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Biodiversity encompasses all the variety of life on Earth from genes to species, populations, communities and ecosystems. In ecological and environmental sectors, we mostly refer to the biodiversity of plant and animal communities within particular habitats.

A high level of biodiversity usually indicates a richness of species which in turn is likely to reflect a diverse and healthy habitat. Hence biodiversity can be seen as a measure of the health of our ecosystems. This is important not only for species conservation but also because healthy ecosystems provide us humans with all the raw materials, food, medicines, ecosystem services, knowledge, inspiration and everything else we need to survive and flourish. Biodiversity is the natural capital on which we all depend and so its continuing degradation through processes such as unsustainable land use, climate change, pollution and invasive species, is a material threat to humankind.  

In the UK the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) recognises that a significant proportion of the potentially best wildlife habitat in the country is currently in unfavorable condition and that this reflects a serious decline in biodiversity. It has been estimated that populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians in the UK may have declined by as much as 70% since the 1970s. No wonder then that the UK sits within the bottom 10% globally and ranks lowest amongst the G7 nations in terms of biodiversity. Successful reversal of this trend will require enormous efforts and importantly will require targeted partnerships between conservation NGOs, farmers, landowners, scientists and government. 

The concepts of biodiversity net gain (BNG) and rewilding are potentially important tools for nature recovery in the UK.

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Are environmental benefits (carbon, biodiversity...) best served by sharing agricultural land with nature, or by maximising yield in some areas to spare tracts of land exclusively for nature in other areas?  

Rewilding is an approach to restoring biodiversity and ecosystem health by working towards returning habitats back to their natural state. Rewilding is commonly misrepresented as the reintroduction of large and glamorous wild animals and the removal of people and human activity from the landscape, but this is very rarely the case.  

Natural capital refers to the stock of natural resources and ecosystems that provide essential benefits and services to agriculture. In the context of farming, natural capital encompasses the fertile soil, clean water, biodiversity, pollinators, and healthy ecosystems that play a crucial role in sustaining crop and livestock production. These natural assets are the foundation of agricultural sustainability, productivity, and resilience.

RSK is a global leader in the delivery of sustainable solutions. Our family of over 150 environmental, engineering and technical services businesses works together to provide practical solutions to some of the greatest challenges societies have ever faced.   

A new Field Lab from Innovative Farmers investigating how farmers can better harness the power of flowers to fight pests.

Introducing Naturestimeline and Tony William Powell. Benchmarking Birds. A Freelance Contractor offering clients bespoke Avian conservation monitoring projects.  

