How to Start a Regenerative Agriculture Movement in Your Community
By Regeneration International
The most important, although as of yet little known, new paradigm shift and set of practices in the world today is regenerative agriculture, or rather regenerative food, farming and land use. Regeneration practices, scaled up globally on billions of acres of farmland, pasture, and forest, have the potential to not only mitigate, but actually reverse global warming and, at the same time, provide solutions to other burning issues such as poverty, deteriorating public health, environmental degradation, and global conflict.
The world-changing promise of regeneration lies in the fact that a large scale increase in plant photosynthesis (i.e. drawing down CO2 from the atmosphere, releasing oxygen, but transferring a major proportion of carbon into the plant roots and soil) made possible by fundamental changes in farming, grazing and land use practices, (along with the transition to 100 percent renewable energy) across billions of acres, can drawdown enough excess CO2 from the atmosphere into our living soils, plants, and forests to reverse global warming and re-stabilize the climate.
And as this great drawdown and re-carbonization of the soil and biota takes place, civilization will also reap a wide range of additional benefits: a qualitative increase in soil fertility, increased soil moisture (rainfall retention), the return of regular rainfall and weather patterns, major increases in food production, nutrient-rich food, enhanced biodiversity, rural and urban economic development, and millions of new "green" jobs.
Currently the most fundamental obstacle to scaling up regenerative practices on a global scale is the fact that only a small percentage of concerned citizens, farmers, ranchers, land managers, consumers and policy makers have ever even heard the "good news" about regeneration, much less been educated so as to understand it thoroughly. Our initial task therefore as regenerators is basic public education, to spread the message of regeneration as widely as possible, and to organize and inspire core groups, coalitions, pilot projects and policy reforms in every town, city, village, state, region and nation in the world as quickly as possible.
Beyond Organic: How Regenerative Farming Can Save Us From Global Catastrophe https://t.co/KJt6fzXKTB @SoilAssociation @eatsustainable— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1496611503.0
The following action plan is designed to jump-start this long overdue process, starting at the local level, eventually spreading into thousands of communities across the globe.
Step number one
Educate yourself on the basic principles of regenerative food, farming and land use. Learn how to explain in everyday language why people all over the world are embracing regenerative food, farming and land use as a fundamental solution to climate change and related crises. Move beyond the prevalent gloom and doom talk on climate change and global warming and offer positive solutions that everyone: farmers, gardeners, landscape managers, educators, consumers, students, businesspeople, policy makers and the entire global body politic can begin to implement.
Develop and hone your understanding and enthusiasm to the point where you can begin to successfully inspire and recruit others to the cause. This may take a while, but through practice and trial and error you will be able to improve your outreach and recruiting. Begin by starting conversations with people you feel comfortable talking to, people concerned about the climate crisis and related issues; but people who haven't yet heard, or who haven't heard much, about regeneration; before you try to speak to community, school, business, activist or church groups. Avoid for the moment wasting your time arguing with climate deniers and other dogmatists, and strive to reach out to those with an open mind. You'll know you're ready to go out in the community and give talks and slideshows once you can convince and inspire people—one-on-one—in your local circle of family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.
On the regenerationinternational.org website, you will find a set of basic educational tools—articles, videos and a PowerPoint presentation—that you can study, and then share with your first circle of potential regenerators. For more in-depth study, here is an annotated bibliography and a daily newsfeed.
Step number two
Form a small core group (Circle of Regeneration) with four or five others (or more) who understand and are truly inspired by the basic principles of regenerative food, farming and land use.
Prime candidates for recruitment might be local food, church, climate, political or farm activists; concerned parents; school teachers; students; gardeners; farmers or artists. Arrange a series of potlucks or study groups to increase your core group's understanding of the issues and to brainstorm about what groups you could possibly reach out to in order to expand your circle. Use the website and Facebook page of regenerationinternational.org to keep abreast of current developments in the global regeneration movement. Once you've formed a core group, register your contact information and sign up as an affiliate with Regeneration International.
Step number three
Familiarize yourself and your core group with the Global 4/1000 Initiative on Soils and Food Security, a local to international pledge to take action, signed by hundreds (and soon to be thousands) of grassroots organizations, cities, states and nations as part of the Lima-to-Paris Climate Summit agreement to sequester carbon through regenerative practices on a scale that can begin to reverse global warming.
The importance of the 4/1000 Initiative is that it is the only global local-to-national climate agreement to sequester excess carbon from the atmosphere in order to reverse climate change. Think of the 4/1000 Initiative as sort of a Global Declaration of Interdependence, an acknowledgement (and a pledge to take action) coming from a visionary segment of the world's seven billion people (three billion farmers and rural villagers, and four billion consumers) to regenerate the earth and mobilize the global grassroots.
