Integrated Management options for agricultural climate change mitigation (IMPACCT)
IMPACCT is a European Commission research project that seeks to develop a software tool to help European agriculture reduce its climate change impacts. The tool will be designed to facilitate farmers and growers take action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve carbon sequestration by modifying farming practices. It will also support policy makers in the development and improvement of climate change mitigation policies. Although the focus of IMPACCT is on climate change, it is important not to forget all the other goods and services that agriculture needs to provide. Sustainable agriculture is about finding a balance between environmental, economic and social objectives. Achieving one objective, i.e. climate change mitigation, should not be pursued at the expense of other objectives. Agriculture needs to be economically viable, produce enough food, fibre and oils to equitably meet the needs of an increasing global population, and ensure that any other detrimental environmental impacts are minimised to acceptable levels. Therefore, the project will take a whole farm integrated approach seeking to identify any benefits and/or burdens on the environment, farm economics or society more generally that changing farming practices to mitigate climate change might have. The model development process is supported by a comprehensive literature and data review and a number of farm case studies/consultation exercises that will be undertaken in several EC Member States. This process will help define the requirements of the model, based on the needs of end users, provide concrete examples of mitigation actions and provide a picture of what is already happening across the EU.