#ClimateChange Champion - Meet Andrew Ardington, RegenAg SA

Andrew Ardington, RegenAg SA

Andrew Ardington is the founder of RegenAg SA, The Regenerative Agricultural Association of South Africa. He grew up on a sugar cane and cattle farm in KwaZulu Natal, which was unusual in that it began integrating sugar farming with cover crops and cattle in the 1970s. Since graduating in Agricultural Economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, he’s been a game ranger, co-founder of the Wetu app, which helped the tourism industry digitise its content so that sales content could be aggregated, and web and mobile applications could be used to market and sell tourism experiences. 

In 2016 Andrew once again got involved in cattle farming. This rekindled his interest in agriculture that worked with rather than against nature. He became immersed in regenerative agriculture and the possibilities it presented regarding the healing of agricultural soils, planetary health, and human health.

At RegenAg SA they believe, that: 

  • Healthy soils make healthy plants which make healthy people
  • Healthy soils sequester carbon and mitigate climate change
  • Healthy soils fix our water cycles and stop desertification
  • Healthy soils are less prone to erosion

 

About the event: 'How we can change so that the climate doesn't have to' - 

This is a collaborative event, between TEDxCapeTown and TEDxJohannesburg, with the main aim of calling fellow South Africans to action and mitigate the impact of Global Warming. The key focus will be to inform the public of local initiatives that they can get involved in, providing an avenue to have a positive ecological footprint, catalyzing a change in behavior.  The event will also loop in relevant TED Countdown content.

 

We asked Andrew a few questions: 

We are excited that you said yes. Tell us more about why you believe it's important that your organisation/ project participates in this collaborative virtual event?

We really need to get society understanding the importance of Drawdown. The focus on emissions has taken up so much media space that most people don't even know what Drawdown is. As we stand, regenerative agriculture is the only significant Drawdown option available to us right now - without a significant capital investment requirement. Associated with this is the restoration of many ecosystem services that are endangering the planet. 

Secondly, there is so much negativity around agriculture regarding climate change in the media and this impacts people's ability to make the right decisions around these import issues. We have to get people talking about this from a 360 degree, holistic perspective.

What has being in lockdown taught you about yourself/ your team?

Lockdown has taught me that we can get an amazing amount done by communicating virtually but, conversely, to create real relationships people need to meet and interact in the flesh. Lots can fall through the cracks in a purely virtual world.

What do you hope to gain from this experience?

To find out more about what is going on in this space in SA and to have the opportunity to present the case for good agriculture in our country.  Like Drawdown, Regenerative Agriculture doesn't even enter our governments head space.

What key message or inspirational quote would you like to share with our virtual event audience, currently in lockdown?

Many of the problems we face around climate change and the global drying out of the land (our soils) are a result of man's actions.  Consequently, much of this can be undone by man's actions.

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About RegenAg SA

The Regenerative Agricultural Association of South Africa (RegenAg SA) is a nonprofit, education and advocacy organisation that is working to stop the catastrophic consequences of Industrial Agriculture by facilitating farmers and consumers in transitioning to Regenerative Agriculture.

RegenAg SA is showing how Regenerative Agriculture is the solution to most of these problems. Their goal is to redirect South African agriculture toward regenerative methods that rebuild our soils, reduce input costs, protect and enhance the natural environment, mitigate climate change, produce nutrient dense healthy foods, promote biodiversity, animal welfare and economic justice to farmers and farm workers.

Follow RegenAg SA on social media for more info: