The Conference had two broad aims. The first was to unify, connect and to strengthen the Asia Pacific Biodynamic Movement towards a common path of development. The second was to build and deliver a dynamic program offering opportunities to share knowledge, experiences and insightful artistic activities in a peaceful and collaborative atmosphere.
Over four days, through a diversity of presentations, working groups and interactive farm visits, participants had the opportunity to learn and engage on many different topics. Key speakers such as Jakes Jayakaran emphasized the responsibility of humanity to contribute to the transformation of the Earth, while Walter Siegfried Hahn invited participants to use their imagination to create this new earth through Agri-sculpture. Harald Hoven, stressed the importance of further research to continue adapting and developing biodynamics to the different socio-culture and climatic conditions all over the world, especially in the tropics.
Our appreciation to Malaysian BD farmer Ng Tien Khuan for honoring the work and legacy of Alex Podolinsky to the worldwide Biodynamic movement by exchanging on his successful experience applying the Australian BD farming method as developed by Alex. In Ng Tien words: “Alex opened our eyes to what BD could bring to the earth, how we could develop our soil to face the challenges of extreme weather, to help with the development of human beings, the true concept of humus, and the real value of farming and farmers”
Among many interesting contributions were the working groups on “The Challenges of implementing Biodynamics in Tropical regions” by Jakes Jayakaran, “Plant cultivation for Biodynamic Preparations” by Rolf & Anne Bucher, “PGS-certification” by Sundeep Kamath, “The relationship of Biodynamics and traditional/indigenous knowledge” by Ivan Ho and Dr. Colin Nicholas, “The Animal in the Biodynamic Farm” by Konomi & Ben Campbell, “Biodynamic Training and Education” by Harald Hoven & Walter Siegfried Hahn, “The Farm Individuality” by Christoph Simpfendörfer and a workshop on the importance of” Re-establishing Farmer & community connection” by Chong Siu and Callie Tai.
The conference received many positive comments from participants. Chikying from Malaysia noted that the Conference served to “weave together new connections in the region and make living the question: ‘What is metamorphosis and development?". Mahendra Kumar, from Nepal, added that "the conference was an opportunity to find all the collective forces with different polarities with the same kind of vision and mission to make our mother earth healthy”. For Anthoni Selvi, from India, “each and every single person contribution during my stay at APBC taught a lesson of unity and the will power to form a community life”.
This was the first conference of its kind in the region on this scale. There were many challenges, and we learned a lot from this pioneering experience. We are convinced of the importance of this transformative path and we are committed to continue to work collaboratively, with tolerance and respect, for our diversity and for the further development of the biodynamic movement in Asia and the Pacific. In the words of Walter Siegfried-Hahn:
“The conference in Raub Pahang was the best possible kick-off for the hoped-for expansion of the biodynamic work in Asia…I feel this was a very successful conference. Looking at the encounters, the connections made and the atmosphere laid down in our memories, the conference may well be remembered if not as an Asian Koberwitz, maybe as the first time Dornach happened in Asia”
A huge thank you to all speakers, trainers and workshop leaders who led us through these days with dedication and meaningful contributions. Thank you to Grace Zozobrado Hahn, Walter Siegfried Hahn and ChikYing Chai for all the openness and inspiration you brought to this conference through arts. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the great organizing team from Malaysia Demeter Association (MDA) and all volunteers for all their great work coordinating the conference. All of you have showed us that collaborative work, dedication, and love towards biodynamics can be a transformative and powerful force.
Finally, but not least, that you the Section of Agriculture at the Goetheanum for their contributions and to all those who donated to support the participation of Biodynamic farmers from all over Asia to attend the Conference. Thank you all for making this important event for the biodynamic movement possible.