Tropical sustainability: a focus on food
Is it possible to feed nine billion people without destroying nature? A panel of experts will tackle that question at James Cook University’s inaugural Sustainability Symposium and Fair in Cairns next week (Friday 8 March).
Professors Bill Laurance and Jeff Sayer, with author Julian Cribb, will discuss what climate change – combined with rising populations, incomes and consumption – could mean for agriculture and natural systems in the world’s tropical regions.
“What we eat, who grows it, and how and where it’s grown are increasingly critical questions for anyone interested in conservation and sustainable development,” Professor Jeff Sayer said. “If you care about conserving landscape and biodiversity, you need to care about food systems.”
While the expert panel will look at the options on a global scale, the Sustainability Fair will have a local focus, showcasing the region’s sustainable foods and products, permaculture groups, food co-ops, and education and training courses.
The Sustainability Fair, with entertainment, information and refreshments, will run from 10.30am at The Boathouse on the JCU campus at Smithfield. The Sustainability Symposium will run from 12.00 noon, with the expert panel discussion at 3.00pm.
Other Symposium sessions include:
The launch of the International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education, edited by The Cairns Institute’s Professor Bob Stevenson.
Rob Hopkins, permaculture teacher and co-founder of the Transition Towns movement, will give a video address on the role of food in a sustainable community.
JCU experts will discuss how tropical sustainability is embedded in their research. Presenters include Professor Michael Bird on biochar in food production, and Dr Sharon Harwood on the impacts of fresh food availability in remote communities.
Two community-based approaches: presentations on the Remote Indigenous Gardens Network and Community Supported Agriculture.
On Friday evening Professor Julian Cribb, author of The Coming Famine, will present a public lecture.
Entry is free to all these events and all are welcome.
More information is available at: www.jcu.edu.au/events/conferences.
Issued March 1, 2013
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