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Another Award for Seed Swap Festival

Seferihisar’s Seed Swap Festival has been chosen as good practice for Agenda 21 for Culture Awards.

The Jury of experts, composed by Mr Eduardo Vázquez, (president), Ms María Victoria Alcaraz, Mr Emmanuel Kouela, Mr Leonidas Oliveira and Ms Farida Shaheed, held the final meeting on 19-20 May 2016 in Mexico City. The results of the Award were presented by the president of the Jury at the Executive Bureau of United Cities and Local Governments – UCLG held in Kazan, on 27 May 2016. The Report of the Jury was published on the same day on the website www.award.agenda21culture.net.

The Jury evaluated each one of the 83 projects presented and provided personalized comments in the Report, including this paragraph referred to the city of Seferihisar:

“The Jury highlights the project “Seed Swap Festival” for its originality and great combination of cultural and biosphere diversity presented by the city of Seferihisar (Turkey). Touching on a very sensitive issue around ownership of seeds and the legal obligation to use only commercial seeds, this festival departs from the cultural heritage of its region to promote environmental and economic sustainability and development through its emphasis on the preservation of traditional seeds. During the festival farmers from the entire region gather to swap native seeds and knowledge about traditional farming practices also with the additional objective of building a database about  these same seeds and farming practices. The swapping of seeds has always been integrated with a sense of community and commons. The impact of the festival has gone beyond the action of seed swapping, reinforcing the cultural farming heritage of the region. For this reason, the Jury requests that the UCLG Committee on Culture promotes this project as a good practice.”