Written By:

Australian Institute of Ecological Agriculture Cooperative Ltd (AIEA)

AIEA has a vision of developing bio-diverse landscapes, biologically enriched soil, healthy food, and vibrant communities. There are five pillars of its work:

  • Ecology
  • Ethics
  • Education
  • Farming, and
  • Food

AIEA believes that ecology is the foundation stone of agriculture and that this science (which embraces its natural and social elements) needs to be the primary driver of all management decisions.

AIEA collaborates with such groups as

  • Australia Food Sovereignty Alliance
  • From the Soil up
  • Organic Federation of Australia
  • Carbon Farmers of Australia
  • Australian Organic, and
  • Rahamim Ecology Centre

Their website, ecozg.org.au offers numerous resources. In it section on climate change it references a 2016 report by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (iPES), “From Uniformity to Diversity: A Paradigm Shift from Industrial Agriculture to Diversified Agroecological Systems.” While industrial agriculture has provided massive amounts of food to the world, it produces multiple negative outcomes, such as “wide spread degradation of land, water and ecosystems; high GHG emissions; biodiversity losses; persistent hunger and micro-nutrient deficiencies alongside the rapid rise of obesity and diet-related diseases; and livelihood stresses for farmers around the world.” A fundamentally different agriculture is needed. For this to happen political incentives need to change. The report shows that diversified agricultural systems would “keep carbon in the ground, support biodiversity, rebuild soil fertility and sustain yields over time, providing a basis for secure farm livelihoods. Data shows that these systems can compete with industrial agriculture in terms of total outputs, performing particularly strongly under environmental stress, and delivering production increases in the places where additional food is desperately needed. Diversified agroecological systems can also pave the way for diverse diets and improved health.”

AIEA is developing an “Ecopedia” to enable the sharing of ideas on agroecology.

The President of AIEA is Kerry Cochrane. His past activities include being Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Ecological Agriculture at Charles Sturt University for 15 years, serving as President of the Spirituality, Leadership & Management Network, and before serving as a rural reporter for ABC. His passion is promoting an ecological approach to life as a key strategy in mitigating against climate change.