We propose that the Irish government incorporate tree-planting and soil-building measures into the next round of water framework directive works, in order to shift the focus from Irish agriculture as a net environmental problem to Irish agriculture as a world leader in ecologically sustainable methodologies and practices.
Martin Peck comments that "anything I write could not do justice to this report. I can only urge everyone to read it and to try to ensure that policy makers are made aware of it." It draws attention to interrelated aspects of the many externalities of agriculture and the food system, including soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions.
Martin Peck was impressed with the Savory conference: "It was a privilege. People from all over the world talking and listening to each other essentially about survival and how we can reverse our destructive behaviour on our earth through regenerative agriculture in its many forms. It is possible."
Many Feasta members will already be familiar with the pioneering work of Allan Savory and the Savory Institute in regenerating degraded rangelands. Nick Bardsley and Martin Peck attended the Institute's recent conference and have each provided reports on it which you can read here (Martin's report will follow shortly).
This submission was made by Feasta on March 6 to the Irish Department of Agriculture regarding "Sustainable Food Production and Processing" and "Food for Health". It describes 10 high level goals that we believe can and should be progressed. It goes on to outline the proposed research that would further these goals, and to explain what the expected results would be and how they could be measured.
In the third and final excerpt from his book The Commons of Soil, Patrick Noble explores the relationship between fashion and rapid change in societies. Our drive to be social and belong in a community - extrinsic motivations - could be regarded as a possible catalyst for adaptation to a post-oil economy.