It is "Global Goals Week" - a week that celebrates the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. We take the opportunity and tell how organic production supports 6 of the 17 goals. Here comes goal number 6.
# 6 - Clean water
One of the biggest benefits of organic farming is that it promotes clean water. Organic farmers do not use any synthetic pesticides that can spread to lakes, seas and streams.
How serious is the problem?
According to Naturskyddsföreningen The Swedish environmental monitoring program finds a number of different pesticide residues in our surface and groundwater every year. When the County Administrative Board in 2016 examined the groundwater sources where Skåne municipalities collect their drinking water, pesticides were found in 22 of 27 groundwater sources. In some cases, the levels were so high that the water was unusable as drinking water.
In research, there is uncertainty about how large effects the synthetic pesticides have on the ecosystems in our lakes, seas and watercourses in the long term. When it comes to Sweden's (and the world's) most used pesticide Roundup, it is known that the active substance glyphosate is directly toxic to aquatic organisms.
There are positive examples!
In Denmark, the government decided in 2017 to invest SEK 225 million to increase organic production and consumption. The purpose was to promote nature, animal welfare and health, but not least to protect groundwater. In Denmark, the Organic National Association also works together with 26 municipalities to increase the transition to organic farming. Farmers who change their production receive adjustment support, as they help to protect the municipalities' groundwater revenues.
Munich was hit in the 1970s and 80s with deteriorating drinking water quality as a result of the increased use of fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. Instead of investing in water treatment technology, politicians introduced compensation and technical support to farmers who switched to organic production. The solution proved to be both cheaper and more efficient than investments in new water treatment.
Want to know more about the added value of organic farming?
Visit the following websites: KRAV, Ekologiska Lantbrukarna, EPOK - Center for Organic Production and Consumption, IFOAM Organics International, EkoWeb Sweden and Naturskyddsföreningen. Visit too Global goals for further reading on the UN's 17 goals for sustainable development.