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Regeneration: Updates from Around the World

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Ever since its creation in 2015, Regeneration International has been working locally to strengthen a global movement of solidarity. So far, 218 regenerative farms or projects located in 55 different countries are part of the Regeneration International Partner Network.

Since the beginning of the year, several workshops, conferences and regional and international meetings have been held to nourish and connect the global regeneration movement. Regeneration Belize held its first General Assembly. In Kenya, we will be present at World Soil Week. And in Chiapas, Mexico, we will participate in the First Mexican Congress of Agroecology.

BELIZE: Regeneration Belize Holds First Annual General Meeting in Belmopan

Regeneration Belize held its first General Assembly meeting on February 13 in the National Agriculture & Trade Show (NATS) conference room in Belmopan, compliments of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Regeneration Belize is the result of the common effort of producers, educators, consumers and educators from Belize and international allies. The first step for the formation of this group was taken during the First Tropical Agriculture Conference that took place in Belmopan in November 2018.

On March 19, Regeneración Belice organized a biocarbon workshop, by Christopher Nesbitt from Maya Mountain Research Farm and board member of Regeneration Belize, with a participation of 51 people. A seed preservation workshop is planned for June with the participation of RI, Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), the Ministry of Agriculture and others involved in seed preservation. Regeneration Belize continues to develop numerous events for 2019, from its Second Conference on Regenerative Tropical Agriculture in November to its participation in World Food Day in October.

URUGUAY: Regeneration Movement Gaining Traction in Uruguay!    

On February 14, the workshop “José Ignacio, Regenerative Lighthouse: Water and Soil Free of Agrochemicals” was held La Excusa restaurant, in José Ignacio, Uruguay. The event was held in conjunction with the local Gastronomic Fair, sponsored by several local, national and international organizations and NGOs, including Savory International.

Workshops on regenerative farming practices will be held monthly, in order to spread the regenerative movement across Uruguay. For more information, call or WhatsApp: 598-98106116.

UNITED STATES: Global Earth Repair Conference, Port Townsend, Washington (USA), May 3-5, 2019

The Global Earth Repair Conference will bring together about 500 people to talk about earth repair at local, regional, state, national and international levels. The Global Earth Repair Conference facilitates the exchange of information between earth repair practitioners.

This year’s event will focus on how to apply earth repair to urban areas, farmland, forests, rangeland, shrub steppes, deserts, streams, rivers, coral reefs, oceans and other ecosystems.  Seed collecting, earthworks, swales, nurseries, native plants, plant establishment, hoedads, live staking, sprigging, and much else will be on the menu.

MEXICO: 1er. Congreso Mexicano De Agroecología, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, May 12-17, 2019

Regeneration International and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), together with the Mexican Seeds Network, will participate in the First Mexican Congress of Agroecology with a series of activities related to the defense of seeds and agricultural diversity.

On Wednesday, May 15, there will be workshops on seed production and on the 100% nixtamalized tortilla. There will also be a presentation of “SIEMBRA!,” an educational series on seed production, and a seed exchange.

On Thursday, May 16, there will be a table entitled “seeds and resilience: learning, resistance and construction through the defense, conservation and production of seeds,”  which will feature speakers from the academic and public sector and nonprofits.

EAST AFRICA: Global Soil Week, Nairobi, Kenya, May 27-30, 2019

Global Soil Week will bring soil scientists and practitioners to deliberate on how to create environments that enable the Land Degradation Neutrality in Africa. Regeneration International’s Precious Phiri will partner with the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (Viridiana Alcántara) to conduct a field trip to the Kenyan Savory Hub on the Masai Mara lands. This event will showcase the potential for soil health regeneration in the dry lands of Kenya. The hope is that this will trigger interest among scientists to partner with Savory Hubs on projects geared toward regenerating rangelands.

UNITED STATES: Green New Deal Incites Hope for Comprehensive Ag Policy Change

Regeneration International supports the Green New Deal (GND), a 10-year mobilization plan to address climate change and income inequality in the U.S. The GND offers an unprecedented opportunity to finally unite the environmental, climate, food, labor and economic justice activists in the U.S.  around one policy platform that offers solutions for the multiple crises we face.

RI is working behind the scenes in the U.S. to build a national coalition of farmers and ranchers for a GND with the ultimate goal of drafting and building support for major agricultural policy reforms to address global warming and other crises, including deteriorating public health, water pollution, the collapse of family farms and their communities, loss of wildlife and biodiversity, and low wages for farm and food industry workers.

