Robin Edwards, CLA South East Regional Director
The UN Conference on Climate Change ends this Friday. Whatever the final outcomes on an international level, we can be sure that landowners and farmers in this country will be continuing to change the way they work to create a more sustainable future.
A recently published report by the European Landowners Organisation demonstrates how the everyday work of farmers and landowners is critical to mitigating changing climate impacts. It also shows the adaptations required to keep food supply chains reliable and the rural economy prospering.
Over recent weeks, the CLA has been highlighting the way landowners and farmers are mitigating and adapting to climate change, through a range of measures including precision farming and water storage, renewable energy generation and sustainable management of woodland. We have focused on six key areas where land managers can make a difference:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: through precision farming, rotating crops with nitrogen-fixing legumes, using anaerobic digestion to treat farm and animal wastes and produce energy, reducing inputs such as fertilisers.
- Conserving carbon: by applying conservation agriculture to reduce soil disturbance, encouraging sustainable woodland management, adjusting to shifts in the distribution of pests and diseases, creation of new woodland.
- Replacing fossil fuels: through using energy crops, forest biomass and manure to produce biofuels and biogas, managing forests sustainably to increase growth and considering various renewable energy options.
- Maintaining water resources: by investing in farm water storage, applying sustainable drainage systems, using effective irrigation methods and adapting crop rotation to make best use of available water.
- Providing ecosystem services: through creating wildlife migration corridors, conserving grassland, maintaining, restoring and creating wetlands, ponds and water meadows, monitoring and controlling alien species.
- Increasing diversification, applying environmental land management to enhance rural tourism, diversifying energy supply and reducing energy use and applying speculative planting to minimise yield variability.
Landowners are committed to playing a long term role in creating a more secure and sustainable future. If you’d like to know more, have a look at the CLA’s Talking Climate Change blog www.talkingclimatechange.wordpress.com.
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