Regional forum seeks answers to climate change

It was a packed Yass Soldiers Memorial Hall on Friday, May 25 at a climate change forum.

Hosted by the Yass, Boorowa and Hovells Creek Landcare Community, the event discussed how rural residents and communities may contribute to ameliorating global warming while benefiting their land.

In attendance were Hennessy Catholic College (from Young), Boorowa Central School, National Landcare Program (NLP), Landcare NSW and political party members.

Mary Bonet, Landcare coordinator for Yass and Goulburn, said the event was well attended.

“It was very encouraging to see so much interest. We ended up having at least 220 people – we had to open the seating upstairs to accept more people,” she said.

“There was a great mix of students, people already interested in regenerative agriculture and people we’ve not had before at events.”

Presenters were Dr Bradley Opdyke (paleoclimatologist, senior lecturer at ANU College of Science), Dr Charles Massy (author and farmer), Dr Christine Jones (soil scientist and founder of the organisation Amazing Carbon) and Dr Siwan Lovett (social scientist and natural resource manager with Australian River Restoration Centre).

There was a great mix of students, people already interested in regenerative agriculture and people we’ve not had before at events.

Mary Bonet, coordinator

Dr Bradley Opdyke provided an understanding of how and why global warming is occurring, and discussed the urgency of the issue.

Cooma farmer Dr Charles Massy spoke about his own changed attitudes to management practices on his farm and about other farmers also practising regenerative agriculture.

He outlined the role farmers can play in contributing to slowing the increase of carbon in the atmosphere.

Dr Christine Jones discussed the importance of the carbon cycle and the benefits of revegetation and sequestration in the soil to improve water retention and land productivity.

Dr Siwan Lovett spoke about the ways communities can work together to achieve desirable outcomes while reducing the effects of global warming.

“Such a great positive energy in the room,” a spokesperson for Boorowa Community Landcare Group said.

“Thanks everyone for your support and especially to the youth and future land carers.

“Special thanks to support from NLP and southeast for inspiring this sub-regional event,” the spokesperson said.

The master of ceremony for the forum was Genevieve Jacobs – prizewinning newspaper journalist and freelance writer.

Participant engagement was a major theme of the day, and there was time for questions and discussion in a final session.