Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

This thematic issue of Science for Environment Policy presents recent peer-reviewed research examining the impact of AES on European farming, with a particular focus on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. AES have been shown to benefit a range of animals and plants by increasing the number of individuals and species. However, as with all measurements involving complex ecosystems, the findings and causal links are nuanced, and sometimes difficult to isolate.

The authors of this paper compare the impact of intensification in the beef and dairy sectors via two pathways; either intensification within a system (eg, a mixed crop-livestock system) or through transitioning to another more productive system (from pasture to mixed crop-livestock production) and assesses the mitigation potential that could arise. The paper reviews the impacts of these forms of intensification on both GHG emissions, land occupation and land use change (LUC), the last of which has often been excluded in other similar analyses.  

This new report offers a clear account of global pesticide use in agriculture and its impact on human rights; the negative consequences that pesticide practices have had on human health, the environment and society, which are underreported and monitored in the shadow of a prevailing and narrow focus on “food security”, are described; and the environmental and human rights regimes are examined to determine whether the constituent rules are sufficient to protect farm workers, consumers and vulnerable groups, as well as the natural resources that are necessary to support sustainable

Landlines: why we need a strategic approach to land

By Robert Lyons on 14th March 2017

This new CPRE pamphlet argues that the case for a national approach to land use is more pressing than ever by showing that England’s land is under an increasing multitude of pressures. The current, fragmentary approach to land use is failing to address the problems caused by often conflicting demands: environmental degradation, rising costs and harm to health and wellbeing.

More…

Losses, inefficiencies and waste in the global food system

By Robert Lyons on 27th February 2017

A new paper published in Agricultural Systems examines system losses quantified from primary production to human food requirements. The study finds that 44% of harvested crops dry matter was lost prior to human consumption. The highest loss rate was in livestock production, but the largest losses were before harvest. Over-eating is also at least as large a contributor to food system losses as consumer waste.

More…

A new report by the Environmental Audit Committee suggests that protections for wildlife and habitats could be weaker after the UK leaves the EU if the Government doesn’t take action before, or in the early stages of the Article 50 process. The MPs looked at the legislative, trade, and financial issues and make recommendations for action to secure the future of the natural environment. They call on the Government to allow full parliamentary scrutiny of its plans for the future of environmental legislation after Brexit.

Researchers have assessed how changes in production efficiency and dietary patterns can combine to ensure food supply whilst minimising the global environmental impact of food production. The gain in the production efficiency of agriculture was found to be insufficient to meet future food demand whilst preventing additional environmental burdens, if dietary trends continue to grow based on GDP.

Using food waste as pig feed

By Robert Lyons on 22nd November 2016

This FCRN blog post by Karen Luyckz argues that instead of feeding virgin crops like soy, barley or maize to pigs and chickens, we should allow these omnivores to eat our leftovers, as they’ve done for thousands of years. In fact, in the UK, during both world wars leftover food was the only thing they could eat at all, as it was illegal to feed pigs any food that was deemed fit for human consumption.

Green Alliance’s new report examines the pressures which agriculture is under – to increase production, reduce its environmental impact and eliminate its dependence on public subsidy. 

New model farming: resilience through diversity

By Editor on 14th September 2016

CPRE’s new report is the first in a series of ‘Food and Farming Foresight’ papers, designed to encourage debate about the future of farming.  Brexit gives the opportunity to shape a new national vision and policies for farming and this paper suggests policies to build a resilient, financially stable and dynamic farming industry that works for communities and the environment. 

Key recommendations are to:

Pages