On Tuesday 21 May, from 7.15pm in the Tim Murray Lecture Hall at Canberra Grammar School, 130 people from all walks of life across Canberra gathered around the issue of food security.
The Lecture was organised as part of a joint initiative between SEE Change and Fusion Canberra as part of the Our Hungry Future campaign which was launched on 17 May (Dalek’s Warning). The campaign is designed to raise community and Government awareness of the serious threats to global, Australian and ACT food security- in the areas of supply and affordability.
Introductory remarks were provided by Mr Brenton Reimann, Team Leader and CEO of Fusion Canberra as well as Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Mr Shane Rattenbury MLA.
Minister Rattenbury publicly repeated his and the ACT Greens’ commitment to key policies from the 2012 ACT Election specifically the establishing of a food policy and a governmental unit to execute it, as well as a Food Production round table of key stakeholders.
Julian Cribb, a well known Australian author (The Coming Famine, 2010) and science journalist and writer, delivered a 40 minute lecture on the huge challenge of food security entitled “Global Food Security: defusing the ticking time bombs” (download his slides here and notes here).
Julian started off by going through the significant and numerous challenges and difficulties facing us as humans. He summed up the challenge like this:
To double global food output with:
- half the present fresh water
- much less land
- no fossil fuels (eventually)
- scarce and costly fertilisers
- less technology
- inadequate $ investment
- growing climate instability
Then he moved onto a more hopeful look at the future – what could be done and what IS being done all around the world when we get creative and start sharing our mistakes as much as our ideas and successes.
He challenged us to consider our task now as:
- ?Pioneer eco-farming: more food with less water, energy, land, inputs
- ?Share food and ag knowledge globally
- ?Diets for health and sustainability
- ?Cities that recycle water, nutrients into novel food systems
- ?Inspire society with a new respect for food
- ?Understand that food is intrinsic to a safe, sustainable and peaceful world.
Question time saw some great questions from the floor and some thought provoking answers from Julian Cribb.
All then enjoyed a warm coffee or tea over supper generously provided by Canberra Grammar School.
The next official event of the campaign will be a Public Debate entitled “You Can’t Eat Your Words” at the Gungahlin College Lecture Theatre on 21 August, 7.30pm.