regional branch. Polanecki is an engineer and economist by profession. He graduated as a mechanical engineer from the Warsaw Polytechnical Institute. He holds a Masters degree from the Warsaw School of Economics. Since 1982, he has been owner of companies for industrial innovative accessories, production and supply, as well as consulting and legal advisory. Polanecki is married and has 2 children

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Luca Colombo
Genetic Rights Foundation, Italy

Luca Colombo is the Project Co-ordinator of the Genetic Rights Foundation based in Rome. He works as researcher and advisor on agro-biotechnological issues. He holds a degree in agronomy and has published articles and books on agronomic and ethical issues, including globalisation and food security. He has previously worked for Greenpeace and the Rome Chamber of Commerce and the Centro Internazionale Crocevia and is a Member of the Municipality of Rome Ethical Committee.

 

Brian John
GMO free Cymru, Wales

Since 2001, Brian John has been a member of the GM Free Cymru liaison group. This group has been influential in keeping Wales GM Free, and has alerted the Welsh Assembly to health and environmental threats associated with GM crops and foods.

Brian John was born in Carmarthen, Wales in 1940. He is married and has two grown sons and two grandsons. He holds a PhD in Geography, worked as a field scientist in Antarctica and as a Geography Lecturer in Durham University. He specialized in geomorphology and glaciology, climate change and environmental management. In 1977, he and his family moved to a smallholding near Newport in Pembrokeshire, and since then he has made his living as a writer and publisher. He is also actively involved in many environmental and community organizations.

Brian founded the West Wales Eco Centre and has done spells of duty on the Council of the local Wildlife Trust and NCC Council for Wales. He has published hundreds of scientific and popular articles and around 60 books. His publications include university texts on geomorphology and regional geography, and books of popular science relating to glaciers and the Ice Age. He has a considerable published output on GM issues, particularly relating to the regulatory and political context of GM decision making.

 

Svetla Nikolova
Agrolink Bulgaria

Dr. Svetla Nikolova is a chairperson of AGROLINK, the Organic Association of Bulgaria. She has led and coordinated more then 20 national and international projects dealing with organic farming, sustainable rural development and GMOs. Some of the projects are conducted in close cooperation with European and international organisations such as the UNDP; Regional and Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Countries, Hungary; Applied Research Institute – Wageningen, the Netherlands and other institutions.

She has worked at the Sofia University and the Agrarian University – Plovdiv as an assistant professor in natural polymers and environmental waste management and as researcher at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Nikolova has published 21 scientific publications, 23 scientific reports, 25 popular publications in national and international media and holds 6 patents.

She is a member of the following working groups and committees in the area of sustainable and organic agriculture:

• Member of the Board of GENET

• Member of the Board of IFOAM EU group (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) based in Brussels.

• Member of the Commission for the preparation of the new Plan on Rural Development in Bulgaria for 2007-2013

• Member of the Monitoring Committee of SAPARD (Special Agriculture Programme And Rural Development for the European Union accession countries) as an elected representative of environmental NGOs (in Bulgaria)

• Member of the working group at the Ministry of Environment and Water for the amendments of the GMO law (2007)

 

 

Annemarie Volling
GMO-Free Regions coordination, AbL Small Farmers Association, Germany

Annemarie Volling works for the Small Farmers Association of Germany, AbL and is the co-ordinator of the GMO-Free Regions Network in Germany

Andrew Kimbrell
Center for Food Safety, Washington, D.C, USA

Andrew Kimbrell is a public interest attorney, activist and author. After working for eight years as the Policy Director at the Foundation for Economic Trends, Kimbrell became Executive Director of the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) in 1994 and also Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety in 1997.

He has been involved in public interest legal activity in numerous areas of technology, human health and the environment. He is one of the United States’ leading environmental attorneys, and an author of several articles and books on environment, technology and society, and food issues. His books include 101 Ways to Help Save the Earth (1990), The Human Body Shop, The Engineering and Marketing of Life (1993), The Masculine Mystique (1995), Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food (2006) and general editor of Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture (2002) and the Fatal Harvest Reader (2002).

