Kick-off Event

Kick-off Event

Kick-off Event

Time: Monday, 24. January 2022, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (CET)

The kick-off event marks the official start of the GFFA events that will take place from 24 to 28 January 2022. Guided by the motto “Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil”, panelists from industry, science and politics will introduce the GFFA subject and its manifold aspects in a stimulating panel discussion.


Dr. Melinda Crane has given speeches and moderated events and discussions for a wide range of international organizations and firms. She is a frequent guest and commentator on German television and radio. An experienced TV anchor, she is chief political correspondent at DW TV and also hosts the DW talk show “To the Point”. In 2014 she was awarded the Steuben-Schurz Media Award for her service to transatlantic understanding.
Dr. Crane studied history and political science at Brown University and law at Harvard. She wrote her dissertation on the political economy of development assistance at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
As International Affairs Consultant to the discussion show “Sabine Christiansen” she produced interviews with Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and George Bush, among others.
Her journalistic experience includes work for the “New York Times Magazine”, “The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine”, “The Boston Globe”, the “Christian Science Monitor” and German newspapers and magazines.

Panel guests

Ms. Birmpili assumed her position as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on 1 October 2020. Before that she served as the Executive Secretary of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. 

Ms. Birmpili had over 25 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation on sustainable development related issues and management at all levels of governance. She is a former Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change in Greece. Prior to joining the Ozone Secretariat in 2013, she served as Ambassador of Greece to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in Paris. Throughout her career, which included assignments with the Athens Development Agency, the Open University of Greece and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in different capacities, she has been engaged in issues related to environment and sustainable development. 

Ms. Birmpili holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Management and Economics from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London.

Rattan Lal ,Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor and Director of CFAES Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration, the Ohio State University, and was soil Physicist at IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria. He researches soil carbon sequestration, soil health, conservation agriculture, soil restoration and sustainable management. He has authored > 1000 journal articles, 550 book chapters, and written/ edited 100 books. He was President of the Soil Science Society of America (2006-2008), and the International Union of Soil Sciences (2017-2018). He holds a Chair in Soil Science and Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainability Issues for the IICA, Costa Rica. He was a member of the 2021-UNFSS Science Committee and Action Track 3 with focus on “Coalition 4 Action on Soil Health”. He is laureate of the 2018 World Soil Prize, 2019 Japan Prize and 2020 World Food Prize.

Christiane LAMBERT was Born in 1961 in Cantal, from parents’ farmers. At 19 years old, she settled on a dairy and pig farm in Cantal. Christiane and her husband, Thierry have three children and are now associates in a Society GAEC on a pig farm in West of France (Maine-et-Loire).
She was the first woman as President of the French Young Farmer association. Board’s member of FNSEA since March 2002, member of the Bureau since 2005. Elected Vice President in December 2010. April 2017, first woman elected FNSEA President. Since September 2020, President of COPA, European farmers’ trade union.

GFFA 2022 - Christiane Lambert - Copa-President

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Cristina T. Cambiaghi is Brazilian, graduated in law and holds a double Master in International Law and International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She has accumulated more than 15 years of public police implementation in Brazil, when she has worked for the Brazilian Government as the Head of the International Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA), of the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI), of the Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency of Brazil and as Deputy Chief of the Cabinet of the National Secretariat of Justice of the Ministry of Justice.
Currently, Ms. Cambiaghi works for the International Land Coalition Secretariat where she plays the role of Senior Global Policy and Advocacy Specialist.

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