The human population is constantly growing. More humans need more food which results in more land being used by agriculture for farms. This in turn leads to many animal and plant species losing their habitats and can result in severe biodiversity loss.
Can animal and plant species coexist with increased farming? This is certainly difficult to achieve but many researchers believe that the solution can be found in more advanced approach to sustainable farming.
The science will be handed tough task to find the balance between optimizing future food production and protecting wildlife.
The UK scientists believe that we should be changing our current way of thinking that usually involves approach on how to make certain farm more eco friendly and instead be focusing on how to make the entire landscape better for producing both food and wildlife.
The several studies have showed positive results when the mixture of high-yield, intensive farming and land managed for nature; these studies showed both increased food production and more wildlife than the procedure of making eco-friendly farming across the whole landscape.
There is no doubt that certain amount of land needs to be left for animals and plants, and in order to determine this land we need to thoroughly study each landscape because some landscape might be better in producing food while others could be ideal to provide us with ecosystem services.
The UK researchers say that decision makers should concentrate more conservation efforts in specific areas with rich biodiversity, such as the uplands and coastal wetlands while in the same time enabling areas that are more suited to food production (areas with lesser biological diversity) to be farmed more intensively.
The land not suited for food production, or the one that produces low yields, could in many cases be used as a home for many wildlife species. This means that planning of new farms needs to be done with high level of precision so that we could separate “good” from “bad“ agricultural land.
This approach is not universal meaning that the sustainable management of farms and wildlife could vary from place to place, but nonetheless it will still require a common policy framework that should set overall goals as well as decision making processes.
We must not forget that we need both farms and wildlife, and finding the optimum balance between these two could well decide our future wellbeing.