About UsMembers LLD

Founders

European Coordination for Let's Liberate Diversity!

The European Coordination for Let's Liberate Diversity! (EC-LLD) is an international non-profit organization created in 2012 with the objective to coordinate the positions and actions of national networks and other members to encourage, develop and promote the dynamic management of biodiversity on farm and in gardens.

EC-LLD draws its origins and inspiration from the annual gatherings of the European movement on agricultural biodiversity known as the Let's Liberate Diversity! Forums. The first edition of the forum took place in 2005 in Poitiers, France. Since then the LLD forums have become a tradition and they are organised each year in a different European country. The second forum was hosted by Spain (2006), followed by subsequent editions in germany (2007), Italy (2008), Austria (2010), Hungary (20119 and Scotland (2012).

The main focuses of EC-LLD are:

  • The promotion and development of farmers' seeds on farms and gardens;
  • The exchange and dissemination of knowledge and expertise associated with farmers' seeds, their use and promotion;
  • The collection, translation and dissemination of existing information;
  • Training and stocktaking;
  • Experimentation and research;
  • Promoting and enabling legal framework favourable to farmers' rights as well as gardeners' and small seed companies' rights over agricultural biodiversity.

The founding organizations of EC-LLd are the Scottish Crofting Federation (UK), Pro Specie Rara (Swizerland), Réseau Semences Paysannes (France), Red de Semillas “ Resembrando e Intercambiando” (Spain) and Rete Semi Rurali (Italy). Membershio is open to any organization that shares the values and objectives of the Coordination.

Irish Seed Savers Association

Who We Are

Our main objective is to conserve Ireland’s very special and threatened plant genetic resources.

Our work focuses on the preservation of heirloom and heritage food crop varieties that are suitable for Ireland’s unique growing conditions. 

Irish Seed Savers Association maintains the country’s public seed bank with over 600 non-commercially available varieties of seed. We conserve and grow heritage apple trees and other fruit tree varieties. We run workshops throughout the year on various topics to help inform and teach others how to save seeds and grow their own food and be self-sustainable and to help encourage greater food security for future generations. We Grow, Preserve, Conserve and Share both our seeds, our knowledge and our love for the land. You can find information on our workshops and how to follow us throughout our website.

Conserving our Future

We locate rare varieties of vegetables, soft fruit, flowers, grains, potatoes and apple trees and then conduct research on them in our gardens. We then select varieties which are hardy and suitable for the local climate. This process takes time patience and skill and our subscribers, Friends of Seed Savers and the public are rewarded with tasty and productive varieties to grow at home. 

One of Irish Seed Savers Association’s main aims is to raise public awareness about the vulnerability of Irish agricultural biodiversity to schools and community groups through workshops. We encourage and facilitate liaisons with government departments, universities and gene banks worldwide. As environmental issues come more the forefront in all of our lives, the small efforts of many make a real difference.

Réseau Semences Paysannes – RSP

The French Farmers' Seed Network (created in 2003 brings together a great diversity of collectives and people who preserve framers' seeds in fields, orchards, vineyards and gardens. In 2015, they are 80 organisations that have come together to promote and defend cultivated biodiversity and the related fields of knowledge:  associations for the development of organic or biodynamic farming, smallholders union, small seed producers, associations which maintain and collect plants (cereals, fruits, vegetables), Regional Natural Park, NGOs working on North/South relations, environmental NGO's. They are national, regional or local organizations. The RSP and its members are involved in supporting:

  • the consolidation of local initiatives to maintain and renew cultivated biodiversity:  for instance with he « Maisons de la semence paysanne » or on farm seed banks managed by farmers (and sometimes gardeners) to manage seeds collectively, but also to be independent and autonomous from the seed industry; 
  • trainings and exchanges of know-how, re appropriation of farmers' knowledge on seeds; 
  • legal and scientific recognition of the farmers' seeds and the farmers' knowledge and participate to the legal debate on seed issues;
  • campaigns to preserve agrobiodiversity and farmers' rights; 
  • participatory research projects as participatory plant breeding between researchers and farmers to create new varieties adapted to smallholders, organic or biodynamic agriculture;
  • the development of agro-biodiversity in fields and gardens and on-farm conservation (e.g. collecting, saving and breeding different kind of cereals,f odder, leguminous and maize populations for smallholders and organic farming...);
  • the diffusion of information on crop biodiversity and contribute to the emerging public debate on the importance of crop biodiversity and risks related to GMOs and others patentable biotechnologies.

