Agroecology is sustainable farming that works with nature. It promotes farming practices that mitigate climate change. These include reducing emissions, recycling resources and prioritising local supply chains, work with wildlife by managing the impact of farming on wildlife and harnessing nature to do the hard work for us, such as pollinating crops and controlling pests.
Slow Food, a global, grassroots organisation, founded to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions has called on the world to adopt agroecology to celebrate Earth Day 2023.
The Earth Day Celebration
Earth Day 2023 will be celebrated tomorrow April 22, 2023, under the theme “Invest in our planet.”
Mr Edie Mukiibi, the president of Slow Food said agriculture, nutrition, and health should be understood in relation to each other, and the roles they can all play in the fight against climate change.
“What we grow, how we grow it, and how we eat have an enormous impact on public health and the health of the planet. In an era plagued by malnutrition, it is essential to remember the complex relationships between soil, oceans, plants, animals, and humankind. Agroecοlogy considers all these elements together,” he said.
International Panel on Climate Change warning
Mukiibi said as the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to warn the world about the dangers of destroying the planet, now is the time to act. He said the coming years are crucial for the future of our planet.
He said, “The best way to celebrate International Mother Earth Day on April 22 is to acknowledge this final warning and put the solutions we have into practice by changing our food systems and adopting agroecological farming methods.”
In its latest report, the IPCC stressed the importance of shifting towards sustainable diets in the fight against the climate crisis and endorsed agroecοlogy, together with the empowerment of local communities, as key climate solutions.
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Soil as the greatest biodiversity source
Mukiibi said soil is the greatest source of biodiversity in the world, with two-thirds of all living beings hidden under its surface, while oceans are the world’s main ally against global warming, having absorbed 93.4% of excess heat produced over the last 40 years.
“With over half of the Earth’s soil now being used by humans, we cannot afford to exploit and degrade it any longer. It is now essential to change direction. The laws of soil biology and the physiology of plants and animals must be respected,” he said.
“We must stop subsidizing an intensive agricultural model practiced on a large scale, which has compromised soil ecosystems. We must focus on the health and fertility of the soil, valuing agricultural methods that preserve biodiversity and restore the microbiome.
“At least more than 190 countries recently signed a historic agreement to protect life in the world’s oceans. The new global treaty aims to safeguard biodiversity and convert 30% of all international waters into marine protected areas by 2030.
“While launching the theme for Earth Dαy 2023, Kathleen Rogers, the President of Earth Day said investing in a green economy is the only path to a healthy, prosperous, and equitable future. She said human influence is unequivocally to blame for the warming of the planet and the sad truth is some forms of climate disruption will be felt for centuries to come.
“We must collectively push away from the dirty fossil fuel economy and old technologies of centuries past – and redirect attention to creating a 21st-century economy that restores the health of our planet, protects our species, and provides opportunities for all,” she said.
“In 2023 we must come together again in partnership for the planet. Businesses, governments, and civil society are equally responsible for taking action against the climate crisis and lighting the spark to accelerate change toward a green, prosperous, and equitable future. We must join together in our fight for the green revolution and for the health of future generations. The time is now to invest in our planet,” she added.
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Agroecology is nature and sustainable based farming that promotes farming practices that mitigate climate change. These includes reducing emissions, recycling resources and prioritising local supply chains, working with wildlife by managing the impact of farming on wildlife, and harnessing nature to do the hard work for us, such as pollinating crops and controlling pests.
It also puts farmers and communities in the driving seat by giving power to approaches led by local people and adapting agricultural techniques to suit the local area – and its specific social, environmental, and economic conditions.