We’ll make some important announcements about our partnership with the Sunrise Movement in the coming months. For now, if you live in the U.S., please use this form to ask your members of Congress to support the Green New Deal.

Are you a farmer or rancher in the U.S.? Please sign this letter to Congress urging support for a Green New Deal.

Thank you!

Regeneración: noticias locales para un movimiento global

Desde su creación en 2015, Regeneration International ha estado trabajando de manera local para fortalecer un movimiento de solidaridad global. Hasta el momento, 218 proyectos regenerativos ubicados en 55 países forman parte de la Red Internacional de Afiliados de Regeneration.

Desde comienzos del año se han realizado diversos talleres, conferencias y encuentros regionales e internacionales que nutren y conectan el movimiento de regeneración global. Queremos por este medio compartirte información para que sepas más de lo que está ocurriendo y puedas acercarte y formar parte de este movimiento. Regeneration Belice celebró su primera Asamblea General, en Kenia, estaremos presentes en la Semana Mundial del Suelo y en Chiapas, México, participaremos del Primer Congreso Mexicano de Agroecología.

Sigue leyendo para saber más sobre estos eventos regenerativos internacionales.

BELICE: Regeneración Belice celebra su primera reunión general anual en Belmopan

Regeneración Belice celebró su primera Asamblea General el 13 de febrero en la sala de conferencias de la Feria Nacional de Agricultura y Comercio en Belmopan.

Regeneración Belice es el resultado del esfuerzo común de productores, educadores, consumidores y educadores de Belice y aliados internacionales. El primer paso para la conformación de este grupo se dio durante la Primera Conferencia de Agricultura Tropical que tuvo lugar en Belmopan en noviembre de 2018.

El 19 de marzo, Regeneración Belice organizó un taller de biocarbón a cargo de Christopher Nesbitt de Maya Mountain Research Farm e integrante de la junta de Regeneración Belice, con una participación de 51 personas. Se está planeando un taller de preservación de semillas para junio con la asistencia de RI, Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), el Ministerio de Agricultura y otros involucrados en la preservación de semillas. Regeneración Belice continúa desarrollando numerosos eventos para 2019, desde su Segunda Conferencia sobre Agricultura Tropical Regenerativa en noviembre, como su participación en el Día Mundial de la Alimentación en octubre.

URUGUAY: ¡El movimiento de regeneración está ganando terreno en Uruguay!

El 14 de febrero tuvo lugar el taller “José Ignacio, Faro Regenerativo: agua y suelo libres de agroquímicos” en las instalaciones del restaurante la Excusa, en José Ignacio, Uruguay. El evento se llevó a cabo conjuntamente con la Feria Gastronómica local, patrocinada por varias organizaciones locales, nacionales e internacionales y ONG’s, incluida Savory International.

Los talleres sobre prácticas agrícolas regenerativas se llevarán a cabo mensualmente, a fin de difundir el movimiento regenerativo en todo Uruguay. Para más información, llame o WhatsApp: 598-98106116.

ESTADOS UNIDOS: Global Earth Repair Conference, Port Townsend, Washington (EE. UU.), 3-5 de mayo de 2019

La Global Earth Repair Conference (Conferencia Global de Reparación de la Tierra) reunirá a unas 500 personas para hablar sobre la reparación de la tierra a nivel local, regional, estatal, nacional e internacional. La Conferencia Global de Reparación de la Tierra facilita el intercambio de información entre los profesionales de la reparación de la tierra.

El evento de este año se centrará en cómo aplicar la reparación de la tierra en áreas urbanas, tierras de cultivo, bosques, pastizales, estepas arbustivas, desiertos, arroyos, ríos, arrecifes de coral, océanos y otros ecosistemas. Recolección de semillas, movimientos de tierras, curvas de nivel, viveros, plantas nativas, establecimiento de plantas, árboles, estacas vivas, siembra de retoños y mucho más estará en el menú.

MEXICO: 1er. Congreso Mexicano de Agroecología, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 12-17 de mayo de 2019.

Regeneración Internacional y la Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (ACO), junto con la Red de Semillas de México, participarán en el Primer Congreso Mexicano de Agroecología con una serie de actividades relacionadas con la defensa de las semillas y la agrodiversidad.

