Communities within oil spill zones face great challenges as they attempt to recover from devastation. Thirty-one years after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, several species, including Pacific herring, marbled murrelets, pigeon guillemots and the region's transient killer whale pod are on the verge of extinction. A major decline of fisheries has led to loss of subsistence and commercial fishing livelihoods for Alaska Native People.
One way we can help heal the ocean and create new opportunities for the people is through the cultivation of regenerative kelp farms/forests along the 1,500-mile stretch of coast impacted by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Kelp provides habitat during a critical phase of wild salmon and herring life cycles. Kelp is also a traditional food source for Alaska Native Peoples that has been harvested for millennia. (The Eyak word for kelp is: duh.)
Dune Lankard, an Eyak Elder, longtime activist, and Founder of Native Conservancy has designed a pilot program that integrates Eyak ecological knowledge and science and puts it to work in the Exxon Valdez Spill Zone. Native Conservancy currently has seven research kelp farms in the water, and will be testing the kelp this spring.
The food and agrochemical industry spends billions of dollars every year to shape consumer demand for their products and public perception about their practices. Some of this vast spending underwrites the most visible form of this narrative shaping—advertising. But billions more are spent around the globe on strategies to shape the story of food without industry fingerprints. In this session, author and advocate Anna Lappé talks about reporting she and colleagues have been doing for years that reveals the stealth tactics of industry to shape what we believe about food in order to influence the policies and regulations that most impact the bottom line. Join Anna Lappé for this talk and apply for the workshop to get more in-depth training on spinning food.
Thinking about fungi makes the world look different. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that support and sustain nearly all living systems. Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and help remediate environmental disaster. In this conversation, Merlin Sheldrake and Charles Foster will discuss the ways these extraordinary organisms – and our relationships with them – change our understanding of the planet on which we live, and the ways that we think, feel, and behave.
Around the world livestock farmers face challenges from infectious disease, parasites and various stress related issues. Meanwhile, globally, efficacy of antibiotics and other veterinary pharmaceuticals is breaking down, threatening human health as well as livestock and planetary health. While many agri-industry and research organisations are turning to, and trusting, genetic engineering and biotechnology for a solution, more ecologically and biologically sound alternatives are not getting the attention they deserve – in terms of both prevention and treatment of disease. Many effective holistic approaches can be found throughout the world but are rarely documented, evaluated and promoted. This session will present and discuss evidence, veterinary advice, farmer experience and offer practical nonconventional solutions to livestock health problems.
Our food system is central to the most critical issues of our time. Not only is food the one thing that we produce that everyone, everywhere, needs every day, but its production – as well as its consumption – connects us intimately with the natural world. But the globalised food system has separated us from the sources of our food, thereby severing the land-based relationships that informed our species’ entire evolution. This system has become the biggest contributor to climate chaos and ecocide, as well as to the ill-health of humanity.
But if food lies at the centre of the problem, it is also central to the solution. By transforming our food systems – by transitioning away from large-scale, industrial monocultures for centralised markets, towards diversified, smaller-scale place-based food production – we really can maximise productivity and feed the world, while simultaneously minimising resource use, healing ecosystems, and increasing the number of livelihoods. Recognising this truth is the doorway into a new paradigm, one that empowers us to support human flourishing even as we begin to solve our ecological crises at their systemic root cause.
An invitation to farmers to come and learn about forage crops and grazing practices that enable farming systems to be resilient to climate change as well as optimise livestock growth and positive health from forage.
We take a look at farmers’ experiences of resilient forage crops in the context of changing climatic conditions. This is a chance to hear directly from a farmer about an Innovative Farmers trial on extended grazing of lucerne by sheep (adapted NZ system), the benefits of herbal leys to provide green forage, and rotational grazing approaches to maximise forage production and livestock growth from forage.