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Agricultural trade and tropical deforestation: interactions and related policy options

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Abstract

The extensive clearing of tropical forests throughout past decades has been partly assigned to increased trade in agricultural goods. Since further trade liberalisation can be expected, remaining rainforests are likely to face additional threats with negative implications for climate mitigation and the local environment. We apply a spatially explicit economic land-use model coupled to a biophysical vegetation model to examine linkages and associated policies between trade and tropical deforestation in the future. Results indicate that further trade liberalisation leads to an expansion of deforestation in Amazonia due to comparative advantages of agriculture in South America. Globally, between 30 and 60 million ha (5–10 %) of tropical rainforests would be cleared additionally, leading to 20–40 Gt additional \(\hbox {CO}_{2}\) emissions by 2050. By applying different forest protection policies, those values could be reduced substantially. Most effective would be the inclusion of avoided deforestation into a global emissions trading scheme. Carbon prices corresponding to the concentration target of 550 ppm would prevent deforestation after 2020. Investing in agricultural productivity reduces pressure on tropical forests without the necessity of direct protection. In general, additional trade-induced demand from developed and emerging countries should be compensated by international efforts to protect natural resources in tropical regions.

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... Using data for 732 municipalities within the Brazilian Amazon from 2000 to 2010, Faria and Almeida [54] demonstrate how an increase in openness to trade in the Amazon also increased deforestation. Schmitz et al. [55] apply a spatially explicit economic land-use model to argue that by 2050 trade liberalization would lead to an expansion of deforestation in Amazonia due to comparative advantages of agriculture. In this context, the impacts of the Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) and Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are especially important. ...
... According to their estimates a large (26%) share of deforestation was attributed to international demand, 87% of which was exported to countries in Europe and Asia (China, India and Russia). Thus, global trade of main agricultural commodities is an important driver, despite the relatively higher role played by domestic consumption of some of these commodities (e.g., 70%-80% of Brazilian beef is consumed in the domestic market) [15,55,68]. ...
Article
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Tropical deforestation and forest degradation driven by agricultural commodity production remains one of the important sustainability challenges of our times. The responses to tropical deforestation so far have not managed to reverse global trends of forest loss, reigniting the discussion about more robust and systemic measures. The concept of deforestation risk is highly relevant for current debates about policy and trade, and likely to increase in importance in the context of the proposed EU Regulation on Deforestation-free Products and EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement. We argue that deforestation is a systemic risk that permeates through different economic sectors, including production, manufacturing, service and control sectors. International trade, investment and economic policies thus act as a systemic trap that cause the production sector to continue with nature’s destruction. This article seeks to more clearly define deforestation risk and uses the case of bovine leather from Brazil to illustrate how pressures for deforestation accumulate across economic sectors towards production, while deforestation risk is dispersed in an opposite trajectory. The article draws on multiple datasets and an extensive literature review. Included are quantitative data sources on annual slaughter, bovine hide/leather registry and annual deforestation, slaughterhouse and tannery locations. We argue that the EU banning unsustainable products from entry and putting incentives for more sustainable agricultural production in the tropics addresses deforestation risks that are currently visible and relatively easy to identify. These response mechanisms are conditioned upon traceability of deforestation risk across supply chains, which is prone to falsifications, leakage and laundry. Although proven to be essential, the proposed EU responses still miss out deeper leverage points to address the systemic drivers of deforestation coming from the manufacturing, service and control sectors that make production through deforestation profitable in the first place.
... However, Rose, Golub, and Sohngen use a dynamic version of the GTAP model and allow for endogenous cropland expansion into inaccessible forests using a land endowment elasticity parameter inferred from the Global Timber Model from Sohngen and Mendelsohn (2006). The GLOBIOM and MAgPIE (Schmitz et al. 2012) models include specific conversion costs for moving from non-agricultural (natural) land to cropland. Schmitz et al. for example, use a figure of $1,000/ha to convert tropical forestland into cropland. ...
... Although the main focus of Schmitz et al. (2012) is the interaction between trade liberalization and forest conservation policies on land use changes, one of their scenarios examines investments in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Pacific Asia to accelerate yield growth by one percentage point a year. This was found to be effective at saving forests (22.4 Mha less deforestation, with most of this in Southeast Asia), although far from offset deforestation in those regions of 229 Mha in their base run Schmitz et al. is one of the few studies that has explicitly modeled forest protection policies, and they conclude that such policies must be a large part of the solution to tropical deforestation, although accelerating crop productivity through investment in R&D can help. ...
Article
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Increasing agricultural yields seem an obvious way to satisfy increasing demands for food and fuel while minimizing expansion of agriculture into forest areas; however, an influential literature worries that promoting agricultural innovation could enhance agriculture's profitability thereby encouraging deforestation. Clarifying the effects of agricultural technological progress on deforestation is therefore crucial for designing effective policy responses to the challenges faced by global agriculture. In this article we review the empirical evidence on these effects and synthesize estimates of future global cropland expansion. Our main insights are that: (i) the empirical evidence on a positive link between regional technological progress and deforestation is much weaker than what seems generally accepted; (ii) at a global level, most analysts expect broad based technological progress to be land saving; however, composition effects are important as low-yield, land-abundant regions are likely to experience further land expansion. Toward the future, empirical work understanding how localized technological progress in agriculture transmits through international trade and commodity markets will help to bridge the gap between the findings of local, econometric, studies on the one hand and global, model based, studies on the other.
