In the beginning of the new millennium, on August 2001, the 12th World Fertilizer Congress with the theme "Fertilization in the Third Millenium – Fertilizer, Food Security and Environmental Protection" took place in Beijing, China. The Congress, jointly organized by CIEC and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was a magnificent event, attended by a large international representation (60 countries) and it was the first scientific very important fertilizer event held in Asia. The Congress was honored by the presence of the China's Vice Premier Minister, Wen Jiabao, who addressed in his opening speech a splendid message in favor of the solidarity between scientific community and business makers from around the world, with the aim to promote the health of the humanity as a whole. The President of the Congress was the Vice President of Chinese Academy of Sciences, acad. Yiyn Chen and the Secretary General – Dr. Lanzhu Ji from the Institute of Applied Ecology.
During the Congress, there were presented 8 key-‐notes lectures, 180 oral papers, 12 sessions and one hundred twenty posters related by the latest findings in the field of fertilizer production, utilization, and influence on soil fertility, crop productivity and environmental impact. At this Congress the concept of sustainable and, in the same time, a performing agriculture has been adopted as a unique viable alternative for economic and social evolution, the only one able to satisfy the needs of the present generations without compromising the capability of future generations to fulfill their own requirements.
An unforgettable event for every participant to the Congress was represented by the visit to the Sino-‐Arab Chemical Fertilizers Company led by the passionate specialist Mr. Wu Si Hai – the President of the International Fertilizer Association. This visit offered a great opportunity to learn about fertilizer industry in China and the agricultural progress achieved due to fertilizer use.
After Beijing and before the World Fertilizer Congresses in Chiang Mai, four important International Symposia were organized by CIEC.
The 13th Symposium “Fertilizer in Context with Resource Management in Agriculture - I”, Tokat, Turkey, 2002, 14th “Fertilizer in Context with Resource Management in Agriculture – II”,Debrecen, Hungary, 2003, both Symposia oriented to the efficient utilization of all kind of nutrients resources, according to the local soil and climatic conditions as well as the best agricultural management practices.
In 2004, for the first time in his history, CIEC organized a Symposium in Africa. The Symposium took place at Pretoria University, with the topic “Fertilizers and Fertilization for a sustainable Agriculture -The First World Meet the Third World”.
Taking into consideration the different opinions in relation to sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, conservative agriculture, intensive agriculture, and precision agriculture, the hosts of the 16th CIEC Symposium, Prof’s Oswald van Cleemput and Georges Hofman suggested the title of the Gent Symposium “Mineral versus Organic Fertilization. Conflict or Synergism?” title agreed by CIEC Presidium members. The majority of the participants agreed that should be considered a synergetic effect, utilizing in a proper way, specific to local conditions, of all types of nutrients, in order to sustain or increase soil fertility and crop productivity.