Guest blog by Chris Sandom, Senior Lecturer University of Sussex and Sussex Sustainability Research Programme Researcher
The needs of people and nature are really diverse. People need good food, clean water, safe places to live, a stable climate, landscapes that bring us joy and much more. But it isn’t just people that need these things, all the species in nature need the resources that meet their specific and unique needs. One of the biggest questions of our time is: how are we going to provide for this combined richness in diversity?
How people and nature interact in landscapes is going to be fundamental in determining the degree to which we can rise to this challenge. Past pressures and needs have determined how we produce food, travel, source clean water, conserve biodiversity, produce electricity, manage flooding and everything else. Unfortunately, all of these things are interacting and our approach to doing one is often causing problems for how we do another. We all need to contribute to creating a more strategic approach to ensuring our landscapes provide the rich variety of goods and services people need while also providing a sustainable home for people and nature now and in the future.
There is lots to celebrate about Sussex’s landscape, but the challenges we face are big and meeting these diverse needs will be no easy feat! Overcoming these challenges is why we are holding the Landscape Innovation Conference on the 23 January 2020. We want to bring together those passionate about coming up with solutions to these challenges. So, whether you are a landowner, policy maker, or educator, a farmer or conservationist, worried about producing food, climate change, or species extinction we hope you will come and help create the visions for the future that bring hope.
(My perspective is partly based on research carried out as part of the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme: Delivering food security and biodiversity conservation through rewilding and community agriculture