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2009 heralds 'International Year of Natural Fibres'
Dec '08
2009, the International Year of Natural Fibres, starts on 1 January. The initial version of our new website is expected to be available on that day – at www.naturalfibres2009.org. along with the IYNF video (multimedia).

Official Launch of the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009:
The International Year will be officially launched at FAO in Rome on 22 January 2009 (11.00 am Central European time). This will be an event attended by representatives of the news media, representatives of governments of FAO member countries, and representatives of various natural fibre industries.

I hope we can arrange a webcast, so that you can watch the event live, or catch up on it later, through the internet. We will issue a press release, and you should watch for reports in the news media. Your organization could issue its own press release ( either on or soon after 1 January or to coincide with the official launch on 22 January), maybe have your own launch event in your own country.

The website will have been filled out with considerably more detail by 22 January.

Funding is desperately needed:
The success of the International Year of Natural Fibres will depend largely on all of you organizing your own activities. Your success in this, and the success of the IYNF in total, will depend largely on FAO providing support – information materials such as leaflets, posters, booklets and factsheets; the video; press kits; access to an up-to-date website; etc.

We desperately need funding to support you in your activities, to coordinate, to disseminate information and to run an international conference on natural fibres. Past international years (note the very successful International Year of the Potato 2008, www.potato2008.org ) have been operated with donations totalling $500,000 to $1,000,000, mainly from governments.

If you have access to government agencies or industry sources that might be inclined to fund the International Year of Natural Fibres please use your influence to help ensure the success of this Year.

Mumbai event postponed:
Unfortunately the natural fibres conference planned for Mumbai, 22 to 23 January, has been postponed in the light of the recent terrorist attacks there.

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