(2009) What Can and Should Local Governments Do

A healthy local agricultural system is necessary for sustaina bility in the Capital Region. Local agriculture can supply much of the local demand for fresh nutritious food in a world with increasingly uncertain food supplies. It contributes significantly to the local economy and is an integral part of the regional environment. Local agriculture depends on ecological goods and services supplied by natural ecosystems, including cycling of water and nutrients, pollination and natural pest control and it supplements those goods and services in an increasingly urbanized region. Local farmland complements natural ecosystems in providing habitat and supporting native biodiversity. Local agriculture may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration, recycling of appropriately-processed organic wastes and via reduced transportation of locally-consumed food. Environmental challenges to local agriculture include climate change and increasing competition for land and water as population and urbanization increase in the Capital Region

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