Diggings 25 October 2021: Indigenous food sovereignty, farmers for climate action, and the biggest permaculture farm in the world

The NSW government needs to stop prosecuting Aboriginal fishers if it really wants to Close the Gap

There is a contradiction between the New South Wales government’s plan for Closing the Gap and its persecution of Aboriginal people on the New South Wales south coast who want to maintain their saltwater culture. The government needs to rethink what it is doing if it is to achieve the Closing the Gap outcomes it wants to see there.

Goes to the core of food sovereignty for Aboriginal Australians, a concept not embraced by any legislature in Australia.



Restrictions on cultural hunting practices are limiting Indigenous people’s access to food during the pandemic

Indigenous people are some of the most food insecure people in Australia and Aotearoa (New Zealand). The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have made food security an even greater problem in both countries, though it has generally gone unnoticed. The pandemic has worsened some Indigenous people’s food security by limiting their ability to partake in cultural food harvesting.

Memo to governments: you can’t panic hunt and gather in the early stages of an epidemic.


Thornless native raspberry discovery a game-changer for native food sector

Ms Woods said it was an absolute necessity that the Bundjalung people be involved in any commercialisation of the thornless native raspberry. “Our ancestors have looked after these incredible ingredients for 60,000 plus years, there’s a lot of knowledge, they’re connected not just with us through them being a food, but they’re connected to our culture and the country,” she said. “That connection is indispensable, so we really need to make sure that we’re acknowledging the history, the knowledge, and importance of these foods culturally so they can be respected moving forward.”   



Australian-first farmer mutual aims to cut out carbon farming middleman

Often the farmers who have benefited from the carbon transactions are much bigger farmers because you need much more land to capitalise on carbon accrue, as opposed to with biodiversity there are more layers that can make up ecological value,” Watson said. “It’s not just understanding the benefit you are giving your own property, but the connection that it has as part of a bigger area and ecosystem. For me it’s about biodiversity, not just carbon.”


Rural Australians are living climate change in real time – and unlike politicians who scapegoat us, we’re taking action

And for us in the regions, it’s not catchcries and empty promises. We’re actually getting on with the task at hand. Solar panels are rolling out along grapevines and swaying wheat fields. Sheep and cattle contentedly graze under slow turning wind turbines. We’re getting off dirty fossil fuels and embracing clean renewable energy. We are reducing livestock methane emissions with selective breeding and feed supplements. We are improving soil and vegetation management to keep more carbon where it belongs – in soil and plants, not in the atmosphere. Rural Australians are listening to the science and are responding. But we can’t do it alone.


Turning 11 acres of a NSW ‘dumping site’ into a world-class farm

Hilly, overgrown and riven by two creeks, it had become a dumping site since the previous tenants abandoned their plans for a community garden. It was useless to Warrawong High School, which sat on the same title because it was too steep to develop for classrooms or sporting fields.A decade later, it has become one of the largest urban permaculture farms in the world and attracted international attention, with Green Connect winning the 2021 Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Award.


Why Australian unions should welcome the new Agricultural Visa

‘Asmarina, an Australian citizen of Eritrean background whose family lives on the Mid North Coast of NSW, started working on the berry farms at the age of 10.

“People” she told me, “don’t know their legal rights on these farms.”

The most disturbing part to me of this story.


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