Regeneration activists in more than three dozen countries are now using the 4/1000 Initiative as a tool to do outreach, to enroll organizations to formally join the Regeneration Movement, and to build up coalitions to lobby town, city, county, state, and national governments to pass resolutions and ordinances in support of the 4/1000 Initiative. Regeneration International's goal is to get 100,000 community based organizations and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to sign on the 4/1000 Initiative by 2020, and then to use this grassroots power to convince thousands of cities, states and nations of the world to do the same.
Step number four
Develop with your core group and allies a strategy and a plan of action to reach out, one-by-one, to as many groups and organizations as possible in your local area and region.
Your goal should be to map out and recruit key individuals in key groups, winning them over so that they "connect the dots" between what their organizations are already doing, and the global campaign to regenerate the earth and restore climate, soil and hydrological (water cycle) health. Target groups for discussion and recruitment should include: student groups, church groups, food, farm, climate, peace, hunger, immigration and environmental groups, and any other civic organizations with open-minded members.
Step number five
Once your local regeneration core group has carried out extensive public education in your area, built up a critical mass of organizations who have formally signed onto the 4/1000 Initiative and begun to lobby your local town, city, state or regional governmental bodies to sign on to the formal 4/1000 Initiative, please contact the Regeneration International office for further advice on how to arrange regional and national meetings, spread the Regeneration message even further, and to publicize and scale-up Regenerative pilot projects and best practices in your region. For a list of endorsed "Regeneration Hubs" or model pilot projects, see: http://www.regenerationhub.co/en/
This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.
1. Kiss the Ground<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ccc5f0c92a5603e68aec39e56b0db02a"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K3-V1j-zMZw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 22</strong></p><p>Between <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wildfires-california-washington-oregon-photos-2647585008.html" target="_self">wildfires devastating the U.S. West Coast</a> and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tropical-storm-beta-landfall-2647760268.html" target="_self">storms battering the Gulf</a>, the impacts of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/" target="_self">climate crisis</a> can feel overwhelming right now. <em><a href="https://kissthegroundmovie.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Kiss the Ground</a> </em>offers an alternative to all of the bad news by focusing on solutions.</p><p>The film, directed by Josh and Rebecca Tickell and narrated by Woody Harrelson, explains how we can heal the Earth through "regenerative agriculture," farming practices that draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and into soil as a way to restore soil health, which in turn boosts ecosystems and food supplies.</p><p>"<em>Kiss the Ground </em>shows how feasible it is to make these changes at a grassroots level immediately and make a truly substantive impact with low cost and easy to implement solutions," Executive Producer RJ Jain said in an email. "This is why I got involved."</p>
2. Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5338f7a2931e356910026e5fd76fac56"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jsKMTAaj_wQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: YouTube</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 25, 2 p.m. EDT </strong></p><p>This <a href="https://www.patagonia.com/films/public-trust/" target="_blank">award-winning documentary</a> tells the stories of Indigenous activists, journalists, whistleblowers and historians working to protect America's <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/public-lands" target="_self">public lands</a>. The film focuses on three political struggles: the shrinking of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/bears-ears" target="_self">Bears Ears</a> National Monument in Utah, the mining of Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota and the opening of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/Arctic-National-Wildlife-Refuge" target="_self">Arctic National Wildlife Refuge</a> to fossil fuel exploration.</p><p><em>Public Trust</em> was directed by David Garrett Byars and produced by Jeremy Rubingh. Patagonia Films, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and actor Robert Redford are executive producers. It will be <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGjnIG7puzY" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">released</a> on YouTube in time for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/national-public-lands-day-2640656776.html" target="_self">National Public Lands Day</a>.</p><p>"Our country is fortunate to have millions of acres of public lands, including National Parks, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges and Wilderness set aside for future generations," Redford said. "Sadly, these lands that belong to you and me are under unprecedented threats from the greed of big corporations, eager to weaken restrictions in the pursuit of profits. Many of our current politicians are also to blame. <em>Public Trust</em> tells the story of citizens who are fighting back. It's a much-needed wake-up call for all of us who want to preserve our unique and wild cultural heritage."</p>
3. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="156438a30836a765d7a92982545fc334"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B_OFZvAd05Y?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Oct. 4</strong></p><p>Beloved nature broadcaster <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/David-Attenborough" target="_self">David Attenborough</a> has spent his career introducing viewers to the wonders of our planet. In recent years, his footage of albatrosses swallowing <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/plastics" target="_self">plastic</a> in <em>Blue Planet II</em> has been credited with <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/2018-fighting-plastic-waste-2624606566.html" target="_self">helping to ramp up</a> the global fight against plastic pollution. Now, in this <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF)-produced <a href="https://www.attenborough.film/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">documentary</a>, he reflects on the defining moments of his career and the devastating changes he has witnessed.</p><p><em>David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet,</em> which was also produced by Silverback Films and directed by Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes and Keith Scholey, features an intimate conversation between Attenborough and Sir Michael Palin as the broadcaster reflects on his life and a career that took him to every continent on Earth. In addition to streaming on Netflix, the movie will be available in select theaters starting Sept. 28.</p><p>"For decades, David has brought the natural world to the homes of audiences worldwide, but there has never been a more significant moment for him to share his own story and reflections," WWF executive producer Colin Butfield said in a <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/david-attenborough-life-our-planet" target="_blank">statement</a>. "This film coincides with a monumental year for environmental action as world leaders make critical decisions on nature and climate. It sends a powerful message from the most inspiring and celebrated naturalist of our time."</p>
- Sir David Attenborough Set to Present BBC Documentary on ... ›
- 7 of the Best New Documentaries About Global Warming - EcoWatch ›
- Movies to Watch This Earth Day: EcoWatch Staff Picks - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The world's largest online retailer is making it slightly easier for customer to make eco-conscious choices.
- Employees Are Fighting for Climate Change at Work - EcoWatch ›
- Amazon's Carbon Footprint Rises 15% as Company Invests $2 ... ›
- Jeff Bezos Pledges $10 Billion to Fight the Climate Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Budweiser Re-Labels As Climate-Friendly Beer - EcoWatch ›
The Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a risk assessment for toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos Tuesday that downplayed its effects on children's brains and may be the first indication of how the administration's "secret science" policy could impact public health.
- Democratic Bill Banning Toxic Pesticides Applauded as 'Much ... ›
- Trump EPA Won't Regulate Toxic Drinking Water Chemical That ... ›
- California, Nation's Top User of Chlorpyrifos, Announces Ban on ... ›
- Wheeler's EPA Keeps Brain-Damaging Chlorpyrifos in Food ›
- Entire Pesticide Class Must Be Banned to Save Children's Health ... ›
By Maria Trimarchi and Sarah Gleim
If all the glaciers and ice caps on the planet melted, global sea level would rise by about 230 feet. That amount of water would flood nearly every coastal city around the world [source: U.S. Geological Survey]. Rising temperatures, melting arctic ice, drought, desertification and other catastrophic effects of climate change are not examples of future troubles — they are reality today. Climate change isn't just about the environment; its effects touch every part of our lives, from the stability of our governments and economies to our health and where we live.
<p>Why environmental refugees flee their homes is a complicated mixture of environmental degradation and desperate socioeconomic conditions. People leave their homes when their livelihoods and safety are jeopardized. What effects of climate change put them in jeopardy? Climate change triggers, among other problems, desertification and drought, <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/deforestation.htm" target="_blank">deforestation</a>, land degradation, rising sea levels, <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/flood.htm" target="_blank">floods</a>, more frequent and more extreme storms, <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/earthquake.htm" target="_blank">earthquakes</a>, <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/volcano.htm" target="_blank">volcanoes</a>, food insecurity and famine.</p><p>The September <a href="http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2020/09/ETR_2020_web-1.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Ecological Threat Register Report</a>, by the Institute for Economics & Peace, predicts the hardest hit populations will be:</p><ul><li>Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa</li><li>Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Chad, India and Pakistan (which are among the world's least peaceful countries)</li><li>Pakistan, Ethiopia and Iran are most at risk for mass displacements</li><li>Haiti faces the highest risk of all countries in Central America and the Caribbean</li><li>India and China will be among countries experiencing high or extreme water stress</li></ul>
- Think Today's Refugee Crisis is Bad? Climate Change Will Make it a ... ›
- Climate Change Forces 20 Million People to Flee Each Year, Oxfam ... ›
- Meet the World's First Climate Refugees - EcoWatch ›
In his latest documentary, My Octopus Teacher, free diver and filmmaker Craig Foster tells a unique story about his friendship and bond with an octopus in a kelp forest in Cape Town, South Africa. It's been labeled "the love story that we need right now" by The Cut.
- You're Not So Different From an Octopus: Rethinking Our ... ›
- 'Eating Animals' Drives Home Where Our Food Really Comes From ... ›