1. Introduction

Transforming Australia’s food and land use system is vital to address and adapt to climate change.

The world faces an enormous challenge to sustainably provide healthy food for a growing population, while also addressing and adapting to climate change.

This will require transforming our food and land use system to cut emissions and deliver significant levels of carbon sequestration, reverse environmental degradation and address biodiversity loss. 

Acting early on these issues also represents an enormous opportunity to improve agricultural resilience in regional communities and industries in ways that could improve diets, human health and expand our competitive advantages.

‘While Australia is blessed with abundant land, this land is finite, and subject to increasing competition between different uses. We want to understand how this competition could deliver all the outcomes we need from our landscape – production of healthy food and fibre for Australians and the world, reducing emissions and drawing carbon out of the atmosphere, environmental rehabilitation and increasingly energy production as well.’

Anna Skarbek

Explore how Australia currently uses its land with our interactive visualisation.

What we’re doing

Climateworks is engaging with stakeholders across the food, land and oceans system to find and support pathways that can produce sufficient, healthy food while meeting climate and environmental targets.

2. How we'll get there

1

Develop pathways

Use modelling and analysis to explore possible sustainable food and land use futures for Australia

2

Identify strategies to transform food and land use

Translate pathways into key strategies and actions that can create change in Australia's food and land use system

3

Support champions

Build connections and coherence with key stakeholders around what’s needed to shift to a more sustainable food, agriculture and land use system

4

Track progress and build momentum

Highlight growing ambition and action towards sustainable land use futures both in Australia and abroad

4. Partners

The program is led by Climateworks Centre (working within the Monash Sustainable Development Institute), Deakin University and CSIRO.

The program is contributing to and benefiting from participation in the global Food and Land Use Coalition, led by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Resources Institute, SYSTEMIQ and others.

5. Resources

The role of regenerative agriculture in sustainable land use

Agriculture is a key export industry for Australia, the heart of many rural communities, and a significant source of employment.  But covering more than half of Australia’s land mass, agriculture is also the main cause of human-induced land clearing and a driver of land degradation – and accounts for 16 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Australia

The briefing room: The twin challenge of tackling climate change while preserving nature

To limit warming to 1.5°C we need global emissions reduction as scale.

  • Australia

Australia has overshot three planetary boundaries based on how we use land

We used to believe the world’s resources were almost limitless. But as we spread out across the planet, we consumed more and more of these resources.

  • Australia
  • Blog

Living within limits: Adapting the planetary boundaries to understand Australia’s contribution to planetary health

The Land Use Futures program at Climateworks Centre has adapted the global planetary boundaries framework to Australia, outlining how the nation is tracking against its share of the boundaries and what this means for the land use sector.

  • Australia

‘Living within limits’ report investigates the environmental boundaries in which Australia can prosper

A new Climateworks Centre report investigates the environmental limits Australia must work within so it can continue to prosper for generations to come.

  • Blog
  • Food, land and oceans

Land use strategy and planning – a critical enabler toward net zero

As our webinar and follow up articles have highlighted, there are a range of pressures we must address for the future of Australia’s food and land use.

  • Australia
  • Food, land and oceans

The Land Use Trade-offs model

The Land Use Trade-offs model has groundbreaking capabilities to consider the potential impact of land use practices across Australia, as well as potential changes in domestic and overseas demand for agricultural products.

  • Australia

Food system transformation and the role of consumer demand

Mitigating climate change entails a radical transformation in the food and land use system.

  • Blog
  • Food, land and oceans

Soil carbon: A source or a sink in the net zero challenge?

Dr Romy Zyngier outlines the Australian debate on the role that soil carbon capture and storage can and should play in mitigating climate change and in offsetting emissions.

  • Australia
  • Blog

Building Australia’s natural capital

Responding to audience questions during our recent Climateworks webinar, the second article in our series outlines the challenges and benefits to measuring our natural assets and the services they provide.  Our world’s natural areas are under significant threat as demand for land for agriculture and urban development rises.

  • Australia
  • Blog

A crucial moment for food and land use systems

Building on a recent Climateworks webinar, our Food, Land and Oceans team is kicking off a new article series.

  • Australia
  • Blog

Global food and land use transitions: Challenges and opportunities for Australia

Australia’s land is under increasing pressure as global demand for food and fibre increases and land use competition grows.

  • Australia
  • ClimateWorks news

The briefing room: Food and land use transitions

Globally, experts have identified ten critical transitions that can improve how we produce food and manage land.

  • Australia

Land use futures publishes natural capital roadmap

The Natural Capital Roadmap presents the ideas of over 300 leaders in farming, forestry, natural resource management, conservation, finance, policy, research and government on how to progress the natural capital agenda in Australia.

  • Australia
  • ClimateWorks news

Land use futures – natural capital roadmap

Our natural resources are an asset. ‘Natural capital’ positions our environment alongside other forms of economic management to inform decision making.

  • Australia

Land use futures launches interactive website on Australia’s land use

Land use futures has launched a new web interactive that explores the different ways Australia’s land is used and managed.

  • Australia
  • ClimateWorks news

Land use futures team hosts natural capital summit

In early June 2019, the Land Use Futures team – working with NAB and the Queensland State Government – ran the Natural Capital Summit, as part of ClimateWeek QLD 2019.

  • Australia
  • ClimateWorks news

Land use futures holds workshops in capital cities across Australia

From March to May 2019, the Land use futures team held workshops in capital cities across Australia.

  • Australia
  • ClimateWorks news

New national sustainable food and land use project gets underway

A new initiative aimed at developing a roadmap for a sustainable food and land use system for Australia, was launched today.

  • Australia
  • Food, land and oceans