Introduction   Climate change will significantly impact agriculture, forestry and the food industry, and the impact will change over time. The change in local and global climate conditions will impact the life cycle process of the agriculture and food industry, including the quality of seeds, growing seasons, crop maturity, livestock productivity, forest productivity, etc. The most critical impacts are the increased CO2 emissions due to growth in agricultural activities, the changing rainfall patterns, increased evaporative demand, reduced water availability for irrigation threatening all agricultural production, extended or repeated periods of drought, tree deaths, increased flooding, including that caused by sea-level rise, substantial losses in crop production in low-lying agricultural areas, soil compaction, waterlogging and soil erosion, and pests and diseases threatening the production.    Climate change will affect the range and quality of the ecosystem services that agriculture and forestry provide and rely on. They provide climate control, flood regulation, biodiversity, pollination and nutrient cycling. These sectors play a critical role in adapting to the change by introducing new healthy and resilient genotypes, varieties, breeds and management practices.    As the impact of climate change continues to be severe, there is a need for more anticipatory adaptation measures. Agriculture and forestry are components of larger biophysical, social and economic systems, reacting and adapting to climate change in different ways, resulting in complex global changes whose impacts at the local level are not easy to predict.   Conversely, the demand for agriculture and the food industry is growing, including to achieve the ‘No Hunger’ SDG 2 target, universal access to safe and nutritious food, end all forms of malnutrition, double the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, sustainable food production and resilient agricultural practices, maintain the genetic diversity in food production, invest in rural infrastructure, agricultural research, technology and gene banks, preventing agricultural trade restrictions, market distortions and export subsidies, and ensuring stable food commodity markets and timely access to information.   Thus, achieving food and nutritional security by increasing crop productivity while limiting carbon emissions is of utmost priority for every nation. This includes strengthening sustainable agri-food value chains, scaling up agri-food systems resilience, improving food security, and generating employment. While doing this, we must increase innovative practices and the creative and entrepreneurial skills of farmers worldwide to do their jobs and businesses effectively, foresee future scenarios and be prepared and resilient to climate and economic shocks.   This highlights an urgent need to identify an eco-friendly/cleaner consumption and production system that is more productive, profitable, resource-efficient (i.e. efficient use of energy, water, and carbon-based inputs), environmentally safer, balanced gender, accessible and inclusive of everyone, and resilient. Communities Carbon Calculator (CCC) Pilot Our proposal, Communities Carbon Calculator, is about designing eco-friendly and carbon-cum energy efficient, resilient and sustainable production and consumption systems for the diverse agroecosystems worldwide.   The primary concept is to have meaningful, interrelated, inter-sectoral collaborative four (4) Carbon Interventions: Carbon budgeting includes carbon reduction, using embodied carbon and reducing carbon waste for positive impact. Carbon mobilisation includes understanding the carbon dynamics throughout the processes, practices and products and applying technologies (natural, bio, chemical, mechanical, etc.) and fixing it for positive impact. Carbon literacy includes increasing the understanding and knowledge of the use of technologies (digital), theories and practices for a sustainable and resilient low-carbon sector. Carbon Sustainability includes developing local and global ecosystems for sustainable and resilient sectors.   CCC Pilot will focus on 1 region and four countries in this Pilot. However, we are open to more countries or regions joining the Pilot. We have started collecting interest from the global community, and if we get 20 stakeholders from a country, it will be included in the pilot.   For now, we have committed interest from: Region: The Congo Basin Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ouganda, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan, Nigeria, Zambia, and Mongolia   The Global Sustainable Futures Progress through Partnerships Network calls partners/collaborators/individuals to join the optimised integrated COMMUNITIES CALCULATOR CARBON (CCC) Pilot. For Africa, our foremost partner is Actions for the Development of Africa - ADA, led by Bernard K. Mulenda. He is closely working with Professor Dr Mylor Ngoie on the interventions from the Universities over the region.   Country Carbon Calculator (CCC) Pilot will drive total transformation in systems at the country level. It will impact many other interrelated sectors, such as agriculture, water, waste, transport, energy, health, etc., developing in-country projects and integrating strategies for technology, subject expertise, innovation and commercialisation, including: Identifying and connecting with relevant stakeholders physically, socially and virtually, both at local, national and regional levels Advocating, encouraging, and negotiating with stakeholders to get involved in the program for managing carbon emission, business and innovative commodities, adopting an integrated approach and multi-area agreements Creating local, national and regional forums to attract all stakeholders (start-ups, technicians, experts) associated with business Facilitating carbon calculator development in-country, partnering with subject matter experts, academia, and technology experts The Carbon Calculator will be an online tool enabling every business manager detailing and supply chain actors to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon storage into soil and biomass on the land area they are footprinting. It will account for all types of agriculture, food production and land use, producing a carbon balance detailing emissions into Scopes 1,2,3 emissions and carbon storage. A noticeable difference will be reflected in the quality of services, commercialisation, certification, carbon credits, crop diversity and inclusion of farmers, women and youth A scalable and innovative approach to connecting the countries as low-carbon, resilient and sustainable environmental, agriculture and food suppliers, health, manufacturing, etc. Seven WorkPlans WP1: To map the current resources in your country to create a farm carbon calculator WP2: To build a working model for piloting the carbon calculator WP3: To evaluate the CCC Pilot quarterly for its delivery of services/products/processes WP4: To measure the changes in the sector due to the innovative practices developed through CCC Pilot WP5: To measure the changes in related sectors such as agriculture, water, energy, transport, health nutrition, soil quality, housing, etc. through CCC Pilot WP6: To develop the learning/skill development/innovative practices knowledge exchange gathered through CCC Pilot WP7: To work with the stakeholders to improve decision-making for a resilient and sustainable industry   Please complete this form to express your interest: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScpkme0WNS-th6QGNcTTJ6d9vMZa2myFBixszOD4YYDLRq9Mg/viewform?usp=share_link Contact Dr Renuka Thakore, Founder and CEO, Global Sustainable Futures Network CIC, UK [email protected] https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbthakore/  

regenagri is an international regenerative agriculture program for securing the health of the land and the wealth of those who live on it.