... However, the limited availability of aggregated data at the national level about the type of agriculture (subsistence vs. commercial) prevents the use of robust quantitative methods. Schmitz et al. (2015) show that further liberalization would lead to an expansion of deforestation in Amazonia due to the comparative advantages of agriculture in South America. Globally, they estimate, using a spatially explicit economic land-use model coupled to a biophysical vegetation model, that an additional area of between 30 and 60 million ha (5-10%) of tropical rainforests would be cleared, leading to 2040 Gt of additional CO2 emissions by 2050. ...
... Facing such pressure, conservation is put forward as one of the main solutions for a policy-oriented response (Schmitz et al., 2015). Lavelle et al. (2016) investigate the sustainability of deforested land in the Brazilian Amazon using socioeconomic and environmental data. ...
Article
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Using newly-released and globally available high resolution remote sensing data on forest loss, we update the assessment of the crosscountry determinants of deforestation in developing countries. We validate most of the major determinants found in the previous literature, generally based on earlier time-periods, except for the role of institutional quality. Agricultural trade, hitherto relatively neglected , is found to be one of the main factors causing deforestation. Focusing on the effect of international trade, we show that countries with different levels of relative forest cover react differently to a shock in agricultural exports value. We also emphasize that taking coun-tries' development into account may be critical in assessing global deforestation trends. The impact of trade is high in countries still endowed with a large proportion of forest cover while it is lower in countries with smaller remaining forest cover. 1 We finally estimate, through a simple calibration exercise, the requirements for a cost-effective REDD+ policy for compensating trade losses in an open economy exporting agricultural commodities and endowed with tropical forests. We conclude that, in a world with increasing global demand, it might be costly to compensate totally and thus to offer the right incentives for developing countries to limit deforestation.
... However, the limited availability of aggregated data at the national level about the type of agriculture (subsistence vs. commercial) prevents the use of robust quantitative methods. Schmitz et al. (2015) show that further liberalization would lead to an expansion of deforestation in Amazonia due to the comparative advantages of agriculture in South America. Globally, they estimate, using a spatially explicit economic land-use model coupled to a biophysical vegetation model, that an additional area of between 30 and 60 million ha (5-10%) of tropical rainforests would be cleared, leading to 20-40 Gt of additional CO 2 emissions by 2050. ...
... Facing such pressure, conservation is put forward as one of the main solutions for a policy-oriented response (Schmitz et al., 2015). Lavelle et al. (2016) investigate the sustainability of deforested land in the Brazilian Amazon using socioeconomic and environmental data. ...
Article
Using newly-released and globally available high-resolution remote sensing data on forest loss, we update the assessment of the cross-country determinants of deforestation in developing countries.We validate most of the major determinants found in the previous literature, generally based on earlier time-periods, except for the role of institutional quality. Agricultural trade, hitherto relatively neglected, is found to be one of the main factors causing deforestation. Focusing on the effect of international trade, we show that countries with different levels of relative forest cover react differently to a shock in agricultural exports' value. We also emphasize that taking countries' development into account may be critical in assessing global deforestation trends. The impact of trade is high in countries still endowed with a large proportion of forest cover while it is lower in countries with smaller remaining forest cover.We finally estimate, through a simple calibration exercise, the requirements for a cost-effective REDD+ policy for compensating trade losses in an open economy exporting agricultural commodities and endowed with tropical forests. We conclude that, in a world with increasing global demand, it might be costly to compensate totally and thus to offer the right incentives for developing countries to limit deforestation.
... The 4.34% decrease in forest cover in the entire period follows the trend for the State of São Paulo and many tropical forests around the world (Ribeiro et al., 2009;Dalla Nora and Santos, 2011). Most of the deforestation and forest degradation process is associated with the agricultural frontier expansion and the implementation of more intensive practices (FAO, 2010;Mulitza et al., 2010;Pereira et al., 2010;Schmitz et al., 2014). Studies by Ellis and Ramankutty (2008) showed that 14 of the 21 biomes in the world are affected by agricultural practices. ...
... Studies by Ellis and Ramankutty (2008) showed that 14 of the 21 biomes in the world are affected by agricultural practices. According to Schmitz et al. (2014), between 30 and 60 million ha (5e10%) of tropical rainforests in the world would be cleared by 2050. In the case of the Atlantic Rain Forest in São Paulo, there was an annual deforestation of 14,090 ha between 2010(Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica and INPE, 2012. ...
