Organic agriculture works with and promotes sustainable farming practices that enhance biodiversity, strengthen soil health, and mitigate climate change while adapting to it.
“Time for Nature”: that is the theme of this year’s World Environment Day. On the 7th June 2020, we join the world in advocating for healthier practices that do not harm nature, but protect and nurture it. At IFOAM – Organics International, we know the immense environmental benefits of organic agriculture to all forms of life.
”Unsustainable agriculture is the largest driver of biodiversity loss, it is contributing to global warming, contaminating soil, threatening rural livelihoods as well as food & nutrition security.”
Organic boosts biodiversity
The loss of biodiversity is a hazardous threat to not only the environment, but also to livelihoods and food security. This loss has been further advanced by the continuous use of unsustainable agricultural practices that harm the soil, water, air, and the living organisms depending on them.
“Organic farming is a way to produce food in a holistic manner. To work with nature rather than dominate her. “, shares Ric Bowers, an organic farmer and consultant. Bowers has worked in the organic sector since 1975, and is proud to farm organically as it boosts biodiversity.
Organic practices such as diverse crop rotation and not using synthetic inputs strengthen biodiversity in the environment. A thriving biodiversity increases ecosystem productivity and allows for a variety in species’ growth and maintenance.
Diverse fauna and flora are essential for life on this planet, and these can only be fostered by sustainable agricultural practices such as those offered by organic agriculture.
Nourish the soil, Nourish the earth
“All life starts from the soil. From my own observations nothing works in isolation. We are all intrinsically linked, if you fail to focus on soil health it impacts further up the food chain.”, shares Bowers.
Over 90% of the food we consume comes directly or indirectly from the soil. Therefore, we are personally impacted by the state of soils making it essential that we have healthy soils that produce healthy plants.
Organic practices sequester nitrogen and carbon in the soil which is also a double benefit to the environment. Locking the carbon in the soil reduces the amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, hence, decreasing global warming.
High levels of soil fertility and health are more present in ecosystems where organic practices are applied. They are a key ingredient in augmenting soil health which benefits multiple organisms.
These organisms in turn help in recycling plant nutrients and in controlling crop disease and pests, thus improving crop production. Therefore, soil biodiversity is increased with organic methods which then translate to not only an increase in organism diversity, but biodiversity as a whole.
As we celebrate World Environment Day, we are reminded that a time for nature is a time for using nature-based solutions. A time to support the millions of organic farmers providing the world with healthy food, while guarding biodiversity. Visit our website and subscribe to the blog to get updates on our work in protecting the environment and fostering biodiversity through sustainable agricultural practices.