28April2015

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O-FJ Organics Featured JOB

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A Road Map to Sustainable Agriculture

organicconnectmag_sustainableagriculture

An independent commission of scientific leaders from 13 countries has released a detailed set of recommendations to policymakers on how to achieve food security in the face of climate change.

In their report, the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change proposes specific policy responses to the global challenge of feeding a world confronted by climate change, population growth, poverty, food price spikes and degraded ecosystems. The report highlights specific opportunities under the mandates of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Group of 20 (G20) nations.

"Food insecurity and climate change are already inhibiting human well-being and economic growth throughout the world and these problems are poised to accelerate," said Sir John Beddington, chair of the commission. "Decisive policy action is required if we are to preserve the planet's capacity to produce adequate food in the future."

The report was released today at the Planet Under Pressure conference where scientists from around the world are honing solutions for global sustainability challenges targeted to the Rio Summit to be held June 20-22 in Brazil.

The commission was created in 2011 and charged with identifying the best research-based approaches toward global food security in the face of climate change. The new report,available here, outlines seven recommendations they hope to see implemented concurrently by a constellation of governments, international institutions, investors, agricultural producers, consumers, food companies and researchers. They call for changes in policy, finance, agriculture, development aid, diet choices, and food waste as well as revitalized investment in the knowledge systems to support these changes.

"It's past time to realize that farms of every size all over the world are fundamental to providing for human nutritional demands and economic well-being, but they also face critical choices with significant implications for the way we manage the planet for long-term sufficiency," says U.S. Commissioner Molly Jahn, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Further, changes in agricultural practices have the potential to deliver benefits for both adaptation and mitigation of climate change. For example, in China, nearly 400 kilograms of chemical fertilizer are used on every hectare of farmland and, in Mexico, agriculture accounts for 77 percent of domestic water use, in part due to substantial subsidies for water and electricity used for irrigation.

Such practices offer both challenges and opportunities to refocus policies and budgets, say Jahn and the other commissioners, and they have urged the UNFCCC to establish a work program that addresses these issues together under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice.

In addition to tackling agriculture, the commission's recommendations explicitly recognize the "demand side" of food insecurity, calling for policies and programs to support healthy and sustainable eating as well as those explicitly designed to empower vulnerable populations.

In particular, they underscore the need for improved data and decision support for land managers and policymakers.

"The elements of the food system — soil, water, climate, energy, people — are intimately connected and it is critical that we understand how they work together as a system, and get that information into the hands of those who need it most," Jahn says.

The commission's report presents a stark picture of the challenges ahead and calls for decisive action on a global scale to ensure a "safe operating space" for current and future generations.

"Many public and private sector leaders are already taking steps to overcome technical, social, financial and political barriers to a sustainable food system," says Bruce Campbell, director of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, which convened the commission in February 2011. "The commission's work spells out who needs to do what to take these early efforts to the next level."

The commission is financially supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development. The commission brings together senior natural and social scientists working in agriculture, climate, food and nutrition, economics, and natural resources from Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, France, Kenya, India, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. Additional materials can be found here.

Commission recommendations:

1. Integrate food security and sustainable agriculture into global and national policies;

2. Significantly raise the level of global investment in sustainable agriculture and food systems in the next decade;

3. Sustainably intensify agricultural production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts of agriculture;

4. Target populations and sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change and food insecurity;

5. Reshape food access and consumption patterns to ensure basic nutritional needs are met and to foster healthy and sustainable eating habits worldwide;

6. Reduce loss and waste in food systems, particularly from infrastructure, farming practices, processing, distribution and household habits;

7. Create comprehensive, shared, integrated information systems that encompass human and ecological dimensions.

Source: organicconnectmag - A Road Map to Sustainable Agriculture

Featured Event

08
May
2015

08 May 2015 - 10 May 2015

Antrim Castle Gardens @ Randalstown Road, Antrim, Antrim BT41, UK

Garden Show Ireland

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Garden Show Ireland has announced another year at it's magnificent setting, Antrim Castle Gardens. This year's show will take place 8 – 10 May 2015.

Antrim Castle Gardens is one of the most unique and historically intact gardens under public ownership in Ireland containing over four centuries of garden heritage. It has been beautifully restored by Antrim Borough Council incorporating newly revived garden features with fully accessible pathways and tracks. The gardens and surrounding parkland cover an area of over 60 acres.

Garden Show Ireland is proud that after the success of the 2014 Show, Antrim Borough Council has invited Northern Ireland's premier gardening event back to this magnificent venue for a second year, on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May 2015.

We are very excited about the 2015 event and we look forward to you joining us!

Applications for exhibitors to participate are invited now! To apply for space: Click here!

