Rural Resilience Project

Image via Pixabay

The Rural Resilience Project is designed to raise awareness amongst farmers and the wider agri-sector of climate risks and opportunities for farm businesses in Northern Ireland, and practical approaches to adapt and prepare. Feedback from regional Workshops with farmers is being shared with agri-policy makers, and the research elements of the project will help identify information gaps in this area for the sector.

Agriculture is one of Northern Ireland’s most important industries with 75% of our land farmed in some way by over 26,000 active businesses at the heart of communities, mostly small farms. The sector is already witnessing climate change impacts first-hand and projections show that Northern Ireland is expected to have warmer wetter winters and hotter, drier summers, and an increased intensity in extreme weather events.

Key risks to farming include increased flooding, droughts and incidences of new pests and diseases, along with biodiversity losses, which affects crop and animal health (food production) and can incur unexpected financial costs. Much of the focus is on ‘Climate Mitigation’ which is about the crucial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  However, it is just as important for farm businesses to actively prepare and adjust to the effects of climate change, both practically and behaviourally, known as ‘Climate Adaptation’.

The Rural Resilience Project supports progress towards sustainable agriculture by providing information to farmers on climate risks and practical adaptation measures, inputting to agri-policy platforms and improving baseline data to inform future research.

The project is led by NIEL and co-delivered with input from key stakeholders including farmers across Northern Ireland, Ulster Farmers’ Union, Dale Farm, AFBI, AgriSearch, NIGTA, CAFRE and Rural Support along with environmental organisations. This project is funded by the Place-based Climate Action Network – to find out more about the projects funded by PCAN here.

Rural Resilience Project – Factsheet

Enabling Place-Based Climate Action in the UK: The PCAN Experience

Watch Again: PCAN Conference – Local climate action: moving out of silos

NIEL Mailing List

If you are interested in receiving NIEL's monthly newsletter please enter your details here:

Newsletter Sign Up