Post-CAP policy needs to be bold

9th February 2017


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Agriculture ,
  • Food and drink ,
  • Natural resources ,
  • Biodiversity

Author

Deepika Swamy

Brexit offers an opportunity to improve land management.

With farming taking place on more than three-quarters of UK land, what happens to our agricultural policy post-CAP will have significant implications for people, the environment and the economy.

The opportunity to reform the UK’s agricultural and land use policy post-Brexit is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make sure it provides the biggest public and environmental benefits. But we need to be bold and think big.

Urban farming is on the rise, and with good reason. Not only does it present an innovative solution to feeding the world’s seven billion mouths and counting, it also has significant environmental, health and social benefits.

These include saving water; reducing air pollution and carbon emissions by minimising food’s journey from soil to fork; providing urban homes for wildlife and encouraging pollinators; attracting tourists; providing jobs and green spaces for leisure and relaxation; and improving wellbeing by reconnecting people with nature and where food comes from.

If we are to build a sustainable future, we need policy that will support such a transformation. Could agri-environment schemes in post-Brexit policy include support for urban farmers to transform their rooftops into thriving organic vegetable patches? Could we extend responsibility for sustainable land management to city dwellers?

This year, the IEMA Futures team is talking to young people throughout the UK about their visions for sustainable cities, and early conversations indicate they are prepared to be imaginative.

For this generation, urban farming is not thinking big enough – the possibilities for sustainable farming are bound to become more creative. But will policy support our ambitions?

To join the conversation, connect via the team’s LinkedIn group or find us on Twitter @IEMAFutures.

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