The one-year anniversary of the President’s Climate Action Plan was this week. In conjunction with the anniversary, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) announced the availability of a document that articulates principles and recommendations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to consider as it implements conservation programs under the 2014 Farm Bill that address the nexus between climate change and agriculture.
The document outlines principles the USDA can consider in the implementation of farm bill conservation programs to address climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector.
- integrating climate and energy issues into conservation planning by incorporating a climate adaptation and mitigation component that specifically addresses on-farm benefits, including energy savings;
- updating the Conservation Practice Standard GHG Ranking Tool to reflect the full scope of climate benefits that a practice offers by assessing both adaptation and mitigation benefits; and
- prioritizing enrollment in the new easement program and targeted conservation program for those projects that provide the greatest climate benefits, both in terms of carbon sequestration and avoided transportation- and development-related GHG emissions.
NRCS is currently writing program rules that address the changes to conservation programs directed by the 2014 Farm Bill. The agency says they are likely to release the rules by late summer.
Stay tuned and sign up for alerts to stay in the loop on grassroots actions regarding these rules and other important sustainable agriculture policy actions/issues throughout the year: http://sustainableagriculture.net/take-action/