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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Publication | 2021

Nature-based solutions in agriculture: The case and pathway for adoption

Up to 52% of global agricultural lands are now moderately to severely degraded. The loss of productive land, coupled with increased food demand, pushes agriculture to be the primary driver in 80% of native habitat loss. Agricultural irrigation is driving the majority of water scarcity issues in high-risk basins threatening food systems, community water supplies and ecosystem. These pressures have resulted in the global agriculture sector driving more biodiversity loss, destruction of natural habitat, soil degradation and depletion of natural resources around the world than any other industry.

In order to sustain the future of food systems – and by extension, human life – agriculture producers around the globe must lead a transition to agricultural practices that regenerate landscapes. The Food and Land Use Coalition’s Growing Better report (2019) laid out the scientific evidence and economic case for 10 critical transformations of our food system – three of which are Nature-based Solutions – that, by 2030, could help bring climate change under control, safeguard biological diversity, ensure healthier diets for all, drastically improve food security and create more inclusive rural economies. The need for widespread transformation of agricultural systems is clear, and Nature-based Solutions can play a key role in a sustainable future of food.

Key messages:

  • Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are cost-effective interventions that can enhance resilience in agriculture and food production, while mitigating climate change and enhancing the environment;
  • Agricultural producers have a critical role in implementing NbS in their operations and can help to shape wider landscape scale approaches to Nature-based Solutions;
  • Policy makers can enable the implementation of nature-based approaches through a variety of means including by law and regulation, economic incentives, capacity building, and communications.