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Eoghan Daltun

@IrishRainforest

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What will it take to create a radical shift away from seeing highly biodiverse habitats like wild scrub as a waste of land? And towards perceiving them as they truly are: ecological gold, and vital buffers against the collapse of nature + climate we're witnessing in real time?

1. Farmers *must* have the option of being paid to rewild all their land, instead of farming it, if they so wish. It's essential to stress that this *mustn't* be forced on farmers: it should be made purely another choice, another way to live from the land.

2. Payments should be graded according to habitat richness. This wouldn't only encourage long-term commitment: it would give rise to a positive, snowballing dynamic in which wild places are genuinely valued, understood, protected and exponentially expanded.

3. Regulation is vital to prevent investment companies from moving in, and using this as an opportunity to make money from land while pricing local people out of the market. Rewilding *must* be both community driven and led; only in that way will it work for nature *and* people.

We need to actually redefine what it means to be a farmer in the first place, opening it up to include the provision of rich, healthy wildlife habitat instead of - or as well as - food, at the discretion of farmers themselves and rural communities.

Of course society needs food, but it equally needs all the many things healthy wild ecosystems help provide: a stable climate, clean air and water, flood and drought amelioration, an abundance of pollinators, mental health benefits, and so on, ad infinitum...

By changing the subsidies criteria, we can empower farmers to become providers of the lost natural ecosystems so desperately crucial against ecological and climate breakdown. What, literally, on Earth are we waiting for?

Eoghan Daltun

@IrishRainforest

Author of 'An Irish Atlantic Rainforest' https://t.co/bGQzxSRNjI A journey through 13 years living with 73 acres of wildland

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