May 13th, 2019
Food security in the
age of climate crisis is set to feature in events around the country this week.
Food for Thought, an
event organized by Feasta, will be held in Castlebar, Co. Mayo on 17 May, and
intends to explore how to secure food supply in ecological uncertainty.
The key speaker of the
event is Hanny van Geel of Via
Campesina, an international network of small and
middle-scale producers with over 200 million small farmer members globally.
“In the midst of
global collapse, we need to ensure the provision of elementary life materials
such as food and clean water. It is as serious as that,” Mark Garavan of Feasta
“We need to establish
independence from the small number of global corporations who control global
food supply and equip local communities and small farmers and growers to
produce high quality and locally available food,” he added.
In addition, a Famine
Walk is set to take place in Co. Mayo on 18 May, organized by Afri, a Dublin-based non-governmental organization.
The walk is now
entering its fourth decade and commemorates the famine road in the Doolough
Valley in County Mayo.
For this year’s event,
‘Fields of Athenry’ composer Pete St John will join those walking and his
climate-change focused composition ‘Waltzing on Borrowed Time’ will feature
The Feasta event is part of the National Biodiversity Week organized by the Irish Environmental Network which is set to launch on 18 May.
Over fifty free events are set to take place across the country over the course of nine days, including tree-planting and learning how to grow your own food.
The series of events
also come in the wake of the newly
released UN-backed report that found one million
plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction.
This year, Biodiversity Week will focus on nature as the foundation for our food and health, stressing that without urgent action to protect our nature, there could be a devastating impact on food production which would put humans at risk of extinction.
production was recently discussed as a key component of rebooting Ireland’s food
system and addressing runaway emissions by 2030 at the Make Sustainable For All conference in Croke Park.
small-scale farmers and food producers, we can go beyond producing more with
less, to balance the focus to food quality and diversity, to link productivity
to sustainability and address the needs of people, without jeopardizing our
planet,” World Vision Ireland Chief Executive Niall McLoughlin said opening the
spokesperson for Agriculture and Food and organic beef and sheep farmer Pippa
Hackett also noted at the conference the benefits of small-scale farming,
noting the reduced reliance of expensive inputs and international markets, as
well as the positive repercussions for the local environment.
Also weighing in on
small-scale production was Talamh Beo spokesperson Fergal Anderson who stressed
that in order to achieve food sovereignty, a framework of democratization,
participation, working with nature, and the reversal of rural decline is
Talamh Beo is a grassroots farmers movement formed in Galway earlier this year and aims to explore how ecosystems and people can live alongside each other.