No doubt you have heard a statement like: “The world’s growing population means we need to clear more land to grow food.”
It’s short sighted of us to think that the solution to such a challenge is to cut down more forests. Productive and healthy farms, forests, water supplies and livelihoods depend on many factors. Novel solutions to such land use challenges require diverse areas of expertise.
The good news is that this is starting to be widely recognised. This year, the world will see two international agreements forged on climate change and sustainable development, and there’s been widespread demand to work more collaboratively.
The bad news is that we’re still not really talking to each other.
Modern society has developed business, legal and political structures that encourage farms, forests, water, cities and biodiversity to be managed in isolation, rather than collaboratively. These structures will take time, will and commitment to effectively redesign.