El miércoles 15 de mayo, habrá talleres sobre producción de semillas y sobre la tortilla 100% nixtamalizada. También habrá una presentación de “SIEMBRA!”, Una serie educativa sobre la producción de semillas y un intercambio de semillas.

El jueves 16 de mayo, participaremos en una mesa titulada “Semillas y resiliencia: aprendizaje, resistencia y construcción a través de la defensa, conservación y producción de semillas”, que contará con oradores del sector público y académico y organizaciones sin fines de lucro.

AFRICA DEL ESTE: Global Soil Week, Nairobi, Kenya, May 27-30, 2019

La Global Soil Week (Semana Mundial del Suelo) reunirá a científicos y profesionales del suelo para deliberar sobre cómo crear entornos que permitan la neutralidad de la degradación de la tierra en África. Precious Phiri, de Regeneration International, se asociará con la Oficina Federal Alemana para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (Viridiana Alcántara) para llevar a cabo una visita al Savory Hub de Kenia en las tierras de Masai Mara. Este evento mostrará el potencial para la regeneración de la salud del suelo en las tierras secas de Kenia. La esperanza es que esto genere interés entre los científicos para asociarse con Savory Hubs en proyectos orientados a la regeneración de los pastizales.

ESTADOS UNIDOS: el Green New Deal enciende la esperanza de un cambio integral en la política agrícola

Desde Regeneration International apoyamos el Green New Deal (GND) o Nuevo Acuerdo Verde, una propuesta de movilización para los próximos 10 años para combatir el cambio climático al tiempo que promueve medidas para reducir la desigualdad económica en Estados Unidos. El GND ofrece una oportunidad sin precedentes para finalmente unir a los activistas de justicia ambiental, climática, alimentaria, laboral y económica en los EE. UU. en torno a una plataforma de políticas que ofrece soluciones para las múltiples crisis que enfrentamos.

En los EE. UU., RI está trabajando tras bambalinas para crear una coalición nacional de agricultores y ganaderos a favor del GND con el objetivo de redactar y generar apoyos para las principales reformas de política agrícola para enfrentar el calentamiento global y otras crisis, como el deterioro de la salud pública y la contaminación del agua, el colapso de las granjas familiares y sus comunidades, la pérdida de la vida silvestre y la biodiversidad, y los bajos salarios de los trabajadores del campo y la industria alimentaria.

Haremos algunos anuncios importantes sobre nuestra asociación con el Movimiento Sunrise en los próximos meses. Por ahora, si vive en los EE. UU., favor de utilizar este formulario para pedir a sus miembros del Congreso que apoyen el Green New Deal.

¿Eres un granjero o ganadero en los Estados Unidos? Por favor firme esta carta al Congreso instando a que se apoye un Green New Deal.

¡Gracias!

Soil Health Champion Gabe Brown Featured on Commemorative Wheaties Box

BISMARCK, ND (April 15, 2019) – Since 1956, when U.S. Olympic track and field star Bob Richards first graced its cover, Wheaties cereal boxes have featured athletic champions who have overcome challenges in pursuit of their personal best. General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, recently featured another type of champion on a specially prepared box cover: soil health champion Gabe Brown.

A pioneering, regenerative agriculture farmer from Bismarck, North Dakota, Brown recently received the commemorative box from the General Mills Sustainability Team. While the company has no current plans to put the mock-up into mass production or distribution, the cover is a special tribute to Brown’s work as a regenerative agricultural advocate and educator. It is also emblematic of the food giant’s renewed commitment to expand the use of soil health-improving practices among General Mills’ cereal grain growers.

“The box was presented as a ‘thank you’ to me and the Soil Health Academy by the General Mills Sustainability Team for our work in providing education and technical support to their growers as part of a multi-year, regenerative agriculture project,” Brown said.

“Even as a novelty item, seeing your picture on the cover of an iconic cereal box is a humbling experience and the gesture was very much appreciated,” he said. “Truthfully, I think every farmer making the transition from industrial to regenerative agriculture is a champion.”

Brown knows how important that transition is in transforming farming operations. His recently released book, Dirt to Soil, chronicles his personal journey from industrial agriculture to soil health-focused regenerative agriculture.

“The story of my farm is how I took a severely degraded, low-profit operation that had been managed using the industrial production model and regenerated it into a healthy, profitable one,” Brown said. “All of us—whether farmer, rancher or home gardener—have the ability to harness the awesome power of nature to produce nutrient-dense food. We can do this in a way that will both regenerate our resources

and ensure that our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to enjoy good health,” he said.

