Farmers hold the solution in the soil.

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Tim Flannery to be guest speaker at Soil Carbon Conference, Te Papa, Wellington - Farmers have the solution in their soils to solve carbon emission issues Eminent scientist and conservationist Professor Tim Flannery, Australian of the Year (2007) and author of best selling book The Weather Makers, will be the keynote speaker at the second annual Soil Carbon Conference at Te Papa, Wellington on 15-17 September. Flannery is well known as a champion of biological soil management as a means of successfully sequestering carbon. Flannery says that where carbon sequestering processes are practised there are increases of up to 3% in soil carbon being achieved. “This happens largely because the soil is protected from erosion and grass cover increases, allowing more root growth”. Conference organiser and educator Nicole Masters said they had responded to demand from the agricultural and horticultural sector for more up to date information related to risk management and future opportunities linked to climate change. “There is a need to assess the future challenges and help develop the right strategies that will lead to well informed long term approaches to land management in New Zealand,” Ms Masters said. Ms Masters said it was important to encourage younger farmers to realise the significance of biological farming. “Tim Flannery is at the top of his field and we hope that he will attract not only established farmers, but also the younger members of the sector, keen to see a clear vision for the future of farming in New Zealand.” Ms Masters said this year’s conference would provide an important forum for discussions around the many benefits to farmers of adopting healthy soil practices, including increased profitability due to reductions in water, pest, weed and disease issues. “We have the chance to lead the world in environmentally responsible agriculture and as a result, to increase the marketability of our farming exports.” “If we converted only 0.2% of our soils annually to biological farming practices we would offset the equivalent to our national carbon dioxide emissions, which makes the ETS even more laughable, as this mechanism is not being acknowledged by policy makers” she said. Tim Flannery will be joined at the Conference by the leading soil carbon authority Dr Christine Jones together with a host of industry leaders and successful farmers and growers. Dr Jones recently completed a two week roadshow, speaking to farmers and scientists around New Zealand. Her simple message offered clear illustrations to farmers on how carbon could be sequestered quickly, while also building resilience into farming operations. For conference details For more details please contact: Carol-Ann Stubbs 0274500472 About Professor Tim Flannery, BA, MSc, PhD Professor Flannery is a internationally recognised and outspoken scientist and 2007 Australian of the Year. An internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, Professor Flannery has an extensive background in field biology, research and has won several humanitarian, and conservation awards.

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