Taking action to protect our soil
With an increasing population, deforestation, malnutrition, global warming, conservation of natural resources, etc., can agriculture produce more to ensure food security for all and, simultaneously, propose viable and sustainable solutions to the environmental challenges of our planet?
The objective of the 2nd planet A® 2019 International Agriculture Forum was to answer these questions by focusing on the theme « Land, waste, planet: soil quality for the health of living things », chosen by the planet A® scientific board.
Soil, the « stomach of plants », in the words of Aristotle, is at the heart of the climate change challenge. The work of the forum, in line with the IPCC report adopted on August 8, showed that reasoned land management, revision of food production and consumption modes, and stopping deforestation, offer us a real potential to improve soil quality, essential to the health of living things. Soil health is also essential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions thanks to its tremendous potential for carbon storage via the plant cover, presented by INRA in conjunction with the 4 per 1000 Initiative. The five billion hectares of arable land in the world are therefore a major response to the fight against climate change.
More than 350 personalities from around the world - ministers, scientists, associative actors, experts, companies - discussed these topics on June 27-28 in Châlons-en-Champagne. Their discussions proved to be rich and productive, confronting the political, geopolitical, economic, social, food and health, climate and technological issues of today’s agriculture. This is the reason for planet A®, a unique forum focusing agriculture to confront these different areas and stimulate decision-making: through the co-operation between different actors, sustainable solutions are found. Institutional opportunities, such as the CAP revision or the G7 agenda, should allow these synergies to be widely deployed.
As such, we welcome the fact that this forum has enabled a group of experts to write an appeal solemnly soliciting European and international authorities to act in favor of the recognition of living soil as a global public resource, which was signed by more than 25 personalities and international institutions. Firm commitments were made by companies and elected officials and an appeal for an end to land artificialization was signed by agricultural organizations, NGOs and politicians.
This Summary Book is the report of this work. It will be submitted to public authorities and representatives of civil society who will discover, through the formidable resources that agriculture represents, proposals for action to meet the challenges facing our humanity.