To celebrate this year’s World Environment Day, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) partnered with Italian celebrity chef, Carlo Cracco, to bring attention to the impact that climate change is having on many of the world’s traditional foods.
Participating in IFAD’s Recipes for Change campaign, where top chefs raise public awareness by cooking foods that are being threatened by climate change and show how IFAD is working with farmers in developing countries to help them adapt, Chef Cracco visited the Highlands of Eastern Morocco in March. While there, Chef Cracco starred in an episode of Recipes for Change and saw first-hand how changing conditions are effecting Moroccan truffles – a key ingredient in many traditional dishes. On a tour of local sites where truffles once thrived, Chef Cracco was told how overgrazing and climate change are contributing to land degradation, causing desertification, drought and prolonged hot and cold weather. He learned that degraded, unfertile lands were having a huge impact on truffle crops and together with local farmer Fatima Abed, cooked a traditional lamb tagine while discussing the broader consequences on local communities.
“Coming here is a humbling experience because if you let it, the desert will advance,” says Chef Cracco adding, “So it is essential to do something for those who live here so they will not leave or move away.”
By releasing the Recipes for Change episode on World Environment Day, IFAD hopes to raise awareness about what can be done to help small-scale farmers adapt to climate change. In Morocco, for example, an IFAD-support project is working to stop the desert advancing. Collaborating closely with local communities and supported by the United Nations Industrialisation Development Organisation (UNIDO), the project is promoting sustainable management of natural resources by reintroducing indigenous plants, fencing areas to stop grazing and building micro dams for water collection, in an area extending over 3.5 million hectares.
“Climate change is a fact,” says Chef Cracco. “Perhaps we can slow it down, but we cannot stop it. So we must help those people who work to recuperate the land, so that there is a change in the way we fight the battle of climate change,” he opined.
On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2015 Sula Vineyards is all set to roll out its new initiative, EcoSula. Volunteers will have the one-off opportunity to live, work and experience the vineyards, organic farm and the town of Nashik the way the locals do. The winery aims to provide the programme volunteers an experience of a lifetime by giving them an opportunity to live the eco-friendly life at the vineyards and villages around it. More interestingly, they will learn about wine – its culture, opportunities and challenges – in India, one of the well-known new world regions for wine. This will provide them with the rare opportunity to explore the wine capital of India in a more comprehensive manner. Sula Vineyards can also customise schedules as per the volunteers’ needs and skill.