In addition to transforming his own farm and ranch operation, Brown’s remarkable experience has yielded another benefit: a new calling.

“One of my goals in life is to help other farmers make the same transition,” Brown said. “I hope the book and all of our work through the Soil Health Academy will help many more farmers, and even consumers, discover the hope in healthy soil.”

Reposted with permission from Soil Health Academy

Some Ways to Frame “Regeneration”

I have been working with the Regenerative Communities Network to cultivate bioregional-scale projects that do this very thing. One of our challenges is that most people have not been trained in regenerative design practices — including how we frame regeneration itself.

The purpose of this article is to lay out some of the ways that regeneration can be framed… helping us conceptualize what we are doing and communicate more effectively with our partners in the field. My intention is not so much to be comprehensive as it is to stimulate further discussion. We need to have conversations about the language we use to work together, especially when conflicts arise and it becomes necessary to navigating through diverse points of view.

For starters, to re-generate means there must previously have been processes or mechanisms for generating outcomes in the first place.

KEEP READING ON RESILIENCE

To Fix the Climate, We Have to Fix Our Soil

“One of our most important solutions to the global challenge posed by climate change lies right under our feet.” That’s according to Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, a soil biochemist at the University of Merced, and she’s talking about soil, which isn’t acknowledged as a key factor in the fight against climate change.

When it’s healthy, soil is incredibly effective at storing carbon, Berhe said on the stage at TED in Vancouver. Soil stores around 3,000 billion metric tons of carbon, which is double the amount stored in vegetation and in the atmosphere, combined. The ability of natural ecosystems like soil to capture and sequester carbon is essentially bailing us out of experiencing the effects of excessive amounts of CO2 that human activities produce. Around half of the 9.4 billion metric tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere every year are captured in soil, plants, and the ocean, and soil is doing the bulk of that heavy lifting.

KEEP READING ON FAST COMPANY

Is Regenerative Agriculture the Answer to the Guilt-Free Burger?

In sustainability circles familiar with programs such as Meatless Monday and author Michael Pollan’s often quoted words — “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” — the message to eat less meat is a known adage. The recent update on dietary guidelines from medical journal Lancet reinforces this message and stresses that agriculture accounts for roughly a quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most produced by raising of cattle and lamb.

In early April, the Grassfed Exchange conference provided a different message, that restorative or regenerative agriculture — which includes grass-fed, pasture-raised beef — is part of the solution to climate change. I must confess that my body craves a good hamburger every once in a while, and when I indulge this craving, I often feel a twinge of guilt. Last weekend, when I ordered a Marin Sun Farms grass-fed, pasture-raised burger, here are three reasons why I didn’t feel guilty:

KEEP READING ON GREENBIZ

Grassland Ecology 101 for Vegans and Synthetic Meat Marketers

First, congratulations on your commitment to making the world a better place. It’s not always popular (or safe) to take a stand on principle when the rest of the world is unaware or insensitive to matters you find extremely important.

However (you knew that was coming), many of your arguments and statements about global ecology have been clouded by a misunderstanding perpetuated by biotech and global corporate agricultural interests. Briefly, let’s look at the two big Red Herrings. Afterwards, I will suggest a path forward to bring strength and resilience to the plant-based movement. [Read Part 2 at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/grassfed-ecology-101-vegans-calling-change-makes-sense-alan-lewis]

Grassland ecology is quite simple.

