A workshop to help identify sustainable opportunities for the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula kicked off Tuesday with panels on agriculture and forest-based bio-economy development.
The workshop, a part of the Sustainable Northern Coastal Communities initiaitve, was facilitated by the Harris Centre and the Grenfell Campus Office of Engagement, and was made possible with support from the International Grenfell Association; President's Office, Memorial University; CBDC Nortip and College of the North Atlantic.
In the morning, local residents and farmers, municipal leaders and university representatives discussed some of the challenges faced by communities on the Great Northern Peninsula regarding food security. Through discussions with researchers and local farmers, the panel explored possibilities for agriculture in the region, looking for ways to build on what is already being done through small-scale gardens and farming. Diversification of crops and the creation of more accessible roadside farmers markets were also discussed.
Graduate students at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, participated in a lunchtime poster presentation session. Research presentation included:
- "Ecological, economic and social sustainability in Tension? The issue of Aging Population in the Nature-based Tourism in Western Newfoundland" – Mayra Sanchez Alvarez
- "Usage of the collective impact initiative model for public consultation on conservation projects in Bonne Bay – Roshayne Mendis
- "Stats and stories: Exploring regional asset mapping on the Great Northern Peninsula" – Brennan Lowery
- "Historical analysis and projections of climate parameters and anomalies in Bangladesh" – Ratnajit Saha
In the afternoon, Dr. Stephen Decker, professor of environment and sustainability, moderated a panel focused on surplus harvests and the bio-economy.
"We explored how surplus harvests can be used to meet growing consumer demand for sustainable products and services," said Dr. Decker. "Focusing on the strengths of the region is essential for the diversification of the forest industry of the region."
"Bio-economy generally refers to the knowledge-based production and use of biological resources to provide products, processes and services in all economic sectors within the frame of a sustainable economic system," said Ken Carter, director, Office of Engagement and Research. "As a novel and environmentally conscious economic activity, the bio-economy is revamping the forest industry around the world."
The workshop continues on Wednesday with a strategic "doing" session.