Rural Climate Change Forum

The Rural Climate Change Forum brings together the key organisations with an interest in the agriculture, forestry and land management sector.  The Forum:

  • helps to raise awareness of climate change among farmers and land managers,
  • acts as a catalyst and coordinator of work on climate change in the rural sector,
  • advises Defra on policies to ensure the sector plays a full part in mitigating and adapting to climate change,
  • advises on research priorities to build a stronger evidence base on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and managing the impacts of a changing climate. 
  • and engages with international counterparts in the agriculture, forestry and land management sectors

The work of the Forum is central to the climate change elements of Defra’s Farming for the Future Programme.

Who makes up the Forum?

The Forum was established in March 2005 and its current term runs until March 2011. The Forum is made up of the following member organisations:

  • Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB),
  • the Agricultural Industries Confederation,
  • the Country Land and Business Association (CLA),
  • the Environment Agency,
  • the Forestry Commission,
  • the Carbon Trust,
  • the National Farmers’ Union (NFU),
  • the National Trust,
  • Natural England,
  • the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and
  • the Soil Association
  • the Sustainable Development Commission

The Forum is Chaired by John Gilliland OBE, a farmer from Northern Ireland who was nominated by the Sustainable Development Commission to sit on the Forum. The Forum is supported by a small secretariat based in Defra.


The Forum meets 4 times a year and operates via paper-based and email communication between meetings.

Some activities of the Forum

The Forum has been key in helping to shape agriculture and climate change policy.  For example, the Forum:

  • Provided valuable input to the agriculture, forestry and land management (AFLM) chapter of the UK Climate Change Programme 2006;
  • Regularly engages with key bodies such as the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the Council of Food Policy Advisers andthe Devolved Administrations;
  • Developed advice to Defra on the key messages to be communicated to farmers and land managers about good practice to tackle climate change (this work was done through the Forum’s Communications Sub-Group, made up of communications experts from each of the member organisations);
  • Works collaboratively (through its Communications Sub-Group) with the Defra funded Farming Futures communications project;
  • Will be a key source of stakeholder input to the implementation of the UK Low-Carbon Transition Plan: National strategy for climate and energy published on 15 July.
RCCF/CCC Workshop on Climate Change and Agriculture, Forestry and Land Management

The Forum hosted a workshop on climate change and agriculture, forestry and land management, supported jointly by its Defra Secretariat and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), on 25 - 26 February 2009 at London Zoo. The workshop considered the Agriculture, Forestry and Land Management sector’s role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in the light of recent developments such as the coming into force of the Climate Change Act 2008 and the inaugural report of the CCC. A detailed report on the workshop is available on request from the Secretariat (see contact details below).

Further information

Contact us

If you have any queries or require information on the Forum’s activities, reports of commissioned research or papers from previous meetings, please contact the Rural Climate Change Forum secretariat.

Page last modified: 1 October 2009
Page published: 25 July 2005