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Press release  •  2 min

How agriculture can help in fight against climate change Équiterre to take active role in this week’s Living Soils Symposium in Montreal: a “fertile” new area for climate action!

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Montreal, Monday, March 25, 2019 – Did you know that if we increased soil carbon stocks by a mere 0.4% per year, it would halt the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere? This proposal, made at the COP 21, would address soil health and fertility and represent a viable, promising solution in the fight against climate change.

That is why Équiterre is participating in the Living Soils Symposium in Montreal, to be held from March 28 to 31 at Marché Bonsecours. Équiterre will be making three presentations on soil health projects and is a proud partner of the event. In total, over 40 speakers will be offering innovative solutions to the 700 participants on how to feed the planet while restoring the climate.

Équiterre initiatives presented at the Symposium:

  • “Compost, carbon and soil biology: How agricultural management practices influence soil carbon,” panel discussion with Marie-Élise Samson, the 2018-2019 Laure Waridel Bursary recipient
  • “Policy and carbon sequestration: Exploring international policy leadership on agriculture as a solution to climate change,” panel discussion with Karen Ross, Project Manager, Agriculture and Pesticides, Équiterre
  • “Regenerative market gardening: Promoting sustainable organic agricultural practices,” panel discussion with farmer and author Jean-Martin Fortier of the Family Farmers Network.

Come meet Marie-Élise, Jean-Martin and Karen (guest speakers and host, respectively) at the Living Soils Symposium.

Read the official press release for the event, organized by Regeneration Canada.

Parallel stories: three Équiterre soil defenders

Student researcher Marie-Élise Samson, 2017-2018 Laure Waridel Bursary recipient, is trying to determine the best agricultural practices to put in place to store carbon in agricultural soils.

  • “Cultivable soil is a non-renewable resource. We definitely have to learn how to use it sustainably to ensure our food sovereignty moving forward. Agriculture is often seen as a source of pollution. If we seek to better understand how soil, plants and atmosphere are interconnected, perhaps we can find ways to make agriculture part of the solution rather than part of the problem!”

Family farmer and author Jean-Martin Fortier wants to leverage his bio-intensive small-scale farming model to promote an alternative approach to agriculture. (Watch his interview at Tout le monde en parle last spring.)

  • “The beauty of small-scale organic vegetable gardening lies in our ability to be at once human (thanks to the social link between farmers and consumers), ecological (thanks to practices that respect the Earth and the environment) and economical (thanks to its cost-effective means of producing a diverse organic yield).” 

Karen Ross works in Équiterre’s Ottawa office on agricultural public policy. Watch Karen being interviewed about the pesticide glyphosate.

  • “We find ourselves at a critical moment. Currently, Canada is not on the path to meeting its Paris Agreement commitments. We are just now realizing that carbon stocks in agricultural soil must be part of the approach to mitigating the effects of climate change. Government policies that reduce the agricultural carbon budget will go a long way toward addressing this problem. These include measures that help limit the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides (which are high in carbon) and that encourage the adoption of carbon sequestration measures regarding agricultural soils.”

Équiterre continues to promote public programs and policies geared to sustainable agriculture free of dependence on pesticides. The organization is also continuing to help supply thousands of families with organic vegetables through the Family Farmers Network for a 24th consecutive year. The Network has supported over 150 local organic farms in Quebec since 1995.

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For further information or to arrange an interview with Équiterre officials:
Camille Gagné-Raynauld, Équiterre
Media Relations
(514) 605-2000 |

For information, media accreditation and requests for interviews with Symposium speakers:
Gabrielle Bastien
Directrice, Symposium Sols vivants
Founder and Executive Director, Régénération Canada