Climate Group Announces November Conference: Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming

Biodiversity for a Livable Climate (BLC), a Boston-area non-profit, will convene scientists, land managers and climate activists at Tufts University to promote strategies to pull carbon out of the atmosphere using nature's powers of regeneration.
LEXINGTON, Mass. - Sept. 9, 2014 - PRLog -- This international conference broadens the climate narrative to include the power of biology, which can naturally increase soil storage of carbon to reduce atmospheric levels quickly and safely. While the urgency of reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels is widely recognized, carbon sequestration through eco-restoration has been largely overlooked. Speakers will explain how this highly effective and inexpensive approach can begin the actual reversal of global warming, and conference participants will have many opportunities for exchange of ideas and planning for action. The event is hosted by Tufts University’s Center for International Environmental and Resource Policy (CIERP) and the Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE).

Adam Sacks, Executive Director of BLC, says, “Currently the world’s soils hold more carbon than the atmosphere and all above-ground plants combined. The carbon-storage capacity of soils is greater still, and has the potential to pull all of the excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere - where they endanger life - and store them in the soils where they become life. Carbon is the essential building block of all living things: in soils this includes microbes, fungi, insects, worms, and small mammals.  Without living soils, there is no terrestrial life, including us humans!”

Targeting the concerned general public, this precedent-setting gathering joins soil scientists and climate activists with farmers and ranchers who are restoring landscapes using approaches such as holistic management, biochar and remineralization.  It will provide opportunities for groups often unfamiliar with one another’s work to learn from and collaborate with each other.

Antje Danielson, Director of the Tufts Institute of the Environment, says, "Why do we want to host a conference like this?  Because harnessing biology represents a new paradigm for climate mitigation that gives us hope."

A new, optimistic message is an important theme of the conference, with the objective of creating partnerships and associations among activists, scientists and land managers. Satellite events with conference presentations available online are being planned globally to mark an “International Action Week” from November 24-30. The conference helps set the tone for the upcoming International Year of Soils declared for 2015 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

There will be over twenty expert speakers and panelists. Marine, soils and climate scientist Thomas Goreau, a leading advocate for coral reef restoration, will outline the science of carbon sequestration.  Australian microbiologist Walter Jehne will discuss large-scale land restoration policy and how biological systems support climate cooling.  William Moomaw, chemist, policy expert and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will address policy as a tool for implementing eco-restoration on the scale necessary to address global warming.

Restoration ecologist Jim Laurie will address practical aspects of eco-restoration, drawing on his experience building living machines for natural biological purification of waste water. Seth Itzkan, who has worked with the Africa Center for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe, will report on the revitalization of grasslands through holistic planned grazing as developed by Allan Savory, highlighting the movement to re-establish the evolutionary relationship of ruminants (including livestock) to restore over 10 billion acres of degraded grasslands worldwide.

Addressing the business implications of eco-restoration will be Charlotte O’Brien, CEO of Carbon Drawdown Solutions, a Hawaii-based company manufacturing pyrolysis equipment for soil-enriching biochar, who has helped build community economies around sustainable biomass such as bamboo.  Also speaking from the business perspective will be Steve Apfelbaum, principal of Applied Ecological Services, a leader in consulting on eco-restoration projects since 1978.

The conference will promote constructive climate activism beyond emissions reductions. Candace Ducheneaux of the Lakota people will present her people’s efforts to protect water rights and practical methods for water retention on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. Vanessa Rule, co-founder of Mothers Out Front, will discuss her climate advocacy over the past eight years.

Please see our speaker page for additional presenters

Registration is open at the link below, with admission discounted through September 30. Special admission prices are available for students and those on limited budgets, as well as work exchange opportunities.

For more details about BLC and the November conference, please visit

Adam Sacks
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Tags:Farming, Climate, Environment, Soil Carbon, Biodiversity
Industry:Agriculture, Environment
Location:Lexington - Massachusetts - United States
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