Soil Association responds to biodiversity global assessment

08/05/2019 - 09:17
The Soil Association has responded to a report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The panel studying the benefits of nature to humans – showed that biodiversity is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and that climate change can't be halted if we carry on degrading the soil.

Joanna Lewis, policy director at the Soil Association said: “This report from IPBES issues a stark warning – our over-use of the land and sea is eroding the natural foundations of our livelihoods and societies, and we simply cannot halt climate change without halting soil degradation.

“Soils hold three times more carbon than the atmosphere and all life depends on it for food. The rapid deterioration of our soils and the collapse of biodiversity is an environmental emergency alongside climate change.

“The Government must act now to join the dots in proposals for the future of agriculture policy. We welcome the Government’s commissioning of Sir Partha Dasgupta to report on the economics of biodiversity ahead of next year’s UN Biodiversity conference, but there is enough evidence already that intensive farming and pesticide use are the primary drivers in global insect collapse. We need action now to support a major farming and land use transition.

“We urgently need policy that supports farmers to adopt nature friendly agroecological farming methods like agroforestry and organic, which put natural systems first and chemicals last.

“Research has shown this type of farming holds the answer to restoring biodiversity and soil, halving greenhouse gas emissions, while still being able to feed a growing European population a healthy diet. We call on the Government to prioritise soil health and agroecology in the upcoming Agriculture and Environment Bills.”

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