  1. Grass puts green leaves upward and roots downward during the growing season. The leaves use air, water and sunlight to make sugars. The carbon and water are stored in the roots as carbohydrates: carbon + water.
  2. If the plant is a food crop, we can often eat the leaves, stem and roots and derive lots of nourishment from them. If the plants are mainly cellulose, our stomachs have no way to digest them.
  3. Grasses (and other plants) evolved with ruminant animals. Ruminants have extra stomachs and sturdy mouths to break down, ferment and digest the cellulose in grasses so the nutrients in them can be absorbed and converted to meat, fat and energy for the animal. What’s left is piss and poop, burps and farts.
  4. Grass must be eaten down by ruminants to survive. Without grazing, grasses grow high, desiccate and oxidize. They slough off their roots and after a few years stop growing altogether. By grazing most of the plant leaves and moving on to new pastures,ruminants revitalize grasslands. Without grazing, the land dies.
  5. Grass is not just what you see above ground. Perennial grasses put down deep roots during the growing season; around the roots a universe of biological activity occurs. The roots exude sugars to attract the previously unconnected microbes and fungi underground. These organisms network themselves and begin to breakdown bedrock into minerals the plant’s roots can absorb. The plant can signal for nutrients and water, or tell the underground miners it is under attack and to create substances to help the plant fight insects and diseases
  6. After a grazing animal eats its leaves, the plant lets most of its root system go dormant. Later it begins growing new roots to reestablish its nutrient and immune support system underground. Here is the magic: the old roots, made of carbon and water, serve as the foundation of new topsoil. Carbon rich soil continues to generate biological activity underground. It forms a sponge that can absorb huge amounts of water from rainfall or flooding, which it slowly releases over time: drought tolerance and flood resilience. This process is critical to carbon sequestration. Health grasslands take carbon from the atmosphere and place it safely underground.
  7. Grasslands without ruminant herds moving from place to place are called deserts. The grass cannot survive. Herds that are left to roam and graze at will don’t hack it. Grasslands need animals to trample the soil crust, digest the leafy matter, deposit poop and pee, and then move on so it can resurrect itself and the soil below: managed grazing.

So where does that leave us? The Big Lie you have been told over and over is that plant-based foods will save the environment. Don’t eat meat! But notice that Mother Earth disagrees. She needs those animals, whether humans eat them or not. The Big Lie depends on you dismissing the natural laws of grassland ecology and focusing solely on industrial livestock practices. You know this one, so I’ll summarize.

Most meat animals are fed by growing GMO corn and soybeans in vast chemical-intensive monocultures that devastate the land (and farmers and rural communities, but I’ve covered that elsewhere). The animals are kept in concentrated feeding areas, served rations that are inappropriate to their digestive systems, fed antibiotics and hormones to make them grow faster, given medications to keep them somewhat healthy in horrible circumstances, then led off to slaughter without ever having set hoof on vegetation or having grazed fresh grass. Their contaminated manure is collected in fetid lagoons until it floods into waterways or is sprayed on fields. Yeah, that’s all horrible and it rightfully has led many folks, including not a few ranchers, to swear off meat. Agreed.

The problem is, many vegans and vegetarians have become convinced that concentrated animal feeding operations described above are the only standard by which to judge plant-based foods and synthetic meat. Nope. We need to judge what we eat based on the best practices of livestock husbandry as it is done in concert with natural systems that we as a species on this planet are fundamentally dependent on. We must have managed ruminant grazing to stop and reverse desertification. We must integrate livestock into agriculture to place atmospheric carbon back underground and provide protection against floods and droughts brought on by climate change. A plant-based diet, and anti-livestock advocacy, fails to take this ecological science into account.

After considering this article, take another look at the marketing messages used by synthetic meat companies like Impossible Burger. They state their product is fundamentally better than beef, but their measures are all based on bad industrial livestock practices. Let’s be blunt: if we all ate Impossible Burgers and abandoned livestock husbandry, the planet would die within a few years. Impossible Burger depends on your ignorance of Grassland Ecology 101. Comparing lab-grown meat only to industrial beef is the Red Herring that keeps the plant-based food movement from being taken seriously by real farmers and ranchers. When you repeat the claims of the makers of synthetic food, especially meat, you are repeating nonsense created by marketing teams and tested on people just like you.

Synthetic meat (and “heme”) is grown by organisms that have been genetically modified, and which are fed steeps derived from genetically modified crops. These are things the human species has never eaten or digested before. They are unregulated, unlabeled and undisclosed. It’s not normal, which is why the global biotech lobby is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on influence campaigns to make it seem normal.

Here’s what’s normal: ruminant animals grazing in a herd and moving along when the grass is sufficiently low. Happy health animals with no need for medicines or grain. Healthy soil with no need of fertilizers or herbicides. So, sure, go plant-based. But don’t fail to respect the plants.

It makes sense to advocate against the terrible practices of the livestock industry. It also makes sense to advocate for regenerative humane practices that global ecology depends on. And it’s not a bad idea to reduce consumption of good meat, too. The Earth can support a finite number of grassland animals.

Last word, to head off some comments. It’s true that there is no such thing as “humane” slaughter. I get that. I’ve seen cattle “put down” (shot through the head with a .357 magnum, in case the euphemism is offensive). You don’t get used to it. However (you knew that was coming), animals are going to die one way or another. It’s not “humane” either when an old cow or young calf is left to be attacked by predators, or when disease takes hold and an animal suffers at the edge of the pasture. If we are not going to kill and eat the animals, but we want to save our planet, we must accept their deaths either way. And if ranchers can’t harvest animals to pay the cost of managing herds and improving the soil, eating vegan will require a hefty tax to keep those farmers on the land and providing those services.

