HUMUS+Ambassadors as role models
In recent years, the nomination of a HUMUS+Ambassador has become an integral and ceremonial part of the HUMUS+Days. With the official presentation of a certificate by Gerald Dunst, our ambassadors are to be thanked and acknowledged for their outstanding commitment to climate protection. Their responsible and exemplary actions in science and practice serve as role models and help to spread the idea and vision of the ecoregion and HUMUS+ even louder to the world. The support of our HUMUS+ ambassadors is a valuable contribution in the joint fight against climate change and for sustainability in agriculture.
Sepp Holzer is a well-known "agricultural rebel" and ecological visionary from the Austrian Alps. He learned from nature as a child, and when he took over his parents' Krameterhof farm at the age of 19, he turned the barren mountain farm into a productive natural paradise with diverse wilderness crops. Holzer has described the development of his permaculture method in detail in his biography "The Agricultural Rebel". With projects all over the world, Holzer has proven that his findings can be applied in the most diverse climates and vegetation zones. For years he has been advising landowners, farmers, professors and settlement projects in Russia, the USA, Southern Europe and other regions on renaturalising land with "Holzer Permaculture" and building edible landscapes.
"You can only live healthily in harmony with nature. You can only get a healthy plant from healthy soil. Healthy meat, in turn, only comes from healthy animals. If you get involved in the cycle of nature, you will become a part of it."
Univ.-Prof. Dr Gottfried Kirchengast
HUMUS+Ambassador 2021Gottfried Kirchengast is a university professor at the Chair of Geophysics at the University of Graz. He is the founding director of the Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change and spokesman of the Field of Excellence Climate Change Graz. He is also a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and a representative of science in the National Climate Protection Committee as well as an honorary professor at the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The internationally renowned climate researcher, who has received several research awards, is the author of more than 300 specialist publications, "doctoral supervisor" for more than 40 dissertations and repeatedly makes groundbreaking scientific contributions in the fields of Earth observation and climate research. He has also dealt extensively with the impact of the climate crisis on Austria.
"Humus build-up is a crucial contribution to bind CO2 in large quantities in the soil. The humus programme of the Kaindorf Ecoregion is a tried and tested showcase model that is unique in Europe. Farmers are becoming climate protectors!"
Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Franz Fischler
After studying agriculture at BOKU Vienna, Dr. Fischler first worked at the Tyrolean Chamber of Agriculture and held the office of Federal Minister for Agriculture and Forestry from 1989. From 1995 he was a member of the European Commission responsible for agriculture and rural development, and later also for fisheries policy. His greatest achievements include Agenda 2000, the 2003 CAP reform and the first reform of the European fisheries policy. Since 2005, he has been an advisor to numerous governments and lectures extensively at home and abroad. He is also Chairman of the Raiffeisen Sustainability Initiative and President of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS). Until 2020, he was President of the European Forum Alpbach.
"Agricultural and forestry soils are one of the largest carbon sinks. If the humus content in soils were brought back closer to the natural humus content, immense amounts of CO2 could be stored."
Ing. Angelika Ertl
Angelika Ertl is a graduate of the HBLVA for Horticulture in Vienna/Schönbrunn. The organic gardener has been on ORF for over 20 years, presenting everything to do with gardening. Her great love is the soil, fertility and our own health through humus build-up. Three books have already been published by her, which repeatedly land in the bestseller list of non-fiction books. "The Great Soil ABC" has become a standard work for soil enthusiasts. With her garden travel agency "OLIVA Reisen" she takes interested people to the most beautiful and exciting gardens in the world. From South Tyrol to Iran, from England to South Moravia - inspiring is the motto. Her show garden is a popular destination, as is a visit to her workshops on organic gardening or cooking with wild herbs.
"It is the soil, our basis for life - it is the foundation for our food, in the region it encompasses the issue of food sovereignty and it also is an important cornerstone in terms of climate and species protection."