Oct. 31, 2019Print | PDF
The Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems invites the community to a free, research-focused lecture, “Regenerating the Forest: Agroecological Erva Mate Production in Brazil,” on Monday, Nov. 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo.
The lecture will address research on the traditional, eco-friendly farming practices — or agroecology — of erva mate trees in the Araucaria forests of southern Brazil. Agroecological production of erva mate, whose leaves are used in teas commonly consumed in South America, has been a key driver of forest conservation in southern Brazil, where forest ecosystems have been decimated by logging and land conversion for single-crop fields. Historical and contemporary contexts for erva mate agroecology will also be addressed in the lecture.
“Erva mate production as part of a systems approach to sustainable food and living shows us very clearly how food can be a lever to bring about positive change,” says Alison Blay-Palmer, director of Laurier’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. “This is particularly important as we look for ways to address climate change, bring about social inclusion through more equitable communities and deal with diet-related health challenges.”
The lecture will be delivered by André Eduardo Biscaia de Lacerda, research scientist and research station manager at Embrapa, a research affiliate of Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, and Evelyn R. Nimmo, former research facilitator at Laurier’s Waterloo campus and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at State University of Ponta Grossa in Brazil.
Lacerda has worked in ecology and forestry research for over 15 years, conducting multidisciplinary projects on biodiversity, sustainable forest management, genetics and community-based agroforestry. He is currently leading several research projects in southern Brazil that explore complementary aspects of applied ecology and natural resource management.
Nimmo’s research experience includes community-based approaches to environmental history and conservation and explores gender, identity and hybridity in relation to the construction and use of traditional ecological knowledge. She is currently working with Embrapa to document traditional knowledge, life histories and memory related to ethnobotany and the traditional production of erva mate in Araucaria forests in southern Brazil.
Complete the form to register for the lecture or to be notified when a video recording is available online. For more information about the lecture, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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