Otherwise, we better get used to a dry, sandy planet.

Reposted with permission from Alan Lewis

Belice: transitando hacia la regeneración

Del 13 al 15 de noviembre de 2018 se realizó en Belmopan Belice, la Primera Conferencia Anual de Agricultura Tropical

Belmopan: “la ciudad Jardín” fue el escenario de la Primera Conferencia Anual de Agricultura Tropical del 13 al 15 de noviembre de 2018, a la que acudieron personas dedicadas a la agroecología, agroforestería, apicultura, ganadería, aves de corral, semillas tradicionales, plantas medicinales, huertos urbanos y rurales, junto con integrantes de la comunidad científica, líderes internacionales de proyectos regenerativos e integrantes del ministerio de agricultura y recursos naturales de Belice.

Diversos actores públicos, privados, de la sociedad civil y academia sumados a los productores de Belice, están intentando que el país sea el primer ejemplo en el continente Americano en lograr una transición Regenerativa.

¿Qué significa regenerativa?

Toda alternativa que contribuya a revertir la degeneración de la tierra, del medio ambiente, del tejido social, de la salud de personas, plantas y animales, la contaminación del agua, el suelo, el uso excesivo de agrotóxicos, la generación de carne de res, aves y lácteos con antibióticos y hormonas y todo tipo de siembras y cultivos bajo sistemas de agricultura industrial.

Es así como la palabra regeneración atrajo durante el primer día a 800 personas y el segundo a 300, provenientes de Belice y de otras naciones como son: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Estados Unidos, Guatemala y México, quienes asistieron a conferencias magistrales y talleres simultáneos intercambiando información, conocimientos y estrategias en inglés, español y Maya Kekchi .

Los temas abordados por 6 ponentes internacionales y 13 locales giraron en torno a prácticas regenerativas que permitan “secuestrar”el carbono de la atmósfera y devolverlo a los suelos y mares a través de proyectos de apicultura, semillas nativas, plantas medicinales, agroforestería, vainilla, huertos verdes, cítricos, silvipastoreo, aves de corral, agroturismo, biocarbón, entre otras, para concientizar a la población sobre la importancia de producir de forma agroecológica, holística y sana para proteger la biodiversidad, el agua, la madre tierra, la salud y vida humana, animal y de insectos polinizadores, así como el medio ambiente.

¿Cómo surge Regeneration International?

Regeneración Internacional se conformó en junio de 2015 en la Finca Luna Nueva de Costa Rica, al pie del maravilloso volcán el Arenal, que fue testigo de cómo 60 personas de 21 diferentes naciones -integrantes de comunidades campesinas, científicas, organizaciones civiles, instancias educativas y públicas- establecieron el compromiso común de revertir el calentamiento global y la destrucción del medioambiente a través de prácticas y proyectos regenerativos.

A tres años de su creación, RI aglutina a 250 organizaciones de diferentes países y está consolidando alianzas en Estados Unidos, Sudáfrica, India, Canadá, México, Guatemala y Belice, donde se efectuó la más reciente conferencia.

Algunas de las principales acciones de RI en sus tres años de vida han sido posicionar las prácticas regenerativas como una forma de revertir el calentamiento global en los encuentros internacionales sobre cambio climático (COP 21, 22 y 23), en el de biodiversidad (COP 13), así como en diversos foros internacionales; además de sumarse e impulsar la estrategia 4X1000 Iniciativa climática: Suelos por seguridad alimentaria, que busca incrementar anualmente un 0.4% las reservas de carbono a la tierra, lo que permitiría detener la concentración de CO2 en la atmósfera a través de prácticas orgánicas y regenerativas.

Entre las principales actividades de difusión y educación emprendidas por RI se cuentan: el impulso de una campaña global para educar a tomadores de decisiones públicas sobre agricultura regenerativa como una solución al cambio climático; promover proyectos de agricultura regenerativa, iniciativas públicas y la formación y capacitación dirigida a personas consumidoras, agricultoras, empresarias y políticas, acerca de la importancia de sembrar el planeta para restaurar la salud pública, promover la prosperidad y la paz a escala global.

¿Por qué Regeneración Belice?

