AC­TION NEEDED:

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CORAL COOKSLEY

Farm­ers for Cli­mate Ac­tion mem­ber Corey Watts (left), pre­sen­ter Spe­cial Coun­sel for Cli­mate Change Risk at law firm Minter El­li­son Sarah Barker, MC Su­san Mc­Nair with sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture and food se­cu­rity ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Tim Reeves.

MORE than 200 peo­ple from around the re­gion and in­ter­state last week gath­ered at a man­ag­ing cli­mate risk in agri­cul­ture con­fer­ence held at the Ge­orge Ker­ferd Ho­tel in Beech­worth.

The Farm­ers for Cli­mate Ac­tion (FCA) – an ad­vo­cacy group on the front line of cli­mate change and cre­at­ing so­lu­tions for the agri­cul­ture and food pro­duc­tion in­dus­try – brought to­gether pri­mary pro­duc­ers and in­dus­try lead­ers as well as sci­en­tists and le­gal, health, and mar­ket ex­perts.

The FCA con­fer­ence aimed to help farm­ers adapt and man­age the ef­fects of cli­mate risk with ses­sions that in­cluded clean emis­sion re­duc­tion, car­bon man­age­ment, fi­nan­cial and in­sur­ance so­lu­tions, and build­ing ru­ral re­silience.

Farmer, FCA chair and agribusi­ness leader, Lucinda Cor­ri­gan, told the Wan­garatta Chronicle that a na­tional strat­egy would as­sist the govern­ment take a lead role, help with fund­ing and in­vest in knowl­edge gaps and be­ing pre­pared.

“It would help with laws and reg­u­la­tions re­quired to adapt and adopt at a busi­ness and in­dus­try level too,” she said.

Ms Cor­ri­gan said that this would in­clude the state plan­ning frame­work for re­new­able en­ergy and in­no­va­tion in the re­gions.

With red meat in­dus­tries al­ready work­ing to be car­bon neu­tral by 2030, Ms Cor­ri­gan said in­vest­ments re­quired would be con­sid­er­able to de­velop the new method­olo­gies to mit­i­gate emis­sions across the lamb, beef and goat in­dus­tries.

“A na­tional strat­egy would as­sist that process as well,” she said.

As in­dus­tries moved at dif­fer­ent rates, Ms Cor­ri­gan said most had de­vel­oped plans to adapt to cli­mate change such as the wine and di­ary in­dus­tries, with su­gar in­dus­tries and oth­ers fol­low­ing.

North East Catch­ment Man­age­ment Au­thor- ity chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Katie Warner, who opened the con­fer­ence, said the North East was a place where sus­tain­able land man­age­ment for so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic out­comes with agri­cul­ture of par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance, was crit­i­cal to the North East.

“With­out ac­tion on cli­mate change what we value here and across re­gional and ru­ral Aus­tralia, is un­der threat,” she said.

Ms Warner said the au­thor­ity is keen to be a part of plan­ning for in­creased cli­mate vari­abil­ity and work­ing with in­dus­tries and re­gional coun­cils.’

She urged the farm­ing com­mu­nity to recog­nise the ur­gent chal­lenge.

In his key­note ad­dress, Mel­bourne Uni­ver­sity’s Pro­fes­sor Tim Reeves - a world-renowned sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture and food se­cu­rity ex­pert - said the great­est chal­lenge faced by hu- mankind was global food and nu­tri­tion se­cu­rity.

“We have a rapidly grow­ing global pop­u­la­tion in­creas­ing by 150 peo­ple ev­ery minute need­ing to be fed nu­tri­tion­ally,” he said.

“Nu­tri­tional se­cu­rity is as im­por­tant as food se­cu­rity.

“We’re no longer talk­ing about fu­ture cli­mate change as it is al­ready af­fect­ing global agri­cul­tural sys­tems.”

Pro­fes­sor Reeves said food pro­duc­tion that could dou­ble in 30 years time needed sus­tain­able ways to pre­serve wa­ter, land, and ecosys­tems, while im­prov­ing agri­cul­ture and food pro­duc­tion sys­tems.

Ms Cor­ri­gan said grass roots ac­tion was the im­por­tant part of change, cul­tural change, com­mu­nity lead­er­ship, and build­ing ca­pac­ity.

CON­CERNED IN­TER­EST: Judy Grif­fiths from Bow­mans For­est (left) and Ch­eryl Gra­ham from Yackan­dan­dah at­tended the man­ag­ing cli­mate risk in agri­cul­ture con­fer­ence.

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