Article
The conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land and urban areas plays a threat to the protected areas and the natural ecosystems conservation. The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the agricultural expansion and its impact on the landscape spatial and temporal patterns in a buffer zone of a protected area located in the transition zone between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The land use and land cover were mapped between 1971 and 2008 and landscape metrics were calculated to provide a spatiotemporal analysis of the forest structure and the expansion of the croplands. The results showed that the landscape patterns were affected by the economic cycles. The predominant crop surrounding the protected area is sugar cane, which increased by 39% during this period, followed by citrus. This landscape change is connected to the Brazilian oil crisis in 1973. The rapid expansion of sugar cane was largely driven by Brazil's biofuel program, the “Proálcool” (pro-alcohol), a project in 1975 that mixed ethanol with gas for automotive fuel. The forest loss occurred mainly between 1971 and 1988, decreasing the forest cover from 17% in 1971 to 12.7% in 2008. Most of the forest patches are smaller than 50 ha and has low connectivity. Throughout the years, the fragments in the buffer zone have become smaller and with an elongated shape, and the park has become isolated. This forest fragmentation process and the predominance of monoculture lands in the buffer zone threaten the protected areas, and can represent a barrier for these areas to provide the effective biodiversity conservation. The measures proposed are necessary to ensure the capability of this ecosystem to sustain its original biodiversity.
... Among others, Schmitz et al. [13] showed that trade liberalisation led to the expansion of deforestation in Amazonia. Furthermore, in line with Lee and Zhang [12] and Schmitz et al. [13], Flachsbarth et al. [14] pointed out that further trade liberalization would lead to more environmental pressures in some regions across Latin America. ...
... Among others, Schmitz et al. [13] showed that trade liberalisation led to the expansion of deforestation in Amazonia. Furthermore, in line with Lee and Zhang [12] and Schmitz et al. [13], Flachsbarth et al. [14] pointed out that further trade liberalization would lead to more environmental pressures in some regions across Latin America. ...
Article
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In line with the development of international trade, environmental concerns have arisen as a global problem. International trade has the potential to increase environmental externalities such as transboundary pollution, deforestation, transportation and production relocation avoiding environmental standards. The share of agricultural goods in total export reached 15% in 2017. Since 2002, the proportion of unprocessed agricultural products have more than doubled, while the volume of processed goods in global trade has tripled. Despite the importance of agricultural trade worldwide, the number of studies exploring the trade-agriculture-environment nexus has so far been limited. This paper aims to provide an overview of the environmental impacts of agricultural trade based on the international economics literature published in recent years by way of a systematic literature review. Results suggest that most recent environmental studies do not view extended trade or trade liberalization in agriculture favourably. Only a limited number of papers state that a country or countries’ environment could benefit from agricultural trade, and only a few researchers have found that agricultural trade did not have any significant influence at all, or have instead found the effects on the environment to be ambiguous. Finally, the research reveals the most important consequences of pollution and offers potential solutions.
... Based on climate modeling analysis, deforestation of tropical regions (Amazon, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia) significantly affects precipitation at mid-and high latitudes through hydrometeorological teleconnections (Avisar and Werth 2005). Without significant change in forest protection efforts, the loss of forests in these three regions by 2050 will reach about 29, 98, and 44 %, respectively (Schmitz et al. 2014). ...
... The study of Schmitz et al. (2014) indicated that by increasing investment in forest sector for facilitating change in technology (TC) at rate of 1 % per year on top of the external investment, the forest destruction might decrease. The hypothesis of this scenario is that higher investments in TC can reduce the rate of forest destruction without any forest protection (e.g., investing in agricultural productivity reduces pressure on tropical forests without the necessity of direct protection; see section 9.6.5). ...
Chapter
Loss of forest cover in large scale in tropical region will have impact on climate significantly. This will change air pressure distribution and shift the typical global circulation patterns and change rainfall distribution. Its contribution to the increase of greenhouse gas emission will also enhance global warming and may increase the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events. Deforestation in the three tropical regions, Amazon, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia, still continues. Without significant change in forest protection efforts, the loss of forests in these three regions by 2050 will reach about 29, 98, and 44 %, respectively.
... Based on climate modeling analysis, deforestation of tropical regions (Amazon, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia) significantly affects precipitation at mid-and high latitudes through hydrometeorological teleconnections (Avisar and Werth 2005). Without significant change in forest protection efforts, the loss of forests in these three regions by 2050 will reach about 29, 98, and 44 %, respectively (Schmitz et al. 2014). Deforestation will also contribute to the increase of GHG emission to the atmosphere. ...
... The study of Schmitz et al. (2014) indicated that by increasing investment in forest sector for facilitating change in technology (TC) at rate of 1 % per year on top of the external investment, the forest destruction might decrease. The hypothesis of this scenario is that higher investments in TC can reduce the rate of forest destruction without any forest protection (e.g., investing in agricultural productivity reduces pressure on tropical forests without the necessity of direct protection; see section 9.6.5). ...
Book
This book presents good practices in Asia and ASEAN countries for effectively promoting advances in response to climate change, which can help to achieve sustainable development in Asia and around the world. As a proposal, the aim is to influence the discussions at COP 21 by providing a positive agenda with concrete actions from an Asian perspective. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 describes the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction scenario from an Asian perspective and in line with global 2 ° targets. Based on modeling analysis, the studies demonstrate the theoretical potentials and send the policymakers at COP 21 the positive message that "Asia can reach the target." As Asian countries vary in terms of their economic strength, country-specific scenario studies for the two giants China and India as well as for Japan and Vietnam are introduced to show the different approaches for each country. Part 2 shows successful examples of how modeling analysis are reflected in actual policy development, which provides practical guidelines to help policymakers develop their own roadmaps with stakeholder dialogue, not only in Asia but also in other regions of the world. The Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) roadmap development in Thailand as well as the Iskandar Malaysia project show at the country and city level how researchers and policymakers are working closely to succeed. Part 3 focuses on a number of sector-specific activities including transportation, forestry, capacity development, and inventory work in Asia. Rather than discussing the Low Carbon Society (LCS) concept in detail, the respective chapters highlight unique, concrete, and practically applicable examples from Asia, showing how Asian countries are addressing climate change mitigation issues in a collaborative manner, an approach that can be replicated in other regions. While the ultimate goal of this book is to facilitate international climate regime making, local government and international organizations (United Nations, World Bank, and others) officers, researchers, international NGO/NPOs, consultants, students (particularly those studying international relationships or environmental studies), as well as reporters will find this book useful in broadening their understanding of low-carbon development in Asia.
