Towards a safe and just operating
space for EU agriculture

Why BrightSpace

BrightSpace addresses the Work Programme Topic HORIZON-CL6-2021-GOVERNANCE-01-12 – EU agriculture within a safe and just operating space and planetary boundaries.

The European Green Deal, aims, among others, to increase the contribution of EU agriculture to climate change action, improve the management of natural resources, ensure a fair economic return for farmers, and reinforce the protection of biodiversity. EU agriculture and food practices are currently not on the right track to meet the Green Deal ambitions and objectives. These objectives are interdependent, and while often aligned, they may also compete. Synergies and trade-offs between socio-economic and environmental outcomes are brought together in the concept of a Safe and Just Operating Space (SJOS), where the Safe component reflects the bio-physical boundaries of the ecosystem and the Just component the requirements for the well-being of the involved people. Policy makers and opinion leaders often lack sufficient information to gauge the likely effects of a SJOS crises in their country.

Project objectives

The ambition and overarching objective of BrightSpace is to address this challenge by designing effective and sustainable strategies to navigate within a SJOS. 

BrightSpace provides an analytical toolbox to experiment, analyse, and coordinate the effects of innovative technologies, governance structures, as well as short- and long-term policies related to agriculture, thereby allowing for the execution of consistent, coherent, and lasting strategies with the desired consequences. 

The project emphasises the diversity of challenges regarding the SJOS across countries and regions and delivers new empirical evidence on cause-effect relations between drivers and outcomes relevant for the SJOS. 

A harmonised data framework and modelling toolbox are developed for medium-term and forward-looking projections of possible SJOS futures by 2050 and beyond. 

The support for effective and sustainable actions will include the identification of critical pathways for technological, institutional and consumer-oriented options for EU policies in the areas of agriculture, climate change, trade, and energy.

Intended outcomes