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2019 Spring - Managing agriculture’s ecosystem services

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FPJ1603B - Guerin, M & Foley, R (2019), Natural capital: a paradigm shift in economic and environmental solutions

Guerin, M & Foley, R (2019), Natural capital: a paradigm shift in economic and environmental solutions, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 16, no. 3, Spring 2019, pp. 4-14, Surry Hills, Australia.

The role of primary producers is changing.
Throughout history, farmers have been the backbone of society, providing two essential needs – food and clothing.
But increasingly, they are being required to undertake the heavy lifting on a range of environmental issues, both actual and perceived. These include climate change, reef degradation, reduced biodiversity, soil erosion, and deforestation.
Government effort on these issues has focused on imposing ever-harsher and more complex laws enforced by punitive penalties on primary producers. This is despite significant evidence that external regulation is an expensive and onerous way of achieving minimum compliance, rather than effecting long-term behaviour change.
There must be a better way, one that achieves ecological as well as economic and social objectives. 
This article details collaborative research by AgForce, National Australia Bank (NAB), Aboriginal Carbon Foundation (AbCF) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) into the concept of natural capital and how it may offer a solution – if we can change the way we think of farming, agriculture, and natural resource management. 
It also details AgForce’s collaboration with the AbCF regarding the environmental, social and cultural values of carbon farming agribusinesses.



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