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Can organic agriculture buffer climate change? Definitions are everything.

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Presentation on theme: "Can organic agriculture buffer climate change? Definitions are everything."— Presentation transcript:

1 Can organic agriculture buffer climate change? Definitions are everything.

2 (Mason-Case, 2010) Who: self Q:what are your assumptions about organic food? A: quality health environment  labour humane treatment

3 structure 1.climate change 2.definition 3.regulation 4.drawbacks & trade-offs

4 agriculture + climate change? (FAO, 2009)

5 (IPCC, 2007)

6 organic for climate change mitigation, adaptation (and development) FAO – ITC – FiBL – UNCTAD – CGIAR – EC... 1.mitigation reduce GHGs sequestrate CO2 in soils 2.resilience traditional skills and farmers’ knowledge soil fertility-building diversify crops 3.development foster trade price premium

7 so, organic is...what again? Leopold (1949): the discontent that labels itself ‘organic farming,’ while bearing some of the earmarks of a cult, is nevertheless biotic in its direction... Codex Alimentarius (1999): based on specific and precise standards of production which aim at achieving optimal agroecosystems, which are socially, ecologically and economically sustainable Gov. Canada (2009): principal goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.... Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize and promote biological productivity...

8 FiBL (2010) At no other time has there been such an opportunity to make organic principles and systems a beacon for sustainable development. Agro-ecological agriculture, represented best by organic principles and systems, is a multifunctional solution to many global problems that are reaching crisis proportions, including environmental degradation, hunger, and economic and social injustice.

9 FiBL  certified organic, wild collection and bee keeping organic market regulation - trade - growth (GOMA, CBTF, SECO, CDM) 73 countries, 16 in process (Codex) North America + Europe 97%

10 drawbacks & trade-offs (same old...fossil fuels) organic regulations facilitate trade! 1.control 2.scale 4.transportation

11 Ann Clark* Organic standards do indeed help us to avoid many of the needless harms we’ve imposed upon ourselves in recent decades. But as much as it pains me to say it, as practiced today, some (most) organic farms are still ecologically unsound... So what would ecologically sound, post-oil agriculture look like? Organic? For sure. Of necessity. But organic according to contemporary North American organic standards is not enough. Humans have a long history of farming themselves to extinction, and long before GMOs or biocides or synthetic fertilizer were invented. So the issue of resolving the problem of ecologically unsound farming is more than replacing these inputs with rotations and composting. *Director, Organic Program, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph organics +  (local, independent, fresh)

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