International Conference: “Saline Futures: Addressing Climate Change and Food Security”
"Salinity is increasing world-wide because of fresh water scarcity, climate change, and sea level rise. Salt-tolerant crops and innovative agricultural practices will help to ensure food security. This international conference will demonstrate and discuss the potential with contributions from the North Sea Region and other countries around the world" says prof. Pier Vellinga from the Waddenacademie, who is one of the main organisers.
Research underway along the North Sea countries and elsewhere in the world illustrates the vast and so far, underrated potential of growing food on soils generally qualified as saline. Food production on present and future saline soils deserves the world’s attention, in particular because 1) food security is a pressing issue, 2) millions of hectares of degraded soils are available world-wide, 3) fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce, and 4) global sea level rise threatens food production in fertile coastal lowlands.
Capitalizing on the vast potential of saline agriculture requires a major interdisciplinary and collaborative research effort to inform effective and supportive policy frameworks and to evaluate the most promising methods for developing saline agriculture in different regions of the globe. The conference intends to build on the conclusions of earlier conferences, such as FAO’s Global Forum on Salinization and Climate Change, Salinity Forum and ICBA’s International Workshop on Climate Change and Soil Salinity Dynamics.
The aim of the conference is to showcase the potential of saline agriculture and to create a platform for researchers and research-users to enhance food production on saline lands. The conference is targeted at all stakeholders, including political decision makers, business operators, land managers, civic society, researchers and research planners.
The conference will address themes such as saline agriculture as a way to adapt to climate change and sea level rise, fresh water management in potentially saline soils, revitalization of saline degraded lands, economics and financing of saline farming and products, microbiology of soils and plants, innovation and practical experience at farm level, experiments and promising crops. During this two-day scientific conference participants will have the possibility to visits test fields at Texel, Terschelling, Emden and possibly additional sites along the North Sea coast.
More information about the Saline Futures conference.
SalFar is a project co-funded by the North Sea Region Programme 2014 – 2020 which has set out to develop innovative methods of costal agriculture across the North Sea Region by setting up field labs in each partnering country. In the field labs a multidisciplinary team consisting of climate experts, researchers, educators, farmers, entrepreneurs and policy makers, do scientific research on the salt tolerance of various crops, demonstrating alternative methods of farming under saline conditions and creating new business opportunities for farmers, food producers, and entrepreneurs. There are 14 partners from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom respectively.