Today a new book is published by Resource Ecology professor Herbert Prins and colleagues on the relationship between food production and nature conservation. The authors demonstrate that feeding the world of the future is only possible if nature and agriculture work together: “Re-engage agriculture with nature”. They also show how this can be done.
Feeding the world's growing human population is increasingly challenging, especially as more people adopt a western diet and lifestyle. Doing so without causing damage to nature poses an even greater challenge. This book argues that in order to create a sustainable food supply whilst conserving nature, agriculture and nature must be reconnected and approached together.
The authors demonstrate that while the links between nature and food production have, to some extent, already been recognized, until now the focus has been to protect one from the impacts of the other. Instead, it is argued that nature and agriculture can, and should, work together and ultimately benefit from one another. Chapters describe efforts to protect nature through globally connected protected area systems and illustrate how farming methods are being shaped to protect nature within agricultural systems. The authors also point to many ways in which nature benefits agriculture through the ecosystem services it provides.
Overall, the book shows that nature conservation and food production must be considered as equally important components of future solutions to meet the global demand for food in a manner that is sustainable for both the human population and the planet as a whole.
You can order the book here.