The Expo’s Biodiversity Park is the result of a partnership between BolognaFiere and the Expo 2015 SpA., in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, the Ministry of the Environment, Protection of Land and Sea, and FederBio. The Thematic Area of Expo Milano 2015 dedicated to biodiversity covers 8,500 square meters, and includes a theater and two Pavilions, one dedicated to Organic and Natural Products, the other housing the Biodiversity exhibition.
The goal of the Biodiversity Park is to call attention to Italy’s outstanding qualities in terms of the environment, agriculture, and food production. Visitors to the park will see how Italy’s agricultural biodiversity has evolved and has been taken care of, their visit complemented by events, seminars, and multi-media experiences. The term agro-biodiversity is comprehensive and refers to all of the plant species grown and all of the animals raised in agriculture, agro-ecosystems and agricultural landscapes. The term agrobiodiversity refers to all plant varieties cultivated and animal breeds raised, to agriculture, agroecosystems, and arable land. It also includes the genetic resources of plants and animals, edible plants and agricultural crops, traditional varieties and ancient recipes, livestock, fish, and land micro-organisms, irrigation waters, and cultivated lands, seeds and types of farming establishments.
We cannot talk about food and the future of the planet, or about the global challenges for ensuring nutrition and sustainable development, without also discussing agricultural biodiversity and its evolution and protection. These naturally lead to organic farming methods that play a crucial role in the conservation and implementation of biodiversity.
The objective of BolognaFiere in creating the park and partnering with Expo, complemented by the organizational experience of SANA (the International Exhibition of Organic and Natural Products), is to showcase the Italian farmers, businesses and associations who share a respect for nature, within a thematic area in the Universal Exposition. The Biodiversity Park is thus a journey through the many opportunities that biodiversity and organic agriculture afford for Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.
THE PROJECT: BIODIVERSITY PARK AND THE ORGANIC PAVILION
In the heart of the EXPO, from Palazzo Italia and the Tree of Life, the Biodiversity Park opens up as a large green area of 8,500 square meters, which reaches up to EXPO’s East Entrance. Here you can walk among trees and fields that show different examples of Italian "agrobiodiversity" cultivation. A walk through the park is a chance to see an organic farm that represents all of Italy, comprised of crops from the major eco-regions of the Italian landscape: the Alpine mountain zones, great plains of the Po Valley, the Apennines and the Mediterranean coasts, the park contains 300 species of plants, all cultivated with organic farming methods.
The park aims to show and teach the foundations of a new agriculture for which Italian organic farming can serve as a global example and model. The richness in biodiversity brings forth new methods of farming and agricultural innovation, and sustainable, organic farming to preserve and restore biodiversity, soil fertility, hydrogeology security and water resources, along with the beauty of the landscapes, the quality of the climate and the environment.
The Agro-biodiversity Exhibition, the Organic Pavilion, the Theater of the Earth
Three pavilions within the park surround EXPO’s Organic Farm.
The Pavilion hosts an exhibition on Biodiversity that has been developed by the Scientific Committee made up from University of Milan’s Faculty of Agriculture, in collaboration with the faculties of the Universities of Padua and Bologna. The pavilion also hosts the Ministry of Agriculture and represents the commitment to seek new practices, techniques and innovation for agricultural and organic production. Initiatives presented come from a number of recognized organizations including: the Coordination of Italian Universities for EXPO, the Organic Observatory of the Bocconi University and the International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM). The Pavilion is the starting point for guided tours and also hosts meetings with experts and leaders who will offer "Organic Lessons” for all ages and as part of the EXPO school visiting program.
The Italian Organic Pavilion presents visitors with the most significant aspects of the organic world such as nutrition and healthy food production. Here visitors can shop in the organic BIOMARKET or eat at CUCINA E PIZZA BIOLOGICA , taking a break and nourishing themselves organically. All can be found located next to the urban organic gardens that extend to EXPO’s East entrance.
The Park is home to the Theater at the Center of the Earth, which is a 200-seat convention center that hosts presentations from the many "caretakers of the land" such as the farmers, associations and enterprises that are engaged in innovative agriculture, organic production and its associated technologies. The Theater provides the stage for major events dealing with such vital issues as "THE EARTH'S RIGHTS AND THE RIGHTS TO THE EARTH"; along with other meetings dedicated to the issues of the protection of biodiversity and sustainability.
At the end (or the entrance) of the Park-Farm, visitors find examples of fruit and vegetable gardening and of urban farming that will be brought to life and teach us about the many experiences of Italian cities starting with Milan and Bologna.