Contacts for the Réseau Semences Paysannes: 

Emilie Lapprand  (Employee) or Philippe Catinaud (Administrative Council): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

RMRM

The Meuse-Rhine-Moselle Network (RMRM) is a platform bringing together stakeholders active in the field of peasant and citizen seeds in the region bounded by the Rhine, Meuse and Moselle (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, North East France and West Germany).

The general objective of the Network is to contribute, through the action of its members, to the safeguarding and promotion of the diversity of useful plants, in particular those used for human consumption, through the maintenance and development of the local diversity of food plants.

The seeds and plants prohibited and promoted by the Network are those resulting from an in situ or ex situ selection, of traditional, local or locally adapted varieties or cultivars, preferably artisanally reproducible and adapted to agro-ecological cultivation methods.

Among its specific objectives, the Network intends to develop and support the cultivation, multiplication, improvement, circulation and varietal creation of seeds of these varieties and their derivatives on local markets.

Red de Semillas - RdS

The loss of genetic resources in farming and cattle-breeding and the recovery of local varieties were the reasons for creating the “Red de Semillas” network. An organisation of a technical, social and political nature, “Red de Semillas – Re-Sowing and Sharing” aims to bring together the various local projects in Spain and provide instruments for carrying out activities in the field of the preservation and utilisation of agricultural biodiversity, helping to coordinate activities amongst the different members and promoting their participation in national and international projects. The main assets of the Network are the people and the organisations that belong to it. They include farmers and farming organisations, agricultural experts, supporters of responsible consumption and fair trade, local action groups, germplasm banks, university staff and students, ecologist movements, research centres, etc. Work is done via the local networks on the preservation of genetic diversity in their areas through the recovery, conservation, improvement and use of the local agricultural varieties that have been passed down by farmers over the years.The Network’s activities have been, and continue to be, closely related to organic farming and the need for the inclusion within it of the preservation of biodiversity. The Network also aims to help recover the know-how of local farmers regarding growing methods. Long before the RdS was set up, the many groups that belong to it had been working on the preservation of local diversity, and farmers were actively providing materials and participating in exchange networks. In addition, research centres have been carrying out on-site programmes using local materials and producers. Of special interest is the work being done by the La Verde cooperative and the CIFAES. 

http://www.redsemillas.info/ 

Aegilops

Aegilops

The Greek Network for Biodiversity and Ecology in Agriculture named AEGILOPS has evolved
from Workshop of Ecological Practice, an NGO for ecological farming, which was based and
active in Thessaloniki from 1986 to 2000. AEGILOPS, founded in 2004, is an non-profit NGO
located in Volos, Greece. The focus of our mission is to preserve agrobiodiversity and
enhance organic agriculture .AEGILOPS deals with on-farm conservation of local landraces
and has adopted participatory processes with producers for the evaluation and selection of
these local varieties (mainly cereals, pulses, vegetable varieties and also local fruits).
Our organisation's goals are:
a. To conserve heritage varieties and traditional agricultural knowledge and to restore
landrace varieties into contemporary agricultural practice in ways that benefit community.
b. to develop plant varieties adapted to local organic production which utilize the benefits of
locally adapted genetic resources for ecological agriculture, and
c. to strengthen the role of the farmers in the conservation of genetic resources as well as
to protect their rights in taking part in the management and benefits of agrobiodiversity.
AEGILOPS have set up Focal Points in many regions of the country conducting participatory
breeding, training (Seed Schools), farmers’ group coordination and elaborating food chain
synergies.
Strengthening of local seed supply systems means ensure seed security and food self-
sufficiency at community level. AEGILOPS’ activities are also aiming to establish seed
conservancies and nurseries organized by and accessible to peasants in various regions of
the country. The priority to farmers, as members of the network, stems from the conclusion
that conservation, preservation and sustainability are directly related to appropriate use.
Contact for AEGILOPS :
Kostas Koutis (Executive Director) : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Websites : www.aegilops.gr, www.aegilopslocalfood.gr

