Kevin Frediani is theÂ Curator of Plants and GardensÂ atÂ Paignton Zoo and he is also one of BAQUAâ€™s advisors. Kevin will be one of the speakers at our conference on the 29th January and he has kindly provided us with this excerpt ahead of his talk:
As we look forward to forecasts of a world of 9 billion people, with legacy of a less stable climate, with less available natural resources than our forefathers inherited, there is a pressing need to think and act differently in the way mankind cohabits earth with other species and provides a sustainable future for all biological life. In thinking through what this might mean for agriculture I would like to explore a definition of sustainable agriculture that is based upon a whole systems approach to look at this issue and help make a case for urban and rural models that optimise outputs in terms of the available inputs to establish and maintain a balanced system with food products.
Such a systems approach to sustainable land management practice would embrace systems thinking defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to a specific part, outcome or event and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. In this talk I hope to make a case for aquaponics and show how the environmental benefits might use this to help make a commercially effective urban agriculture and help define their market with sustainable food products. From looking at inputs and outputs compared to â€˜traditionalâ€™ horticultural and agricultural models to using carbon foot printing of the supply chain to differentiate themselves and future proof their initial investment, enabling sustainable systems to be incorporated and updated as the years go by (i.e. by using thermophilic anaerobic digestion technology to recycle organic waste efficiently locally and provide the heat and power to drive the system while yielding CO2 to optimise crop performance).