Pablo Borrelli from the province of Chubut in Patagonia, southern Argentina has spent most of his career as a researcher and consultant trying to help farmers deal with desertification. For more than 30 years he thought that the problem was overgrazing and that farmers needed to reduce the number of animals on the land. However, this advice did not seem to help farmers, as their lands only continued to deteriorate and left them exposed to an ever-decreasing income from farming. In 2007, Pablo came across the work of some pioneering farmers that followed the principles of holistic management and planned grazing to heal their land and he started to look into what it was all about. He says that this turn to holistic management is what has saved his career. Since he began helping farmers to plan the movement of large herds of sheep and cattle on grasslands, Pablo has seen countless examples of land coming back to life. He has also helped to develop a worldwide certification system called EOV, or Ecological Outcome Verification, which works both as a label for the final products, such as wool, leather and meat, and as a tool for farmers to monitor and observe how their regenerative work helps to improved biodiversity, water infiltration, and carbon sequestration in the soil. In this conversation, we also discuss the lack of governmental support, and the role of market forces and large corporations to support farmers when switching towards regeneration. For Pablo, getting more farmers on board is what matters the most if massive amounts of land are to be saved from turning into deserts. There is absolutely no time to lose.
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