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Over the last 50 years the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has encouraged intensification of production, now typified by large-scale commercial farming of livestock and a restricted range of arable crops (often under irrigation), with increased use of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemical inputs. This has contributed to a range of environmental problems, including climate change by a significant (20-30%) contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, pollution of water bodies (rivers, lakes, groundwater and seas) by inputs of nutrients (NH4, NO3, PO5), damage to ecosystem biodiversity and degradation of soil quality.
This 2-day workshop, hosted at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, will present a critical analysis of current approaches for the sustainable intensification of agriculture (SIA), focused on the management of carbon, nutrients and pesticides in view of their impacts on soil, groundwater, drinking water and surface water quality. This will be considered from different perspectives, including assessment methods, management practices and technologies accounting for experimental knowledge, stakeholder participation and adaptive management methods.
Participants will gain insight into: (i) state-of-the-art assessment methodologies necessary to interpret carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles and impacts in environmental systems, (ii) technologies and mitigation practices to recover N and P from agricultural wastes or reduce their losses to water, and (iii) integrative decision-making frameworks to select and manage agricultural production methods which support sustainable intensification across different scales.
The workshop will be presented by technical experts, researchers, practitioners and farming representatives from Wageningen University and WML (The Netherlands), Teagasc (Ireland), and VITO and YARA (Belgium). The programme includes technical sessions and a hosted field trip to demonstrate management approaches and consolidate participant understanding of theoretical concepts and practical application of SIA. The event is open to external participants including, but not limited to, stakeholders, practitioners, managers, researchers and students with interests in the assessment and management of carbon, nutrient and pesticide impacts in the environment. Participants with backgrounds in agricultural/environmental engineering and management, agronomy, environmental sciences, social sciences and policy are encouraged to attend. The course will be attended by scientists and researchers from the INSPIRATION Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (www.inspirationitn.eu), who will contribute to the technical presentations, providing a unique opportunity for networking with leading experts in the field.
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