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Farmers saddle up on climate change challenge

13 July 2007

ALREADY leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the firm resolve of Australian farmers to be part of the climate change solution has strengthened with the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) signing on as a member of the Greenhouse Challenge Plus Programme.

“Over the past 15 years, Australian farmers have led primary industries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% – through halting land clearing, developing new farm technologies, implementing natural resource management practices and planting over 20 million trees-a-year solely for conservation purposes,” NFF President David Crombie said.

“As a member of the Greenhouse Challenge Plus Programme farmers have a prime seat at the policy setting table – recognising our ability in developing and implementing sustainable policy solutions to the threat of climate change.

“Australian farmers are acutely aware that an increasingly variable climate has the potential to threaten not only their livelihoods, but their productive capacity in providing Australians with the clean, green food and fibre they consume every day.

“As a facilitative partner to the Australian Government’s Greenhouse Challenge Plus Programme, the NFF has created the platform for demonstrating to the market the proactive nature of our sector and the technological advances and practical steps farmers have already taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and, at the same time, bolster the Australian economy.

“The Programme will see the NFF form partnerships with the Australian Government to educate, inform and provide practical advice to farmers about their ability to implement positive and commercially-viable greenhouse solutions on their properties.”

The NFF has established a Climate Change Working Group to focus on adaptation strategies to further build resilience into agricultural systems, mitigation strategies to reduce greenhouse emissions and viable frameworks and markets for emissions trading.

The Working Group will also examine research and development systems to enhance agriculture’s capacity to respond to climate change. It will play a vital role in gathering and disseminating key information for primary producers and rural communities to enable them to make informed decisions about the prospects of their businesses.

“The NFF and, through us, Australian famers, are committed to leading the agenda on climate change in Australia,” Mr Crombie added. “This partnership will enable farmers to further their efforts in identifying opportunities, as well as identifying problems, to proactively deliver workable solutions in conjunction with the Australian Government.”

[ENDS]

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan on (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250.

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