FarmTech Society and Future Food Institute on Biodiversity – follow the panel

FarmTech Society and Future Food Institute on Biodiversity - follow the panel

Each year May 22nd is recognized as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). Biodiversity is important because it is an essential source of goods, resources, and services for humans: otherwise known as ecosystem services.  These services, which specialists classify as support, supply, regulatory, and cultural, directly or indirectly benefit all human, animal, and plant communities on the planet. Biodiversity enhances the productivity of any ecosystem. It is a fact that the loss of biodiversity accelerates food and energy insecurity, increases vulnerability to natural disasters such as floods or tropical storms, reduces the level of health within society, reduces the availability and quality of all resources, and impoverishes above all, cultural traditions.

Moreover, impacts and responses of ecosystems and landscapes to ongoing climate change trends, in terms of distribution, composition, function, phenology, and ecosystem services, are significant, albeit of varying magnitude depending on geographic regions and biome types. In addition, scientists are concerned about the ecological interactions and feedback that can be generated and lead to severe, imponderable, irreversible impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

These challenges, caused by climate change and needed regulatory pressures, are forcing field farmers to consider adopting new practices: it appears that the timing is now to understand and discuss viable concepts of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) practices. CEA is a practice that embraces technology to optimize growing environments for plant and protein products while reducing the use of natural resources like land, water, and energy, as well as eliminating growing risks.  Comparing CEA advantages versus traditional field production, controlled environment agriculture has some distinct improvements in sustainable resource management and value creation in food production. 

This practice needs to be evaluated and supported towards wider adoption. At the same time, this transition requires well-designed policies that would integrate seemingly polarized attempts to increase biodiversity in agricultural land while still growing the food required for an increasing population in the face of climate change challenges. 

Technologies, such as Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), represent a promising agricultural practice provided it can help effectively contribute to saving natural resources. 

For these reasons, next Friday 21st May, FarmTech Society and Future Food Institute are organizing a virtual roundtable to discuss possible solutions to unsustainable agricultural practices which consistently endanger biodiversity preservation. 

The keynote speaker of the event will be Franc Bogovič MEP, Member of the European Parliament, where he engages in topics related to agriculture, rural and regional development, cohesion policy, as well as energy. The panelists will be Cristina Petracchi (Leader of FAO elearning, Rodrigo Barrios (Strategic Partnership Manager of Crop Trust), Tisha Livingston (CEO of  Infinite Acres, creating the state of the art technology available for indoor farming), Sara Roversi (Founder of Future Food Institute), Gijsbertus Schilthuis (Head of Unit of Policy Perspectives within EC DG AGRI) and Kees Aarts (Founder of Protix, a market leader in alternative protein solution with insect production). The panel will be moderated by Nicole Thorpe (Director of Cultinova), Stanislas Demesteere (Legal counsel for FarmTech Society and Account Executive, Energy and Sustainability at Hume Brophy)  Clement Cardon (Academic Policy Adviser, FarmTech Society). The panel also will be observed by Cinzia Tegoni and Isabella Trapani, European Commission DG AGRI office of Policy Perspectives.

The event will be broadcasted starting from 2.30 pm CEST on Future Food Institute social media platforms: Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

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