Time to talk cli­mate pol­icy

Tasmanian Country - - OPINION - Wayne Johnston

THE TFGA re­cently cir­cu­lated its draft cli­mate-change pol­icy to mem­bers for feed­back.

While many talk about cli­mate change and what it will or won’t mean on a broader scale, most farm­ers recog­nise that the cli­mate is chang­ing defini­tively. We con­tinue to see weather records bro­ken, and more of­ten than not these are not a pos­i­tive.

For agri­cul­ture, adapt­abil­ity is key but we can­not ig­nore the mit­i­ga­tion dis­cus­sion. Agri­cul­ture has a role in the con­verLike sa­tion about cli­mate change, be­cause in many ways we are one of the stake­hold­ers with most skin in the game.

Agri­cul­ture in­trin­si­cally re­lies on our cli­mate to main­tain and im­prove pro­duc­tion lev­els. If the con­di­tions de­te­ri­o­rate then so do our busi­nesses and our fam­i­lies’ fu­tures.

I’ve said in this col­umn on many oc­ca­sions, the agri­cul­tural sec­tor has ex­ten­sive knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence in land man­age­ment. Con­se­quently, we can play a big role in ad­dress­ing cli­mate change. The TFGA be­lieves there are three dis­tinct but linked as­pects to cli­mate change agri­cul­ture needs to ad­dress:

• Re­al­ity – the sci­ence of real changes to cli­mate, rain­fall, tem­per­a­ture, and con­se­quences for land man­age­ment in the fu­ture;

• Pol­icy – global, na­tional and lo­cal ac­tions to ‘do some­thing’ about the pol­lu­tion caus­ing cli­mate change (mit­i­ga­tion); and

• Adap­tion – ac­tions taken to adapt to a chang­ing cli­mate.

The TFGA will con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for con­tin­ued sup­port of agri­cul­tural re­search, de­vel­op­ment and ex­ten­sion that fur­thers the knowl­edge of and mit­i­ga­tion for cli­mate change on farms in Tas­ma­nia.

Pri­or­i­ties should in­clude crop and graz­ing land man­age­ment to boost soil car­bon stor­age, restor­ing de­graded land and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency – ac­tions that are in line with the state’s AgriVi­sion 2050 plan and com­ple­ment the TFGA’s key pol­icy ar­eas, like biose­cu­rity.

As we recog­nise the im­pact of cli­mate change on our en­vi­ron­ment, we have come to un­der­stand the changes will fur­ther in­crease the like­li­hood of pre­vi­ously un­seen species mak­ing their way here.

We need to have an ur­gent plan in place to mitigate any dam­age to Tas­ma­nia’s clean and green brand and im­age.

The biose­cu­rity sys­tem should be a key fo­cus of gov­ern­ment and must be funded at ap­pro­pri­ate lev­els.

We are urg­ing all mem­bers to have their say on this draft pol­icy be­fore it goes through the fi­nal stages of our in­ter­nal com­mit­tees. For de­tails call on 6332 1800 or email re­cep­tion @tfga.com.au.

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