Skip to content

Research seminar

The role of agriculture for climate and environmental challenges

Add to calendar 2023-03-03 14:30 2023-03-03 15:30 Europe/Rome The role of agriculture for climate and environmental challenges Sala del Camino Villa Salviati- Castle YYYY-MM-DD


03 March 2023

14:30 - 15:30 CET


Sala del Camino

Villa Salviati- Castle

In this presentation, Mauro Agnoletti (University of Florence) explores the effect of agriculture on climate change and offers insights on how to support resilient agriculture with sustainable and agro-ecological practices.

Today, the world is facing numerous challenges from change in almost every sphere of life. This clearly seems to be a transitional period in the economic, social, cultural, technological and political fields, not to mention environmental change and its consequences. According to scientists, the impact of these changes is due to unsustainable practices and human activities. Examples are the incorrect, imbalanced and unsustainable use of natural resources and untenable development models that do not consider long term impacts or "side effects". As one of the human activities which has a direct relationship with nature and environment, agriculture (including livestock and forestry) is considered one of the main drivers of the negative trend under way, and one of the greatest immediate threats to ecosystems and climate. The development model promoted in the last decades has often been ineffective in solving the economic problems of many rural areas. It has also contributed to the loss of cultural values associated with rural communities, promoting the degradation of valuable landscapes and abandonment of rural areas, creating social degradation and favouring urban sprawl. Yet, when agriculture is practiced in a sustainable way, it can preserve and restore habitats, protect watersheds, improve soil health and water quality, and also promote economic growth. Agro-ecological practices, based on centuries-long experience and traditional know-how, are key for resilient agriculture. This kind of farming, often developed under difficult environmental and climatic conditions, does not maximize production, but ensures high quality food and sustainable yields over time while polluting less than industrial techniques. Examples of these agricultural systems around the world (Asia, Africa, Europe, South and Central America) show the advantages of the diversifying agricultural techniques and rural development strategies and promoting food and livelihood security, biodiversity, local knowledge and landscape values; but they also provide lessons on how to adapt to climate change. These strategies can be supported by agricultural policies, as in the case of the CAP in Europe, as well as by specific programs at UN level that can be applied at regional, national and local level.

The event is organised by the EUI Environmental Challenges and Climate Change Governance Interdisciplinary Research Cluster.

Go back to top of the page