Regenerative Newsletter - Nov 2023
Why Are We Boycotting COP28
Regeneration International and the Organic Consumers Association are boycotting COP28. We have participated in every COP since in Paris in 2015.
The ministers from 196 countries, their entourages of staff, UN bureaucrats, and corporate executives will fly into Dubai in private jets and on first-class tickets. They will stay in 5-star hotels, eat in the finest restaurants, and be chauffeured in expensive limousines to and from the talkfest at taxpayers’ expense. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be wasted on this extravagant display of corrupt excess.
Like many other not-for-profit organizations, we have spent much money, time, and effort attending these events to stop catastrophic climate change. We flew cattle class, stayed in overpriced dives, and caught public transport to the meetings. We were allowed to observe but not participate in the negotiations. We were segregated in an observers area where we could hold side events to give our messages to a handful of like-minded people, preaching to the converted instead of being able to influence the negotiators.
Billion Agave Project Initiative is Presented at the CICY
On November 23rd, the "Billion Agave Project Initiative, between Regeneration International and CICY" was presented at the Scientific Research Center of Yucatán (CICY), in the framework of which a collaboration agreement was signed between these two entities, whose purpose is to develop the science and technology that will allow the implementation of the Billion Agave Project (BAP) in Yucatán.
The BAP, with a focus on economic, social and environmental sustainability and in collaboration with the social, academic, private and public sectors, aims to contribute to the preservation of the environment and the holistic improvement of people's living conditions, through the creation and implementation of various wide-ranging productive projects that take full advantage of and add value to Yucatán's flagship crop: henequén.
A New Tool to Track Agroecology Funding Streams
Faced with the combined climate, food security and biodiversity crises, there is a growing interest in agroecology. Until today, however, we could not easily track the volume and quality of these funds globally and were left with the question: how much money is actually invested in agroecology?
At a crucial junction for international discussions around how to make our food systems truly sustainable, during the Committee on World Food Security (October) and ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai (December), a new tool has just been launched today. The tool had previously been presented at the Agroecology Donors Convening in Rome on 21st October, gathering governments, donors and investors.
The new Agroecology finance assessment tool, aiming at improving the tracking and assessment of funding streams for agroecology, is founded on an innovative methodological framework.
Safeguarding the Genetic Diversity of the Honey Bee
Pollinators play an essential role in our food system, with an estimated three quarters of crops depending on them. Yet, due in part to the impacts of intensive farming practices, their numbers are in decline. Here, beekeeper and Chair of the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association, Jo Widdicombe, looks at the issue of genetic diversity and why it is critical to safeguarding the future of one of our key crop pollinators – the honey bee.
In the last 50 years, we have seen a decline in many insect populations including some bumble bee and solitary bee species. In 1992, the varroa mite was found to have reached Britain and the number of honey bee colonies and beekeepers declined rapidly. After a campaign by British Beekeepers Association (BBKA), and others, highlighting the plight of the honey bee, the number of beekeepers and colonies started to rise again.
From GMOs to Regenerative Agriculture: A Scientist’s Journey
It’s not often that a scientist will transition from the narrow-focused science of genetically modified crops to the natural systems approach of regenerative agriculture. But that’s what happened to Laura Kavanaugh, who worked as a scientist for biotech company Syngenta for 12 years helping to develop GMO crops. Today, she is the new chief science officer for Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA), which works with farmers to help them transition to regenerative agriculture.
While working at Syngenta, Kavanaugh began to see the problems with the GMO approach.
“We create something as a GMO to try to overcome something in nature, but nature never sleeps,” says Kavanaugh, who has a PhD in genetics and genomics from Duke University. “There are billions of microbes, billions of everything that are eventually going to eventually crack that (GMO) code.”
She realized that the GMO approach wasn’t a good long-term solution because it produces a short-term impact.
Regenerative History: How Colonization Sought to Destroy Regenerative Indigenous Farming Methods
During the 2023 People’s Food Summit, Regeneration International’s International Director Dr. André Leu had a conversation with the internationally renown Dr. Vandana Shiva. In their conversation, Dr. Vandana Shiva was discussing how the colonizers who came to Australia reacted to Australia’s 65,000 year old tradition of aboriginal agriculture and food systems.
