Among much else climate change will affect rainfall. There will be more floods, more droughts and both will be more unpredictable. Civil engineers immediately think in terms of reservoirs and conduits and the rest - all very expensive and unnatural. But we should as far as possible let nature do the work for us. One of the best civil engineers in the world is the beaver with its supreme ability to manage water: damning streams and rivers when rainfall is high; creating natural reservoirs for release in times of drought; and providing day by day maintenance throughout the year. Absent from Britain for 400 years, farmers and conservationists are now bringing them back.
In this session Luci Isaacson will outline the impact of climate change on farming; Emily Fairfax will describe her work with beavers showing how their behaviour seems purpose designed to bring resilience to changing weather patterns for farming and wildlife; and George Young - an Ambassador for the Beaver Trust, will discuss how beavers can be introduced onto farms and play a key part in meeting future climate challenges.
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In the United States, women are increasingly taking on decision-making roles in agriculture, and around the world, women’s empowerment in agriculture is a key tactic for supporting climate resilience and food security. American Farmland Trust and its partners around the United States have developed a variety of support structures for women in agriculture, including through facilitated peer-to-peer learning and networking. These programs create spaces for women in agriculture to share authentically about what they are experiencing in a white male-dominated field, support women in accessing resources, and help them realize their power to steward land successfully. But the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way these services are offered, prompting practitioners to get creative with their use of online platforms.
During this session, leading practitioners will share their successes and lessons-learned making this shift in 2020, and discuss what it might mean for the future of support systems for women in agriculture in the United States.
The current agricultural system has forgotten the purpose of trees and plants and their benefits for all living beings on the planet, leading to an irreversible situation where temperatures are on the rise and the human race might not have a home in a few years. The signs are blatant; fires, drought, lack of water, higher extinction rates, etc. So what will we do to ensure our future?
Simple and efficient solutions exist and it is up to every farmer to choose the right techniques to deal with the climate crisis. Indigenous people give one example of how they play their part in protecting life on earth. They have always taken care of nature as if it were their own body and go with the motto that you reap what you sow. Benki has been practicing agroforestry for the past 30 years and shows us how this system constantly regenerates soil and generates biodiversity.
Severine von Tscharner Fleming is an organic farmer and founder of Greenhorns - a radical, young farmers organisation in the US which produces the literary journal for working agarians, The New Farmers Almanac. Since 2013, Severine has also served as a founding board president of Agrarian Trust - a national organisation working in the framework of the commons to raise the issue of land succession.
In this session, Severine will deliver learnings from a decade of action with the young farmers movement, and an analysis of how inter-generational collaboration, and a commons-based approach to land tenure and stewardship may offer our brightest hope for food sovereignty and regional resilience. From her work with Greenhorns and the National Young Farmers Coalition in the US, Severine believes that the struggle for land access is the number one obstacle for young people entering agriculture, and particularly for organic farmers from a non-farming background.
The IALAs (Instituto Agroecológico Latinoaméricano, or Latin American Institute of Agroecology) are a process led by La Via Campesina to train young people from social movement organizations in agroecology. Agroecology is the farming model that rescues peasant and indigenous culture, ensures the construction of food sovereignty, and the only model that can cool the planet in a time of climate disaster.
In this talk, we will hear about the history of the constructions of the IALAs at the Latin American level and the methodology of formation. We will then hear specifically about the experience of IALA Ixim Ulew (Ixim Ulew meaning “land of corn” in Maya Quiche), the IALA for youth from the Mesoamerican region with central farm-campus in Santo Tomás, Chontales, Nicaragua.