 

Hilkka Summa
EU Commission, DG Agriculture, Bioenergy

Since the beginning of 2006, Ms. Hilkka Summa has been Head of Unit in the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of the European Commission, being in charge of bioenergy, biomass, forestry and climate change. Her unit coordinates the agricultural aspects of EU policies related to biomass energy. Hilkka Summa has worked in the European Commission since 1997. Her previous assignments include promotion of agricultural products and evaluation of agricultural policies. Before joining the EU administration she was a civil servant in the Ministry of Finance of the Finnish government.

 

Raffaello Garofalo
European Biodiesel Board

Mr. Garofalo was born in Florence Italy, in 1971.

He was appointed Secretary General of the European Biodiesel Board (EBB) - i.e. the European federation of biodiesel producers - in May 2002.

Previously he worked for four years within FEDIOL, the European Federation of Vegetable Oils Producers, dealing among others, with non-food uses of vegetable oils, which include bio-lubricants, bio-solvents and of course, biodiesel.

In 1998 he worked temporarily in the European Commission (DG Agriculture) as well as within the Research Directorate of the European Parliament.

After graduating with distinction in Politics in the International Politics Department of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences-Po), in Paris, in 1997, he was admitted as a foreign student at the French Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA).

He obtained a Master’s Degree on European Administrative Studies at the College of Europe in Bruges in 1998.

 

Günther Buck
Unilever, Global Supply Management for Oils & Fats, Switzerland

Managing Director Unilever Raw Materials – Division USCC, and Vice President of the Global Supply Management for Oils & Fats

Mr. Buck studied Business Economics in Germany and completed his post-graduate work at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Mr. Buck began his carrier in Unilever more than 30 years ago. His professional background is finance. For half of his career, Günther Buck has worked on the boards of different companies across Europe as Finance/Logistic Director.

Most of his career has been spent in the Unilever food business including ice cream and frozen foods except for a couple of years in Unilever’s health and personal care business.

For the past 5 years, Buck has been based in Switzerland running Unilever Raw Materials, Division of Unilever’s European Supply Chain Company AG, as Managing Director. This has provided Buck a broad experience especially within oils and fats but also in the area of agriculture commodities. Currently, Buck is responsible for Global Oils & Fats Supply as VP Supply Management.

Günther Buck is 57 years old, married and has three sons.

 

Karin Scheele
MEP, Austria

Karin Scheele was elected to the European Parliament in 1999 in Austria as a Member of the Austrian Socialist Party (SPÖ). She serves on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and as substitute member of the Committee on Development. She has worked intensively on the issue of GMOs. She is also a member of the Regional Executive Board of the SPÖ Lower Austria and has worked for the International Secretariat of the SPÖ in charge of relations to the Socialist International, and Development issues. She was a Political Officer in the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) in charge of the organisation of international seminars and the coordination of European and African relations. Before, she was employed by the Pensionsversicherungsanstalt der Arbeiter (Workers' Pension Fund).

 

Ursula Vavrik
European Environmental Bureau

Dr Ursula Vavrik holds a Master’s degree and a PhD (1990) in Economic and Social Sciences and has worked on environment and sustainable development issues for over fifteen years. She has a wide-ranging career history encompassing EU institutions, multinational organizations (the UN and OECD), academia, the private sector and NGOs. Having begun as a journalist in1985, she then worked as a consultant for UNDP, UNEP and NGOs and was project coordinator in Kenya for four years. Her EU expertise comes from postings as environment attaché at the Austrian Permanent Representation (1997-1999), spanning Austria’s 1998 EU Presidency, as national expert at DG Environment for three years, and as lecturer in European Politics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (‘Sciences Po’). In the year 2000, she was appointed guest professor for environmental management at Vienna’s University of Agriculture, and has held classes on sustainable development at the Vienna University of Economics for over ten years. During the Austrian EU Presidency in 2006, she served as a senior advisor on development at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Most recently, she has become EU Policy Director at the EEB. She is married and has two children.

 

Gerhard Dieterle
The World Bank

Gerhard Dieterle is currently the Forests Advisor, leading the Forestry Team at the World Bank. He has had twenty-four years of experience in national and international forest and environmental policies, development policies, consultative processes, projects on sustainable forest management and forest conservation. He holds a PhD in technical and economic analyses of alternative timber harvesting, processing and marketing systems. His previous positions included working with the German Forest Administration, the European Union, undertaking overseas assignments in Togo and Indonesia, working in the cabinet of the German Minister for Agriculture/Forestry, and undertaking a diplomatic posting as German Alternate Permanent Representative to FAO, WFP and IFAD. He has also conducted research at the Faculty of Forestry, Freiburg University (Germany) and was previously the lead forestry specialist in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. His areas of specialization include institutional reforms, forest policy and environmental policy, policy dialogue, innovative financing, forestry projects (field and administration), and sustainable forest management, marketing and trading of wood and non-wood products including certification.

 

Vandana Shiva
Navdanya Seed Movement, India

Dr. Vandana Shiva holds a Ph.D. in Physics. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade.

Dr. Shiva has contributed in fundamental ways to changing the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Her books, “The Violence of Green Revolution” and “Monocultures of the Mind” have become basic challenges to the dominant paradigm of non-sustainable, reductionist Green Revolution Agriculture. Through her books Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest, Water Wars, Dr. Shiva has made visible the social, economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalisation. Dr. Shiva chairs the Commission on the Future of Food set up by the Region of Tuscany in Italy. She is a Board Member of the International Forum on Globalisation and of the Steering Committee of the Indian People’s Campaign against the WTO. She also serves on Government of India Committees on Organic Farming. She is an International Councillor of Slow Food and a founding council member of the World Future Council.

Dr. Shiva’s is campaigning internationally on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), biodiversity and genetic engineering.

Dr. Shiva’s book, Staying Alive has dramatically shifted the perception of third world women. In 1990 she wrote a report for the FAO on women and agriculture entitled, “Most Farmers in India are Women” and initiated the international “Diverse Women for Diversity”.

Dr. Shiva has been a visiting professor and lectured at the Universities of Oslo, Norway, Schumacher College, U.K. Mt. Holyoke College, U.S., York University, Canada, University of Lulea, Sweden, University of Victoria, Canada, and Universite libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.

Among her many awards are the Alternative Nobel Prize (Right Livelihood Award, 1993), Order of the Golden Ark, Global 500 Award of UN and Earth Day International Award.

 

Adrian Bebb
Friends of the Earth

Adrian Bebb is the Agrofuels Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe. He has been involved in food and farming issues since 1997 where he jointly coordinated the campaign against GMOs in the UK for Friends of the Earth. In 2003 he moved to Germany and until this year worked at the European and international levels. Adrian now coordinates the activities of Friends of the Earth Europe on agrofuels.

 

Geert Ritsema
Greenpeace International

Geert Ritsema (47) works as a genetic engineering campaigner for Greenpeace International. He is based in Amsterdam but travels frequently to places that are on the frontlines of the global struggle against GMO contamination. Geert has been working as a professional GMO campaigner since 2000. From 2000-2002 he was with Greenpeace Netherlands, where he focused on creating consumer awareness about the risks of GMOs in food. From 2002 to 2005 he coordinated the GMO campaign of Friends of the Earth Europe.

Before turning his full attention to protecting the environment from the risks of GMOs, Geert Ritsema was a social and environmental activist in the Netherlands, where he was deeply involved in many campaigns, including the international campaign to abolish apartheid in South Africa in the 1980’s. Geert has a MA in contemporary history from the University of Amsterdam. He is married but has no children. In his spare time he sings, plays the guitar and mouth harp.

