SDSN February 2020 E-Conference Summary

Published on:

February 23, 2020

SDSN Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems hosted its fourth fully online conference February 19–21, 2020. The e-conference was titled Resource Recovery from Sanitation for Food Security and Soil Health.

Moderated by Rebecca Nelson, Professor at Cornell University in the United States and Co-Chair of SDSN Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.  Presenters included Tom Wassenaar of CIRAD in France who summarized some of the key challenges of chemical fertilizers; Johannes Lehmann of Cornell University in the USA looked at several opportunities to recycle wastes to produce biochar and how the gasses from these wastes can be used to generate electricity; Sasha Kramer of SOIL in Haiti spoke of their growing urban sanitation service and how they processed 510 tons of waste into agricultural grade compost in 2019; Renzo Akkerman of Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands shared some key challenges in building value chains to support resource recovery.

The final day of the conference had an emphasis on experiences in Africa. Davis Ireri shared the story of Sanergy‘s work providing sanitation to persons living in slums and informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya; Jane Wambui Mugo shared Sanivation‘s work in Naivasha and Kakuma, Kenya, which has treated over 150 tons of waste, reducing diarrheal disease and producing 1,500 tons of fuel briquettes; David Berendes of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) discussed the health benefits and risks of effective sanitation.

The final presentation was from Adama Hilou, a Professor at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. His talk focused on the different waste streams in West Africa and solutions for effective reduction and reuse of waste.

Links to the conference presentations can be found here.