WHAT do you get when you put climate change researchers, meteorologists, lawyers and farmers in a room together?
Answer – an incredible conference.
It was a full house at the 2019 Climate Risk in Agriculture Conference at the West Gippsland Arts Centre in Warragul on Thursday, June 20.
MC’d by award-winning ABC Landline reporter, Tim Lee, the conference explored what climate change means for farmers, including the risks and opportunities.
The conference was presented by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, and CEO Martin Fuller said the response to the event had been extremely positive.
“People travelled from across Victoria to attend and the calibre of the presentations was inspiring.
“It was a world-class line-up that included Mark Howden from the ANU Climate Change Institute, Andrew Watkins from the Bureau of Meteorology and presenters from the CSIRO, Melbourne and Deakin Universities and Agriculture Victoria.”
Mr Fuller said the opening address by Mark Howden – “How can we meet the adaptation challenge?” – raised some important issues for everyone involved in the agricultural sector.
The conference program included a panel discussion, featuring Jen Ribolli from Perry Bridge, Sandra Jefford from Clydebank and Niels Olsen from Hallora.
“Having a range of local farmers share their stories brought the issues and challenges for Gippsland into focus,” Mr Fuller continued.
Industry booths were set up in the Art Centre foyer, with attendees able to speak to agencies and industry providers about the latest products and innovations.
The conference also provided a valuable networking opportunity for local farmers.
“We know isolation can be a major factor in the hardship faced by many landowners, so it was wonderful to see people coming together over lunch, sharing stories and ideas,” said Mr Fuller.
“I also want to thank all our sponsors who helped make the event possible.”
This conference was presented by WGCMA through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare program.
The event partners were: Commonwealth Bank, Food & Fibre Gippsland, Wellington Shire Council, National Vegetable Extension Network, Hort Innovation, Agriculture Victoria, Western Port Catchment Landcare Network, OSMI Australia, and Farmers for Climate Action.