The 8th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture (8WCCA) is jointly organized by the European Conservation Agriculture Federation (ECAF), and its member in Switzerland, Swiss No-till (SNT), with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT). It will be held in Bern, Switzerland, from 29 June to 2 July 2020.

The theme of the Congress is:

The Future of Farming: Profitable and Sustainable Farming with Conservation Agriculture

Why the 8WCCA?

The first World Congress on Conservation Agriculture was organized jointly by ECAF and FAO in 2001 in Madrid, Spain. Since then the event has been organized in different regions around the world (Iguassu-Brazil, 2003; Nairobi-Kenya, 2005; New Delhi-India, 2009; Brisbane-Australia, 2011; Winnipeg-Canada, 2014; Rosario-Argentina, 2017) and in its 8th edition the Congress will be held in Europe from where it first originated.

Conservation Agriculture (CA) is recognized as an agricultural system capable of overcoming the very serious sustainability weaknesses shown by the conventional tillage-based agriculture. Whereas in 2015/16 CA was practiced on around 180 million hectares of cropland worldwide, its regional distribution is uneven. Europe (where around 5% of the cropland area -3.6 million ha- is under CA) has shown a considerable adoption only in some countries, despite many promising empirical and scientific results conferring its relevance and suitability in Europe as well as in Africa and Asia.

Thus, this World Congressis an opportunity to take a leap forward in terms of reviewing the recent progress made in the practice of CA and in knowledge generation regarding CA worldwide and putting this experience and know-how at the service of the European agriculture that will be facing the first steps in the implementation of the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). There is also a need to accelerate the adoption by smallholders in Africa, Asia and Central America and 8WCCA will provide an opportunity to share and discuss successful examples of uptake of CA by smallholders from around the world so that it can be mainstreamed more rapidly.

The theme of the 8WCCA aims to highlight that CA is the only ecological and regenerative agricultural model able to bring together the profitability of farmers and the environmental protection while offering ecosystem services, climate change mitigation and adaptability and satisfying the demands of civil society. This will be elaborated and discussed through technical presentations on the following four sub-themes:

  • Sub-theme 1: Successful experiences and learnings from Conservation Agriculture worldwide
  • Sub-theme 2: Farm and ecosystem level benefits of CA systems to society and environment
  • Sub-theme 3: Mainstreaming of CA with national policy and institutional support and for global governance to support national and international needs and commitments
  • Sub-theme 4: Promoting CA-based knowledge and innovation systems and information sharing and communication

The Congress also seeks to alert EU policy stakeholders and technical officers of the urgent need to adopt sustainable soil and production system management practices of CA to achieve the objectives of the CAP 2020.

Who should attend?

  • Farmers keen on sharing their experience and know how as well as knowing more about CA and how it works in practice for greater productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability.
  • Scientists, educationists and extensionists of any discipline dealing with CA systems development and with sustainable soil, water, agriculture and landscape management.
  • Government representatives, officials and other policy stakeholders interested in or working on issues related to the sustainability of agriculture and the environment.
  • Private sector and non-governmental organizations interested in CA for sustainable farming systems and landscape management.

Congress venue and language

The event will be celebrated in Bern (Switzerland) between 29th June and 2nd July 2020. The first three days will deal with indoor sessions and the last day will be a field day when practical aspects of the concept and principles of CA and its role as a climate smart agriculture in sustainable intensification will be demonstrated.

All presentations and discussions during the event will be held in English and there will be no translation.

Paper and poster contributions

All participants are invited to present extended abstracts on any of the Congress sub-themes. The rules for abstract submission can be found at the 8WCCA website, through “Call for Abstract” section.

Conference registration

On-line registration will be possible. An online registration platform will be available soon at the 8WCCA web site (8wcca.org). Registration fees and application dates will be made available at the web site.

The registration gives right to:

  • Attend the welcome and opening session, technical sessions, field day (incl. transport from the Congress venue in Bern), coffee breaks, lunches at the venue of the event, and welcome reception.
  • Be included in the list of participants and to obtain a certificate of attendance.
  • Submit an abstract to be published in the Proceedings of the Congress, and a paper to be available through the Congress website. Instructions for authors (available at the Congress website) must be followed.
  • Receive the Congress documentation, including the Proceedings.

Sponsors

The organizers welcome individuals, companies and institutions interested in supporting the 8WCCA. For further information please contact the organizers at info@8wcca.org.