April 16, 2021

NMTCO | Australian Farmer-Led, Science-Based Pathways to Net Zero Emissions by 2050

NMTCO | Australian Farmer-Led, Science-Based Pathways to Net Zero Emissions by 2050

This is an episode of Nourishing Matter to Chew On. Find more episodes, and subscribe, here


In this episode I speak with Dr Colin Chartres, CEO of The Crawford Fund, and Dr Daniel Walker, Chief Scientist of ACIAR, about an inspiring workshop that was held in March to bring leading Australian farmers and researchers together to present and discuss success stories, research challenges and paths forward. 

Farmers and researchers across the country have high ambitions and believe it’s possible for agriculture to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with the will and way. 

Imagine, if something huge but that sounds small, like “an increase of 0.4% of carbon in soils” on top of current levels of about 1% could get us there?! 

The challenges are huge but Australian farmers and researchers are taking action and leading the way forward – both here and abroad. 

Facilitating the conversations, research collaborations and disseminating Australian innovative practices here and overseas is key and The Crawford Fund and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) do just that. 

Proceedings and live - yes live! – presentations from the workshop, “What can farmers do? Farmer-Led, Science-Based Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Strategies for Australia and Abroad” can be viewed online at The Crawford Fund’s website. Take further inspiration from the international Global Research Alliance (GRA) on Greenhouse Gases in Agriculture, that ACIAR, for Australia, currently Chairs, and that Dr Walker and colleagues convened meetings for in conjunction with the workshop that we discuss in this episode.  

A privilege and such a pleasure to speak with and learn from Dr Chartres and Dr Walker and to hear their ideas and reflections upon, the discussions – before and after the workshop.  Eminent Australian scientists - each with deep knowledge and understanding about Australian agriculture and ecosystems.

Before joining The Crawford Fund as CEO in 2014, Dr Chartres was Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Research Centre, headquartered in Sri Lanka, 2007-2012. Previously, he was Chief Science Adviser to the National Water Commission, held senior roles in the Bureau of Rural Sciences and Geoscience Australia and worked with CSIRO Division of Soils from 1984- 1997 and from 2002-2004 in CSIRO’s Land and Water Division.

Prior to joining ACIAR in 2017 as Chief Scientist, Dr Walker spent 23 years at CSIRO, where he was Research Director for Agriculture and Global Change with CSIRO Agriculture and Food and prior to that he was Chief of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences. In his current role as Chief Scientist at ACIAR, Dan oversees the strategic science focus of the ACIAR research portfolio and its impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation work and also provides leadership for Research Program Managers across nine research areas, along with oversight of ACIAR’s relationship with the Australian innovation system.

Bravo and thank you! 

The Crawford Fund  https://www.crawfordfund.org/

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research  https://aciar.gov.au/

Global Research Alliance (GRA) on Greenhouse Gases in Agriculture  https://globalresearchalliance.org/

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