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Northern Ireland: Nature Friendly Farming Motion

On the 7th June MLAs debated an Assembly motion on Nature Friendly Farming. The motion called for future agricultural policies for Northern Ireland to enable a transition to profitable, sustainable, nature friendly farming, in order to provide nutritious food, increase farm business resilience and combat the nature and climate emergencies.

©Press Eye/Darren Kidd

During the debate several MLAs highlighted the important role that nature friendly farming can play in increasing carbon storage from our land,

providing safe space for nature, improving water, air and soil quality. Importantly, many MLAs emphasised the point in delivering nature friendly farming, many farms can also benefit. That in short, nature friendly farming makes good business sense. Following a vote, MLAs decided to back the motion in its entirety and with no amendments. 

The NFFN welcomes the Assembly’s decision to support this motion, which must now enable a transition to future agriculture policies which deliver nature friendly farming at scale. With 75% of NI’s land managed as farmland, farmers are key to delivering food security, biodiversity and climate targets. Nature friendly farming is good for business and essential for our future. Adopting Nature friendly farming practices has a vital role to play in ensuring that farm businesses remain productive, profitable and resilient at the same time as restoring nature and addressing the climate emergency. Now that this motion has passed, we need urgent action to deliver on these commitments to ensure that nature friendly farming is delivered across Northern Ireland through agriculture policy and legislation. 

©Press Eye/Darren Kidd

Michael Meharg NI Chair said “Agricultural policy must change if we are to address the threats currently facing nature, the environment and climate. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address the nature and climate emergencies and support farmers as they embrace the move towards long-term business sustainability by working in harmony with nature. We need clear direction from government and policy makers, to capitalise on the benefits of Nature Friendly Farming. We welcome the Assembly’s backing of this motion, which must now help shape policy for years to come”