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On the morning of 26th February 2016, Kopin, with the collaboration of the Malta College of Arts, Sciences and Technology (MCAST) organized the seminar “Building resilience to Climate Change”.
The initial idea was to have a two-hour seminar with various speakers tackling the problem of climate change from different perspective. The reality was that the interest of the audience was quite high and it took one extra hour to answer all the questions raised.
The conference started with a presentation by Dr Eman Calleja on how climate change is affecting Malta. The Maltese scenario reflects the global perspective since, as in most parts of the world, during the last decade Malta experienced a reduction in rainfall and an increase in temperatures. The second speaker, Dr Nicola Lamaddalena, from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (Italy), provided the audience with more information on the situation in the Mediterranean in general, with particular emphasis on water scarcity and some potential solutions to the problem. Dr Stefano Moncada and Prof Hilary Bambrick introduced the global perspective and presented the case sudy of a biogas digester provided to a small community in Ethiopia as a way of combating climate change (by reducing deforestation) while providing clean energy.
After that, the seminar focused on policy actions negotiated during COP 21 in Paris. Mr Jerome Mounsey from DG Climate Action, one of the EU negotiators in Paris, explained the progress made with regard to land use. The last speaker, Mr Tim Lewis from Handcrafted Films, explained the perspective of civil society. Mr Lewis focused his attention on indigenous communities and how they impact the issue of climate change in a positive way. Two short documentaries produced by Handcrafted Films were shown to illustrate this point.
Different points of view emerged from the debate between the participants and the speakers. The audience was very engaged in the discussion and glad to contribute to it. The conference reached its goal: people left the room with a better understanding of climate change, the students took notes about the discussion; each speech was clear, good and well structured.
Shortly before the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 21 in Paris, Kopin organized a film festival focusing on climate change and related issues. Klimafilm has been organized in collaboration with Triq Cinemoon Festival and took place in Valletta between the 26th and the 28th of November in Valletta.
On each of the three evenings films, short movies and documentaries on climate change and related matters were screened followed by debates with film-makers and experts.
For the launch of the festival on 26th of November the audience was able to choose through voting a feature film on Facebook from a selection of three different documentaries. On Friday 27th of November Dr. Ahmed Bugre, Director of the Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants was leading the discussion following the film Climate Refugees (2010).
Not forgetting the importance of young generations, there was also an animated film for children in the afternoon of Saturday 28th. In the evening the two documentaries Indigenous Peoples: Our Fight (2015) and When Elephants Dance the Grass Gets Beaten (2014) were presented. The screening was followed by a video presentation from the producer of the former, Tim Lewis, and a discussion with the director of the second, cultural anthropologist Jan van den Berg.
The choice to hold the film festival right before the COP 21 was driven by the fact that climate change will have a strong impact, particularly on small state island like Malta and should be paid a lot more attention to than is the case up until now. Jan Van Den Berg, cultural anthropologist and film director, who contributed his documentary When Elephants Dance the Grass Gets Beaten (2014) evolving around the topic of climate change and land grabbing, pointed out to the importance of the topic regarding food security. He said: Small scale farmers are essential for the food security. Floods, drought, lack of support and illegal land grabbing make it difficult for them to survive.
The event was organized in the framework of ClimATE Change project and was co-financed by the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change and the Dutch Embassy It was endorsed by the V18 Foundation, an initiative evolving around Valletta´s Journey to being European Capital of Culture 2018.
On the last Sunday of June, coinciding with the eve of the feast of St Peter and St Paul, locals gather at Buskett Gardens, to celebrate the traditional LImnarja Festival which extends into the morning of the next day. Mnarja, originally a harvest festival, dates back centuries. Nowadays, the festival which is a popular family event, is characterised by a mix of folk music, traditional food and crafts as well as exhibitions and competitions of animals and local produce. This year, 2015, the event was organized by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights.
Kopin was invited to participate with a stand at Razzett talGhorof, a 17th century farmhouse recently restored and converted into an educational centre. There, Kopin’s team of staff members and volunteers offered a series of games to both children and adults, aimed at raising awareness about climate change and sustainable development as part of the EU cofunded ClimATE Change project. Dynamic games were used in order to promote adequate recycling and composting as well as to educate the general public on issues like deforestation, soil erosion and carbon and water footprints.
Quizzes and video screenings were also used to draw attention to the links between food production, supply chains, development and human rights. The activities generated a lot of interest from both children and adults attending LImnarja.
On the weekend of the 6th and 7th of June, Kopin participated in the Earth Garden 2015 festival held at Ta'Qali National Park, with a stand offering games and information.
The Earth Garden is a yearly festival that promotes the care for the environment and sustainability through arts, music and culture in a holistic way. Local and international established bands and up-and-coming talents performed throughout the weekend on different stages while local retailers and artisans offered their products. A number of workshops and activities promoting sustainable living were delivered, from discussions on conscious businesses and conscious eating to an introduction to Permaculture and herbal medicine.
Kopin’s team of staff members and volunteers offered a series of activities throughout the weekend, aimed at raising awareness among the general public – children, youths and adults alike – about the links between food production, consumption patterns, development and human rights. Attention was also drawn to the important role of Fair Trade in ensuring the respect of workers' rights world-wide and the ethical distribution of profits while engaging the public to challenge any preconceptions of developed and developing countries.