ProSpecieRara - PSR

ProSpecieRara - PSR

PSR is a foundation with seat in Switzerland and a branch office in Germany. Since its creation in 1982 it is committed to the preservation and promotion of cultural, historical and genetic diversity of cultivated plants and livestock breeds. The preservation is achieved through on-farm / in-garden cultivation through a decentralized network of farms and gardens. The conservation is realized through a large network of over 3’500 volunteers and professional partners. As of today, ProSpecieRara maintains a seed library with 1’600 garden and crop plants, a network of collections of fruit species with over 1’800 varieties of fruit, a network of variety gardens with over 400 berries and 200 varieties of ornamental plants as well as collaborations with 26 breeder organizations to preserve 26 ancestral Swiss breeds. The preservation is coordinated with a specialized database that ProSpecieRara has itself developed. With the work of ProSpecieRara and its partners, access to rare and endangered breeds and species shall be facilitated, thus making the plants and animals available to many people. With guided tours, publications and practical courses people shall be sensitized to the issue and become engaged themselves. To promote agricultural diversity, ProSpecieRara has developed a brand that is available to marketing partners. With this seal of approval, products of varieties and breeds that meet the criteria set forth by the foundation may be traded under that brand. In addition to the products themselves and their collections respectively, gardens as well as variety keepers and cultivators may be awarded with the seal of approval. Free access to genetic resources as the basic requirement for the ongoing promotion of diversity is at the core of the foundation’s commitment. For these reasons ProSpecieRara takes an opposing stand to the tendency of limiting access to genetic resources to purely private commercial interests. 

 https://www.prospecierara.ch/de/home

Scottish Crofting Federation

Scottish Crofting Federation

The SCF is the only member-led organisation dedicated to promoting crofting and it is the largest association of small scale food producers in the UK.

Our mission is to safeguard and promote the rights, livelihoods and culture of crofters and their communities.

We:

  • work to develop, promote and encourage crofting.
  • represent and safeguard the interests of crofters, their families and communities, their cultural heritage and their legislative rights.
  • promote the environmental, social and cultural benefits of crofting activity and land use as intrinsic aspects of rural development.
  • raise awareness of crofting through information and education.
  • promote diversity of people, enterprise, skills and expertise.

 

Established and run by crofters themselves, the SCF actively engages with agencies and government officials at local, national and international levels to influence policy on rural, agricultural, social, environmental and other issues.

 http://www.crofting.org/

Dachverband Kulturpflanzen- und Nutztiervielfalt e. V.

Kulturpflanzen Nutztiere Vielfalt

It is an umbrella organisation for crop and livestock diversity. The diversity of crops and livestock represents our live cultural heritage. It does not only assure the fundament of humanity’s food supply, but also the ecological equilibrium of our cultural landscapes. Due mainly to the uniformity of industrial agriculture, this agrobiodiversity, as well as the knowledge and skills required for its maintenance and use, have largely been lost.

The umbrella organisation for crop and livestock diversity aims to counteract the progressive loss of biodiversity in agriculture. Crop varieties and livestock breeds need to be conserved and used in the context of agriculture and home gardens. Gene banks only constitute a useful backup system in case of emergencies, as they do not allow for the continuous adaptation of plants and animals to climatic changes and to pests and diseases present in our gardens, fields, pastures and meadows. Accordingly, the knowledge and skills needed to cultivate these crop varieties and rear these animal breeds, to take advantage of their special properties and to handle their products correctly can only be maintained and shared by practical experience.

