Forum announces Call to Action in response to worsening climate and eco-system forecast
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023
The food and agriculture system possesses the human know-how and ingenuity, innovation and technology, and natural capital, to increase its productivity, resilience, and sustainability, as well as reducing its own carbon footprint and removing billions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere and locking it up in soil, forests, peatland and wetlands.
Having just emerged from a global pandemic, where the food and agriculture system proved its flexibility and resilience, conflicts, such as the one in Ukraine, and record-busting high temperatures again remind us of its potential fragility, which will only be exacerbated further by global warming and the loss of biodiversity.
A landmark report from IPBES found that nature is declining at an unprecedented rate in human history with the rate of species extinction accelerating. According to WWF, the world has lost nearly 70% of its wildlife species since 1970. This threatens the eco-systems upon which food and agriculture depend. At the same time, the latest warnings from the IPPC make clear that we have a final chance this decade to limit global warming to 1.5C after which we will be on an irreversible course that will make some parts of this planet uninhabitable and others increasingly inhospitable.
The Forum for the Future of Agriculture is committed to play its part in the building of a more resilient and sustainable food and agriculture system, which mitigates the effects of climate change and restores biodiversity and our eco-systems. Whilst progress is already being made toward achieving these goals, the Forum, along with our partners who are part of the agri-food system, recognise the need to go further and faster.
To do this, the Forum and our partners, will work individually and collectively, sharing learning, knowledge and best practices, with a long-term perspective, towards:
- Developing and scaling regenerative agriculture, in conjunction with similar approaches, underpinned by common metrics driving enhanced outcomes for productive and environmentally sustainable farming.
- Valuing and accounting for the use of natural capital, such as water, soil, air, and biodiversity, by the agri-food system
- Contributing to the development and alignment of public funding market-based incentives for nature restoration and delivery of other eco-system services.
- Sharing knowledge and pursue innovation in technology and practices that support both food and environmental security and move away from those which don’t.
- Integrating sustainability into supply chains and the global agri-food trade system, leaving no one behind.
- Informing the development of more coherent agri-food policies at local, national, regional and global level and continue to build public and private partnerships for greater impact.
- Enhancing consumer awareness of their role in building a more resilient and sustainable food and agriculture system.
In addition, the Forum will use its convening power in each of these areas, both in Europe and globally, to bring together the relevant stakeholders from government, academia, civil society, growers and land managers, and the agri-food industry. We will work with them to find and amplify new, innovative thinking, ideas, best practices, and solutions, that can work systemically, leading to a more resilient and sustainable food and agriculture system, and which provides climate solutions.
We do this with a renewed sense of urgency for greater action.
Without such action, the world will face catastrophic consequences including the irretrievable loss of precious and essential biodiversity, access to water, safe, healthy, affordable food, and safe living spaces. In places hardest hit by climate change, it will likely lead to unsustainable migration, increased poverty, and conflict. Even in places that escape the most chronic effects of global warming, it is likely that health, wellbeing, and prosperity will suffer.
The food and agriculture system is the foundation of our life and society… the people who work within it provide the food, fuel, and fibre upon which we all depend. We proclaim and celebrate the contribution they make every day. It is now time to unleash their potential and give them to tools they need to build a more resilient and sustainable food and agriculture system, which delivers food security for all and leads the fight for nature restoration and against climate change.
This is the mission and the goals of the Forum.