13 August 2022
Secret underground networks
Part of More Than Human
Conversation led by Dima Al Srouri from Mycosphere with Lara Hussein, Ceylan Uren & Yazen Al Kodmani
Fungi play an important role in our ecosystem as they are a major component of forest biodiversity. They contributed to soil formation billions of years ago and have been preventing soil degradation and supporting the creation of carbon sinks. In this conversation, we will look at the symbiotic relationships that fungi form with trees and other organisms to create the ‘wood wide web’ and discuss the impact of modern development on fungi and vice versa. We will hear stories about some little-known fungi species and their role in regeneration and renewal. Finally, we will seek to learn valuable lessons from fungi on how we can help restore the health of our planet and combat climate change.
About the Speakers:
Dima Al Srouri is a city strategist and a creative thought leader, building bridges between urban planning, design and sustainability. She brings a wealth of knowledge from professional practice in the public and private sectors as well as academia on the science of cities, sustainability, circular development and sustainable business models. She is a lecturer in Urban Planning & Development at the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, and Director of Biospheric City Lab, a boutique consultancy for sustainable development. Dima is currently setting up a mushroom farm in collaboration with Expo’s Netherlands Pavilion.
Lara Hussein and Ceylan Uren, The Waste Lab
Lara Hussein and Ceylan Uren are the co-founders of The Waste Lab, a women-owned and impact driven startup, based in Dubai, that is working with households and businesses to reduce food waste in the UAE. By offering customized solutions through nature-based composting & repurposing and hands-on workshops, they are building a community that practices proper organic waste sorting at source and disposal which, in turn, will be used to create healthy compost and other byproducts that benefit our local soil, farms, food and jobs.
Yazen Al Kodmani, Emirates Bio Farm
A seasoned organic farm manager who has developed and overseen a proven hybridization of large-scale organic farming, agritourism and retail in the UAE. With over a decade of experience, he has transformed over 25 hectares of arid land into a profitable wholesale and direct-to-consumer farm and tourist destination. He has also established 3Y Agtech, an agritech consulting firm to address the regional food security challenges which brings together the expertise of experienced consultants, developers and farmers.