WE ARE AT A TIPPING POINT.
As the world begins to emerge from the constraints of the pandemic, the UK is now looking to lead global action in tackling the climate, health, nature, and economic crises. Agriculture and land use change account for almost a quarter of global emissions and are among the biggest drivers of biodiversity loss.
A transition to agroecology answers this challenge, ensuring the UK becomes carbon net zero by 2050. Moreover, an agroecological UK would grow more of its own food, see nature flourish on farmed land, and create a thriving rural economy with fair, knowledge-rich rural jobs for future generations.
Read on for our route map unlocking the potential of agroecology on UK land, through nature, finance and adaptation.
A transition to agroecology would mean the UK could eliminate synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, nearly double the amount of land available for green and ecological infrastructure, release 7.5% of current agricultural area for more flexible use and becomes carbon net zero by 2050 (reducing GHG emissions from agriculture by at least 38% with potential to offset 60%+), all without compromising food security or offshoring food production and the associated environmental impacts.
AGROECOLOGY IS THE NATURE BASED SOLUTION
The case for change in food and farming is well made by many organisations. There is mounting agreement that changes must address multiple challenges – the climate and nature emergencies, the public health crisis and now a fair and green post-covid economic recovery. Our recent reports demonstrate that a transition to agroecology could respond to these multiple challenges and is a plausible and fair way of growing enough nutritious and affordable food for a growing UK population, from viable farm businesses (while growing export markets).
THE RIGHT FINANCING CAN UNLOCK CHANGES IN LAND MANAGEMENT
The practical realities of helping some farmers make the transition to more sustainable practices are as yet underdeveloped. We know already that the market alone is rarely capable of making the bold moves needed to accelerate the transition. Governments acknowledge this, having, in the past, kickstarted transitions to cleaner energy, housing and transport. The same shift is now needed in agriculture. But government appears to be torn between competing farming systems, and struggling to articulate a clear and shared version of a future with agroecology at its heart.
LOCAL ROUTES TO MARKET WILL ENABLE MORE RESILIENT FOOD SYSTEMS
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