A new project entitled the BrightSpace Project funded under Horizon Europe is launched to design a roadmap for effective and sustainable strategies for assessing and addressing the challenges of EU agriculture to navigate within a Safe and Just Operating Space.
Increasing the contribution of EU agriculture to climate change action
The European Green Deal, aims, among others, to increase the contribution of EU agriculture to climate change action, improve the management of natural resources, ensure a fair economic return for farmers, and reinforce the protection of biodiversity. EU agriculture and food practices are currently not on the right track to meet the Green Deal ambitions and objectives. These objectives are interdependent, and while often aligned, they may also compete.
Effective and sustainable strategies to navigate within a Safe and Just Operating Space
Synergies and trade-offs between socio-economic and environmental outcomes are brought together in the concept of a Safe and Just Operating Space, where the Safe component reflects the bio-physical boundaries of the ecosystem and the Just component the requirements for the well-being of the involved people.
“Identifying valid, reliable, and measurable indicators to assess the impact of policy measures and technological change in agriculture with regard to the Safe and Just operating space is a key challenge, but also a prerequisite to provide science based information to policy makers and stakeholders. ” explains Marc Müller, project coordinator of the Brightspace project and senior researcher at the Wageningen Economic Research Institute.
The BrightSpace collaboration responds to this challenge by designing effective and sustainable strategies to navigate within a Safe and Just Operating Space. BrightSpace provides an analytical toolbox to experiment, analyse, and coordinate the effects of innovative technologies, governance structures, as well as short- and long-term policies related to agriculture, thereby allowing for the execution of consistent, coherent, and lasting strategies with the desired consequences.
Diversity of challenges, support for effective and sustainable actions
The project emphasises the diversity of challenges regarding the Safe and Just Operating Space across countries and regions and delivers new empirical evidence on cause-effect relations between drivers and outcomes relevant for the Safe and Just Operating Space. A harmonised data framework and modelling toolbox are developed for medium-term and forward-looking projections of possible Safe and Just Operating Space futures by 2050 and beyond. The support for effective and sustainable actions will include the identification of critical pathways for technological, institutional, and consumer-oriented options for EU policies in the areas of agriculture, climate change, trade, and energy.
BrightSpace brings together 14 research institutions from eight EU countries and the UK, and builds on established modelling tools that are used to predict the impacts of climate, agricultural, and forestry policies, at the local, national, and regional levels.