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Synecoculture: Human Augmentation of Ecosystems, the seminar by Masatoshi Funabashi

synecoculture seminar

The seminar, held by Masatoshi Funabashi, Senior researcher and Planetary Navigation Group Leader for the Sony Computer Science Laboratories, will take place on the 14th September 2022 at 16.00 in Aula Fermi of the Enrico Fermi Research Center in Rome. It will provide an introduction about Synecoculture.

Synecoculture is a method of farming that produces useful plants while making multifaceted use of the self-organizing ability of the earth’s ecosystem.  It is characterized by a comprehensive ecosystem utilization method that considers not only food production but also the impacts on the environment and health.

The talk will introduce essential experimental results and recent activities in Japan and Sub-Saharan Africa, which showed that the self-organized primary production of ecosystems follows a power law and performs better compared with conventional monoculture methods in:

  • promoting diversity and total quantity of products along with rapid increase of in-field biodiversity, especially in a semi-arid environment where local reversal of regime shift is observed; 
  • a fundamental reduction of inputs and environmental load; and 
  • ecosystem-based autonomous adaptation of the crop portfolio to climatic variability.

The overall benefits imply substantial possibilities for a new typology of sustainable farming based on human-guided augmentation of ecosystem functions that could overcome the historical trade-off between productivity and biodiversity. 

The same principle also applies to the design of green infrastructure in urban environments, where multiple ecosystem services could promote human health and provide an interactive platform for education. The discussion on the possibility of adaptation to European cities that strive to realize resilient and sustainable lifestyles in the post-pandemic era are welcomed.

Find more info here.