Day 1 - Saturday, September 25, 2004
Over 40 community representatives from every region of the world meet today at ICRAF for a two-day workshop before the International Ecoagriculture Conference. Community members spent time introducing themselves to one another and learning which countries they represented as a group. The facilitation team consisted of Patrick Muraguri, Esther Mwaura-Muiri, Donato Bumacas, and Gladman Chibememe.
Sara Scherr, Director of Ecosystem Services Forest Trends, then introduced the concept of ÇecoagricultureÁ to the group. She explained that the approach has been adopted for thousands of years, but it is a term now being used in order to focus the policy and scientific communities on the important intersection of agriculture and conservation.
At the end of the morning the Shamba was officially opened in a ceremony with the Indonesian ambassador, recognizing the value of bamboo as a resource with many uses, including in the construction of the Shamba (see picture) Representatives of the Canadian government were present, as well as the Director General of ICRAF ² Dennis Garrity.
Participants broke for lunch and then returned to hear Sean Southey, Manager of the Equator Initiative, introduce the concept of the Shamba which was created to inspire, build awareness and share specific knowledge and concerns about successful community-driven ecoagricultural initiatives.
Jose Juarez of Cafe de la Selva (Equator Prize 2002 winners) and Gladman Chibememe of the Chibememe Earth Healing Association (Equator Prize 2004 finalists) then detailed the biophysical and institutional challenges and opportunities faced by communities. After this, the participants were given time in breakout groups to share their own stories and delve into the good practice taking place at the local level around the world. Participants returned to plenary and shared their experiences as feedback and established the agenda for the next day before ending the first day of the workshop.