REPORT IDENTIFIES POOR SOIL HEALTH AS NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT
News release from the Food & Global Security Network
Wednesday 20th October 2021
#COP26 news – Climate, biodiversity, food: not singly, but together.
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A report, Soil health: a national security profile, launched today by the Food & Global Security Network, calls on ministers to formally recognise healthy soil as a strategic asset, critical for maintaining food and societal security. It says that defence departments globally should work with departments for agriculture and the environment to jointly oversee delivery of increased food sovereignty within nations and the regeneration of soil function. In the UK, the Ministry of Defence should work with Defra.
Ffinlo Costain, chief executive of Farmwel and founder of the Food & Global Security Network, said, ‘The right to affordable nutrition underpins peace and civil stability, but the impacts of climate disruption and biodiversity loss are already affecting food production. If we see a 2C rise in global temperatures, which now seems increasingly likely, we could experience extreme disruption in global food supplies. When food is scarce, prices rise, inequality increases and simmering resentments can turn rapidly into conflict and even war. Healthy soil and a balanced ecosystem are critical for food sovereignty and a peaceful society.’
Soil health: a national security profile was published by the Food & Global Security Network, a project of Farmwel, supported by FAI Farms. The report profiles the critical importance of soil health through the independent writings of 22 experts – military minds, NGO leaders, scientists and practical farmers. Writers include Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti (the UK’s former Climate and Energy Security Envoy), Patrick Holden, Øistein Thorsen, Sue Pritchard, Martin Lines, Walter Jehne, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin and George Young.
Global security is maintained by taking steps to mitigate future threats. Now, in addition to traditional state-on-state or intra-state threats, we face non-traditional threats, the most important of which can be characterised as ‘ecological breakdown’. The extreme weather events associated with global warming, coupled with the loss of biodiversity and soil structure, could have devastating impacts on harvests around the world. While food scarcity is a recognised accelerant of instability, it is soil biodiversity in particular that is critical in minimising and mitigating this risk.
Ffinlo Costain said, ‘We urge governments and food businesses to take the security risks associated with soil degradation and ecological breakdown extremely seriously. We see agroecology as a low risk and low cost solution that can mitigate the security threats connected with poor soil health. With COP26 in sight, agroecology and regenerative farming can produce great food locally and at scale, while greatly accelerating carbon drawdown, regenerating biodiversity, and managing precipitation to provide greater drought resilience and better flood protection.’
Notes to editors:
Notes to editors:
WEB LAUNCH – Soil health: A national security priority?
o Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, Former UK Climate and Energy Security Envoy
o Chantal Wei-Ying Clément, Deputy Director, IPES Food, Brussels
o Jimmy Woodrow, Executive Director, Pasture for Life, UK
o Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquín, President, Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, USA
o ffinlo Costain, CEO, Farmwel
For more information, please contact ffinlo Costain, chief executive of Farmwel
and founder of the Food & Global Security Network.
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The Food & Global Security Network is a project of Farmwel and FAI Farms. Our advisors are Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, Dr Ashleigh Bright, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Clare Hill and Roland Bonney.
Farmwel is a think tank working for sustainable agricultural land use and food production. Our priorities are to mitigate global warming, integrate agriculture with biodiversity, and ensure that good, nutritious food is available for all. We have given evidence to Parliamentary committees and helped UK Government develop farm animal welfare and sustainability metrics. We have advised on global warming mitigation pathways and have highlighted the importance of the revised metric, GWP*, which accurately assesses the warming impact of methane.
FAI are a global team of farmers, veterinarians, scientists and strategists with first-hand experience of food production and its challenges. We have people and offices in the UK, US, Brazil, Germany, Norway and New Zealand. Through strategic partnerships with leading food brands and organisations we implement better farming practices and improvements in commercial supply chains. FAI are thought leaders in agriculture’s opportunity to tackle the two most pressing issues facing humanity: biodiversity loss and climate change. Our regenerative agriculture work encompasses transition both at farm level and strategically through supply chains. www.faifarms.com
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