Climate change, the unprecedented loss of biodiversity, and the spread of devastating pandemics are sending a clear message: it is time to fix our broken relationship with nature.

Climate change

The food we consume daily, from its availability to its quality, is directly affected by climate change. Agricultural activities depend on climatic conditions and is therefore highly exposed to the consequences of climate change. Agriculture accounts for about 12 % of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions and clearly has an important role to play in ensuring a greener, more sustainable future. Farmers contribution is essential to overall efforts to reduce the impact of climate change with providing carbon sequestration. This is achievable by the sustainable usage of natural resources, limit emissions and adopt land management practices that can protect soils and its ability to store carbon.

Water conservation

Water is an essential component of life on earth and key component for agri-food production. Without sufficient, good quality and easily accessible water, European agri-food production could be under threat. With a rising global population and climate change increasing the risk of adverse climate conditions such as droughts, pressure on the natural resource is growing. Farmers could offer actions that include the protection and management of water through the establishment of buffer strips along water courses, authorizations for irrigation and protection of ground water against pollution.

Biodiversity and Landscape

Biodiversity and ecosystems provide us with food, health and medicines, materials, recreation, and wellbeing. They filter our air and water, help keep the climate in balance, convert waste back into resources, pollinate and fertilize crops and much more. Biodiversity is essential for life. Our planet and the economy depend on it. When nature is healthy, it protects and provides. Farmers could dedicate part of arable land to areas beneficial for biodiversity: for example, trees, hedges or land left fallow that improves biodiversity and habitats.

Soil matter for future

This natural resource is fragile and finite and needs to be carefully managed and protected. It can take up to 1,000 years to produce 1cm of fertile soil but only a couple of years to lose it. We need to act to preserve and restore our soils. Enhanced management of permanent pastures, organic farming, afforestation and the creation of woodlands, agroecology and agroforestry, precision farming, crop diversification, are just some examples of beneficial soil farming practices that member states could offer.

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Farmers play a key role in tackling climate change, protecting the environment and preserving landscapes and biodiversity. They need our help!