Dr. Vandana Shiva says:
“And because they farmed so beautifully, they left no destructive trait. They left a creative trait of mobile diversity. And that was used by the colonizers as proof that they’re not civilized, because being civilized in colonial times, as being civilized today, is destroying. The power of destruction is defined as civilization rather than the power of sustaining and regeneration. 60,000 years is not a short time.”
Listen to the the whole podcast here on Spotify (or search for Regeneration International on your favorite podcast app)
Read the Transcript of This Episode Here
Essential Reading and Viewing
Gorund Covers and Weed Management for a Regenerative Farming and Ranching
Bare ground is the best way to encourage weeds, as most weeds are pioneer species. They rapidly germinate to cover disturbed and bare ground. Nature always regenerates disturbed soil by rapidly covering it with plants. Weeds are nature’s way of healing disturbed soil. Living plants feed the soil microbiome with the molecules of life so they can regenerate healthy soil. This excerpt is from André Leu’s book Growing Life: Regenerating Farming and Ranching, more information here.
Understanding the Context in Regenerative Agriculture
By adopting practices like cover cropping, crop rotation, intercropping, reduced tillage, integrating livestock, and increasing biodiversity, farmers are rebuilding soil fertility, carbon sequestration, and water retention while making their farms more resilient. The benefits extend beyond individual farms, potentially revolutionizing food production, and fostering collaboration between farmers, scientists, and policymakers to promote innovation.
The Fashion Industry Goes Green With Sustainable Agriculture
While efforts have focused on reducing waste, brands and designers are increasingly endorsing projects in regenerative agriculture to help reduce the emissions produced in the manufacture of classic textiles, such as cotton and wool.
Regenerative Agriculture Slated to Restore Ecosystems as Pressure Mounts in F&B Sectors
The food agriculture sector faces mounting pressure to reduce its contributions to climate change. While agriculture accounts for around 34% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mainly from farming, deforestation and transportation activities in supply chains, the F&B sector recognizes the imperative to act on climate change, sparking interest in regenerative agriculture’s potential to restore ecosystems and sequester carbon.
A Week on a Regenerative Dairy Farm
Life has more than one twist and turn, and now, almost exactly four years later, I find myself in New York State attending a course in regenerative dairy production offered by Soil Health Academy. The aim is to learn more about how regenerative farming practices can be applied to the dairy sector and to bring that knowledge to our Dedicated Dairy Farms project in Quebec. To this end, I am also accompanied by Pascal Viens, from Ferme Vimo, and Julianne Audette, agr., from Logiag‘s agronomy team.
Arms 2 Farms Mayor Rommel Arnado - People’s Food Summit 2023
Check out this segment from the People’s Food Summit Asia-Pacific Segment replay with Mayor Rommel Arnado of the Municipality of Kauswagan, Philippines, and founder of the Arms 2 Farms Program. This unique event is a major 24-hour event in celebration of World Food Day, October 16, 2023, featuring exciting speakers from every region of our planet.
Dear Friends of Regeneration International
Regenerative Agriculture is under attack by agribusiness. The poison cartels such as Bayer/Monsanto and Syngenta, along with their captive government departments, are trying to hijack regenerative agriculture to greenwash their degenerative systems.
“We need your participation and support as we move forward in this world-changing campaign we call Regeneration International. We need to build a massive international alliance to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, to sequester billions of tons of excess atmospheric carbon in our soils and biota, to regenerate billions of acres of degraded ecosystems, to eliminate rural poverty, to reverse our deteriorating public health and to revitalize rural communities all over the globe. The hour is late, but we still have time to regenerate.”
Please support our campaign to stop this greenwashing and ensure Regenerative Agriculture’s integrity by restoring farmer’s independence, promoting social justice, fair trade and regenerating ecological health.
Can you give $10 monthly or a one time donation today to support Regeneration International and our campaigns?
Regeneration International is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, dedicated to building a global network of farmers, scientists, businesses, activists, educators, journalists, policymakers and consumers who will promote and put into practice regenerative agriculture and land-use practices that: provide abundant, nutritious food; revitalize local economies; regenerate soil fertility and water-retention capacity; nurture biodiversity; and restore climate stability by reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time drawing down excess atmospheric carbon and sequestering it in the soil.