How can we heal ourselves and the planet? Soil health and gut health are inextricably linked by the food we grow and eat so maybe the solution is right under our feet and within us. Join Dr Sally Bell, GP and functional medicine practitioner, in conversion with Alexis Sinclair, Food and Nutrition Coordinator at FarmED. Hear about Sally’s journey, the Five Foundations, and her focus on the gut biome, soil health and regenerative food and farming. Learn more about the work at FarmED linking soil health and gut health. An open discussion and Q&A will follow.
Hear emerging findings from the UK’s largest farmer-led soil carbon research project, alongside cutting-edge insight on our understanding of soil carbon and the best protocols for measuring it. With discussion on why this is increasingly relevant for farmers and the associated opportunities and challenges.
Interest in soil health and its capacity to sequester carbon has risen dramatically in recent years. In some countries, farmers receive payments for soil carbon sequestration. However, uncertainties still exist in our understanding of soil carbon and the best ways to measure it.
In this session, we hear from different initiatives that are furthering our understanding about soil carbon. We find out about the pioneering work of the UK Soil Carbon Project, a partnership between the Farm Carbon Toolkit, Duchy College, Rothamsted Research, the University of Plymouth and 100 farms. The project is leading the way in developing protocols for measuring and valuing soil health and carbon sequestration, ensuring they are scientifically robust and practical at a field level. By tracking soil carbon over multiple years, the project is generating valuable data that helps us understand how different practices effect soil carbon.
In this panel we will hear directly from three countries – Honduras, Colombia and Paraguay – which have rich experiences of peasant struggle but also have very high levels of criminalization against peasants, indigenous, and afrodescendent peoples and other defenders of human rights. Each panelist, which represents a different member organization of the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations (Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo – CLOC-Vía Campesina), the Latin American expression of La Via Campesina, will speak about the situation in each of their countries as well as the importance of implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other Peoples Working in Rural Areas, a historic conquest of international movement La Via Campesina and adopted by the UN General Assembly in December of 2018.
Fires are now a staple of summer in California, which is also during one of the most important growing cycles. As California endures this new climate pattern farmers are facing the reality of burnt land, seedlings, and precious harvest lost. What can be done? What is being done? What might others learn? Come hear the diverse perspectives on how leaders in California are continuing to embody resilience in the face of these acute challenges.
Timor-Leste has faced many challenges on its path to independence, but today faces even more - environmental degradation, deforestation, poor water security, poverty and food insecurity, with climate change only magnifying these issues.
In response, local Timorese NGO Permatil (Permaculture Timor-Leste) have been working through permaculture to build food-sovereignty, environmental restoration and social change. From developing community-driven multi-year education programmes, creating a range of globally used education resources, teaching government agriculture workers and NGO staff, building nation-wide youth movements and getting permaculture and school gardens into the national primary school curriculum.
Their new water restoration initiative harnesses Timor-Leste’s wet season rains, stores and then filters them through the ground using swales, trenches, small dams, reforestation and animal exclusion techniques. As a result, dry springs are replenishing, the ecology is responding well and water security for villages and crops is improving.
This session will be presented by Permatil staff, local farmers, teachers and students, who will talk about the projects and their impacts.
Shumei Natural Agriculture regenerates the land, water and soil, and cultivates a renewed appreciation of traditional farming culture, which has been declining in Japan. Abandoned rice paddies have not only resulted in the loss of cultural and agricultural heritage, but also the rich biodiversity of the land.
In this session, Shumei will take audiences on a virtual tour of Natural Agriculture farms in Japan, where thousands of farmers are cultivating crops using natural seeds without any external inputs. The practice of Natural Agriculture preserves biodiversity and promotes seed saving. It is a way of life that encourages a deep respect for Nature and supports the Satoyama concept, which integrates harmony with Nature into land management of landscapes and seascapes.
This session will also show how the practice of Natural Agriculture contributes to the Ramsar Convention on Wetland Conservation to restore many endangered insects and animals, and how the next generation of farmers are being engaged through the interconnection between farming, sustainability and health.
Small-scale farmers in the 16 countries of the Sahel in West Africa face a dual crisis to their livelihoods: climate change and land degradation.
For many generations, farmers had lived and farmed in equilibrium with the natural environment. They maintained soil fertility, water holding capacity and crop production through fallowing and other practices.
Today, population pressure, climate change, soil erosion, misuse of agrochemicals have reduced the resiliency and sustainability of the farming system. Farm communities have become highly vulnerable to drought. Hunger and chronic malnutrition have increased.
This session highlights the testimonies of farmers, men and women, from 4 countries in the Sahel in overcoming these problems. They represent a wider movement adapting the principles of “agroecology” (learning how to work with nature). This grassroots, farmer-led movement has achieved remarkable success in transforming landscapes, adapting to climate change, regenerating their soils, and improving their food security.
Their inspiring testimonies show how human determination, innovation, and collective action have brought hope to one of the most ecologically fragile, crisis prone areas in Africa.
Is it possible to change the world domination of a profit-driven industrial-style economy that respects neither people nor planet? This session aims to explore viable, social and fair economic models for farming and supporting short-chain local food systems from the ground up. The possibility of getting closer to true-cost accounting and really equitable and transparent ‘farm to fork’ systems.
Right Livelihood Award winner and president of the Biodynamic Federation, Helmy Abouleish, presents a radical new values-based system called The Economy of Love. This 20 min presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with other leaders in the world of food and farming who challenge these new ideas. Are they practical? Can they work on different continents? Please join us with your own thoughts and questions.
What does it take to deliver meaningful impact on our food production systems? Why is certification important and what other tools are there that will help facilitate better and best practice? We consider a range of approaches that aim to deliver lasting, positive change.
We know that agricultural practices are pivotal when it comes to mitigating the climate, nature and health crises we face, but debate rages about which ones are having meaningful impact. So how can we support farmers to develop farming systems that are a force for good, for all?
Amidst the explosion in interest in how farmers can achieve environmental best practice without negatively impacting food production, an increasing number of schemes, labels and tools for measuring performance and recognising best practice are starting to emerge.