“We don't have time to discuss doubts anymore, and maybe we'll need to have policies and perspectives that are a little precautionary. We have to prepare for several scenarios, and some could be bad", warned Miguel Miranda, at the conference "Climate change: what challenges for the agroforestry sector in the coming years?”
According to Miguel Miranda, activities in a primary sector, such as agriculture, "have to start preparing for situations that could be disruptive."
"We are going to have problems with fresh water and soils, we have to adapt our capacity to the resources of the natural environment", he stressed, stating, in the case of agriculture, the "much more intelligent use of water" along with "sophisticated cultivation techniques" is needed.
"Solutions are based on science, and certainly, on technology, certainly, they have to respect the natural environment, certainly, but they cannot depend on it," he said.
For climate change specialist Filipe Duarte Santos, it is necessary to encourage precision agriculture, "farming with much greater attention to efficient water management", since, in Portugal, "the average annual precipitation is decreasing".
In the case of forests, responsible for carbon capture, "a great effort of reforestation and fire prevention will be necessary" to meet the European targets for decarbonisation, of reducing 55 percent of emissions by 2030, about 3 percent of which is through forest capture.
For economist Filipa Saldanha, deputy director of the Gulbenkian Sustainable Development Programme, the adoption of new technologies "is absolutely essential" to increase the efficient use of water in agriculture, but it is necessary to "train farmers" for "best practices" by raising awareness about "the benefits" of using these technologies.
The president of the National Commission for Monitoring the Recovery and Resilience Plan, António Costa e Silva, who also participated in the same roundtable, highlighted that sustainability can be achieved through changes in diet, the introduction of agricultural crops that consume less water or the replacement of plastic by materials of biological origin.