Euracademy Association and the Forestry and Wood Technology School (Postojna) 19th Summer Academy on “Regenerative Agriculture. A bold step towards sustainability” 7-9 September 2021

Euracademy Association and the Forestry and Wood Technology School (Postojna) 19th Summer Academy on “Regenerative Agriculture. A bold step towards sustainability” 7-9 September 2021

Euracademy Association and the Forestry and Wood Technology School (Postojna) invite you to take part in the 19th Summer Academy on “Regenerative Agriculture. A bold step towards sustainability” to be held online, from 7 to 9 September 2021

The theme: How can rural communities commit themselves to a sustainable future by practicing Regenerative Agriculture?

Background and aim
Today, the viability of the global community is under threat as we experience an increasing loss of fertile soil and biodiversity. According to the UN* nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with the pace of species extinctions accelerating at pace. Additionally the world’s topsoil is being degraded at phenomenal rates, as about one-third is already acutely degraded, and a complete degradation is expected to occur in many parts of the world within the next 60 years if current agricultural practices continue. Without protecting and regenerating the soil on the world’s farmlands, pastures and forests, it will be nearly impossible to feed the world, keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, or halt the loss of biodiversity.

The term “Regenerative Agriculture” is often used to describe practices aimed at promoting soil health and sustaining the productive capacity of farmland. According to Regeneration International, “Regenerative Agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in
both carbon draw-down and improving the water cycle.”

It is therefore important that farmers and farmers’ advisors are properly informed about the benefits of Regenerative Agriculture practices and the issues and difficulties involved in such practices, so that they make the best choices in managing farming and grazing land in the most sustainable way. The 19th Summer Academy of Euracademy Association aims to explore how Regenerative Agriculture practices can be introduced and sustained by landowners and rural communities. We will consider how progressing towards Regenerative Agricultural practices can have a positive impact on climate change and biodiversity, while local economies are enhanced by stable employment and income.

Discussion Themes
Questions to be addressed by this year’s Summer Academy are grouped under three main themes:
1. Regenerative agriculture and sustainable rural development:

  • What is Regenerative Agriculture, and what are the different techniques practiced– e.g. no-till, cover crops, integrating livestock, crop diversity etc.?
  • What is the contribution of Regenerative Agriculture to mitigating climate change, including natural hazard-induced disasters?
  • What are the immediate and long-term benefits for the environment and for society?

2. Regenerative Agriculture and Farm Viability

  • How can Regenerative Agriculture be introduced in conventionally farmed lands?
  • What are the immediate and long-term benefits for farmers?
  • What are the economics of Regenerative Agriculture? How can the sustainability of the farm income be ensured?
  • What are the financial risks involved for the farmer?

3. Policies and Strategies to enable Regenerative Agriculture

  • How can a regenerative farming operation be supported financially?
  • What can we learn from good practice in different European countries and beyond?
  • What kind of public policies and strategies are necessary to support Regenerative Agriculture?

Target Group
The 19th Summer Academy welcomes participants from all over Europe who are working in the field of rural development. For this year’s Summer Academy, we are specifically targeting farmers and farmers’ associations, advisors, managers and staff of Local Development Agencies, LEADER LAGs and NGOs working in rural areas, other animators of rural development, local and regional authorities or similar organisations, policy and decision makers in the fields of agriculture and rural development, as well as researchers, academics, students and experts in related fields.

The course is designed for around 50 participants, who are invited to share their experiences, to acquire new knowledge and skills and to benefit from the wide networking opportunities offered by Euracademy and the co-organising partner. Participants should have a reasonable command of English.

Programme and Format
The online summer academy includes lectures in plenary sessions; case study presentations, focusing on best practice related to Regenerative Agriculture; and discussion groups in the form of work groups involving a small number of participants. Collective work is strongly promoted during the summer academy on the principle that all the participants learn from one another, sharing knowledge and experiences on an equal basis.

The summer academy will spread over 3 mornings (September 7th, 8th and 9th 2021), with each devoted to one of the three themes described above. The day will open with a panel of speakers, including lectures and case-study presentations in plenary session. Following this session, the participants will break in small work groups of up to 10 persons, to discuss the issues raised by the speakers, respond to the identified challenges and draw their own conclusions, which will be presented in a poster in plenary. The closing plenary session will discuss the posters of all work groups, with a view of consolidating the lessons learnt and proposing potential solutions to challenges. In this way, participants will be able to benefit from peer learning, develop further their judgement and cooperation skills, as well as their action-oriented thinking.

Location and Organisation
This summer academy will benefit from the experience of 18 previous Summer Academies held in an equal number of different locations around Europe, on different themes relating to sustainable rural development. This year, we are using all our previous experience to organise a similar event and bring you a strong experience of a virtual summer academy.

The 19th Summer Academy will take place fully online, and is co-organised by Euracademy Association and the Forestry and Wood Technology School in Postojna, Slovenia. The online platform and technical support will be provided by the Forestry and Wood Technology School

Course Support
Course materials are provided during and after the Summer Academy in electronic format. They include a Participants’ Handbook, containing practical information and the methodology that will be used in the Summer Academy, as well as tasks for participants to prepare before joining the Summer Academy. Administrative and tutorial support will be offered by Euracademy Association. Lecturers and facilitators are recruited among Euracademy members and other experienced professionals in
sustainable rural development.

A Thematic Guide on “Regenerative Agriculture. A bold step towards sustainability”, will be published after the event, which will draw on the lectures, the discussions and the conclusions of the summer academy, as well as on the research carried out prior to the summer academy by Euracademy members and other experts.

Participation Cost
Participation cost are €20 per person per day of the Summer Academy. However Summer Academy participants are encouraged to take a one-year subscription of Euracademy Association at a special offer of €30 which will entitle full participation in all three mornings of the 19th Summer Academy plus reduced charges for other events delivered by Euracademy in the next year. This offer can be accessed when registering for the event. Students get a reduction of 50%.

In order to participate in the Summer Academy, please fill in the online Registration Form, or alternatively fill in the Registration form (text file) you will find in the website of Euracademy and return it to us. The deadline for registration is 20th August 2021. Please, register here (click on the link below): Registration Form

We look forward to your participation!

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