Conference: A Sustainable Countryside? Regulating New Techologies for Food Farming and Ecology
Our countryside faces major - and competing – challenges. These include the need to respond to climate change while also ensuring food security.
Climate change presents a major challenge to delivering a sustainable future for our countryside, and for sustaining viable rural communities in a ‘living’ countryside. The increasing use of new ‘clean’ technologies in energy production, and in the production of food (including biotechnology, cloning techniques and nanotechnology), is one response to this challenge. But as elements of climate change adaptation and mitigation policy, new technologies also themselves pose significant challenges for sustainable governance.
Implementing changes in farm-based energy production, and in arable and/or livestock production systems, presents multiple challenges for sustainable development. It also poses significant challenges for sustainable governance, including the need to accommodate within a vision of a ‘sustainable’ countryside the varied functions of modern ‘multi functional’ agriculture – food production, sustaining economically viable rural communities, and protecting biodiversity and landscapes.
This one day conference will address important issues in developing – and then implementing – a vision for a ‘sustainable’ countryside and for sustainable rural communities.
Key note speakers will address several overarching themes. What is a ‘sustainable’ countryside? How do we balance the demands of making the changes in land use required by climate change adaptation and mitigation, while also ensuring food security? And how do we reconcile these objectives with the continuing protection of biodiversity and precious landscapes?
The three panel themes will address key challenges for the future regulation and governance of our countryside: (i) climate change policy and its implementation, (ii) new technologies in the energy sector, including farm-based energy production, and (iii) new technologies in food production.
The conference will conclude by addressing how these might be reconciled in an integrated policy framework for the future.