Category Archives: Natural environment

Could digital tech cut food waste and tell us more about where our food comes from?

intext-van-foodAlong with the natural ecosystems that underpin it, our food system is a complex web of parts working to grow, manufacture and deliver food all over the world. In a previous blog I looked at the potential of digital technologies to link up these different parts to redirect surplus food and avoid waste. But could they also improve communication throughout the supply chain to prevent waste occurring in the first place? Read more

Good planning is vital to green recovery and tackling the biodiversity crisis

intext-badgerThis post is by Simon Marsh, head of nature protection at RSPB.

“Build, build, build”. If that means building quality homes in the right places with wildlife-rich green space on the doorstep, who could object? But with rumours swirling that speeding up the planning system means cutting back vital environmental protections, and with radical planning reforms proposed, it’s time to speak up for good planning. Read more

Conservation isn’t yet at the heart of Conservatism in this ‘New Deal’

small owlThe prime minister has announced an ‘infrastructure revolution’, as he promises to put jobs and infrastructure at the heart of the government’s economic growth strategy. Drawing comparisons with Roosevelt’s New Deal, the government promises to ‘unite and level up’ the country. Infrastructure projects are to be accelerated, with a National Infrastructure Strategy and wider reforms promised later this year. Read more

We need an urgent debate about gene editing

Sunrise Light over Green Wheat Field at SpringThis post is by Green Alliance associate Julie Hill.

Peers are moving to relax the EU-derived regulatory regime for gene editing, a sub-set of genetic modification (GM) techniques aimed at enhancing crops.  This is being done via an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, so the secretary of state for the environment can alter the legislation without going back to parliament. It is a short cut that threatens to rekindle a heated and unhelpfully polarised debate. Read more

We need fresh thinking about the role of digital technologies in our food system

intext-blog-grainsThis post was first published by Business Green

As the recent surge of armchair epidemiologists would suggest, we all know a lot more about viruses than we did last year. But as well as becoming more familiar with the dynamics of a global pandemic, I’d guess that many of us have also improved our understanding of the global food system. Read more

Why nature should be high on the government’s recovery to do list

intext-urban-greenEarlier this month, three sector leaders talked about their hopes and aspirations for nature’s recovery and how coronavirus has affected them and their constituencies. Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust, Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB and Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, joined Green Alliance executive director Shaun Spiers for the latest in Green Alliance’s series of online events to discuss the impact of the current health crisis on the environment. Read more

How fish are derailing the EU negotiations and why we should care

intext-blog-fishLast month saw the ‘future relationship’ talks between the UK and the EU resume after a pandemic hiatus. Fisheries management was cited by both Michael Gove and Michel Barnier as a major sticking point. Although conflicts between democracies over fisheries are surprisingly frequent, this one is at the centre of the constitutional and economic rupture that is Brexit, meaning the stakes are even higher. Read more

What does Covid-19 mean for food, farming and nature?

A small harvest mouse climbing up shoots of grass looking forwarThis post is by Tom Lancaster, head of land, seas and climate at the RSPB, and Ellie Brodie, head of land management at The Wildlife Trusts, on behalf of Greener UK and Wildlife and Countryside Link, in consultation with Sustain and the Soil Association. 

As we contemplate week six of lockdown, Covid-19 continues to shine an unforgiving light on the inequity of the global food system and its consequences for nature and people.

The shocking impact of this crisis has made us all think about the fragility of our daily existence. It has brought about a renewed focus on our essential needs and, in doing so, prompted debate about the interconnectedness and resilience of our food system and supply chains. Read more

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