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World faces 849 million hectare deforestation

Staff writer ▼ | January 28, 2014
If current deforestation rates persist, 849 million hectares of green areas will be lost by 2050, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
Deforestation
DeforestationIf current deforestation rates persist, 849 million hectares of green areas will be lost by 2050, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).


According to the report Assessing Global Land Use: Balancing Consumption with Sustainable Supply, the need to feed the growing population has led to 30% of the lands of the world being used for agriculture, which has resulted in degradation and biodiversity loss in many areas.

"Recognizing that land is a finite resource, we need to become more efficient in the ways we produce, supply and consume our land-based products. Recommendations from the report are meant to inform policy and contribute to on-going discussions on targets and indicators for sustainable resources management as the world charts a new course for sustainable development post-2015," said the UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The report points out the need to balance consumption and sustainable food production. It offers methods that show countries if they are at sustainable consumption levels and suggests policies that may be adopted to reach this balance. According to the study, the increase in food demand in the developing countries and the search for biofuels affect the use of the land.

According to the UNEP, degradation of the lands already in use also leads producers to new areas, further increasing deforestation. With the increasing demand for land, therefore, prices tend to go up, with negative consequences for food safety.


 

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