A small Irish start-up which aims to identify, promote and support farmers, and farming practices, that improve farmland biodiversity was today announced as a prize winner in a prestigious international competition, the ‘Act for Biodiversity Challenge’. From over 200 projects across the world, Farming for Nature was awarded second place, with a cash prize of 40,000 euros.
Competition organisers said that ‘This year, the U.N. reported that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. We are facing an existential threat’. The Act for Biodiversity Challenge aimed to identify ‘bold social innovators who are bringing people together to take on this extensive, complex, and urgent issue’ and to identify ways to ‘collaborate to preserve and restore biodiversity through solutions designed for agriculture, urban environments and forests’.
One of the founders, and a volunteer with the project, Brendan Dunford, said that ‘we feel strongly that farmers are a potentially huge resource in responding to our climate and biodiversity crisis. To mobilise this resource, we need to acknowledge and celebrate those farmers who already do great things for nature, then share their enthusiasm and practical knowledge with their farming peers. But we also recognise that farming is a business and so we strongly advocate paying farmers who deliver ecosystem services on their land, and supporting them with the research and advice to do so.
Farming for Nature co-ordinator Brigid Barry welcomed the award stating that ‘this amazing award recognizes the innovation and impact of ‘Farming for Nature’ at a global level and will enable us to build an effective European network with farmers at its heart’. She also thanked Bord Bia – who fund the ‘Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards’ in Ireland – for their support, as well as the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks and Wildlife Service – who fund peer learning events and resources for farmers interested in learning how to improve biodiversity on their farm.
Information on the Act for Biodiversity Challenge is available on https://network.changemakers.com/challenge/act-for-biodiversity-challenge/brief
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Article taken from https://www.farmingfornature.ie/2020/06/29/farming-for-nature-wins-global-biodiversity-award/