Stories tagged: sustainability

The Economist Sustainability Summit

The IPCC says global net human-caused carbon-dioxide emissions must be reduced to zero by 2050 to keep global warming below 1.5°C. In the absence of such action, the IPCC predicts that the Earth’s temperature will increase to over double this, to 3.2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, with catastrophic consequences. Many know the effects will be terrible, but policymakers struggle to describe how climate change will change our way of life—and thereby get the world to act.

The efforts underway are not enough. Action needs to be scaled up to meet internationally agreed goals. The Sustainability Summit will bring together industry leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs and researchers from around the world to assess what businesses in particular—but also governments and NGOs—can do to rise to the challenge.

Register your interest today. 

Agroecology According to Generation Y

As the incoming custodians of the land, young farmers tell Farming First about the importance of practising agroecology to benefit today’s generation and those to come.

With agricultural needs and challenges varying greatly around the world, farming has always needed to be adaptive and agile.

And with a changing climate bringing extreme weather and conditions, it’s more important than ever to work with nature and farm in a way that fulfils each ecosystem’s potential to feed an ever growing population.

Young farmers especially are realising the benefits of incorporating ecological processes into their agricultural systems.

“From my personal experience, we know that if we look after our farm, our livestock, the environment, we will produce better crops,” Richard Bower, a cereals farmer from Staffordshire, UK, told Farming First. “The environment is a very big part of what we do on the farm, and we are only looking after the farm for a short period of time for the next generation as well.”

One way Richard is practicing agroecology on his farm is to consider wildlife.

“Crop rotation is very important and allows birds to nest,” he added. “Something else we do on our farm is welcome bird ringers, who are very passionate about the environment and they come and count the birds on the farm. They are also using technology so they will go in the night and count the number of birds on the farm.”

In sub-Saharan Africa, where the effects of global warming hit hardest, producing more extreme temperatures, one result has been the increase of crop-eating pests such as Fall Armyworm.

Innocent Jumbe, 28, who works for a seed company in Malawi, said an agroecological approach  can involve the responsible use of crop protection products.

“With climate change, all these pests coming in has been a real problem in Africa in the last year and we have been told by the government that we need to brace for impact,” Innocent said. “It’s not just about how we use chemicals but also about how we dispose of the chemicals.

“The blanket picture is that climate change is the biggest change, but we can see that people are not changing their lifestyles. We need to try to change the way that people look at things.”

Meanwhile, in Argentina, agroecology is a way to successfully support people, livestock and the environment in one ecosystem.

“Agroecology is about knowing how to work in the farm,” said Augustina Diaz Valdez, 22, a sheep farmer who is also training to be a vet. “This means knowing up to what limit you can produce and take advantage, always thinking about the environment and being sustainable.”

Dennis Kabiito, 34, a livestock and crop farmer in Uganda, agreed: “As farmers, we are stewards of the land and of the environment. It’s [about] using the right practices and the right methods at the given time.

“For example with Fall Armyworm and African swine flu – this cannot easily be controlled by organic practices but they can contribute. You need some help from chemicals.”

In South Africa, agroecology is about balancing productivity with sustainability.

“It’s about finding the right balances in terms of practices. For me, it’s about the foundation for establishing these practices,” said Brenda Tlhabane, a 37 year old farmer from South Africa.

“At the end [of the day], we are the consumers of nature so we need to do it in a sustainable manner and make sure that we leave a legacy.

“As a young person, I need to be profitable and make sure that I am preserving the environment and planet as a whole. I would want our policy makers to look at the overall approach and think how do we become sustainable in terms of soil health and making sure that we preserve good quality soils as well?”

AUG292018
Global Landscapes Forum: Nairobi

29th – 30th August

Nairobi, Kenya

Every year, Africa loses an estimated 2.8 million hectares of forest, with deforestation and land degradation seriously affecting its environment and people. The 2018 GLF Nairobi will help build and align international, national and private sector support for forest and landscape restoration, and will pave the way for turning this support into action. By bringing together actors from all backgrounds and sectors, the conference will spark a global conversation around Africa’s landscapes.

The 2018 GLF Nairobi will showcase and explore success stories and challenges across the continent and will foster political and community commitment to implement the AFR100 Initiative: restoring 100 million hectares of degraded landscapes across Africa by 2030.

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Hashtags: #ThinkLandscape, #glfnairobi2018

SEP52018
African Green Revolution Forum

5th – 8th September 2018

Kigali, Rwanda

Africa has great aspirations for the future. These are possible, but will require Africa’s agricultural sector and food systems to more rapidly and sustainably deliver incomes, food security, nutrition, and wider economic opportunities.The 2018 AGRF will take stock, evaluate actions, and learn from compelling evidence across the continent, presented by many of the most inspiring leaders turning agriculture into thriving enterprises. These leadership will include farmers, public sector thought leaders, private sector champions, agripreneurs, and many others.

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Hashtags: #AGRF2018

SEP122018
Global Action Climate Summit

12th -14th September 2018

San Francisco, USA

The Global Climate Action Summit will showcase the actions states and regions, cities, companies, investors and civil society have taken already to reduce their emissions; secure bold commitments to do even more, show that decarbonization; job generation and resilient economic growth go hand-in-hand and galvanize a global movement for climate action that leaves no one behind. It will also be a launchpad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to realize the historic Paris Agreement.

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Hastags: StepUp2018, #GCAS2018

JUL92018
UN High-Level Political Forum

9th – 18th July

The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2018 convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council will be held from Monday, 9 July, to Wednesday, 18 July 2018; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Monday, 16 July, to Wednesday, 18 July 2018.

Goals 6, 7, 11, 12, 15 & 17 will all undergo a review process.

The theme will be “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.

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Hashtags: #HLPF2018, #GlobalGoals