Repost of The World as 100 People
NCEF’14 was the fourth Forum held since 2010. It was a full house of 120 participants from business, government and the community. Its focus, as always, was to discuss recent and potential progress towards creating a sustainable energy system for the NSW North Coast.
This year’s Forum included:
A number of initiatives have come out of this year’s forum, including:
For the full summary of Forum Outcomes see here.
Starfish is a proud partner of NCEF and has facilitated the Forum since its beginning. Starfish also provides NCEF with digital media services, governance and auspicing support.
In small pockets across Australia you’ll find the breeds we left behind: sheep from the First Fleet, chooks whose genetic lines date back hundreds of years and big fat pigs that grow too slowly.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has embarked on a conservation program for rare animal genetic resources. Australia is a signatory.
‘We don’t know what is held within these genetics,’ says Christine Ross, a passionate breeder maintaining rare and heritage breeds.
Anne Sim, the managing director of the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia , says there are dozens of fanciers and hobby farmers across the country breeding rare species of pigs, cows, poultry and horses in an effort to preserve these genes. The trust, a volunteer organisation, has around 150 members and deals with sheep, goats, cattle, pigs and poultry.
‘Some of these rare breeds have valuable characteristics such as disease resistance, extreme climate tolerance, high milk production and other traits that are crucial for food security and sustainability’, continued Sim.
Heather Burrow, the director of research partnerships and innovations at the Institute for Rural Futures, agrees that conserving animals is important to guard against climate changes and disease. ‘Rare breeds, whether they’re plants or animals, provide an insurance policy in case of natural disasters, or particular diseases,’ she says.
Yealands Family Wines ~ a zero net emissions, solar, wind and biomass powered winery ~ has claimed the Australasian and World Champion title at the International Green Apple Environment Awards on Tuesday in London. They were awarded from a field of 500 global nominations from a range of industries for environmental best practice.
Yealands operates in NZ’s Marlborough region and claim to comprise the world’s first net zero carbon winery from inception. They are fully accredited through the Sustainable Winegrowers New Zealand.
Some highlights of their zero net model include:
Bundarra Berkshires, a free-range pig farm in south-west New South Wales, has just raised $18,000 from supporters pledging money, to build a commercial kitchen and dry curing chamber.
Owners Lachy and Lauren Mathers will make smallgoods and charcuterie from the Berkshires they raise on their property.
The pair hit their financial target within 30 days, and the generosity of complete strangers has blown them away.
Lauren says: “You can put some really innovative applications into farming, it makes people think outside the box. Value-adding has huge potential in Australia. If we crowd-fund this we don’t have to take out a loan, we don’t have to pay interest back and it’s engaging people as you go along. It gets people excited about your product. So immediately we’ve got a market for our products when they’re ready.”
There are 27,600 edible plants on Earth, mostly vegetables, and most of them are unknown to the majority of people.
We have not yet begun to explore the horticultural, health and culinary potential of our home planet ~ and now is the perfect time to do so.
Eating is our largest personal impact on the planet. The world currently loses around 75 billion tonnes of topsoil each year. Despite progress in some countries, global soil degradation is getting worse, not better. At such rates, scientists are warning we could run short of good farming soils within 50–70 years.
Equally important is the fact that 3 out of every 4 people in affluent societies now die from a diet-related disease. This pandemic of preventable disease now consumes three-quarters of our exploding healthcare budgets.
So there are two major reasons to radically change the world diet ~ health and sustainability.
Julian Cribb, respected science communicator and author, predicts a major boom in horticulture over the coming two decades ~ in the cultivation of thousands of novel crops, the development of new production systems such as aquaponics, biocultures and algae culture and green cities, and in the design of new foods and diets.
JBS Australia has retrofit an existing wastewater treatment plant, which is the first of its kind in the Australian red meat processing industry.
The facility has reduced its carbon emissions by 89% and will save more than $1m per annum on natural gas costs.
The biogas generated is used in the company’s existing natural-gas fired boiler plant that produces steam and hot water to meet the site’s demand for sanitary cleaning and sterilisation. Capturing the available biogas generated from its operations also helps the company meet its waste management requirements.
The design is both replicable and scalable across the red meat processing industry and other food processing industries that have a biological waste stream and a need to offset on-site energy requirements for heat and/or power generation.
Replanting native forests and woodlands vegetation on Indigenous lands, especially across southern and eastern Australia, could help restore the nation’s native vegetation in places where it is needed, as well as store significant amounts of carbon, according to a new study.
These benefits include the opportunity to work on country, increased knowledge and training, improved health and enhancing their management of traditional lands.
The team of researchers says that some of the 92Mha of Australia cleared since European settlement have the potential to be replanted or regenerated with native forests and woodlands. At Australia’s 2011-2012 carbon trading price of $23/tonne, 9.7 Mha of Indigenous land could be profitably used for carbon-farming to store the equivalent of 83Mt of carbon dioxide.
As well as storing carbon, the selections of revegetation areas was aimed at restoring each heavily cleared native vegetation type to at least 30 per cent of its pre-European settlement extent.
HepburnWind are painting their second turbine ~ the wonderfully named “Gusto” ~ and to celebrate this occasion, they’re inviting supporters to visit the windfarm, spending an evening and night camped out under the stars.
After their widely acclaimed 2013 mural on the first of their turbines, Ghostpatrol, Bonsai and team want to return to paint the second turbine for the award-winning HepburnWind ~ Australia’s first community-owned wind farm.
Ghostpatrol, Bonsai and the rest of the team have generously offered to paint Gusto. HepburnWind are seeking support to make this possible, with contributions for the basic costs.
Quite a lot needs to come together in regards to supplies and equipment for the week of painting. At the minimum level of $7,750 a team of three will be able to undertake the complex painting project inclusive of materials. For an extra $2,500 a documentary filmmaker will be able to film the process and create a beautiful video of the mural and Sleep under the Stars event.
The final touches of the mural will be made in time to coincide with ‘Sleep under the Stars’ ~ a family-friendly camping event on Saturday 15 November 2014. Hundreds of locals and windfarm fans will enjoy a beautiful and positive sensory experience of art, entertainment and clean energy. There will be gourmet food, kids’s story telling, puppet shows and local musicians including Kavisha Mazzella and Danny Spooner.
Any additional funds will go towards the Sleep under the Stars event on 15 November as well ass Ghostpatrol and team painting an even more impressive mural!