Although the term management implies direct manipulation, the practice of wildlife conservation and management includes efforts aimed at preserving or restoring rare species and their habitats and indirect manipulation of wildlife populations through modification of habitat or resources. From: Encyclopedia of Ecology, 2008

Strategic BBSRC & NERC programme with CEH & Rothamsted  - Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems,

ADAS Natural Solutions brings together various in-house services to deliver a bespoke solutions based on the requirements of your business. Whether you are looking to increase your biodiversity or achieve net zero, our dedicated team can work with you to create, restore and manage both natural and modified ecosystems. 

A website that summarises the documented evidence for the effectiveness of conservation actions. This resource is designed to support anyone making decisions about how to maintain and restore biodiversity.

Providing accurate measurements that enable nature based solutions

If you are a farmer seeking extra revenue for good environmental work on your land, we could help you to access funds.

Land of Plenty is WWF's blueprint for how the agriculture and land use sectors in the UK can help fight climate change and bring nature back to life.

One of the schemes of ELMs

An ongoing Innovative Farmers field lab is looking into the impact of mob grazing on soil, biodiversity and animal health.

Paper by Andrew Balmford (Cambridge University) in Journal of Zoology on the relative value of la

Help us collate the knowledge sources, organisations and initiatives out there that are seeking to improve the farmed environment

FABulous Farmers is a European project supporting farmers in the transition to more agroecological practices on their farms. Soil Association are delivering activity in 3 UK pilot regions – South West England, West Midlands and Wales, with the National Trust leading activity in the East England. The project aims to reduce reliance on external inputs, like chemical fertilisers and pesticides, by encouraging the use of methods and interventions that increase the farm’s Functional AgroBiodiversity (FAB). These are targeted measures of biodiversity in and around the field to improve pollination, pest management, soil and water quality on the farmland.

The SUPER-G project is a European wide project aiming to work with farmers and policy makers to develop sustainable & effective permanent grassland systems.

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CEH

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

As custodians of the landscape all farmers have responsibility to the wildlife and nature on their farms.  There are many networks, organisations, advisors and initiatives seeking to help farmers enhance wildlife and biodiversity. Increasingly this is being supported by Defra through ELMS and Local Nature Recovery schemes 

Environment Digest is a quarterly publication that provides a synopsis of recent news, reports and other materials that are of interest to the farming community. With a particular focus on how agriculture links with the environment, each issue focusses on articles across sustainable food production, climate change, water and waste management, soils and biodiversity. Environment Digest principally focuses on stories and policy changes that are relevant to England and/or the UK with a slant towards the arable sector.

The concept of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is an important component of the UK Government's ambitions to reverse biodiversity loss. It provides a framework for ensuring that development and land management activities leave habitats in a measurably better state than beforehand. 

Natural England provides an exciting opportunity for the farming community to decide the future for sustainable food production and thriving nature. In Birmingham on 28 November.

Tilhill offers farmers a professional one-stop forestry service for woodland creation, management, selling woodland generated carbon units, and timber harvesting.

Warwick Crop Centre is a national centre of excellence for research on fresh produce. We provide post-graduate training and specialise in research projects promoting sustainable agriculture, horticulture and food security.

The founder and chairman of Environment Bank, Professor David Hill, recently sat down with New Scientist to discuss the future of farming and food. The interview explores how changing approaches to agriculture are essential in preserving the ‘natural capital’ of global biodiversity and prosperity for farmers.

Join us at Woodland Valley Farm to explore how farming and biodiversity can support each other.

Concerns over the increasing cost and environmental impact of high inorganic nitrogen (N) inputs have led to a reappraisal of the role of legumes, particularly clover, in maintaining soil fertility in improved grasslands.

The project aimed to utilise mob grazing methods to manage grasslands better, increase sward species diversity, and create biodiverse pastures.

The delicate balance between food production and biodiversity preservation is one of the most critical challenges facing humanity. As the global population keeps growing, demands for food have increased substantially, leading to intensifying agricultural practices to boost yields. However, as we outline in this Issue Brief, this intensification can massively impact biodiversity and the environment - negatively and positively.

The Policy Brief, written by Colin Tosh, is based on evidence presented in, and feedback to the online workshop held 20/10/2021.

Every farm and field is different, with a wide interplay of different factors impacting on optimum soil management between them.

Guidance on bringing Britain’s hedges back into the farm business.

The relationship between wetlands and livestock farming is complex and a subject of growing importance in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Join LEAF and the University of Reading to explore how farmers and landowners can be supported to develop on-farm biodiversity monitoring.

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