New pioneer centre paves the way for the green transition in agriculture
A new pioneer centre named Land-CRAFT (Pioneer Center for Landscape Research in Sustainable Agricultural Futures) was inaugurated on 1 June. The Centre will develop basic research-driven solutions for use in the green transition in the agricultural sector. It will be the first centre in the world to uncover the climate and environmental impact of agriculture across disciplines and with the most advanced methods.
The centre is coordinated by Aarhus University and includes collaboration with the University of Copenhagen, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Colorado State University. Land-CRAFT is part of a national initiative to establish pioneering centres within important research areas. A total of DKK 250 million has been earmarked for the centre over the next 13 years with a UCPH share of DKK 70 million.
A challenging and ambitious task
The Pioneer centre brings together leading researchers who use observation and modelling tools and remote sensing to create an overview of how agriculture influences nature and climate. Together, they will find the best solutions to how we mitigate the climate impact of agriculture, how we adapt agriculture to climate change and how we achieve a more sustainable agriculture.
“The green transition requires not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon storage in the ground but will also lead to new and changed requirements for agricultural production of food and biomass. Achieving all this at the same time is a complex, challenging and ambitious task. Land-CRAFT will provide important knowledge and understanding of this urgent aspect of the green transition”, says Professor Claus Beier, Head of the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen.
Professor Per L. Ambus elaborates: “When researchers from different universities, with different traditions and different areas of expertise join together, we can achieve the best possible results. Aarhus University have solid knowledge of classical agricultural research whereas IGN and the University of Copenhagen can contribute with advanced knowledge to the study of nature’s processes”.
Innovation, excellent research and a lot of money
Professor Klaus Butterbach-Bahl will be heading the new pioneer centre. He comes from a position as Head of the Division of Terrestrial Biogeochemistry at the Department of Meteorology, Atmospheric Environmental Research at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.
“With Klaus Butterbach-Bahl in the lead, we are now establishing an interdisciplinary centre where Denmark’s leading researchers in the field of agriculture, biology and biogeochemistry can work together and utilise new technologies to understand how agriculture influences nature and how we can collaborate to achieve more sustainable agriculture, as well as more nature and biodiversity to the benefit of us all”, says Hans Brix, who is Head of the Department of Biology at Aarhus University.
Five of Denmark’s largest foundations: The Danish National Research Foundation, The Carlsberg Foundation, The Novo Nordisk Foundation, The Lundbeck Foundation and The VILLUM Foundation finance the activities in the pioneer centre, because it requires new thinking, excellent research and a lot of money to achieve the goals of the green transition in the agricultural sector.