Finding fertile ground to heal the planet

Recently, agriculture has been in the news for its negative effects on the environment; driving deforestation, biodiversity loss, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

We now know that in the ambition to feed the world, our drive for efficiency and increasing production of crops and livestock has jeopardised nature and agriculture’s most important asset: the soil.

Mass production through monocultures and incorrect use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, have damaged the valuable soil life and delicate ecosystem that provides the nutrients and water supply to crops grown to feed animals and humans. This, in turn, threatens the long term productivity of the land and makes the livelihoods of people who depend on it, like farmers, vulnerable.

But it does not have to be this way. We can change the way we practice agriculture to work WITH nature and restore and regenerate healthy soils. The solution to many of these problems lies in ‘staying down to earth’ and changing our relationship with the natural resource right beneath our feet.

Soil is the basis of life on Earth

Healthy soils are the living, breathing ecosystems that produce food and fuel, regulate our water cycle, store carbon, recycle waste and reduce risks of droughts and floods. If we want productive farms, nutritious food, and healthy communities and economies, we must have healthy soils. Here I’d like to quote Project Drawdown: “The world cannot be fed unless the soil is fed.” If we don’t change the way we use natural resources to produce our food, we will not be able to feed our growing population.

We need to innovate and transform our systems. Our soils are degrading at an alarming rate. 25% of our global land area and 52% of agricultural land area is degraded. This means the land is at grave risk of no longer being capable of delivering food, water and liveable conditions for humans.

Regenerative agriculture is key to healthy soils

Maintaining healthy soils is the  key. That means that we must restore what is already degraded and start applying approaches that keep our soils healthy and productive. Regenerative agriculture aims to sustain healthy soil by restoring its carbon content, which improves productivity. It uses farming practices like conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, composting, mobile animal shelters and pasture cropping to increase carbon-rich organic matter.

The result is that vital microbes proliferate, roots go deeper, nutrient uptake improves, water retention increases, plants are more pest-resistant, and soil fertility compounds.

Restoring and regenerating soil fertility helps safeguard farmers’ livelihoods so they can grow the food we need now and in the future.

Building a movement

We recognise that adopting regenerative agricultural practices requires a fundamental shift to our ways of working. Funders, governments, investors and practitioners need evidence that it can restore degraded land while feeding the world and ensuring a fair livelihood for farmers.

That is why, at the IKEA Foundation, we are proud to support organisations that understand the importance and potentials of working on regenerative agriculture and develop models that benefit both people and planet. Our partners include Wageningen University & Research, which works in East Africa to collect and generate evidence of strategies and practices to regenerate the land and improve people’s livelihoods. We are also working with the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) to build effective coalitions in India and Ethiopia to roll-out transitions to productive and regenerative agriculture.

But our future depends on a collective effort to change the way we produce food and use our valuable land.

As more people realise the importance of healthy food from healthy soils, we need more funders to join us in supporting programmes that regenerate our soil. More businesses must commit to regenerating the natural resources they depend on. More governments must put policies in place that prioritise the connected wellbeing of our planet, our societies, our economies and our families.

It has never been clearer that our future and the future of the planet are intrinsically linked. We all want our families to have a decent living, nutritious food and a plentiful income. We cannot secure that future unless we invest in the health of our soil.

We know what needs to be done. It’s up to us to accelerate this transformation.

Together, we can generate the energy and creativity to regenerate the soil and, in turn, our planet.

Petra Hans, former Head of Portfolio – Agricultural Livelihoods

Partner

Universiteitsfonds Wageningen (UFW)
https://www.wur.nl/en.htm

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  • โ€œWe are just at the beginning. A glorious future!โ€ - Ingvar Kamprad

Thanks to the incredible work of IKEA co-workers and our 248 partners on the ground, weโ€™ve been able to take meaningful steps towards tackling the two biggest threats to humanity: poverty and climate change ๐ŸŒ

Do you want to see what โ‚ฌ2 billion worth of impact looks like for #PeopleAndPlanet? Follow the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”—

#ClimateChange #ClimateAction #Livelihoods
  • Positive News Tuesday! There is rapid growth in the global movement to mobilise boards to address #ClimateChange ๐ŸŒโ™ป๏ธ

This is stated in the first-ever Annual Report of our partner @hugheshallcam, who worked on the Climate Governance Initiative.

With a strong focus on impact, the initiative educates and equips corporate non-executive board members with the tools to address climate change in their businesses, and beyond. 

The Climate Governance Initiative is a global network dedicated to mobilising boards to accelerate the transition to net-zero and build climate resilience, and is now reaching 100,000+ business leaders worldwide. 

Read the Annual Report via the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”—

#ClimateSolutions #PeopleAndPlanet @worldeconomicforum
  • The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a longstanding partner of the IKEA Foundation, has contributed to a growing demand for corporate decarbonisation.

In 2023 alone, the SBTi doubled its corporate validations. 4,204 companies have been validated so far for their ambitious emission reduction targets.

Whatโ€™s more, the SBTi has now been granted charitable status, taking its place as an independent entity and using our $18m funding pledge to drive ambitious corporate #ClimateAction ๐ŸŒ

Read more about this exciting news by following the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”— #CorporateClimateAction
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Insights from our partner FSECโ€™s new Global Policy Report highlight the urgent need to transform food systems and the enormous benefits of doing so for #PeopleAndPlanet. ๐ŸŒ

The #HiddenFoodCosts continue to accumulate โ€” within the 10 seconds you spent reading this post, another $4,684,155 was incurredโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ’ธ 

We need to act now to transition to food systems that are good for people and the planet. 

