The Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS) at Coventry University is co-organising a conference and policy dialogue with Members of the European Parliament in June to discuss agroecology for sustainable food systems in Europe.
Director of CAFS, Michel Pimbert who is presenting a paper at the conference entitled ‘A Shift to Re-localised and Resilient Food Systems’ suggests:
Modern industrial food systems and the energy and water systems they depend on are fundamentally unsustainable. Their linear, and increasingly globalised structure assumes that the Earth has an endless supply of natural resources at one end, and a limitless capacity to absorb waste and pollution at the other. Our continued reliance on these industrial systems is pushing the world into a vicious cycle of food shortages, climate chaos, famine and disaster.
How can we transform our production models for food, energy and water to deliver lower ecological and social footprints? The answer lies in using circular models that mimic natural systems to reduce both external inputs and waste. Most notably, equity and sustainability goals can be achieved by shifting from linear and globalised systems towards locally controlled circular systems that re-integrate and re-localise food and energy production with water and waste management. Case studies from across the world show that circular production systems can and do work to enhance socio-ecological resilience at different scales, from individual farm plots to entire cities, using the science of agroecology, functional biodiversity, ecological clustering of industries, recycling and re-localised production.
Enabling policies and institutions are now needed for a widespread shift towards re-localised and resilient food systems that can meet the challenges of peak oil, climate change, as well as the water and food crisis.
The event will be held on June 26-27, 2103 at the Free University of Brussels and will include a half day policy dialogue.
The full list of organisers are: the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security of Coventry University (CAFS, UK), European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER, Germany), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium), Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (FSC, France), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements EU (IFOAM EU, Belgium), Technology Platform for Organic Food and Farming Research (TP Organics, Belgium).