Showing results for: Global
While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.
This report from the FAO reviews the state of ‘biodiversity for food and agriculture’, i.e. any biodiversity that contributes in some way to food production. It finds that 26% of livestock breeds are at risk of extinction. Crop diversity is declining, with only 9 crop species accounting for 66% of crop production. One third of fish stocks are overfished, and a further 60% are being fished at their maximum sustainable capacity.
Climate mitigation policies rarely account for the time lags associated with land-based greenhouse gas mitigation policies such as reforestation, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) or reduction of agricultural emissions, argues this paper, making it unlikely that commitments under the Paris Agreement will be met.
The 2019 Green Alliance Annual Debate discusses the ways in which earth observation and data science can improve our understanding of and ability to address environmental issues - for example, monitoring deforestation or water levels in reservoirs in real time through satellite images.
This book explores how climate change will affect food security and availability, and outlines ways of adapting agriculture to cope under a different climate.
This paper, by John Lynch of the University of Oxford’s LEAP project, finds that carbon footprint studies of beef cattle typically do not report separate values for emissions of different greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. Instead, studies generally report only an aggregated figure in the form of the 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP100) as CO2-equivalent.
This paper, by researchers from the University of Oxford’s LEAP project, models the climate impacts of beef cattle and cultured meat over the next 1000 years using a climate model that treats carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide separately, instead of using the widespread Global Warming Potential, which assigns a CO2-equivalent value to each greenhouse gas according to warming caused over a specified timeframe.
This commentary in Nature Sustainability discusses governance and initiatives for conserving and increasing soil organic carbon. Through a multi-stakeholder discussion group, the authors developed a global agenda for action on soil organic carbon.
Over 40% of insect species are at risk of extinction over the next few decades and 75% to 98% of insect biomass has already been lost, according to this review of the current state of knowledge about insect declines, with habitat loss through conversion to intensive agriculture being the main driver. Agro-chemical pollutants, invasive species and climate change are also driving insect declines.
This article on the environmental impacts of different types of animal feed (including fishmeal, soy, fava beans, algae and various forage crops) features commentary from FCRN member Sam Smith, who has contributed to the Feed Compass work by Forum for the Future.
This book discusses options for sustainable weed control for a variety of crops. Topics covered include the impacts of herbicides on people, soils and ecosystems, integrated weed management, and herbicide resistance.
This book, by William D. Schanbacher, addresses ethical issues around access to food, outlines how the global food system works, and offers suggestions on how people can engage their communities and learn more about the foods they eat.
Human-induced environmental change could lead to the collapse of social and economic systems, according to this report from the UK think-tank IPPR, which argues that policymakers must shift their understanding of the scale and impacts of environmental breakdown and the need for transformative change.
Aquaculture generally supplements wild fisheries rather than replacing them, according to this paper, which used models based on historical data.
This book, by Mark Gibson, gives a broad overview of the development of the food industry and drivers of food supply, including information on food waste, genetic modification, food safety, politics and social trends.
This report from Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the Global Dairy Platform shows the global dairy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions and outlines the measures the sector could take to contribute to climate change mitigation.
This paper uses economic models to calculate the extent to which both supply-side and demand-side measures could reduce non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector, depending on carbon price.