1st GLOBAL CONGRESS ON BEST AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES TO REVERSE THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY AND POVERTY
Industrial Agriculture is a major contributor to global warming, as well as, a major victim. Agriculture also holds the KEY to reversing the impact of global warming on the world's environment and food supply. There is a growing consensus globally that by implementing Regenerative Agricultural practices and Reducing Food Loss and Waste we can substantially reduce the carbon footprint imposed by agriculture. AND, at the same time, sequester large amounts of the carbon in CO2 from the atmosphere into the soil. This double punch, if put into practice globally, promises to immediately and substantially mitigate the disastrous impact of climate change. The mission of the congress is to assemble the world’s experts on the best agricultural practices to reverse climate change and challenge them to chart a course forward to implement these practices in order to reverse the climate emergency and poverty.
I. Demographic Impact of Global Warming
While the impacts of climate change affect every country on every continent, they don’t do it equally. People already burdened by poverty often suffer the harshest consequences, while having the least ability to cope. Their struggle to earn a living, feed their families, and create stable homes is made more difficult every day the climate crisis continues. The increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires and droughts threaten lives in these front-line communities, driving people from their homes and jeopardizing food sources and livelihoods. All these effects increase the likelihood of more conflict, hunger and poverty.
II. Environmental Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture
As a result of global warming, sea levels are rising and weather is becoming more extreme. This means that growing crops is severely challenged by more intense major storms and flooding followed by longer and drier droughts. Increasing temperatures also change the ranges in which plants and animals can live, and cause a loss of water supplies that have historically come from glaciers.
III. Agricultural Practices Contributing to Global Warming
1. Cultural Practices: The European Union's Scientific Advice Mechanism estimated that the present food system as a whole contributes 37% of total greenhouse gas emissions, When CO2 emissions are included from the manufacture of pesticides and fertilizers greenhouse gas emissions run over 50%. This figure is on course to increase by 30–40% by 2050 due to population growth and a dietary change to more animal based protein.
2. Food Waste Management Practices: Food loss and waste exacerbates the climate change crisis with its significant greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. Production, transportation, and handling of food generate significant Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions and when food ends up in landfills, it generates methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas. The FAO and World Bank estimate that 1/3 of the food that is produced is loss between the time it is harvested and consumed. In developing countries this loss is often 50% or more of the harvested crop.
IV. Agricultural Practices that can Reverse Global Warming
1. Regenerative Agriculture (Agroecology, Permaculture, Silviculture) Regenerative Agriculture can dramatically reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by converting it to soil carbon through the process of photosynthesis. It can accomplish this by the following cropping practices: (1) Reduced or No-till Farming, (2) Cover Cropping, (3) Composting, (4) Increasing Crop Diversity, (5) Organic Annual Cropping, (6) Animal Integration, (7) Managed Grazing, (8) Silvipasture, and (9) Agroforestry.
Regenerative Agriculture reduces CO2 emissions by not requiring the manufacture of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides used in Conventional Agriculture. Also, it reduces the use of fossil fuels required to operate heavy agricultural equipment such as plows and sprayers required in Conventional Agriculture Agroforestry as a part of regenerative agriculture counters the loss of CO2 sinks that results from deforestation.
2. Reducing Food Loss/Waste The major reason for Food Loss/Waste in developing countries is the lack of a cold chain to keep food from deteriorating along the food pipeline from the producer to the consumer. This cold chain doesn’t exist in developing countries because of the lack of a power grid to power it. Recent advances in “off-grid” refrigeration has opening up opportunities to substantially reduce food loss/waste in developing countries. This could result in a substantial reduction in poverty and hunger in developing countries.
V. A Global Strategy Forward Employing Agriculture to Reverse the Climate Emergency and Reduce Poverty
The goal of the congress is to convene the world’s leading scientists, farmers, students, policymakers, administrators, funders, and business owners who are knowledgeable on the relationship of agriculture to climate change plus the role that Regenerative Agriculture and Cold Chain Postharvest Management can play in reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. Leading practitioners of regenerative agriculture and food waste management globally will showcase their best practices at the congress. Through sharing this collective knowledge, leading delegates at the Congress will develop a an ACTION PLAN for policymakers worldwide. It will state Best Regenerative and Cold Chain Management Agricultural Practices globally to reverse the world's climate emergency and its impact on the poor.
I. Impact of the Climate Emergency on Man and the Environment
II. Impact of the Climate Emergency on Agriculture
III. Impact of Agriculture on the Climate Emergency
IV. Best Agricultural Practices to Reverse the Climate Emergency
V. Implementation Strategies utilizing Best Agricultural Practices to Reverse the Climate Emergency.