Red Lake, Dartmoor

What is land for?

Maximising the storage of carbon in our soils and the management of water could be as important as food production in the future, according to Professor Michael Winter of the University of Exeter, editor of “What is Land for?  The Food, Fuel and Climate Change Debate”. 

The book is due to be published on the 19th November by Earthscan, a publisher on environmental and sustainable development topics and issues.

“What is Land for?  The Food, Fuel and Climate Change Debate” will be launched by Government Chief Advisor Professor John Beddington at 5 pm on Thursday 19 November 2009, in London.

Edited by Professor Michael Winter and Dr Matt Lobley of the University of Exeter, it includes contributions from more than 50 leading academics, including key researchers from the UK research councils’ Rural Economy and Land Use Programme.  Great Western Research  (GWR) funded Dr Lobley’s Fellowship and a major outcome from the Fellowship is the book.

Professor Michael Winter said: “In an era of climate change, carbon sequestration becomes more and more of an issue, and we are beginning to understand better the role of soils in this process, so the actions of farmers and land managers are key to our survival.  Flooding events are also becoming more frequent so how we manage the land on floodplains is also vital.”

He added, “Of course we need to feed a growing population, and  we need to consider energy demands too.  Land is now multifunctional providing many different ecosystem services.  All these demands must be traded off against one another and that is the theme of this new book.”

Date: 19 November 2009

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