Once again, the OWA jury faced difficult decisions in choosing the laureates from many excellent nominations from all over the world for the fifth edition of the OWA. After a meeting in the city of Bonn, in the IFOAM headquarters, the OWA jury announced the following laureates for the OWA 2017:
Palestine: Nasser Abufarha, pioneer of fair trade and the organic farming movement in the Middle East
Azerbaijan: Professor Amin Babayev, soil scientist and founding father of his country’s organic movement
India: His Excellency Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling and the organic movement of the Federal State of Sikkim
Zimbabwe: Shamiso Mungwashu, (young) organic and fair trade pioneer
Germany/India: United World Colleges (UWC) with its institutions in Freiburg/ Germany and Pune/India
„Each one of the five finalists meets all qualifications and deserves to become OWA winner" said Bernward Geier, award coordinator and chair of the OWA Jury after having visited the finalists.
The OWA Grand Prix
The OWA Jury members Nnimmo Bassey (Right Livelihood Award Laureate, Nigeria), Roberto Ugas (IFOAM Organics International, Peru), Vandana Shiva (Right Livelihood Award Laureate, India) and Joseph Wilhelm (Rapunzel Naturkost, Germany) also decided which finalist will receive the OWA GRAND PRIX along with 25,000 Euro prize money and the “Lady OWA” statue. Each of the other OWA winners will receive 5.000 Euro and an OWA medal.
Lifetime Achievement Award – for a life’s work for sustainability
In addition to the OWA and the OWA Grand Prix, the OWA Lifetime Achievement Award will also be conferred. This award honors extraordinary pioneers and personalities who have worked for the advancement of the organic movement throughout their lives.
This year, the award will go for the first time to a married couple, to Sue Edwards and her husband Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher from Ethiopia. Markus Arbenz, Executive Director of IFOAM Organics International explained the selection: “Their whole lives, Tewolde and Sue effectively worked with remote, poor communities e.g. in Tigray/Ethiopia for the livelihood of women, men and children using organic agriculture methods. They turned degraded and impoverished regions into flourishing biodiverse and productive landscapes.”
The One World Festival at Rapunzel headquarters in Legau in Southern Germany on September 8, 2017 will be a festive and dignified context for the outstanding organic pioneers of our time.