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.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500
Join us for a practical workshop, sharing experience and knowledge on how to make the most of trees on farms. We explore design, tree choice and potential markets.
This is an opportunity for farmers and advisors to exchange ideas and experiences about which agroforestry practices have worked, or not, when planning and implement tree and shrub planting on farms.
Two short presentations from people who've started out in agroforestry introduce this session, with a 'what I learned the hard way' focus. Following this, a more in-depth workshop explores the issues in a Q&A format with the panellists. The exact content will be led by participants but, as well as fundamental decisions such as choosing trees and design for your farm, topics covered are likely to include fencing, weed control and crop/livestock interactions with trees.
The session is also an opportunity to highlight the work of our new Innovative Farmers agroforestry field lab, as well as the Fabulous Farmers Agroforestry Learning Networks.
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.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500
The Open Food Network (OFN) is a global community of people who are passionate about supporting communities to build short food supply chains and resilient food systems that address the needs of all beings. One of the services provided by this community is a platform co-op providing an open source IT infrastructure enabling new, ethical supply chains.
OFN has been deployed In 19 countries by networks of farmers, growers and community food enterprises. OFN supports the growth of the Network globally and since COVID has seen a rapid uptake around the world – particularly in the global South. Ultimately we would like OFN to be available to farmers and growers in every country.
We will hear from people in five countries about how OFN is revolutionising food systems in their country using this open source software collectively owned and developed by the people who use it. Participants from any country will be encouraged to ask questions and explore the possibility of using this open source system for their food producers to build their own food systems that not only give control back to the farmers and the eaters but build resilient, fair and sustainable food systems for future generations.
Only a decade ago it was widely thought that tropical forests and intact natural environments threatened humans by harbouring the viruses and pathogens that lead to new diseases in humans like Ebola, HIV and dengue. Today, a number of researchers think it is actually humanity’s destruction of biodiversity that creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases like COVID-19 to arise. These viruses have profound health and economic impacts in rich and poor countries alike and there is a growing awareness that the well-being of humans, other living things and entire ecosystems are closely interconnected.
In this session we look at how changes in farming practice - in particular growing monocultures at scale and an increasing reliance on corporate plant breeding at the expense of genetic diversity, have helped create the conditions for these new diseases to emerge. And we ask what can be done to protect us from future pandemics.