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Bob Went to Parliament

Published Wednesday, 12th December 2012 in Research news

Bob Rees at GreenCow

Bob Rees has been to London to argue for policies that take soil more seriously.

The Head of SRUC’s Carbon Management Centre was invited to the Palace of Westminster by the all party group on Agro-ecology which promotes environmentally friendly farming as the solution to the global food security issue.

The group, meets every month that Parliament sits and promotes the concept through presentations by invited experts, published briefings and lobbying of Ministers. Membership is made up of MP’s and peers with farming connections, or who have campaigned on farming issues. It includes Lord Philip Hunt, the Countess of Marr, Zac Goldsmith, Joan Ruddock, Michael Meacher, John Thurso and Tim Yeo.

In his presentation to the meeting Bob argued for the development of policy which protects soils and mitigates and adapts to climate change.  Members are becoming increasingly concerned about the gap between soil knowledge and information to support the farming sector or other land-based industries and current government policies and research priorities.

They had entitled their meeting “Boosting Britain’s soils to meet farming needs” and in his contribution Bob stressed the critical importance of soil science in addressing major societal challenges such as climate change and world hunger. He called for improvements in agricultural advice and education, major investment in soils and agricultural sciences, explaining we should use every opportunity to develop policies that promote better soil management.

The London gathering was co sponsored by the British Society of Soil Science and Food Ethics Council. As a result of the proceedings it was agreed to draft a letter to Ministers at DEFRA.

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