Day 1 :
Penn State University, USA
Time : 09:10-09:50
Ricky Bates is a Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Plant Science at Penn State University and holds a B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. Throughout his career he has aspired to use horticultural science as a tool to: 1) increase the profitability of horticulture enterprises, 2) protect and restore the environment, and 3) alleviate poverty in developing parts of the world. Dr. Bates’ research, teaching and outreach programs have emphasized sustainable, scalable solutions to problems affecting horticulture value chain development and low-input food production systems. His work in Southeast Asia focuses on human and institutional capacity building involving implementation of innovative, field-based approaches, grounded in appropriate technology, entrepreneurship, and market engagement.
Seed is a fundamental agriculture input and access to locally adapted, quality seed is an essential component of sustainable crop production. In much of the developing world, informal seed systems, such as farmer-to-farmer exchanges and farmer self-saved seed, are critical components of resource poor farming systems. Indeed, planted seed from this informal system comprise the majority of planted acreage in many regions of the world. This local seed production and distribution facilitates maintenance of crop biodiversity by preserving in situ locally adapted varieties and by broadening the genetic base of production with multiple varieties adapted to specific production systems and micro-climates. These informal seed systems are also critical for seed and food security during periods of instability or natural disaster, including changing environmental conditions. A rich diversity of underutilized species function within informal seed systems in Southeast Asia, and represents a valuable resource for the development and improvement of crop species. Current efforts to conserve, improve, and disseminate indigenous species are failing or insufficient. To optimize these informal seed systems, research has been conducted to better understand their germplasm characteristics, distribution pathways and gatekeepers, and to improve local stakeholder access to seed information and value chains. Research and extension projects to conserve and promote neglected and underutilized species within these informal seed systems have resulted in 1) surveys of key indigenous crops and collection of local crop knowledge, 2) training and development of regional community-based seed banking enterprises, 3) seed quality conferences including seed exchange activities, and 4) improved human and institutional capacity, strategically focused on entrepreneurial women.
University of Newcastle, Australia
Keynote: Vulnerability of women’s livelihoods and their coping mechanisms in the face of climate change in coastal regions of Bangladesh
Time : 09:50-10:30
Dr Salim Momtaz is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He teaches in the area of Sustainable Resource Management. He received his BSc and MSc degrees in Geography from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He obtained a PhD in Sustainable Development from the University of London under a Commonwealth Scholarship. Salim migrated to Australia in 1994. From 1995 to 1998 he taught Geography at Central Queensland University, Australia. He joined the University of Newcastle in 1999 where he has been teaching since. He had a stint in the US as a Visiting Professor teaching Environmental Impact Assessment at Georgetown University, Washington DC. He received Rotary International Ambassadorial Fellowship to teach and conduct research in Bangladesh. Salim’s current research interests include climate change adaptation, environmental governance and social impact assessment. Salim led the team that conducted one of the first social impact assessment studies in Australia titled ‘Independent Social Impact Assessment’. Salim published five books and many articles in international journals. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Netherlands Government Research Organization, between 2007 and 2010 and Swiss National Science Foundation in 2017.
Bangladesh is frequently cited as a country that is most vulnerable to climate change. In Bangladesh, most of the adverse effects of climate change occur in the form of extreme weather events, such as cyclone, flood, drought, salinity ingress, river bank erosion and tidal surge, leading to large scale damage to crops, employment, livelihoods and the national well-being. Although it is generally stated that women are relatively more vulnerable than men in the context of climate change, few studies have been conducted to closely examine this statement, especially in Bangladesh. The present study, investigates the structure of women’s livelihoods, livelihood vulnerabilities and coping capacity in the context of climate variability and change in a disaster vulnerable coastal area of Bangladesh. Utilising the concepts of sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) and disaster crunch model (DCM), this study allows for a greater understanding of these issues on the ground. The results show that the distribution of five livelihood capitals (human, natural, financial, social and physical) of women are heavily influenced by several climatic events, such as cyclones that periodically affect the region. Women also face several vulnerabilities in their livelihoods, including income, household assets, health, food security, education, water sources, sanitation and transportation systems, because of ongoing climate change impacts. The results indicate that it is extremely important to instigate strategies to help build the adaptive capacity of women
Carmel College of Arts, Science & Commerce for Women, Goa, India
Time : 10:30-11:10
Author is an Associate Professor from The Department of Botany, Carmel College, Goa (India). Has a Doctorate Degree in Plant Anatomy & a Post Graduate Diploma in Ecology and Environment. Passionate about Biodiversity concerns and is presently documenting Plant diversity in cultural practices of a specific indigenous community of Indian Peninsula.
This research paper is an outcome in part of studying Plant biodiversity in some cultural practices of a specific community - the Kerala Brahmin community - who got settled in Indian Peninsula centuries ago. Literature in this regard is sparse & genuine efforts for documentation were not much. With this background, studies are in progress to understand, enlist, document and preserve the Plant biodiversity related to the customary practices of the said community. The author herself being a member of the community, her own experiences & a book written in vernacular language – ‘Antherjanangalude aacharanushtanangal’ (‘Customary rituals & religious rites observed by women of Brahmin community’, 2002) by Late Smt. Cheruvakkara Parvathy Antherjanam and discussions with the elders in the community have formed the basis of this research.
The ‘Golden grains’ mentioned here are two tropical grass sps.- locally known in vernacular language as ‘Navara’ & ‘Chama’. ‘Navara’ is an exclusive & ancient variety of rice, Oryza sativa & ‘Chama’ , Panicum sumatrense , popularly called as Little millet. ‘Navara’ rice has been in cultivation in the state of Kerala (India) for about 2500 years since the time of Susruta, the Indian pioneer in medicine and surgery. Both these grains are intricately linked to the socio- cultural aspects of the community & have great therapeutic value. Life- style changes combined with erratic climate have adversely affected the cultivation of ‘Navara’ & ‘Chama’. A study of the cultural aspects & a review of the high nutritional & therapeutic values are stated in this paper which are aimed at creating awareness with reference to the agricultural crops in question. The study proclaims the need to preserve ‘locale specific’ ancient traditions which are both eco- friendly & sustainable for conserving biodiversity& combating climate change issues. Most significantly the research paper enlightens the role of cultural ethos in safe guarding the Plant biodiversity of a region.