Inspiring talks, great speakers and practical examples and information were the hallmarks of the first Managing Climate Risk in Agriculture conference run by Farmers for Climate Action.
Over 200 primary producers and industry professionals attended the conference held in Beechworth late last year, demonstrating the widespread interest in understanding and planning for climate change impacts.
Attendees came from across Victoria, NSW, Tasmania, the Western Australian wheatbelt and north Queensland.
Business as usual will not allow us to meet the challenges we are facing.
Feedback from participants showed the relevance of the conference, and that the time is right for producers to understand both the challenges of climate change and the opportunities to prepare and improve their businesses.
The North East CMA and Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliance will continue to build knowledge and tools to assist agricultural producers and industries to include climate change in business planning locally through a recently announced project supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare program.
Three keynote speakers provided excellent starting points for the lively discussion throughout the day.
Professor Reeves has over 50 years of experience working in agriculture with a focus on food security and nutrition. He was able to discuss what is happening in relation to agriculture and the opportunities and challenges on a worldwide scale. A major message was that “Business as usual will not allow us to meet the challenges we are facing”.
Lynette Bettio from the Bureau of Meteorology outlined the current impacts of climate change on our weather including changes in rainfall and heat events.
Sarah Barker from Minter Ellison highlighted the changing legal landscape and the risk to companies, agribusiness and local and state governments, with climate change presenting a material risk to businesses, with consequences for insurance, access to finance and risk management.
Conference workshops provided practical examples of what people have been doing to manage, adapt and to thrive. More information from the conference, including copies of presentations and recordings of the speakers, can be accessed on the Farmers for Climate Change website, https://www.farmersforclimateaction.org.au/conferences_workshops.