For more information please visit www.gardenshowireland.com





Featured Event

09
May
2015

09 May 2015 - 10 May 2015

Stradbally Hall Estate @ Laois, Co. Laois, Ireland

Irish Forestry, Woodland & Bio Energy Show Timber 2015

 TIMBER 2015!

Ireland's national & largest specialist bi-annual forestry show with bio energy sector, is now in its third year. Minister Show Opening: The Show will be opened 'officially' at 12 noon on Saturday 9 May by Minister Tom Hayes, Minister of State for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

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SHOW SPEC:
2 day specialist show including: woodland & open exhibitor areas; wood processing machinery in action; demonstration arena: Husqvarna Irish National Tree Climbing Championships; Husqvarna timber extreme sports competitions; Komatsu forwarder competition; Teagasc forestry research & education; bio energy & heating; Trojan heavy horse logging; tree carving/chainsaw carving; woodland crafts; wildlife conservation bodies ... all in the setting of a beautiful wooded parkland estate.

EXHIBITORS:
Very heartening upward trend as bookings are particularly high for this reasonably early point. 2015 Forecast: 130; 110 in 2013 and 90 in 2011. International & Irish exhibitors. Including sole traders & industry giants.

SCOPE/TARGET PROFILE:
The Show is aimed at and of value to a wide range: timber growers both commercial & recreational; landowners considering the potential of investment in forestry; timber buyers & processors; contractors; tree surgeons; arboriculturists; landscapers; gardeners; forest & bio energy machinery & equipment manufacturers; heating & wood stove specialists; timber artisans; nurseries; conservationists; and basically, anyone with an interest in wildlife & woodland countryside.

DATE:
Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 May 2015. (NB Change from the Fri/Sat slot to an exhibitors' suggested & preferred, Sat/Sun slot.)

SHOW HOURS:
9.30 am to 5.30 pm.

LOCATION:
Same time, same place! Stradbally Hall Estate. The estate proved an ideal venue in 2013, hence the repeat slot. It is located near Portlaoise off the M7 with easy access from Dublin airport and Dublin ferries. It has a network of hard roadways ideal for access for all types of machinery, in all types of weather.

FOOD & DRINK:
Hearty & artisan food plus importantly and by popular demand, a beer tent!

SPONSORS:
Including Husqvarna; Irish Farmers' Journal.

VISITORS:
Approximately 5000 over 2 days. NB A boost forecast with significant (one third!) reduction in ticket prices, see below.

TICKETS:
€10 per person.

KIDS:
FREE! NB Only children accompanied by an adult allowed entry.

PARKING:
FREE! Parking on the estate in very close proximity to the Show.

SHOW DIRECTOR:
David Wilkinson; 00353 87 997 3608; davidwilkinson@eircom.net.

For further information please visit www.ifwshow.ie





Featured Event

10
May
2015

10 May 2015

Airfield Estate @ Dundrum, Dublin 14

The Rare and Special Plant Fair 2015 in association with Bord Bia

The Rare and Special Plant Fair 2015 - Airfield Dublin 14

Spring has sprung and summer is on the way. Green fingered gardeners of all ages are encouraged to visit Airfield Dundrum on Sunday May 10th from 10am to 5pm, when it will play host to The Rare & Special Plant Fair 2015. Over forty specialist nurseries and associated businesses will be on site giving people the opportunity to purchase a vast selection of rare and unusual plants, advice on care and planting and much more. Cost of entry on the day is the discounted rate of only €5 for adults and children; for further information visit www.rareandspecialplantfair.ie and www.airfield.ie

The Rare & Special Plant Fair was established in 2001 with the assistance of Bord Bia to ensure that the gardening public has an opportunity to purchase rare and difficult to source plants, while at the same time visit a garden of note that they may not otherwise visit. Since then it has grown in reputation and stature, and is now considered one of the most highly anticipated dates on the horticultural calendar. As well as giving the gardening public the chance to purchase rare plants, the annual fair ensures that nurseries and breeders of these plants in Ireland have an opportunity to present them for sale. Visitors can also take advantage of expert gardener advice on the day, and a free plant crèche will be available.

In addition to this The Rare and Special Plant Fair offers the chance to visit some of the finest gardens Ireland has to offer. With past venues including Russborough House in Wicklow, Fancroft Millhouse Gardens in Roscrea and Farmleigh in Phoenix Park, this year's venue, Airfield, is now added to a list of the country's most notable and beautiful gardens. As well as a wonderful summer day out enjoying Airfield's ornamental and food gardens, lovingly tended to and cultivated by an expert team of gardeners, visitors on the day can experience Dublin's only working farm open to the public, a state of the art interactive heritage centre, display garage of vintage cars, and Overends restaurant.

 Admission to The Rare & Special Plant Fair at Airfield from 10am to 5pm on Sunday May 10th is €5 for all visitors.

 Keep up to date with what's happening at Airfield by following @airfielddundrum or www.facebook.com/airfielddublin