Lay of the Land outlines the need for a transformation in our food and farming system in order to respond to the climate emergency and restore biodiversity, improve the public's health and wellbeing in all communities and develop Northern Ireland's distinctive pattern of farming to play its full part in responding to these challenges, supporting and revitalising rural communities.
It is now a matter of urgency that progress is made towards the outcomes above. Building on what we have heard from citizens and the analysis set out in this report, we make the following recommendation:
Stakeholders from farming, community, environmental, business, academia and other civil society interests to work with government departments, statutory agencies, local government and political parties to undertake an extensive period of deliberative engagement to include:
- A focus on building trust and working relationships between those involved.
- Working towards the outcomes and connections set out in the draft Programme for Government.
- Working with Community Planning structures and processes
- Learning from, and cooperating with, neighbouring and other jurisdictions.
- Building on the findings of the UK wide RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.
- Developing an evidence base in partnership with academic institutions.
- Creating the required ‘systems leadership’ across society.
- A programme of continuing and extensive public engagement including a focus on those whose views often go unheard.