No dominion over nature

Two combine harvesters in dust cloud

05 Mar 2014730 kB PDF file

Why treating ecosystems like machines will lead to boom and bust in food supply.
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Healthy ecosystems are essential for the long-term wellbeing of humans as they provide vital services such as food production, pollination, climate regulation and flood protection.

Global trends including population growth, changing diets and consumption patterns, urbanisation and climate change will exert increasing pressure on supplies of food and other products of ecosystems. Many experts predict that food production will need to increase by up to 100 per cent over the next forty years and some suggest that this can only be achieved through intensification of current industrial agricultural practices.

This is the dominant narrative. Others suggest that low input agriculture (such as organic) and extensification provide the only alternative path to food security.

We reject both these approaches.

Authors: Professors Mark Huxham, Sue Hartley, Jules Pretty, Paul Tett.