... For example, land use change pressures on forests are directly linked to the value given to forest resources in these different social-ecological contexts. In tropical and sub-tropical regions, the climate, geographical, and ecological conditions are favourable for activities such as agriculture and livestock; thus, the pressure of land use change on forest resources are higher (Schmitz et al. 2013). National development strategies and interests from markets and other forest-related sectors also contribute to how forests are valued. ...
... Countries that face the highest rate of deforestation of natural forests consider illegal logging as a common problem. Illegal logging and its associated activities, such as pressure for land use change, are the primary drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries (Schmitz et al. 2013;Zarin et al. 2016). Certification schemes comprise part of an effort to regulate the timber market through implementing SFM. ...
... Food can be traded internationally within certain self-sufficiency thresholds 61 . To satisfy increases in demand, the model finds an economic equilibrium between expanding croplands and expanding irrigated areas, relocating crop production to higher-yielding areas. ...
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Degrowth proponents advocate reducing ecologically destructive forms of production and resource throughput in wealthy economies to achieve environmental goals, while transforming production to focus on human well-being. Here we present a quantitative model to test degrowth principles in the food and land system. Our results confirm that reducing and redistributing income alone, within current development paradigms, leads to limited greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation from agriculture and land-use change, as the nutrition transition towards unsustainable diets already occurs at relatively low income levels. Instead, we show that a structural, qualitative food system transformation can achieve a steady-state food system economy that is net GHG-neutral by 2100 while improving nutritional outcomes. This sustainable transformation reduces material throughput via a convergence towards a needs-based food system, is enabled by a more equitable income distribution and includes efficient resource allocation through the pricing of GHG emissions as a complementary strategy. It thereby integrates degrowth and efficiency perspectives.
... 2. The present-day reference for the total area of natural vegetation is taken from the 1995 MAgPIE pattern. The MAg- PIE model is calibrated with respect to the spatial pattern of total cropland to be in line with other data sources, like the MIRCA2000 data set (Schmitz et al., 2014). That means that the area of natural vegetation assumed here is not in conflict with the total area of harvested land described by MIRCA2000 and used here to calculate crop global production based on the crop model simulations. ...
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Climate change and its impacts already pose considerable challenges for societies that will further increase with global warming (IPCC, 2014a, b). Uncertainties of the climatic response to greenhouse gas emissions include the potential passing of large-scale tipping points (e.g. Lenton et al., 2008; Levermann et al., 2012; Schellnhuber, 2010) and changes in extreme meteorological events (Field et al., 2012) with complex impacts on societies (Hallegatte et al., 2013). Thus climate change mitigation is considered a necessary societal response for avoiding uncontrollable impacts (Conference of the Parties, 2010). On the other hand, large-scale climate change mitigation itself implies fundamental changes in, for example, the global energy system. The associated challenges come on top of others that derive from equally important ethical imperatives like the fulfilment of increasing food demand that may draw on the same resources. For example, ensuring food security for a growing population may require an expansion of cropland, thereby reducing natural carbon sinks or the area available for bio-energy production. So far, available studies addressing this problem have relied on individual impact models, ignoring uncertainty in crop model and biome model projections. Here, we propose a probabilistic decision framework that allows for an evaluation of agricultural management and mitigation options in a multi-impactmodel setting. Based on simulations generated within the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), we outline how cross-sectorally consistent multi-model impact simulations could be used to generate the information required for robust decision making. Using an illustrative future land use pattern, we discuss the trade-off between potential gains in crop production and associated losses in natural carbon sinks in the new multiple crop- and biome-model setting. In addition, crop and water model simulations are combined to explore irrigation increases as one possible measure of agricultural intensification that could limit the expansion of cropland required in response to climate change and growing food demand. This example shows that current impact model uncertainties pose an important challenge to long-term mitigation planning and must not be ignored in long-term strategic decision making.
