Mainstreaming biodiversity in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for improved Food Security and better Nutrition.
2. an unsustainable? Production system plays a key role in degradation of the biodiversity surrounding it.
Broad acre arable agriculture in south eastern Australia. The system studied was a low tillage/direct drilled system growing wheat/canola/lupins in a rotation and a separate system with continuous cotton. The surrounding native vegetation is each case supports a native soil fauna (Collembola) comprising upwards of 20 species with few if any exotic species. The arable systems carry mostly exotics with few natives. In long term trials the native species disappear.
The conclusion is that broad acre arable agriculture of a range of crops in south east Australia contribute nothing to native biodiversity and only promote exotic invasive species.
3. Mainstreaming of native biodiversity
Conservation farming which includes broad strips of native plantings around cropping and pasture fields which is adopted by a few farmers in western Victoria, Australia, provides habitats for native species, particular predators. Examples of these conservation farms will be surveyed shortly.
The partners that need to promote this conservation farming are the Catchment Management Agencies, Land Care Groups, Farming Cooperatives, local councils and State governments.
4. Education of management and other authorities of the contribution of biodiversity.
Raising awareness in all those persons managing land must be via media that is used by these practitioners. I suggest they all use meteorological services and regional agricultural information sources. Methods could be via information sheets but better interactive online games that allow different options such as different levels of pesticides, tillage, native vegetation plantings, seed treatments and density etc and models showing the different outcomes of each option separately and in combination to pesticide levels in crops, value of ecosystem services, production and economic and social benefits.
Increased knowledge of the benefits and otherwise in the options can only be advanced by increased research. The answer, as always, to solve this is financial support for increased research including university places in agricultural faculties and Tafes.