Gathering provides food for thought

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Description of some of the guest speakers at the NRM gathering

‘‘Every meal, the average consumer ‘eats’ 1.3 litres of diesel fuel, 10 kilos of soil and 800 kilos of fresh water—in the form of food!‘‘That’s what it takes to feed the typical human being – and when you multiply it by 7.2 billion people, our food system is devouring a huge amount of resources that are increasingly hard to replace’’.These are the words of Julian Cribb who will provide a sunset address at the NRM Gathering on April 28, 2014 at the Yacht Club Kingscote.

Mr Cribb is an author, journalist, editor and science communicator. His career includes appointments as newspaper editor, scientific editor for The Australian, director of national awareness for CSIRO, president of national professional bodies for agricultural journalism and science communication and member of numerous scientific boards and advisory panels.

In his address Mr Cribb will warn of a series of ‘tipping points’ — dangerous points of no-return — that will be reached by the global food system in the coming half century, unless there is radical change to farming systems, cities and the world diet.

However, he’ll also identify some of the opportunities for major new developments in food production, including a $50 billion new industry for Australia in algae farming to produce food, feed, fuel and plastics, a spectacular rise of urban agriculture and totally new ways to produce low-cost food sustainably with bio-cultures. Prepare to be challenged and enthused about the possibilities for new methods of food production for Kangaroo Island that will be raised in his address.

Brian Foster will address one of the Gathering’s morning sessions. Mr Foster is a farmer, former Presiding Member Eyre Peninsula NRM Board, member of the Premier’s Climate Change Council, and Chairman of Eyre Peninsula Climate Change Adaptation Program. Mr Foster’s address will focus on Eyre Peninsula’s experience of planning for climate change adaptation and the lessons for Kangaroo Island.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear these outstanding presentations as well as the programme’s other stimulating speakers.

Complementing the speakers will be workshops to enable the community to identify what it believes to be important for the future of Kangaroo Island that will help inform the new Kangaroo Island Regional NRM Plan. A fact sheet has been developed to provide background to the new Plan.

Richard Trethewey, Presiding Member of the Kangaroo Island NRM Board strongly urges the community to take the opportunity to attend some or all of the presentations and afternoon community workshop.

‘‘The Board accepts that climate change is real and we’re preparing the next Regional NRM plan to be ‘climate change ready’. We need people who are committed to the future of Kangaroo Island to come and hear from nationally recognised experts and to help us create directions for the plan. In working together there is every reason to believe that we will reach the right decisions and provide the best opportunity for positive change,” he said.

The NRM Gathering begins on Monday 28 April with registration at 8:30am and then morning presentations. After lunch the first workshop will be held. Julian Cribb will speak at 6pm, following refreshments. The second part of the workshop will take place on Tuesday evening. The Gathering is fully catered, so please contact the Natural Resources Centre to book now. Individual sessions are available if you can’t commit to the entire program.

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