... This reinforces the value of model comparison and the importance of more work on harmonizing the assumptions and implementation of trade policy assumptions. Moreover, while increased trade may help to alleviate pressures from combined social economic and/or climate impacts on agricultural production and prices, it may also entail other impacts and externalities potentially linked to themboth positive, for example increases in productivity embedded in increased inputs or investment (Huang et al 2011) and negative, for example increases greenhouse gas emissions due to deforestation (Schmitz et al 2014b). Some of these externalities are dealt with explicitly in the SSP storylines (see for example O'Neill et al 2015), but are beyond the scope of this paper. ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have combined climate, crop and economic models to examine the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security, but results have varied widely due to differences in models, scenarios and input data. Recent work has examined (and narrowed) these differences through systematic model intercomparison using a high-emissions pathway to highlight the differences. This paper extends that analysis to explore a range of plausible socioeconomic scenarios and emission pathways. Results from multiple climate and economic models are combined to examine the global and regional impacts of climate change on agricultural yields, area, production, consumption, prices and trade for coarse grains, rice, wheat, oilseeds and sugar crops to 2050. We find that climate impacts on global average yields, area, production and consumption are similar across shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP 1, 2 and 3, as we implement them based on population, income and productivity drivers), except when changes in trade policies are included. Impacts on trade and prices are higher for SSP 3 than SSP 2, and higher for SSP 2 than for SSP 1. Climate impacts for all variables are similar across low to moderate emissions pathways (RCP 4.5 and RCP 6.0), but increase for a higher emissions pathway (RCP 8.5). It is important to note that these global averages may hide regional variations. Projected reductions in agricultural yields due to climate change by 2050 are larger for some crops than those estimated for the past half century, but smaller than projected increases to 2050 due to rising demand and intrinsic productivity growth. Results illustrate the sensitivity of climate change impacts to differences in socioeconomic and emissions pathways. Yield impacts increase at high emissions levels and vary with changes in population, income and technology, but are reduced in all cases by endogenous changes in prices and other variables.
... The prevailing model for rural development in the Amazon over the last half century-replacing forests with agriculture, cattle ranching, and large-scale hydropower generation-has long been outdated for a number of environmental, economic, and social reasons (25)(26)(27). For instance, for Brazil, the gross agricultural product of the Amazon represents 14.5% of Brazil's agriculture sector gross domestic product (GDP), using a deforested area of about 750,000 km 2 . ...
Article
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For half a century, the process of economic integration of the Amazon has been based on intensive use of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources, which has brought significant basin-wide environmental alterations. The rural development in the Amazonia pushed the agricultural frontier swiftly, resulting in widespread land-cover change, but agriculture in the Amazon has been of low productivity and unsustainable. The loss of biodiversity and continued deforestation will lead to high risks of irreversible change of its tropical forests. It has been established by modeling studies that the Amazon may have two "tipping points," namely, temperature increase of 4 °C or deforestation exceeding 40% of the forest area. If transgressed, large-scale "savannization" of mostly southern and eastern Amazon may take place. The region has warmed about 1 °C over the last 60 y, and total deforestation is reaching 20% of the forested area. The recent significant reductions in deforestation-80% reduction in the Brazilian Amazon in the last decade-opens up opportunities for a novel sustainable development paradigm for the future of the Amazon. We argue for a new development paradigm-away from only attempting to reconcile maximizing conservation versus intensification of traditional agriculture and expansion of hydropower capacity-in which we research, develop, and scale a high-tech innovation approach that sees the Amazon as a global public good of biological assets that can enable the creation of innovative high-value products, services, and platforms through combining advanced digital, biological, and material technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in progress.
... This is also the case of studies emphasizing the role of industrial production oriented towards international trade. Schmitz et al. (2015) show that further liberalization would lead to an expansion of deforestation in the Amazon due to the comparative advantages of agriculture in South America. Globally, they estimate, using a spatially explicit economic land-use model coupled to a biophysical vegetation model, that an additional area of between 30 and 60 million ha (5-10%) of tropical rainforests would be cleared, leading to 2040 Gt of additional CO2 emissions by 2050. ...
Article
Full-text available
I review the literature about the determinants of deforestation (with a focus on developing countries) and shows descriptive statistics of recent deforestation (2000-2012), using newly-released and globally available high resolution remote sensing data on forest loss. This allows to assess recent trends in order to discuss global policy choices and orient international conservation policies. I try to address the requirements for a cost-effective REDD+ policy , compensating trade losses in an open economy exporting agricultural commodities and endowed with tropical forests. I finally discuss the challenges of its implementation with a focus on additionality and the effects of international trade and global demand.
... This is also the case of studies emphasizing the role of industrial production oriented towards international trade. Schmitz et al. (2015) show that further liberalization would lead to an expansion of deforestation in the Amazon due to the comparative advantages of agriculture in South America. Globally, they estimate, using a spatially explicit economic land-use model coupled to a biophysical vegetation model, that an additional area of between 30 million and 60 million ha (5-10%) of tropical rainforests would be cleared, leading to 2040 Gt of additional CO 2 emissions by 2050. ...
... Policy actions also need to tackle undesirable trade-offs amongst SDG goals. These include environmental trade-offs, for example improved profitability of agricultural systems can drive deforestation and thus the need for forest governance policies to complement market policies in agriculture [40]. Transformative actions come with risks, for farmers, investors, development agencies and politicians. ...
Article
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Actions on climate change (SDG 13), including in the food system, are crucial. SDG 13 needs to align with the Paris Agreement, given that UNFCCC negotiations set the framework for climate change actions. Food system actions can have synergies and trade-offs, as illustrated by the case for nitrogen fertiliser. SDG 13 actions that reduce emissions can have positive impacts on other SDGs (e.g. 3, 6, 12, 14, 15); but such actions should not undermine the adaptation goals of SDG 13 and SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 10. Balancing trade-offs is thus crucial, with SDG 12 central: responsible consumption and production. Transformative actions in food systems are needed to achieve SDG 13 (and other SDGs), involving technical, policy, capacity enhancement and finance elements. But transformative actions come with risks, for farmers, investors, development agencies and politicians. Likely short and long term impacts need to be understood.
