Delivering Solutions: Engaging Farmers and Land Holders in the Climate Change Debate
Much of the focus of government policy for climate change mitigation focusses on changing behaviour and management practices of the general public and other stakeholders. This paper focusses on the opportunities and strategies employed to engage a crucial group of stakeholders that are pivotal to future policy success: farmers and landholders. In order to achieve emissions reduction targets, farmers must adapt their management and engage with sustainable farming practices.A key part of achieving this action is knowledge generation and knowledge transfer, not just between research and industry, but also the sharing of best practice between farmers. There is a lack of research and understanding into how knowledge on climate change mitigation and adaptation needs to be framed and delivered for farmers. This is a crucial part of the puzzle to equip farmers with the skills, knowledge and resources to deliver results on-farm and be part of the collective solution.This paper presents results from work undertaken by a UK farming organisation, the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit (FCCT), which works with farmers and growers to inform, enable and encourage them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, improve carbon sequestration levels and future proof their business. The paper examines the effectiveness of two specific campaigns run by FCCT at engaging farmers with climate change and increasing understanding of practical mitigation options available to them on-farm. It identifies potential strategies to effectively communicate the issues in such a way that allows farmers to improve their knowledge, and change farm management practices. The results from this work indicate that through targeting one particular issue (soil management), the campaign was able to realign the climate change messages with practical on-farm management and receive a higher level of interest than generic messages about agriculture and climate change.
KeywordsClimate change Farmers Knowledge transfer Soil management Greenhouse gas emissions
Thank you to all the farmers who attended the technical and soil farmer events and responded to positively to requests for feedback. Thank you to the demo farmers, and the self-assessment farmers for engaging with the project and providing your opinions so readily as well as the FCCT team.
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