EEB proposes implementation of nature based solutions for Farm to Fork Strategy
On 11 February 2020, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) published a position paper on the EU “Farm to Fork” strategy. Outlining its priorities for a sustainable Farm to Fork strategy, the EEB proposes, among others, the implementation of nature-based solutions on agricultural land to protect and restore ecosystems currently used for food production.
The European Farm to Fork strategy serves as a key component of the European Green Deal. The strategy “will contribute to Europe’s climate change agenda, protect the environment and preserve biodiversity. It will ensure farmer’ and fishers’ position in the value chain. It will also encourage sustainable food consumption and promote affordable and healthy food for all.” (source: Q&A: Farm to Fork Strategy). The roadmap for the strategy has been open to feedback since last week and will remain open until 16 March 2020.
In their position paper on the strategy, the EEB mentions that focus has to be placed on grassland and drained peatland restoration to restore their high carbon sink potential. They explicitly name paludiculture and extensive grazing as key nature-based solutions to then manage such restored ecosystems. Furthermore, it is mentioned that semi-natural habitats in agriculture should be protected from intensification and natural ecosystems from agricultural expansion.
“Production systems such as paludiculture and extensive grazing can be deployed to manage these restored ecosystems. In addition, the Farm to Fork Strategy must ensure the protection of semi-natural habitats used in agriculture from intensification (eg. hay meadows and landscape features), and of remaining natural eco-systems from agricultural expansion (eg. peatlands, wetlands, and old-growth forests).”A European Green Deal for the transition to sustainable food systems – EEB position paper on the “Farm to Fork” Strategy.
Eurosite welcomes the emphasis put on the use of paludiculture and extensive grazing as nature based solutions in managing restored grasslands and peatlands. Currently, through the Care-Peat project, Eurosite and partners work on pilots for paludiculture, assessing the impact of such practices. Furthermore, in the new Nardus & Limosa project, Eurosite works on the restoration of species rich Nardus grasslands on former agricultural lands, with the aim to, among others, increase carbon sequestration and biodiversity.