With these 6 actions you make agriculture in your city more sustainable

Climate Action Consultancy 3 min read , May 24, 2019

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The Province of Limburg has created a list with tons of climate actions for the entire city council. Do you still have colleagues at the Agriculture department who are not aware yet of the advantages of an ambitious climate plan? Show them which actions are achievable and how they will benefit your whole city!

🤫 At the end of the article you will find a link to a lot of inspiring actions from the city of Sint-Truiden.

Grab a pen and paper and write down your favorite actions. Take your shortlist to the Agriculture department of your city to make the actions concrete!

⚠️ Soil degeneration and sky-high emissions

Worldwide 13% of CO2 emissions come from agriculture (WRI). After energy, the most polluting sector. These emissions come from livestock, manure storage, transport and infrastructure. The soil is also suffering heavily from agriculture. Soil erosion, soil compaction and withered soil cause loss of agricultural land and failed harvests.

🏆 What to do as a city

Making conscious choices in the field of agriculture can increase productivity and reduces energy costs (such as the use of renewable energy, energy-efficient agricultural machinery and the use of pocket fermenters). Moreover, you boost your local economy (short chain) and you are more resistant to drought and heat (insulating stable roofs, planting trees, ...).

Write down the most realistic actions for your city for each theme below 👇

1. Focus on energy-saving and climate-friendly measures 🌍

  • Stimulate the use of renewable energy by easing the licensing policy or through premiums, group purchases, a collective approach, ...
  • Promote and encourage pocket fermenters, small-scale biomass installations.
  • Provide a premium for energy-efficient modifications to the infrastructure or organize / support group purchases.
  • Promote energy-saving and climate-friendly agricultural techniques via information days, exchange moments, ...

2. Focus on climate-friendly farming techniques 🌾

  • Support farmers who want to switch to organic farming.
  • Stimulate the sale of organic and / or integrated short-chain farming through the organic farming week, bringing together chain parties, ...
  • Encourage low-carbon farming techniques through, for example, subsidies.
  • Organize a course organic fruit growing and organic arable farming.
  • Cut taxes on the operation of vending machines for farmers. This is in favor of a short chain.
  • Encourage cooperatives of regional products.
  • Promote and provide space for collective urban agriculture, pick your own farms, ...
  • Make farmers aware of the possibilities of agroforestry (cultivation system where trees are combined as agriculture on one plot).
  • Submit a grant application under the European Rural Development Program.

3. Focus on promoting sustainable agriculture/food 🥔🥕

  • Run a promotional campaign to eat less meat (such as Thursday Veggie Day) and participate with your own staff.
  • Integrate sustainable, local food such as short-chain, organic, less meat, ... In the purchasing policy for in-house catering for municipal schools, public social welfare centers, canteen municipal staff, etc.
  • Work out a local food strategy.
  • Promote local products.

4. Focus on stopping erosion 🌧️

  • Implement the erosion control plan and appoint an erosion coordinator.
  • Work with farmers to implement non-compulsory measures to stop erosion.
  • Raise awareness among farmers about the importance of erosion control measures and encourage the higher government to enforce it.

5. Focus on more nature 🌱🐝

  • Organize seed and flower bulb campaigns to improve the pollen supply for bees.
  • Appoint a city or municipality beekeeper.
  • Give a subsidy for the construction and management of small landscape elements such as hedges and wood edges.
  • Promote the creation of a green plan for agricultural businesses.
  • Include measures in the lease of agricultural land owned by the municipality to protect nature elements (fauna and flora) (nature-inclusive agriculture).

6. Focus on dealing with emergency situations 💥

  • Help farmers to consult the agricultural disaster fund.
  • As a municipality, be aware of the importance of the municipality in the agricultural disaster fund by, for example, ensuring a well-considered composition of the estimation committee, organizing information evenings for farmers, ...
  • Monitor and inform property owners about diseases such as bacterial fire, Little Cherry Virus, ...

👏 Finished your list? Schedule a meeting with the Agriculture department to discuss your ideas. Good luck!

Focusing on Agriculture is important for the soil quality and resilience with extreme weather conditions. However, including other city services in your plans is as important to make your city an enjoyable place to live and work in.

FutureproofedCities allows all different city services to work together in one online tool to realise more climate actions and communicate them to their inhabitants. 💡 Check out Sint-Truiden's public page to see how they tackle climate challenges

(Source: Province of Limburg)

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