Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) | Leitrim Cróga Climate Dialogue

People sitting at the climate dialogue table

AFOLU table overview

Agriculture is the heavyweight in our Leitrim greenhouse gas emissions study, and Forestry is the most controversial, hence it was no wonder that the debate going on at the AFOLU Leitrim Climate Dialogue table was pretty intense and animated.

Discussions revolving around the land involve feelings of belonging, tradition and connection to nature. People can get really passionate when asked to express their opinion on something so intimately intertwined with their memory, upbringing and livelihoods. Moreover, the climate case has a dimension that is beyond technicalities and numbers.

The AFOLU table

AFOLU Climate Dialogue

The Climate Dialogue started with a brainstorming session using questions as “openers”, such as:

  • Could agroforestry and silvopasture provide a new income stream without being disruptive?
  • Are adequate supports available under the new Common Agricultural Policy to encourage ecological and climate-resilient farming practices?
  • Is there a rights and powers gap between farmers and other value-chain players?
  • Given that afforestation is most effective and quick action to sequester carbon, should we encourage more forestry in Leitrim?
  • How do we encourage regeneration/rewetting of bogs in Leitrim and other counties?

The dialogue followed three main topics: Agriculture, Forestry and Wetlands. People posted their notes on a flipchart sheet as the ideas and comments sparkled and grew.

The outcome of the AFOLU table: every post-it is an idea

The speed at which the flipchart sheet was populated with post-its shows how concerned people are about the climate implications of land uses. Biodiversity loss, commercial crops and clear-felling, as well as just compensation for Leitrim farmer’s “kindness” to nature, were among the most discussed topics.

AFOLU Main takeaways

After the brainstorming session, we extrapolated three main actions to be pursued:

  1. Draft a Land Management Plan addressing – among other things – ecological preservation and tree plantations.
  2. Acknowledge the difference in CAP payments between intensive beef/dairy farmers and those who are carrying out ecological services on the ground (farmers in the North-West), and re-route those schemes in a more equitable fashion.
  3. Give more rights and power to farmers as opposed to other value-chain players.

Join Leitrim Cróga Climate Dialogue

The Leitrim Climate Dialogue is moving online! Join our Facebook group to keep the debate alive until the next Climate Dialogue session in Carrick-on-Shannon, February the 20th, 2020. The Leitrim Climate Dialogue is going louder and bigger!