Highlights from Feb. 15 at GLOBE Forum 2024

That’s a wrap on GLOBE Forum 2024!

Agency, interconnectedness, collaboration, and reciprocity were all at the core of today’s final day of programming. A regenerative future is inherently hopeful and coming together is one of the most impactful ways we can share the information, resources, and optimism needed to achieve our climate and sustainability goals.

Watch as GLOBE Series’ Elizabeth Shirt reflects on Feb. 15 at GLOBE Forum and consider these words of family and partnership from Sustainable Energy & Sovereignty Specialist, Jordyn Burnouf:

“We’re all here handing out business cards, connecting, to build a better future – one where the world exists and where we can be together – and are actively participating in a foundational teaching of Indigenous governance. We talk about SDGs, business development, equity partnerships but what it really is, is kinship.”

Highlights from Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 at GLOBE Forum 2024

The first full day of GLOBE Forum 2024 programming was an action-packed, inspiration-filled sprint to create a regenerative, resilient, net-zero future. From starting off in a good way with the Squamish Nation’s Spokesperson Wilson Williams and the Children of Takaya Dancers of Tsleil-Waututh Nation, to plenary deep dives on building resilient communities, ensuring water security, reaching destination net zero, and restoring and protecting nature. We heard from diverse leaders including Hon. Sean Fraser, Premier David Eby, Secwepemcul’ecw Restoration and Stewardship Society (SRSS) CEO Angela Kane, Hon. Nathan Cullen, WWF-Canada’s Megan Leslie, the iconic Pattie Gonia, and many more. We can’t wait for what tomorrow brings!

Watch to hear from GLOBE Series’ President, Elizabeth Shirt, and catch up on all the GLOBE Forum 2024 highlights so far:

 

Canada’s Minister of Energy & Natural Resources on the Clean Economy & GLOBE Forum 2024

We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on several GLOBE Forum sessions with Canada’s Ministry of Energy & Natural Resources, as well as the privilege of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson’s attendance at several GLOBE events in the past. Watch as the Minister joins GLOBE Series President Elizabeth Shirt to discuss what’s next for the clean economy in Canada, the addition of “Energy” to his portfolio, and where he’ll be during GLOBE Forum 2024.

Continue the conversation Feb. 13-15 in Vancouver with leadership sessions presented in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), Coast to Coast Experiences/ Novex, and more:

10×10 Outcomes Report: Nature and Bioeconomy Days

We are at the beginning of the most decisive decade in our lifetimes. What we do in the next 10 years will set the course for our net-zero future. To meet the moment, GLOBE Series launched Destination Net Zero Events—a three-event series culminating in GLOBE Forum 2022, the largest and longest-running sustainability conference in North America.

We’re embedding action and accountability into these events with the 10×10: 10 actions in 10 years we need to take to get to net zero. The actions identified in the Nature and Bioeconomy Days event, which took place virtually November 23-24, 2021, are summarized in the 10×10 Outcomes Report. These outcomes will feed into the final 10×10 that is produced after Forum.

Report (pdf)

 

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GLOBE Capital Q&A: Bryan Gilvesy, Chief Executive Officer, ALUS

GUEST CONTENT

The Canadian countryside conjures up images of both vast wilderness and plaid-clan farmers in bright red tractors. The first is a symbol of conservation and nature; the second a symbol of economy and production. ALUS is blurring those lines to bring us an innovative approach to nature-based solutions. Its New Acre Project helps corporations exceed sustainability objectives by supporting farmers and ranchers to build nature on their land one acre at a time. Bryan Gilvesy, Chief Executive Officer, ALUS, joined Not Your Grandpa’s Farm: Welcome to the NEW Bioeconomy at GLOBE Capital to discuss the financial, environmental, and social opportunities of a bioeconomy. We caught up with Mr. Gilvesy to learn about the great potential for ecosystem services through agriculture.

 

Was there a Eureka moment for you in terms of understanding the role for agriculture in fighting climate change?

