Presented by Feasta, the Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network and Gorta
Thursday 28th April 2011:
Venue: The McLelland Room, The Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2.
Session 1: Organic farming’s role in improving food security and combatting climate change.
11.30 Gundula Azeez: How organic methods can lower greenhouse emissions and reduce reliance on fossil energy
12.30 Questions and discussion
13.00 – 1400 Lunch
Gundula Azeez has been working on agricultural policy for over sixteen years. After five years with the British National Farmers’ Union (NFU), including two years in its Brussels office, she spent a year at the European Commission working on agricultural trade and other issues. She then worked as the Soil Association’s Policy Manager for nine years. She is the author of the Soil Association’s reports “Soil Carbon and Organic Farming” (November 2009, available on the internet) and “The biodiversity impacts of organic farming”. She co-authored the Soil Association’s report on the impact of GM crops in North America, “Seeds of Doubt”, and was an adviser to the British government’s economic review of GM crops.
Session 2: Biochar’s role in increasing fertility and reducing fertiliser use
14.00 Witold Kwapinski: Biochar research in Ireland
14.20 David Friese-Greene: Using biochar on small farms in rural India.
15.00 Questions and discussion.
15.30 Session ends.
Dr. Witold Kwapinski is a Process and Chemical Engineering lecturer at the University of Limerick and a member of the Carbolea reseach group there. His research concentrates on processes such as pyrolysis, gasification and acid hydrolysis which convert plant material into fuels, chemicals and substances such as biochar. He designed a pilot-scale gasifier already in operation at the University.
David Friese-Greene In pursuit of his aim ‘education through communication’ David has made documentary films about research projects thoughout the world, including some for the British Antarctic Survey. He has a degree in ecology and animal behaviour,and in 2003 he began to work with an Indian NGO, SCAD (Social Change and Development) which is based in Tamil Nadu. For the past three years he has been heavily involved in a project to establish the extent to which biochar can enable farmers in the districts in which SCAD works to improve their soil’s fertility and lessen their need for artificial fertilisers. He has just returned from India after the installation of an Australian-made pyrolyser to produce biochar.
SCAD has strong Irish connnections because it has been receiving assistance from Gorta for the past fifteen years. In particular, Gorta has been funding horticultural development as an alternative to traditional rice and cereal farming since these give poor results in the low rainfall areas in which SCAD works.
Admission to a single session – 10 euro. Admission to both sessions, 15 euro.
If you will be attending the first session and would like lunch with the speaker at the hotel, please let Feasta know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we reserve enough space in the restaurant. Soup and sandwiches will cost 8.50 euro. and if other options are available, we will tell you when you register at 11am.