The umbrella organisation was created at the end of 2009 by non-governmental organizations active at national and regional levels. By using the umbrella organization as a common platform, the member organisations aim at uniting their forces and improve the framework for their conservation activities. The member organisations cooperate by sharing technical knowledge and experience relevant to their conservation work, in the areas of public relations and education, as well as fundraising and realisation of projects. They jointly represent their interests vis-à-vis policy decision makers. Pertinent issues are discussed at workshops and symposia. Member organisations are active in German-speaking countries at the national as well as the regional level. Individuals can also support the work of the umbrella organization by affiliating as member, making a donation or by active participation. The umbrella organization is of common public interest and has been granted charity status.

https://kulturpflanzen-nutztiervielfalt.org/

Rete Semi Rurali - RSR

Rete Semi Rurali - RSR

Rete Semi Rurali - the Italian Farmers’ Seeds Network - was established in 2007 and in 2014 consists of 30 associations. The commitment of RSR consists in supporting farmers, politically and scientifically, in the creation and dissemination of self- and truly sustainable organic farming processes. The Commitment is based on these issues:

  • Each seed needs its own soil: alternative agricultural models - such as organic or biodynamic farming - are based on a strong diversification and require the availability of seeds, which should be well adapted to the multiplicity of specific growing environments. All this can hardly be provided by seed conventional systems. RSR aims at supporting the recovery of seed systems based on the active role of farmers in the production, breeding and exchange of seeds;
  • Organic farming does not just mean replacing inputs but requires the reconstruction of the agricultural system balance based on the exploitation of natural and agricultural biodiversity

Cultivated plants and animals with organic agriculture should be managed according to the principles of: diversity - ensuring more resources in the face of environmental variability, thus providing the production system stability; adaptation - integrating plants and animals in the environment in which they are grown and bred in order to have a better and more stable productivity. 

The objective of RSR is to rebuild sustainable agricultural systems starting from: agriculture re-localization, territorial re-contextualization of agricultural research and technical, political and cultural centrality of farmers and rural areas. Restoring and protecting the seed biodiversity means giving back to farmers the centrality of the decisions that affect them, starting from the future of their seeds, as defined in the Article 9 on Farmers' Rights of the FAO Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. RSR  acts:

  • on a technical level – re-designing the current agricultural techniques - which are based on uniformity - and designing specific working methods for organic farming;
  • on a scientific level - emphasizing the centrality of farmers and their knowledge in agricultural research;
  • on a political and legal level - promoting the establishment of regulatory regimes and agricultural policies, which are functional to a farmers’ re-appropriation of seed development.

RSR provides:

  • Information trough a monthly informative newsletter and a periodical magazine, websites (www.semirurali.net; www.semiedintorni.it), meetings and publishing of technical and awareness material;
  • Training activities based on knowledge exchange programs among farmers, technicians, researchers at regional, national and international, educational pathways with schools and specific vocational training courses;
  • Advocacy in order to change the current framework of the seed law at national level (together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Regions) and at European level;
  • Support for the implementation of ITPGRFA-FAO at national level and on the promotion of agricultural goods practices and  sustainable use of agro-biodiversity at national and international level.

 

www.semirurali.net

Crocevia - CIC

Crocevia - CIC

Founded in 1958, Crocevia is specialized in advocacy, policy dialogue, awareness raising, national and international campaigns on agriculture biodiversity, right to food, access to natural resources and food sovereignty. Crocevia is in charge of the International Secretariat of the International Planning Committee (IPC) for Food Sovereignty, keeping coordination with FAO, CFS, IFAD and other UN agencies.

 

http://www.croceviaterra.it/

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RMRM

Réseau Meuse-Rhine-Moselle Network Read More
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BEDE

Biodiversity: Exchange and dissemination of Experiences Read More
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DKNV

Dachverband Kulturpflanzen und Nutztiervielfalt e. V. Read More
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RdS

Red de Semillas - RdS Read More
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RSP

Réseau Semences Paysannes – RSP Read More
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Crocevia

Crocevia - CIC Read More
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