La primera conferencia anual en Belice fue impulsada desde hace poco más de un año por tres entusiastas mujeres que de Estados Unidos se mudaron a vivir a Belice hace varias décadas, buscando una nueva forma de vida en armonía con el medio ambiente y la madre tierra: Sally Starkey, Dottie Feucht y Beth Roberson, junto con Inna Sánchez, una joven egresada de la Universidad EARTH y directora de investigación agrícola dentro del ministerio de agricultura.

Ellas, en coordinación con Sustainable Harvest International y Organic Consumers Association (organizaciones integrantes de Regeneration International), comenzaron a gestar esta actividad que constituye el primer modelo regenerativo regional integrado por equipos multidisciplinarios que suman sus esfuerzos para trascender hacia una nación regenerativa.

Y lo más importante, lograron el apoyo del Ministro de Agricultura, Pesca, Forestería, Medioambiente, Desarrollo Sustentable e Inmigración de Belice, Senador Godwin Hulse, quien ha sido agricultor y está comprometido a impulsar políticas públicas para que Belice trascienda hacia una nación regenerativa.

Este escalamiento hacia proyectos regenerativos es fundamental en un país como Belice, con aproximadamente 390 mil personas que viven básicamente del turismo, manufactura, pesca y producción agrícola de cultivos como azúcar, plátano y naranja, cultivos en los que se usan altos niveles de agrotóxicos, lo cual no solo ha contaminado sus tierras y aguas, sino también dañado la salud de quienes siembran y consumen esos alimentos.

Además de que al haber optado por monocultivos de exportación, el país importa grandes cantidades de granos básicos, lo cual constituye un déficit económico y no garantiza la calidad de los alimentos.

Cabe señalar que en los años 50 del siglo pasado se establecieron grandes colonias de comunidades menonitas en Belice, invitadas por el gobierno colonial que les brindó tierras y todo tipo de facilidades para producir. Estos grupos han producido alimentos principalmente para el mercado local; no obstante, usan grandes cantidades de agrotóxicos dentro de un sistema industrial , lo cual no solo ha dañado la tierra y contaminado el agua, sino les ha afectado en su salud.

Por ello, la asistencia de integrantes de la comunidad menonita a la Primera Conferencia Anual de Agricultura Tropical en Belmopan abre una puerta de esperanza para que también estas comunidades, tradicionalmente aisladas para preservar su cultura y forma de vida, accedan a prácticas regenerativas.

Los próximos pasos serán impartir talleres técnicos para la producción de biocarbón, cuidado y preservación de semillas, control agroecológico de malezas, plagas, hongos, entre otros, planeados durante el 2019.

La idea es avanzar gradualmente hacia la conformación de un Belice regenerativo, lo cual no sólo dependerá del compromiso de las autoridades locales para instaurar políticas públicas, sino de la suma de todas y todos los actores sociales de Belice relacionados con el campo, lo cual constituirá un ejemplo no sólo para el continente americano sino para el mundo entero.

Publicado con permiso de Consumidores Orgánicos

Andrea Asch: Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms

The snow in Vermont is slowly melting and the woods and fields are springing to life with shoots of new growth. The soil is also re-awakening and is rich with an abundance of organisms and nutrients. Vermont relies on its soil for its most important economic driver – agriculture, and dairy farms. To keep that engine strong, many dairy farmers have turned to regenerative agriculture. More than just a set of practices, regenerative agriculture broadly supports many important environmental benefits.

Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming that develops the soil as a habitat for organisms, making the soil robust and resilient for the production of healthy crops that ultimately support good animal nutrition and contribute to quality milk.

The foundation of regenerative agriculture is a set of practices based on concepts that improve soil health:

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Will Soil Save Us? Carbon Sequestration Through Agriculture

When I taught kindergarten many years ago, I remember when 6-year old Flo fixed her china-blue eyes on me one morning and said she had just figured something out: “Everything in the world is alive,” she declared, “but in its own way.”

Flo’s words come to mind this spring as I get my hands into the earth. I am always awestruck in nature, but these days there’s also an undercurrent of dull grief and panic about climate change. All life, present in all of its variation and complexity, is cherished more than ever before. Every bee and butterfly that enters my garden will get the best seat at the table.

I’m also mindful of my grandfather, a Dutch immigrant who acquired land in southwestern Minnesota in the late 1800s and “broke the prairie” with a sharpened plow and a team of good horses.

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