Publication Advancing towards a Climate-Resilient Future: Putting Saline Agriculture on European Policy Agenda

The Institute for Environmental Studies, on behalf of the SALAD project, has released a policy brief that aims to bring saline agriculture to the forefront of European policy discussions.
rows of crops

With soil and water salinisation posing an increasing threat across the European Union due to climate change and anthropogenic pressures, addressing this issue in the EU policy debate has been long overdue. By embracing saline agriculture as an adaptation measure, we can effectively navigate the challenges of the water-soil-food nexus and pave the way for a climate-resilient future.

The policy brief dives into integrating saline agriculture into existing policy frameworks, highlighting the challenges and potential solutions related to this form of climate change adaptation. It puts forth policy recommendations that can shape the future of agricultural practices in the face of salinisation. The main challenges and opportunities identified include the need to strike a balance between mitigation and adaptation strategies, effectively sharing costs and benefits among stakeholders, fostering collaborations and partnerships, and integrating policies into existing frameworks to maximise synergies and avoid conflicts.

The adoption of an integrated policy on saline agriculture can yield multiple benefits, including preventing yield losses, safeguarding farmer income, protecting biodiversity, and improving water efficiency. By incorporating saline agriculture into future EU policies, we can mitigate the impacts of climate change and salinisation, while promoting sustainable and resilient agricultural practices.

The IVM Institute for Environmental Studies and the SALAD project are optimistic that the policy brief can kickstart meaningful discussions, policy reforms, and transformative actions to build a climate-resilient Europe. Together, we can shape a future where agriculture thrives amidst climate challenges, securing a sustainable and prosperous future for generations to come.

From the analysis, five key policy recommendations have emerged. Firstly, agenda setting becomes crucial to include saline agriculture in existing frameworks. Secondly, involving a diverse range of stakeholders in the policy co-creation process will ensure inclusivity and address regional variations. Thirdly, linking the policy for saline agriculture to existing frameworks will enhance its effectiveness. Fourthly, focusing on equitable cost and benefit sharing and raising consumer awareness will facilitate a smooth transition to saline agriculture. Lastly, promoting long-term orientation and establishing regional and international networks will strengthen the science-policy interface.

Let’s embrace the opportunity to advance towards a climate-resilient future. By putting saline agriculture on the European policy agenda, we can tackle the challenges of salinisation head-on, ensuring resilient food systems and pave the way for a sustainable and food secure future for all. The time is now to engage stakeholders and drive transformative change through implementing effective policy frameworks.

One-pager: Integrating Salinisation Management Into EU Policy

Read the full policy brief


Contact us

Pim van Tongeren

Kate Negacz

SALAD project coordinator