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In search of sustainable agriculture

by Richard Meckien - published Aug 26, 2016 02:15 PM - - last modified Sep 02, 2016 02:55 PM

Leslie Firbank
Agro-ecologist Leslie Firbank

Agro-ecologist Leslie Firbank, from the University of Leeds, will be at the IEA to discuss how and whether it is possible to achieve sustainable food production. At the conference Can We Achieve Sustainable Agriculture?, which takes place on September 5, at 2 pm, in the IEA Events Room, he will make an analysis of the main currently adopted agricultural models and raise evolution possibilities of the practice in a time of climate change and population growth. The talk will be broadcast live by the IEA website.

In his presentation, Firbank will evaluate whether agriculture has been adopting techniques that prioritize the quality of the land by maintaining the natural capital required for its use in the future. He argues that there is a "safe and just operating space" for agriculture, where food can be produced in sufficient quantity without harming the environment.

According to the researcher, it is possible to accurately quantify the environmental impact of agriculture through different techniques. The great difficulty is to judge whether a farm is within its safe and just operating space.

The conference is part of the activities of the Working Group on Agroecology of the IEA's Philosophy, History, and Sociology of Science and Technology Research Group. The comments will be in charge of Helen Miller, also from the University of Leeds, and Jonathan Oxley, from N8 Agrifood. The moderator will be philosopher Pablo Mariconda, a professor at USP's Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences (FFLCH), and coordinator of the research group.