... fertilization) that reduce limiting factors, increase yields and reverse degradation ( de Oliveira Silva et al., 2017). In this study, we did not account for intensification that may happen in response to a protection of natural ecosystems and changing economic conditions ( Schmitz et al., 2015;Eitelberg et al., 2016;Merry & Soares-Filho, 2017). ...
Article
Agricultural expansion is a leading driver of biodiversity loss across the world, but little is known on how future land-use change may encroach on remaining natural vegetation. This uncertainty is, in part, due to unknown levels of future agricultural intensification and international trade. Using an economic land-use model, we assessed potential future losses of natural vegetation with a focus on how these may threaten biodiversity hotspots and intact forest landscapes. We analysed agricultural expansion under proactive and reactive biodiversity protection scenarios, and for different rates of pasture intensification. We found growing food demand to lead to a significant expansion of cropland at the expense of pastures and natural vegetation. In our reference scenario, global cropland area increased by more than 400 Mha between 2015 and 2050, mostly in Africa and Latin America. Grazing intensification was a main determinant of future land-use change. In Africa, higher rates of pasture intensification resulted in smaller losses of natural vegetation, and reduced pressure on biodiversity hotspots and intact forest landscapes. Investments into raising pasture productivity in conjunction with proactive land-use planning appear essential in Africa to reduce further losses of areas with high conservation value. In Latin America, in contrast, higher pasture productivity resulted in increased livestock exports, highlighting that unchecked trade can reduce the land savings of pasture intensification. Reactive protection of sensitive areas significantly reduced the conversion of natural ecosystems in Latin America. We conclude that protection strategies need to adapt to region-specific trade positions. In regions with a high involvement in international trade, area-based conservation measures should be preferred over strategies aimed at increasing pasture productivity, which by themselves might not be sufficient to protect biodiversity effectively.
... This study provides a first systematic and comprehensive review of monetary valuation studies of changes in ecosystem services for common ecosystems and land-cover conversion processes in Germany. In addition, this review includes information on the potential costs of ecosystem service loss caused by tropical deforestation, which is relevant for accounting for the costs of ecosystem service loss due to imports of agriculture and forest commodities from tropical forest regions [19][20][21]. As such, this literature review and the developed database can Incorporating environmental costs of ecosystem service loss in political decision making inform on potential costs and benefits involved in land-cover change in terms of ecosystem services loss in Germany and tropical forest regions. ...
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Germany faces on-going degradation and biodiversity loss. As a consequence, goods and services provided by biodiversity for human well-being, so-called ecosystem services, are being lost. The associated economic costs and benefits are often unknown. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature review and developed a database of monetary values for the changes in ecosystem services that result from ecosystem change in Germany. In total, 109 monetary valuation studies of regulating and cultural ecosystem services were identified, with the majority focusing on forests and wetlands. In collaboration with valuation experts and the German Federal Environment Agency—Umweltbundesamt (UBA), we defined a set of criteria that economic valuation studies should meet in order to qualify for being used in decision making on national policies. Only 6 out of 109 valuation studies (5.5%) fulfilled the quality criteria for informing such decisions. Overall, monetary information on regulating and cultural ecosystem services is scattered and scarce compared to information on provisioning services, which is accounted for in detail in national statistics. This imbalance in information likely contributes to the distortion in land-use policies, giving preference to maximizing provisioning services in agricultural production and forestry, while neglecting the societal relevance of regulating and cultural services. Decision makers have to rely on only a few cost estimates that are scientifically robust, while being pragmatic to include also vague estimates in cases where data is lacking. The transferability of the monetary values included in our database depends on the biophysical and socio-economic site conditions as well as the decision context of the intended application. Case specific adjustments following guidance for benefit transfer are recommended. Given the lack of applicable studies, we call for more decision-relevant economic assessments. Even in cases where monetary estimates are available, we suggest decision makers to consider also other benefit information available to capture the multiple values ecosystems provide to humans.
... El cambio de uso del suelo representa uno de los grandes desafíos que se antepone a los planes de sostenibilidad actual, debido a que contribuye al cambio climático y a la pérdida de biodiversidad (Mahmood et al., 2010). Los factores que lo impulsan varían a nivel regional y se modifican a través del tiempo (Rudel et al., 2009) por la presencia de fenómenos como el crecimiento poblacional, la globalización y la apertura del mercado de exportación, que podrían modificar el escenario de la conversión de tierras en el futuro (Schmitz et al., 2015). En México, desde la década de los sesenta, existe una clara tendencia de transformación de los bosques a usos agropecuarios, en los que la agricultura de temporal es la dominante (Rosete-Vergés et al., 2014). ...
