Healing our Earth through agriculture
For the celebration of International Earth Day, let’s take a moment to step back from our daily businesses and re-focus on the bigger picture: the health of our planet – our Mother Earth. More than ever, we should be thankful for the endless support our Earth provides us and be concerned for its health. Our planet is threatened by climate change and will face its unprecedented consequences. If we don’t preserve our resources and take a regenerative approach, a point of no return will be reached quite soon. The Biodynamic Federation Demeter International commits daily to take care of our planet by healing the Earth through biodynamic agriculture.
Our human activity undeniably leaves a footprint on the Earth, mostly putting a strain on our planet. In its Sixth Assessment Report the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that humans are not only the main cause of climate change but that human influence warmed the climate at an unprecedented rate in the last 2 000 years causing major disruptions on our planet. Extreme weather, soil degradation, rising sea level – just to name a few – are all consequences of climate change that can be linked to human activity and be seen everywhere on our planet.
But human activity is also what is needed to fundamentally alter the situation. We need to find ways to leave a positive footprint on the planet, to protect the environment not only for the Earth’s sake but also for all the benefits that come from living on a healthy planet. In that sense, we all have an important role to play, starting with simple actions in our daily lives. Our food choices, for instance, determine the impact agriculture has on the planet, both positive and negative. By turning towards products from biodynamic farming, consumers make the choice to protect and regenerate Mother Earth. Conscious of the impact farming has on our planet, each biodynamic farmer strives to bring more back to the Earth than was taken from it. Taking care and investing in the Earth is part of our core values.
‘Invest in our planet’
This year’s Earth Day has the motto ‘invest in our planet’ implying a partnership between business, politics, and civil society to invest in a “more prosperous and equitable future”. Businesses are encouraged to take part in the sustainable transformation via private sector innovation, corporate responsibility, and green investments. Government support is seen as indispensable to encourage and support a real transition towards sustainability. Individual citizens are also called upon to act and invest through their consumer choices as well as to mobilize together to demand positive change.
As much as we can all agree to the necessity to ‘invest in our planet’ the real questions is: What does it actually mean in practice to invest into our natural environment? Not all investments are equally helpful and sustainable. Many suggestions appear to be viable alternatives but, in reality, they are just more attempts at green washing.
Reward meaningful farming practices
The Federation has a clear view on this: money needs to go into actions that genuinely and meaningfully preserve and regenerate our Earth. We need to ensure that the investments and financial rewards for sustainable agriculture go to the people that implement these practices. Namely, to the farmers that care for their farm ecosystems, animals, crops, and soil, often for many years and centuries without sufficient economic returns.
With each day the importance of supporting every effort that contributes to soil fertility and climate change mitigation increases. For this reason, the Federation aims to develop a system that measures and values the contributions our farmers make to address these challenges. The first step is to document the positive activities farmers are already doing such as creating more biodiversity or regenerating soil fertility. This system will also enable us to explore new ways to finance the efforts made by farmers. The idea is to motivate consumers and companies to contribute to the development of an agriculture for the future, effectively tackling climate change.
However, our efforts will not be sufficient without a clear support from governments worldwide. They must support farmers in their transition and subsidise real sustainability performance. A few tweaks and tricks will not be enough to protect our Earth and cannot be considered as an investment in our planet. Support for proven practices, such as organic or biodynamic farming, offer a real solution and need to be implemented widely. On Int. Earth Day let us remember that we have only one Earth and that agriculture plays a key role in preserving it!
Contact: Clara Behr, Head of Policy and Public Relations