Almost half of our land surface area is now estimated to be farmland. In the words of Vandana Shiva, our farms have become the ‘lungs of our planet’. It is therefore crucial that these farms should become part of the solution to the climate crisis – starting by protecting and rebuilding our lost biodiversity.

At the Sustainable Food Trust, we firmly believe that nature can thrive alongside sustainable farming practices. This is one of the key issues behind the ‘land sparing’ vs ‘land sharing’ debate – in other words, building biodiversity doesn’t solely depend on rewilding the land; we can make more space for biodiversity from within our farms. But to do so, it is imperative that we start measuring biodiversity; after all, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. This has been the primary mantra behind the Sustainable Food Trust’s collaborative Global Farm Metric evaluation of biodiversity on farms.

But how exactly can we start measuring sustainability on our farms? In this seminar we heard from leading experts about the key indicators of biodiversity on farms, and the particular species that act as a reflection of truly sustainable farming. Speakers included Ian Dunn, CEO of Plantlife, Marion Hammerl, President of the Global Nature Fund and John Meadley, Honorary President of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association. The session was chaired by our CEO Patrick Holden.

 

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