World Earth Day, agro-ecological transition is key

On the occasion of World Earth Day, established by the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding the Planet, FederBio emphasizes the central role of agroecology, of which the organic and biodynamic methods represent the highest expressions, in the development of resilient, sustainable agri-food systems in harmony with ecosystems.

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Organic farming, which does not use synthetic chemicals but relies on farming techniques that respect natural life cycles, helps improve the health and fertility of the earth, increase biological diversity and mitigate the increasingly extreme and frequent effects of climate change.

We are putting the survival of the Earth at risk for future generations,” stresses Maria Grazia Mammuccini, FederBio president, “An unsustainable situation that needs to be reversed as soon as possible by encouraging the transition to agrifood systems that respect biodiversity and natural ecosystems.

The results of an Italian-French study by the Sant’Anna Institute in Pisa and ISARA (Institut supérieur d’agriculture Rhône-Alpes)in Lyon, recently published in the scientific journal “Agronomy for Sustainable Development,” one of the most authoritative internationally, confirm the positive impacts of the agroecological model.

The research analyzed over 13 thousand publications, selecting 80 papers published in the last 2 years. These papers provide solid scientific evidence on the positive social and economic effects of agroecology, with favorable effects in terms of income, productivity and efficiency being found in 51% of cases.

Also attesting to the environmental, social and economic benefits of diversified agriculture is a meta-analysis published in the prestigious journal Science, which synthesized the work of 58 researchers, 24 studies, on 2655 farms in 11 countries.

The survey evaluated five diversification strategies, including the inclusion of animal diversity (mammals, birds, insects and fish) and non-crop plants such as flowers and hedgerows, but also crop diversification, soil and water conservation. The results showed multiple benefits in terms of sustainability, food security, yields, and well-being for people and the Planet through increased biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Both the French-Italian study and the meta-analysis make it clear, how necessary and urgent it is to push on the accelerator of the agroecological transition“-FederBio’s president continues-“Going back on the EU’s Green Deal policies is therefore a strategic mistake that continues to favor an outdated agricultural model that is unsustainable from all points of view: environmental, social and economic. The difficulties of so many farms that have given rise to farmers’ protests are concrete proof of this. The changes in European Green Deal policies of this last period, however, have kept unchanged the goal of achieving 25 percent of farmland organically farmed by 2030, placing an even greater responsibility on our sector. To protect our Planet, it is, therefore, extremely important to support the transition to organic, which combines sustainability, protection of natural habitats, climate mitigation and enhancement of ecosystem services. We can all contribute to defending our Planet, starting with organic and sustainable food choices that have a low environmental impact, and are attentive to proximity of production and waste reduction.

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