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Published: 28 Aug 2019

Green Hand

‘A perfect storm’ was predicted a decade ago by Sir John Beddington, which set the theme for this year's Crawford Fund Conference “Weathering the Perfect Storm – Addressing the Agriculture, Energy, Water, Climate Change Nexus".

Josh Bailey, our lucky scholarship recipient, attended the two-day conference in Canberra, which discussed the challenges of climate change and ways to mitigate a global climate disaster. Topics such as food systems improvement, carbon sequestration, collaboration and innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were presented.

The necessity of ‘a new green revolution’ was presented by Sir Charles Godfray with ideas around a more sustainable ‘alternative protein’ diet discussed to help feed the growing global population. It was reported that as little as 10% of the world’s population consume what is considered a healthy diet.

Through case studies, speaker Dr Bruce Campbell discussed how regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa can develop sustainable practices through farm collaboration among specialists and smallholder farmers to accomplish ‘climate smart villages’.

Dr Di Mayberry presented innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enteric methane in red meat productions through breeding and by feeding algae mixed diets.

Final thoughts were presented by Professor Timothy Reeves who reinforced that the greatest challenge facing us in the coming decades is food security and concluded by saying instead of ‘more for less’, perhaps we should be thinking ‘enough for less’.

The conference ended with messages of optimism and emphasised the need for collaboration to solve these issues facing us over the next 20-30 years.

The conference discussed some serious challenges, however Josh is still positive about the future of agriculture. “Overall, the future development of sustainable practices for a zero net emission future and superior food system solutions is an extremely exciting space to be optimistic about and one I cannot wait to contribute towards.”

Read the 2019 Crawford Fund Conference Keynote Listeners Report