The Hay-on-Earth Forum forms part of our programme of managing and mitigating our
environmental impact and has been running now for five years.
Loaves and Fishes
The 2011 Forum focused on two issues that face complex, critical problems and which
are indicative of the types of dilemmas facing a much wider range of topics.
The management, consumption and abuse of the world's fish stocks has been raising
concerns for many years. Key species such as cod, Atlantic halibut and bluefin tuna
have suffered from drastic over-fishing, barbell and catfish under threat from invasive
species in the Mediterranean and fish such as the European eel under threat due
to flood control, irrigation and power generation. One of the fundamental ways in
which the EU has managed fish stocks, the Common Fisheries Policy, is due for renegotiation
in 2012, we discussed what changes should be made. Other fisheries are managed through
a variety of international agreements and local policies and we looked at the key
challenges in these areas.
World wheat, barley and corn supplies suffered from a series of natural setbacks
in 2010 including heatwaves in Russia and floods in Australia but also from the
impacts of financial speculators. As a result food supplies have been severely stretched
in some parts of the world and prices have reached record levels. Clearly this is
an unsustainable situation but is it just an anomaly or should we tackling the root
causes to mitigate any future problems. We discussed the ethics and impacts of financial
speculation on food stocks and also whether GM has a role to play in providing security
of food supplies in the face of extreme weather conditions.
To discuss these concerns we lined up five stimulating events across the topic areas
looking at the issues, and giving you an opportunity to raise questions.
Hay Festival and its Hay-on-Earth programme play a crucial role in raising awareness
and stimulating debate about the key sustainability issues facing the world”
fresh perspectives emerging from the confluence of ideas of artists, policy makers,
cultural workers and academics giving participants the opportunity to embrace new
ideas and open their minds to new paradigms of thinking.”Dr Erdelen, Assistant
Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO described the Hay-on-Earth Forum