[ASC-media] How can the grass be 'greener'?

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Wed Sep 11 20:44:35 PDT 2013



12  September 2013

Media Contact for more info and to prearrange interviews: Cathy Reade, 0413
575 934

Program at  <http://www.igc2013.com/pages/program.php>


Why should we care about grasslands?



Few people properly ponder the importance of grass. Grasslands cover about
40% of world’s land surface. They are crucial to the livelihoods of more
than one billion people, providing fibre, fuel and food. They make vital
contributions to the conservation of biodiversity and to ameliorating
climate change through carbon sequestration. 


However, they face the pressures of global population growth, challenges
caused by demand for other food sources, the impact of climate change and
declining funding for R&D.


Close to 1000 delegates from over 60 countries will discuss how to
revitalize grasslands for people, livestock and the environment at the 22nd
International Grassland Congress in Sydney on 15-19 September 2013 – a
pre-eminent global forum held only every four years.


Issues that will be considered by the world’s prominent livestock and
grassland researchers, as well as farmers, agri-business interests,
decision-makers and environmentalists include:

-          the global food security challenge and the role of livestock

-          trade-offs between livestock, human health and the environment

-          Australia as a drought hot spot in global grazing lands 

-          one of the most promising prospects yet to reduce livestock’s
noxious emissions & climate change  

-          lessons from work underway to control pesky rabbits, squirrels
and zokors

-          what Mongolia can teach us about control of locusts

-          hopes for perennial wheat varieties and the benefits they hold
over annual varieties

-          new grasses that can deter birds from airfields and sportsgrounds

-          the latest technologies like remote sensing, GIS and precision

-          how farms in Asia and Africa could be boosted by garbage bag

-          what farmers need from grasslands and livestock research

-          how to engage more young people in study and careers in

-          how could the market pay farmers to off-set greenhouse emissions
– will $37/tonne do it?

-          new reseeding tools for more successful restoration of rangelands
that protect wildlife habitat, support local farms and decrease likelihood
of severe wildfires


Lead international and Australian speakers include:

·         Dr Jimmy Smith, Director General of the International Livestock
Research Institute, Kenya

·         Prof Jean-Francois Soussana & Dr Charles (Chuck) Rice who shared
the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as IPCC members 

·         Dr Jürgen Schellberg, Institute of Crop Science and Resource
Conservation, Bonn University

·         Prof Oene Oenema, Professor, Soil Fertility & Nutrient Management,
Wageningen University

·         Dr Joel Brown, rangeland ecologist & team leader, USDA Natural
Resources Conservation Service

·         Em Prof Ted Wolfe, EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation,
Charles Sturt University, NSW

·         Prof Alan Robson, Emeritus Professor, Earth and Environment
Faculty, the University of WA


A full program can be viewed at  <http://www.igc2013.com/pages/program.php>


Cathy Reade
Director, Public Affairs and Communication
Crawford Fund
Mobile: +61 413 575 934

Skype: Cathy.Reade
Web:  <http://www.crawfordfund.org/> www.crawfordfund.org

Twitter: @CrawfordFund

The Crawford Fund's mission is to increase Australia's engagement in
international agricultural research, development and education for the
benefit of developing countries and Australia.


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