The Living Soils Symposium Montreal is a three-day bilingual event bringing together scientists, academics, food producers, students, government delegates, NGOs, activists, entrepreneurs and consumers, to discuss the crucial role of living soils in addressing some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social justice issues, such as:
CLIMATE CHANGE – FOOD SECURITY – WATER SCARCITY – BIODIVERSITY LOSS – PUBLIC HEALTH – PUBLIC SAFETY
Land management practices that regenerate soil health have the potential to store billions of tons of carbon annually, restore biodiversity, combat desertification and water scarcity, produce higher yields of healthier foods, and alleviate political instability and mass migration.
A civil society initiative, the Living Soils Symposium Montreal aims to demystify the scientific, practical and political aspects of practices that regenerate soil health. This event will facilitate cross-pollination among attendees of diverse sectors that relate to soils in order to foster innovation.
- Most agricultural soils have lost 50 to 70% of their original soil organic carbon pool (Lal, 2003).
- Depletion of soil organic carbon pools has contributed 78 gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere (Lal 2004) and is therefore a major contributor to human-induced climate change.
- Land-use change such as deforestation, intensive agricultural methods and warmer temperatures are all factors that cause soil carbon loss and accelerate desertification.
- 12 million hectares of productive land become barren every year due to desertification and drought (UNCCD, 2014), an area roughly the size of England.
- More than 40% of the global population is affected by water scarcity (UN Water, 2014).
- Leachates from excessive fertilizer applications are polluting surrounding water bodies and causing their eutrophication, harming plants and animals.
- Degenerative agriculture depletes soil nutrients, which contributes to the 793 million people worldwide suffering from malnutrition, by drastically reducing yields and producing nutrient-deficient foods (FAO, 2015 & 2013).
- Land degradation is largely contributing to mass migration, as 135 million people are predicted to be displaced by 2045 as a result of desertification (Global Humanitarian Forum, 2009).