Learn more about #FoodSystemsTransformation and the hidden food costs by following the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”—

#FixFoodEconomics
โ€œWe are just at the beginning. A glorious future!โ€ - Ingvar Kamprad

Thanks to the incredible work of IKEA co-workers and our 248 partners on the ground, weโ€™ve been able to take meaningful steps towards tackling the two biggest threats to humanity: poverty and climate change ๐ŸŒ

Do you want to see what โ‚ฌ2 billion worth of impact looks like for #PeopleAndPlanet? Follow the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”—

#ClimateChange #ClimateAction #Livelihoods
โ€œWe are just at the beginning. A glorious future!โ€ - Ingvar Kamprad

Thanks to the incredible work of IKEA co-workers and our 248 partners on the ground, weโ€™ve been able to take meaningful steps towards tackling the two biggest threats to humanity: poverty and climate change ๐ŸŒ

Do you want to see what โ‚ฌ2 billion worth of impact looks like for #PeopleAndPlanet? Follow the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”—

#ClimateChange #ClimateAction #Livelihoods
โ€œWe are just at the beginning. A glorious future!โ€ - Ingvar Kamprad

Thanks to the incredible work of IKEA co-workers and our 248 partners on the ground, weโ€™ve been able to take meaningful steps towards tackling the two biggest threats to humanity: poverty and climate change ๐ŸŒ

Do you want to see what โ‚ฌ2 billion worth of impact looks like for #PeopleAndPlanet? Follow the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”—

#ClimateChange #ClimateAction #Livelihoods
โ€œWe are just at the beginning. A glorious future!โ€ - Ingvar Kamprad Thanks to the incredible work of IKEA co-workers and our 248 partners on the ground, weโ€™ve been able to take meaningful steps towards tackling the two biggest threats to humanity: poverty and climate change ๐ŸŒ Do you want to see what โ‚ฌ2 billion worth of impact looks like for #PeopleAndPlanet? Follow the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”— #ClimateChange #ClimateAction #Livelihoods
3 days ago
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Positive News Tuesday! There is rapid growth in the global movement to mobilise boards to address #ClimateChange ๐ŸŒโ™ป๏ธ

This is stated in the first-ever Annual Report of our partner @hugheshallcam, who worked on the Climate Governance Initiative.

With a strong focus on impact, the initiative educates and equips corporate non-executive board members with the tools to address climate change in their businesses, and beyond. 

The Climate Governance Initiative is a global network dedicated to mobilising boards to accelerate the transition to net-zero and build climate resilience, and is now reaching 100,000+ business leaders worldwide. 

Read the Annual Report via the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”—

#ClimateSolutions #PeopleAndPlanet @worldeconomicforum
Positive News Tuesday! There is rapid growth in the global movement to mobilise boards to address #ClimateChange ๐ŸŒโ™ป๏ธ This is stated in the first-ever Annual Report of our partner @hugheshallcam, who worked on the Climate Governance Initiative. With a strong focus on impact, the initiative educates and equips corporate non-executive board members with the tools to address climate change in their businesses, and beyond. The Climate Governance Initiative is a global network dedicated to mobilising boards to accelerate the transition to net-zero and build climate resilience, and is now reaching 100,000+ business leaders worldwide. Read the Annual Report via the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”— #ClimateSolutions #PeopleAndPlanet @worldeconomicforum
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View on Instagram |
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The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a longstanding partner of the IKEA Foundation, has contributed to a growing demand for corporate decarbonisation.

In 2023 alone, the SBTi doubled its corporate validations. 4,204 companies have been validated so far for their ambitious emission reduction targets.

Whatโ€™s more, the SBTi has now been granted charitable status, taking its place as an independent entity and using our $18m funding pledge to drive ambitious corporate #ClimateAction ๐ŸŒ

Read more about this exciting news by following the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”— #CorporateClimateAction
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a longstanding partner of the IKEA Foundation, has contributed to a growing demand for corporate decarbonisation. In 2023 alone, the SBTi doubled its corporate validations. 4,204 companies have been validated so far for their ambitious emission reduction targets. Whatโ€™s more, the SBTi has now been granted charitable status, taking its place as an independent entity and using our $18m funding pledge to drive ambitious corporate #ClimateAction ๐ŸŒ Read more about this exciting news by following the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”— #CorporateClimateAction
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โฐ Every second counts when trying to transform our broken food system. 

Insights from our partner FSECโ€™s new Global Policy Report highlight the urgent need to transform food systems and the enormous benefits of doing so for #PeopleAndPlanet. ๐ŸŒ

The #HiddenFoodCosts continue to accumulate โ€” within the 10 seconds you spent reading this post, another $4,684,155 was incurredโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ’ธ 

We need to act now to transition to food systems that are good for people and the planet. 

Learn more about #FoodSystemsTransformation and the hidden food costs by following the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”—

#FixFoodEconomics
โฐ Every second counts when trying to transform our broken food system. Insights from our partner FSECโ€™s new Global Policy Report highlight the urgent need to transform food systems and the enormous benefits of doing so for #PeopleAndPlanet. ๐ŸŒ The #HiddenFoodCosts continue to accumulate โ€” within the 10 seconds you spent reading this post, another $4,684,155 was incurredโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ’ธ We need to act now to transition to food systems that are good for people and the planet. Learn more about #FoodSystemsTransformation and the hidden food costs by following the link in our bio ๐Ÿ”— #FixFoodEconomics
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