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El cambio de uso del suelo representa uno de los grandes desafíos que se antepone a la sostenibilidad, debido a que contribuye al cambio climático y a la pérdida de biodiversidad. Ante esto, y con base en el desconocimiento de los patrones de cambios de usos del suelo y sus efectos en los ecosistemas de Huimanguillo, Tabasco, se planteó realizar un análisis con Land Change Modeler (2000-2010) para estimar la distribución de las coberturas naturales con mayor presión ambiental. A partir de ello se construyó una proyección con Cadenas de Markov y Autómatas Celulares (2030). Así, durante 2000 y 2010 se detectaron importantes ganancias en los humedales (39 236 ha) y en la vegetación arbórea (24 773 ha), lo cual es favorable para el mantenimiento de los servicios ecosistémicos. Sin embargo, se registraron aumentos en la zona urbana (1 266 ha) con disminución en la agropecuaria (53 639 ha), aunque esta aún constituye la mayor superficie en el territorio. Además, con el análisis espacial del 2010 contra la proyección 2030, se detectó que continuaron las tendencias de crecimiento de los humedales (7 197 ha), vegetación arbórea (9 937 ha) y uso urbano (1 498 ha); así como la disminución del área agropecuaria (16 433 ha). Este estudio generó información cartográfica útil para la definición de las estrategias y políticas de planificación territorial, que conlleve a la implementación de un modelo de ordenamiento ecológico territorial de desarrollo urbano, y, en su caso, al decreto de áreas naturales protegidas.
... Forests provide diverse ecosystem services and play a key role in the conservation of endangered and endemic species (Gibson et al., 2011;Moura et al., 2013), covering one third of the terrestrial land surface (Keenan et al., 2015), and are of prime importance for human wellbeing. Due to increasing demand for agricultural and forest products coupled by a significant urban sprawl and infrastructure development (Faria and Almeida, 2016;Schmitz et al., 2015), forests worldwide have experienced pressure over the last decades (Laurance et al., 2014). The consequences of forest loss can be substantial when impacting intact forests that are hosting irreplaceable biodiversity and ecosystem services (Gibson et al., 2011;Foley et al., 2005). ...
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Forests are under increasing pressure globally and the establishment of protected areas has long been used as a conservation tool to preserve them. Seven categories of protected areas have been defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with different management objectives and protection levels. However, recent studies raised questions over whether protected areas are effective in preventing ecosystem degradation and whether IUCN categories vary in their effectiveness. In this study, we analysed forest loss and trends between 2001 and 2014 within IUCN protected areas at a global scale and within sixteen Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem services (IPBES) subregions, relevant for international policy. As habitat protection can be driven by the location of protected areas and as the amount of forest within protected sites is highly unequal, we reported the forest loss integrating the proximity of roads and population, as well as the amount of initial forest in 2000. Our results show that worldwide, the highest protection categories experienced less forest loss than those allowing more human intervention, although this result was reversed in three IPBES subregions. Moreover, in four subregions there was more forest loss within protected areas than outside. We also found accelerating rates of forest loss in protected areas across all IUCN categories, more pronounced in the highest protection IUCN categories. Our results highlight the importance of moving the discussion of the post-2020 biodiversity framework for protected areas beyond simple general areal targets and that areas with poor implementation effectiveness should benefit from additional support.
... On the one hand, current food trade provides nutrient access to some poorer countries, 8 and liberalized trade maximizes countries' comparative advantages and could buffer agriculture losses due to climate change. 9 On the other hand, globalization might make food systems more sensitive to climate-related disruptions 10, 11 and might exacerbate environ-mental impacts associated with food production (e.g., tropical deforestation 12 and nutrient pollution 13,14 ). Based on more local production, regionalized food systems could be an alternative to globalized ones, with multiple potential benefits. ...
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... This does not necessarily mean that countries with the lowest GHG emissions produce agricultural products in the absence of trade restrictions. Beyond a priori ambiguous change in the direction of net GHG emissions, some authors point to strong expansions in deforestation levels in Brazil (Faria, 2016;Fuchs et al., 2019;Pendrilla et al., 2019;Schmitz et al., 2015). They project potentially large levels of deforestation and increases of GHG emissions from Brazil as a result of the trade dispute being analysed here. ...
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China is a major importer of agricultural products and we examine retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on U.S. pork, soybeans, corn, and wheat. We use an agricultural trade model to determine the impacts on agricultural commodity markets and combine our results with an input‐output model to measure economic effects in the United States. In addition, we calculate global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land‐use change. The consequences of retaliatory tariffs are both trade destruction (lower overall trade) and trade diversion (trade diverted away from the U.S. and to other exporting countries). By the end of the projection period, total U.S. pork exports decline by 4.7%. Total soybean and wheat exports decrease by 31.2% and 0.5%, respectively whereas corn exports increases by 4.0%. Domestic U.S. retail pork prices decline by 0.8% and commodity farm prices decrease by 4.2%, 5.1%, and 15.8% for corn, wheat, and soybeans, respectively. The decline in foreign demand reduces U.S. production and welfare. Key among these impacts are a loss of nearly 15,400 jobs and a fall in labor income by $1.35 billion due to a $3.70 billion decline in national output at the beginning of the projection period. By the last year of the projection, the impacts grow to almost 30,000 fewer jobs and $2.31 billion less labor income. The U.S. economy experiences a loss of slightly under $6.80 billion in national output. Changes in trade due to the tariffs result in a reduction of GHG emissions from land‐use change of up to 83.7 teragram (Tg) of CO2‐equivalent.
