Staggering statistics released by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
Key Statistics and Facts from the Report based on Food and Agriculture
300%: increase in food crop production since 1970
23%: land areas that have seen a reduction in productivity due to land degradation
>75%: global food crop types that rely on animal pollination
US$235 to US$577 billion: annual value of global crop output at risk due to pollinator loss
5.6 gigatons: annual CO2 emissions sequestered in marine and terrestrial ecosystems – equivalent to 60% of global fossil fuel emission
+/-11%: world population that is undernourished
100 million: hectares of agricultural expansion in the tropics from 1980 to 2000, mainly cattle ranching in Latin America (+/-42 million ha), and plantations in Southeast Asia (+/-7.5 million ha, of which 80% is oil palm), half of it at the expense of intact forests
3%: increase in land transformation to agriculture between 1992 and 2015, mostly at the expense of orests
>33%: world’s land surface (and +/-75% of freshwater resources) devoted to crop or livestock production
12%: world’s ice-free land used for crop production
25%: world’s ice-free land used for grazing (+/-70% of drylands)
+/-25%: greenhouse gas emissions caused by land clearing, crop production and fertilization, with animal-based food contributing 75% to that figure
+/-30%: global crop production and global food supply provided by small land holdings (<2 ha), using +/-25% of agricultural land, usually maintaining rich agrobiodiversity
$100 billion: estimated level of financial support in OECD countries (2015) to agriculture that is potentially harmful to the environment
Up to half of plant and animal species in the world’s most naturally rich areas, such as the Amazon and the Galapagos, could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change if carbon emissions continue to rise unchecked.
The Amazon, Miombo Woodlands in Southern Africa, and south-west Australia are among the most affected places in the world, according to new research.
Efforts to protect tropical forests in Southeast Asia for the carbon they store may fail because protection payments are too low – according to University of East Anglia research.
A study published today in Nature Communications finds that schemes designed to protect tropical forests from clearance based on the carbon they store do not pay enough to compete financially with potential profits from rubber plantations.
Scientists have taken a step forward in their efforts to tackle serious crop pests by reducing the sensitivity of biopesticides to sunlight
Insect pests consume around a third of all the crops we grow, sometimes threatening food security. The main way of controlling these pests is by spraying chemical pesticides but these can be damaging to the environment and so safer alternatives are urgently required including more effective biological pesticides.
NIAB EMR, in a joint UK–China research programme, has discovered several strains of the strawberry disease Verticillium wilt (Verticillium dahliae), belonging to two different groups, that act in very different ways. The results are already being used by plant breeders in the development of a new generation of wilt resistant varieties.
A passion for sustainable supply chains and the desire to do something useful, brought Becky Swinn to Lancaster University.
Now her research project comparing the carbon footprint of British, Dutch and Kenyan cut flowers has won the prize for the Best Collaborative Project at the Lancaster Environment Centre. But, like many others, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she finished her first degree. After spending two years doing a series of jobs she got asked to work on a project encouraging people to reduce the amount of food they throw away.