Many Feasta members will already be familiar with the pioneering work of Allan Savory and the Savory Institute in regenerating degraded rangelands. Nick Bardsley and Martin Peck attended the Institute's recent conference and have each provided reports on it which you can read here (Martin's report will follow shortly).
Several Feasta climate group members attended the Tyndall Radical Emissions Reduction conference in December 2013. Three of them - Nick Bardsley, Brian Davey and Laurence Matthews - have shared their reactions to the way the conference was organised. You can also download posters that were displayed at the conference by John Jopling, Nick Bardsley and Brian Davey.
I was in two minds whether to attend this conference or not. In common with the other members of the FEASTA Climate group that had submitted paper proposals, mine was rejected. Though I was allocated a poster presentation this is usually not a great use of one’s time. In the end I decided that this was probably sour grapes on my part and that it would be good to attend to meet other like minded people, if nothing else.
If I had mixed feelings beforehand, they were more mixed afterwards. It was a good way of meeting people, and although …
James Bruges provides a useful overview of biochar - charcoal produced for agricultural purposes - based on research from India, the UK and Mozambique. One hope for biochar is for increased global food production while permanently enhancing soil. The other hope is that it could help the struggle against climate change.
By Corinna Byrne, from Fleeing Vesuvius. Farming and other land-based activities could do a lot to mitigate global warming. Ireland needs new policies to get its land to absorb CO2 rather than release it. The large amounts of carbon locked up in the country’s peatlands must be safeguarded and damaged bogs restored so that they can sequester carbon again. In addition, the use of biochar could reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions and build up the fertility and carbon content of the soil.
This submission was made by the Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network. It describes a possible framework for a Rural Environmental Protection-type framework which would reward farmers for practices that were likely to lead to their reducing their GHG emissions and also increasing the carbon content of their soils and the biomass growing on them. It suggests that best farming practice is re-assessed in the light of its climate effects and sequestration potential and re-defined if necessary. Farm payments would be made conditional on the adoption of these new best practice standards. No attempt would be made to pay farmers for …