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Combining nature and technology strengthens climate adaptation

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

"The world has just concluded the hottest decade on record", according to the EU Climate Adaptation Strategy.

So, there is a need to adopt smarter, community- and ecosystem-based systems to help reverse this problem, and nature has always been the key.

Nature-based solutions coupled with technological innovations increase climate resilience, biodiversity, and contribute to multiple Green Deal goals.

“For example, agriculture and forestry can benefit from innovative sensors and improved monitoring to develop new pest control strategies. And new precision tillage machines can be used to reduce soil carbon loss," said Daniel Zimmer, Director of Sustainable Land Use, EIT Climate-KIC.

In this regard, Syngenta Crop Protection and Insilico Medicine are in collaborations "to accelerate innovation and the development of new and more effective crop protection solutions against pests, diseases and weeds, and simultaneously protect ecosystems". This uses artificial intelligence to create new sustainable solutions to protect agricultural crops. The alliance between nature and artificial intelligence provides farmers around the world with the "tools needed to produce healthy, nutritious, affordable, sustainably grown food in the most efficient way, while minimizing environmental impact", as is mentioned in the article.

The Carbon Farming project is also using technology in a fascinating way, using satellites to monitor crop health, resulting in greater accuracy in cost reduction and scalability, and ultimately in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Another nature-based solution is soil carbon sequestration, a process in which atmospheric carbon is strategically stored in the soil thereby increasing its organic matter, which in turn leads to greater water holding capacity and fertility. These properties allow crops to adjust more easily to drought conditions caused by climate change.

In this regard, in 2018, the Swiss company Quantis, funded by the EIT Climate-KIC and in partnership with agri-food companies developed the geoFootprint. At the core of this idea is that, spatially explicit footprints calculated on a global scale would facilitate our ability to measure, understand and monitor different agricultural practices and accelerate the transition to more sustainable food, fibre and material production systems. The geoFootprint aims to foster sustainability in agriculture through innovation. This is a tool that combines satellite imagery data with environmental parameter data, allowing users to visualize, with high resolution, on an interactive world map, the carbon footprints of crops.

According to the EU Climate Adaptation Strategy, "Climate change is happening today, so we must build a more resilient tomorrow (...). People, planet, and prosperity are vulnerable to climate change, so we must prevent the unadaptable and adapt to the unavoidable. And we must do it quickly, and in a smarter, more systemic way."

This article was written based on this link.

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