Addressing the nature and climate crises will require significant changes to current land and sea use across the UK. As 70% of our land is farmed, it is crucial that land use change be managed to support, not compromise, food security. At sea there is scope for sustainably harvested seafood to form part of a low impact diet, but we are failing to manage production sustainably, jeopardising future stocks.
The IPCC states that climate change is already directly affecting food security and nutrition (FSN), which “exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Recent definitions of FSN have emphasised the importance of sustainability, where the continued degradation of our natural resources and rapid declines in biodiversity directly impact our ability to achieve long-term food security.
The way we use our land and sea must provide the basis for sustainable and healthy diets, whilst at the same time providing more space for wildlife and nature-based solutions to climate change. Managing our seas and productive land differently, for example through agroecological approaches and sustainable seafood production, can help provide: food for sustainable and healthy diets; net carbon sequestration; significantly reduced pollution; and space for nature and action on climate change.