June 18th to June 22nd
Tórshavn & Sandoy, Faroe Islands
Images by Gilberto Arias and Lau Blaxekjær, 2017.
This year the Green Growth Dialogue will focus on Alternative and Sustainable Food Production in the Arctic. More precisely we will focus on local commercial production of greens and vegetables that are not commonly produced in the Arctic.
Due to weather and soil conditions in the Arctic, the vast majority of commercial produce is currently imported and is subject to spoilage and wasted resources; adding to transport emissions, imports of plastics and related packaging materials, and a key factor in sub-par levels of food-security.
To combat these issues, the Green Growth Dialogue in June 2017 will consider hydroponics, aquaponics and related in-door and year-round alternative methods of food production that could allow Arctic communities to become self-sustaining in the production of a wide range of non-local consumable greens and vegetables.
Tied to this, we will also focus on related issues such as greenhouses suitable for the Arctic, sources of lighting in the dark months, and the availability of fertilizers and cheap sources of electricity and heating.
The goal of the conference is to use the Faroe Islands as a case-study with inspiration from Newfoundland, Nunavut, Greenland, Iceland, and Norway to analyse possibilities of initiating commercially viable and sustainable methods of vegetable-production.
By the end of the conference, the goal is also to have produced enough material to compile a report on how best to tackle the issues of how Arctic communities can grow vegetables year-round, utilizing cheap heating and lighting - if possible using waste from other types of production, in geographically restrictive areas where the climate would otherwise be a problem.
Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by bacteria, and then utilized by the plants as nutrients.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. The nutrients in hydroponics can be from fish waste, duck manure, or normal nutrients.
To tackle as many of the aspects tied to alternative and sustainable production of food in the Arctic, we have invited leading figures tied to food production, hydroponics and aquaponics.
The conference was from June 18th to June 22nd. Two days were allocated for the Green Growth Dialogue Intensive Course, one day was an all-day outing and the final two days were for the conference and.
The venue for the 2017 Green Growth Dialogue will be one of the conference-halls on the green southern island of Sandoy. During the conference and workshops, accommodations will be provided.