 

Cinzia Scaffidi
Slow Food International

Cinzia Scaffidi, 43, has a background in history and philosophy. She published some research in this area in the ‘90s and has maintained a historical-philosophical approach when studying scientific issues.

Before joining Slow Food in 1992, she worked as a journalist, taught and worked in the area of international cooperation. Beginning in Slow Food as editor-in-chief of the magazines for the Italian members, she then helped to create the Slow Food website. In 2000 she was in charge of the Slow Food Award for the Defence of Biodiversity and since 2004 has been one of the coordinators of the Terra Madre meeting.

She is currently Director of the Slow Food Study Center and is responsible for International Relations at the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo and Colorno. Her latest achievement is a book (Guarda Che Mare) written together with the marine biologist Silvio Greco, which will be published by Slow Food Editore in May 2007. The book deals with the present environmental situation of the sea, problems encountered by fisheries and the need for consumer awareness and education.

 

Peter Einarsson
IFOAM EU, Swedish Organic Farmers’ Association

Peter Einarsson is a member of the board of the European regional group of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements, IFOAM. He is a part-time organic farmer and a consultant in the fields of agricultural policy, agro-biodiversity, and agricultural biotechnology. He has worked for a number of Swedish and international NGOs, and occasionally also for government agencies. Major current contracts are with GRAIN (an international NGO) and Ekologiska Lantbrukarna (the Swedish Organic Farmers' association).

Present focus areas under those contracts include WTO agreements (agriculture and TRIPS in particular), WIPO (genetic resources, traditional knowledge and patent harmonisation), and EU agricultural and genetic engineering policies.

Nikos Lappas
Gesace, Greek Farmers Union, Greece

Lappas is the general expert of the Greek Farmers Professional National Organization (GESASE) on agricultural policy issues. In this capacity he is member of the COPA Presidium and the General Experts.

He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the EU for Agriculture and Environment and was President of the Advisory Committee of the EU on food quality and safety when it was created.

He has also worked for the National Centre of Social Research, the Technical Educational Institute of Athens, the Centre for Programming and Economic Sciences, the Local Authorities Institute, the Institute for Mediterranean Studies and others.

He also was Special Advisor to the Greek Ministry of Trade, the Greek and European Economic and Social Committee and other institutions. Nikos Lappas is an economist (BSc) and holds a PhD degree in agricultural economics.

 

Alexander Hissting
Greenpeace, Germany

Alexander Hissting works for Greenpeace Germany as an expert and campaigner on agriculture and genetic engineering. His focus at present is on animal feed issues and soybean production. Born in 1969 he holds a degree in agricultural engineering and studied liberal arts and international relations in the USA. Before joining Greenpeace he worked as a farmer in Germany and Switzerland.

 

Jochen Koester
IMCOPA, Brazil

Jochen Koester, Director Europe of IMCOPA, the largest all-Brazilian soybean processor (“crusher”) and, specifically, the world’s largest non-GM soy processor. Studied German and international law in Geneva and Munich, practiced in Munich and Berlin consulting mainly on trans-border investment and international marketing, worked in the field of international business development for the high-tech industry in California and for analytical and certification services in Iowa. Introduced non-GMO certification and fully documented traceability and their European marketing in the Brazilian soy industry and among Brazilian agricultural producers and in other parts of the world since 1999. Intimate knowledge of inter-dependences of Brazilian soy production / European feed & food industries / supply and production chain including European retail industry / EU and national legislation and regulation.

 

Renaud Layadi
Regional Council of Brittany, France

Renaud Layadi, 46 years old, graduated in economics, history and political science from the Insitut d'Etudes Politiques of Paris. He is currently the sustainable project manager at the regional council of Brittany and writer of a book about sustainable development strategies for regions. Since October 2004, he has been the technical expert in the GM-free regional network for Brittany.