Yes, there was. I was the third participant farmer to enroll in the ALUS program in 2006. The project that intrigued me at the time was the restoration of the native tall grass prairie here on my ranch in Norfolk County, Ontario. As I learned more about the grass, I realized it had extraordinarily long roots—12-16 feet—with a root ball that replenished itself every two years making it highly effective at sequestering carbon into the soil.

And then, because of the technical support offered by ALUS, my learning only grew. I realized that the grass prairie supports a whole suite of grassland birds like the meadow lark, and it was an important habitat for endangered species, like the American badger. My land became home to a whole suite of native pollinators that I didn’t even know existed. On top of that, those deep roots meant these grasses were extremely drought tolerant and could form part of my drought season feed for my cattle.

This was an ‘aha’ moment for me. I realized how effective native ecotypes can be at sequestering carbon and supporting biodiversity.

 

What makes an ALUS farmer different from the farmer down the road?

ALUS farmers come to view their farm as multifunctional. They don’t just see it as a means of producing food and fibre, but they also see that they can build natural capital, sequester carbon, increase biodiversity, foster climate resilience, and support wetlands and water. We’re all beginning to recognize that these things have value in the marketplace. ALUS farmers have come to the realization that their farm can be productive beyond the one thing they’ve typically been paid to produce.

 

What are some common misconceptions about farmers and ranchers and climate change?

Traditionally, we haven’t seen farmers as solution providers for climate change, but I think that notion is disappearing.

One misconception that’s still common is: we often interpret climate action as only the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s so much more than that. When farmers take climate action through nature, it creates a tremendous amount of leverage. You get a whole suite of co-benefits for biodiversity, resilience, water filtration, and more. Further, sequestering carbon effectively means improving soil, which makes our food stores more resilient as well.

ALUS’ New Acre Project captures the full suite of benefits that come from climate action on a farm and makes those benefits available through a marketplace.

 

Nature-based solutions have exploded in popularity in recent years. For professionals who are new to this space, where do you recommend they start?

I think they should start at the beginning by understanding how native plants function. Plants are part of the carbon cycle. They are energized by the sun and by breathing in carbon dioxide, which they then deposit into the soil through their roots. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need more of this carbon cycle in the world. Native plants established in the correct locations using the correct ecotypes provide the ideal solution. These native plants don’t just absorb carbon, but they also serve as habitat for pollinators, water filtration devices, and habitat for endangered species. With all of this in mind, the advantages of nature-based solutions over mechanical solutions for carbon capture become more obvious.

 

Could you tell me more about your recent announcement with A&W Canada and Cargill and how it will help us achieve a net-zero future?

Sure. We’re really pleased that A&W Canada and Cargill have collaborated with us to create the Grazing Forward program, which is an extension of the New Acre Project at ALUS. This program will accelerate and enhance rancher-led grazing projects that mitigate climate change. A&W Canada and Cargill have generously committed $1.8 million over three years to support ranchers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba as they continue to scale regenerative agriculture practices. The program is expected to sequester up to 12,578 MT greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to more than 50 million kilometres driven by the average passenger vehicle.  ALUS will take a hands-on, local approach, working with interested Canadian beef ranchers to plan and implement practices that contribute to environmental outcomes. This effort will impact more than 6,000 acres and engage ranchers in 20 communities, extending the New Acre Project’s current reach by 233%. Needless to say, we’re very excited about it!

 

What was your biggest takeaway from GLOBE Capital?

Well, it was a pleasant experience for us, because our session included a poll asking attendees for their opinion on the greatest opportunity in the bioeconomy. Obviously, we thought emission reductions would be number one, but biodiversity rose to the top as a very important issue for the attendees, which is mostly a business audience. I would not have that expected that. It’s a pleasant surprise for us, because we believe biodiversity is the apex indicator of environmental health, and economic prosperity. If biodiversity shows up, we’ve put the right plants in the right places and managed them correctly. Biodiversity is a sign of a more resilient climate.