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NFFN Northern Ireland Update - March 21

A busy period for Northern Ireland as they deliver a successful convention and complete various consultations.

Food, Farming and Land Convention 2021

The Nature Friendly Farming Network Northern Ireland has helped deliver a two day convention here in Northern Ireland in partnership with a range of other organisations such as; RSPBNI, Food NI, Belfast Food Network, Northern Ireland Environment Link and the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. The convention took place over the 9th and 10th February and hosted some of Northern Irelands leading policy makers, as well as many farmers and landowners sharing their experiences.  The Food, Farming and Land Convention demonstrated a growing interest and support for Nature Friendly Farming in Northern Ireland with over 530 in attendance. Sessions which the Network were involved in focused on ‘Nature Means Business’, ‘On Farm Nature Based Solutions’ and a panel debate on the ‘Future of farming and land management to 2030’. To catch up on any of the sessions visit www.foodfarmingland.co.uk/convention21

 

Ministerial Meeting

On Wednesday 24th February the Northern Ireland Nature Friendly Farming Network Steering Group had a delegation attend a meeting with DAERA Minister Gordon Lyons. The group had a constructive meeting with the Minister and DAERA officials as they lobbied for a nature friendly approach to agricultural policy in the future. As always, the NI Steering Group highlighted the economic value of nature friendly farming and how this should play a central role in future farm policy. The meeting was hugely positive as we shown the increased appetite for farming with nature with both our increasing membership, and the attendance at the Food, Farming and Land Convention.

Consultations

The start of 2021 has been a busy period for the Network here in Northern Ireland. We have been involved in a range of consultations. We would like to thank all our members who took part in the survey which was attached to the last NI specific newsletter. We used your answers to shape our consultation response to the Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill. To date, Northern Ireland is the only country within the UK without statutory emission reduction targets. In light of this, our response to the consultation called for a 2045 Net-Zero target for Northern Ireland whilst also calling on government to develop a Land Use Strategy which would be similar to the Scottish Climate Change Act. We have also pressed for a nature friendly approach to be built into future agriculture and climate legislation.

 

Carbon Literacy Project

Over the past month, members of NI NFFN have been engaged in creating a sustainable farming module for a carbon literacy project. Our module will look at the implications of farming on climate change and our carbon footprint. We have been documenting best practice methods from a range of our farmers and advising on ways that farms across Northern Ireland can move towards a Net-Zero carbon footprint. Participants of the course will aim to achieve a carbon literacy accreditation at the end of the course. This project is being delivered in partnership with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The delivery of the project is dependent on funding applications, however it is envisaged that it will be made available for all Young Farmers, targeting the YFCU. If you know, or are a part of a YFCU that would be interested in participating in this carbon literacy programme, let us know at ni@nffn.org.uk