During the event, Kopin also promoted a number of current projects, with a focus on the ClimATE Change project.
Moreover, a raffle was held and donations were collected to support Kopin's projects. A special thanks goes to The Grassy Hopper and Gugar Hangout Bar, which donated vouchers for a meal at their restaurants to our lucky winners.
Notes from the lecture delivered by Dione Caruana from the MCAST Agribusiness Institute during free course for farmers held in Malta on the 14th of April 2015, as part of the ClimATE Change project.
To download it, click on the link on your left.
One of the presentations delivered by Daniel Grech from the MCAST Agribusiness Institute during free course for farmers held in Malta on the 23rd of April 2015, as part of the ClimATE Change project.
To download it, click on the link on your left.
One of the presentations used by Daniel Grech from the MCAST Agribusiness Institute during free course for farmers held in Malta on the 23rd of April 2015, as part of the ClimATE Change project.
To download it, click on the link on your left.
In 5 sessions between March and May 2015, Kopin organised a training course for professional and amateur farmers on climate change and sustainable agriculture. The sessions, which took place in Malta and Gozo, focused on challenges for farmers that are linked to climate change, i.e. water management, soil nutrients, pests and diseases. The trainings were organised as part of the EU co-funded project ClimATE Change and were implemented with the precious help of Koperattiva Rurali Manikata, a farmers’ cooperative based in the North Western part of Malta.
Participants found the sessions really interesting and useful for their everyday work. Moreover, they were glad to have the opportunity to discuss everyday problems and possible solutions with experts in the field and evaluate which were the best for them to face climate-related problems. They were also really happy to have the opportunity to network with other farmers and discuss the promotion of sustainable agriculture with other professionals in the field.
The success of the course in Malta encouraged Kopin to organise a session in Gozo, which took place on 15th May in the Government Experimental Farm Hall in Xewkija. All the participants were satisfied with the lecture, and asked for a similar event to take place again in the future.
Kopin would like to thank Koperattiva Rurali Manikata for the great help provided, but also Dr. Antoine Vella, expert in pests and diseases, Mr. Daniel Grech, lecturer at the MCAST Agribusiness Institute, who specialises in water management, and Mr. Dione Caruana, a renowned horticulturist for their interest in the project and their inspiring lectures.
Kopin hopes to have the same success with the activities which will take place during the two big events in the month of June: EarthGarden and L-Imnarja Festival, during which there will be activities and workshops to raise awareness on the effects of climate change and actions which can be implemented by everyone to face this global challenge.
On Sunday 24th May, Kopin took part in the WorldFest 2015 event organised at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta with a dedicated stall offering theme-related activities to the visitors.
The World Fest is a yearly event organised by the Maltese NGO Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust to promote Fair Trade and ethical consumption. Organisations and other ethical businesses from around Malta participated by linking their work to this year’s theme: 'Food'. A number of workshops and panel discussions were held addressing the topics of organic production, sustainability and upcycling; stalls selling Fair Trade products and food from other regions of the world were present and the event, which ended with a concert featuring a number of local bands.
Kopin’s team of members and volunteers offered a series of activities throughout the day, aimed at raising awareness among the general public – children, youths and adults alike – about the links between food production, consumption patterns, development and human rights, as well as the importance of sustainability and conscious use of resources in food production within the different existing systems and the role of Fair Trade actors in ensuring quality of products and the respect of workers’ rights worldwide.
During the event, Kopin also promoted a number of initiatives being currently implemented with a focus on topics such as food security, alternative food systems, sustainable production, climate change and small-scale farming, specifically the EAThink 2015 and the ClimATE Change projects.
In the months of March and April 2015 KOPIN is organising a training course for farmers and all those interested in issues related to climate change and sustainable agriculture. In four sessions, experts in the fields of pests and diseases, water management and soil and nutrients will present the challenges posed by climate change on the one hand, and suggest possible solutions on the other. The course is part of the EU co-funded project ClimATE Change and will be implemented with our partner Koperattiva Rurali Manikata.
This course seeks to address everyday challenges faced in Maltese fields, particularly in the context of the islands’ already severe water scarcity that is expected to intensify as a result of climate change. It also aims to inform farmers (both professional and amateur) about the impact extreme weather episodes could have on the Mediterranean region and how one can adapt to them.
Our first speaker, who opened the course on 10th March, was Dr. Antoine Vella, an expert in pests and diseases with a long career at the University of Malta. Mr. Malcolm Borg, lecturer at the MCAST Agribusiness Institute, who specialises in water management, will facilitate the sessions on 24th March and 23rd April. Horticulturalist Dione Caruana will address the vast topic of soils and nutrients on 14th April. All sessions will start at 6pm and end at 8pm in the Parish Hall of Burmarrad. Participation is free of charge. Refreshments will be provided.
More information on this course as well as a detailed programme can be found on the Facebook invite under KORS B’XEJN GHALL-BDIEWA – FREE COURSE FOR FARMERS.
Contribution written by Robert Kuenzl
This contest has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this contest are the sole responsibility of the partners implementing the project “ClimATE Change – Enhancing competences on relationship between MDG 1 and 7 as effective approach to meet both goals ‐ DCI‐NSAED/2012/280‐ 926” and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.