Agriculture and Land Use2021-07-05T21:56:18+01:00

Agriculture & Land Use

Exploring the role of sustainable farming and ecosystem markets

Ecosystem markets have the potential to fund significant reductions in greenhouse gases from the land use sector, while providing new income streams. Our research has provided new evidence on the barriers to and opportunities for ecosystem markets to contribute to a green recovery, as well as data and insight to support policy that promotes sustainable use of land and resources.

Our most recent impact & activity

Engaging ‘harder to reach’ farmers in policy design and delivery

N8 AgriFood academics at the University of Sheffield, have published a White Paper – Engaging ‘harder to reach’ farmers: the roles and needs of skilled intermediaries. The report presents the findings of research led by the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the University of Reading, carried out in 2020 & 2021, which focused on engaging ‘harder to reach’ (HTR) farmers in policy design and delivery. In June 2021, Dr Ruth Little, from Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food gave evidence from the White Paper to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee as part of its inquiry into Environmental Land Management and the Agricultural Transition. Dr Little had previously given evidence to the given to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee in November 2020 as part of its inquiry on Biodiversity and Ecosystems. Her recommendations were published in the Committee’s June 2021 Report; Biodiversity in the UK: bloom or bust.

Read the white paper
Ecosystem markets for a green recovery: policy challenges and opportunities

Prof Mark Reed, former Newcastle N8 AgriFood Chair is now Director of the Thriving Natural Capital Challenge Centre at Scotland’s Rural College. He continues to collaborate with us on many levels and as an output of our launch week, produced this policy brief in collaboration with iCASP and the Global Food Security funded Resilient Dairy Landscapes project. It outlines the policy action needed to stimulate demand for and supply of projects for new ecosystem markets. Ecosystem markets have the potential to fund significant reductions in greenhouse gases from the land use sector, while providing new income streams for a sector that has in some areas been significantly impacted by Covid-19. The brief outlines long term policy messages as well as recommendations for the next year, based on research evidenced in the brief.

Read the briefing
Ecosystem markets for a green recovery webinar

During the launch of the Policy Hub, Professsor Mark Reed, (former Newcastle N8 AgriFood Chair, now Director of the Thriving Natural Capital Challenge Centre at Scotland’s Rural College) and Professor Peter Howley from the University of Leeds held a webinar on  exploring the role of ecosystem markets in a green recovery. The webinar, chaired by Colin Mackie, Head of Strategy in the Green Finance Team at Defra, stimulated discussion and interrogation of new evidence on the barriers to and opportunities for ecosystem markets to contribute to a green recovery. Discussion was informed by two new policy briefs which were produced for the webinar.

Watch the webinar

Our Agriculture & Land Use research and outputs

Group of cows in a field with a dark sky

Payments for public goods: rethinking what it is to be a good farmer

This policy brief explores how farmer decisions about engagement in sustainable farm practices and policy initiatives are shaped by a range of external and internal factors, such as farm type, values, beliefs and norms, rather than just the financial calculation of costs versus benefits.

Read the brief
Wheat in field close up

Improving the evidence base for delivery of public goods from public money in agri-environment schemes

This is paper is part of the N8 AgriFood Collection for Emerald Open Research, by academics from the Universities of Newcastle and Leeds with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Peatlands Initiative.

Read the paper
Crops in soil

Social capital factors affecting uptake of sustainable soil management practices: a literature review

Dr Niki Rust, Sara Iversen, Prof Mark Reed and Rosmarie Neumann from Newcastle University contributed to this N8 AgriFood Collection article for Emerald Open Research.

Read the article
Field of wheat

What is the evidence that public money leads to public goods delivery from agri-environment schemes?

This Policy brief explores climate change mitigation, improved water quality and soil health and was produced by N8 AgriFood academics on the Dairy Resilient Landscapes project.

Read the brief
Farm land with dry stone wall

What is the role for public private partnerships to deliver public goods?

This Policy brief considers the role of public-private partnerships in post-Brexit agricultural policy and was produced by N8 AgriFood academics on the Dairy Resilient Landscapes project.

Read the brief

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