... 13,67 The extensive clearing of tropical forests throughout past decades is in part driven by increased international trade in agricultural commodities (Figure 5B), and the expectation is that this trend will continue due to further trade liberalization. 92,93 Increasing global demands for meat, animal feed, and oil seed products have led to major changes in land use in developing countries. 94 There is also a link between international trade in wood products (particularly roundwood timber) and declining national forest stocks, especially in developing countries in the tropics, such as Indonesia and Cameroon. ...
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Biological invasions are synonymous with international trade. The direct effects of trade have largely been quantified using relationships between imports and the number of alien species in a region or patterns in the global spread of species linked to shipping and air traffic networks. But trade also has an indirect role on biological invasions by transforming the environments and societies of exporting and importing nations. Here, both the direct and indirect roles of trade on biological invasions, as well as their interaction, are examined for the first time. Future trends in international trade, including e-commerce, new trade routes, and major infrastructure developments, will lead to the pressure on national borders soon outstripping the resources available for intervention. The current legislative and scientific tools targeting biological invasions are insufficient to deal with this growing threat and require a new mindset that focuses on curbing the pandemic risk posed by alien species.
... The national land policy introduced a land zoning system in PAs [22,23], and the national agricultural policy (1999, 2013) focused on improvement of local livelihoods in PAs in 1999 [23,24]. Such different programs under different policies could interactively cause unintended interactions in PAs [25,26]. In particular, forest conservation in PAs may be influenced by land zoning programs aimed at the improvement of local livelihoods, but little is known about how these policies and programs interactively influence changes in land use and land cover changes in PAs. ...
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In protected areas (PAs) in Bangladesh, as policies shift from net deforestation, conservation initiatives and various management plans have been implemented to reduce deforestation and include public participation at multiple levels. However, the interactive effect of land-related policies on deforestation in PAs is poorly understood. In this study, land-use change analysis using geographic information system data was performed to investigate how policies affected land use and land cover change in Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary (RKWS), particularly the National Forest Policy (1979~), National Land Policy (2001~), and Agricultural Land Policy (1999~), using a series of Landsat images captured at different times. Our analyses showed that the total forest area increased in the 1994–2005 period when a plantation program was implemented, and also that many forest areas were replaced with noncommercial agricultural land areas in the 2005–2013 and 2013–2018 periods, when land zoning and co-management programs were implemented under different land-related policies. Commercial and non-commercial agricultural land expansions were the main drivers of deforestation, suggesting that several programs under the different land-related policies could have had synergetic effects on deforestation even in PAs. Our findings emphasize the importance of considering the undesirable effects of land-related policies in Pas, and the need to support the community for forest conservation.
... Such increases in production could also result in increases in global GHG emissions unless food systems become 'emissions efficient' and produce lower emissions per unit of output. As trade will expand to contribute to climate change adaptation, increased transport will also add to the emissions (FAO, 2018a;Pendrill et al., 2019;Schmitz et al., 2012Schmitz et al., , 2015. The ultimate impact on global emissions depends on whether imports are sourced from systems that operate at lower emissions efficiency or from ones that operate at higher emissions efficiency (Table 1). ...
... To achieve consistency, individual crop model projections would have to be translated into individual LU patterns as described in Sect. 2 and Fig. 2. The present-day reference for the total area of natural vegetation is taken from the 1995 MAgPIE pattern. The MAg- PIE model is calibrated with respect to the spatial pattern of total cropland to be in line with other data sources, like the MIRCA2000 data set (Schmitz et al., 2014). That means that the area of natural vegetation assumed here is not in conflict with the total area of harvested land described by MIRCA2000 and used here to calculate crop global production based on the crop model simulations. ...
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Thesis
The trade-off between the economic development and the environmental goals is always subject of attention in developing countries. International organizations, national governments and even academic research institutions agree that development countries should implement economic policies that increase people's incomes while minimizing the environmental degradation. This doctoral thesis is part of this reflection on sustainable development through its chapters that focus on protected areas, deforestation and agricultural performance in developing countries. The first chapter presents the contextual and theoretical framework of the study. The second chapter focuses on the effects of the environmental protection instrument - protected areas - on deforestation. Focusing on the case of Brazil in the Legal Amazon, he shows that indigenous and integral protected areas reduce deforestation, which is not the case for sustainable protected areas. The third chapter focuses on the effects of protected areas on agriculture. Contrary to the intuitions that protected areas would hinder the development of agriculture, it shows, in the case of Brazil in the Legal Amazon, that the policy of creating protected areas improves the agricultural performance of producers. The latter employ more practices that allow more yields to be obtained on small areas without degrading the environment or increasing deforestation. The fourth chapter refers to the empirical relationship between agricultural commodity prices and deforestation. It appears that changes in the prices of agricultural raw materials favor the loss of forests in developing countries with large forest areas. In other words, as prices rise, as demand for agricultural raw materials increases with population growth, the deforestation process will also increase, leading to a significant loss of forest in the long term. Finally, the thesis recommends increasing the creation of protected areas to avoid significant deforestation in developing countries. Policies that control and stabilize the price increase effects of agricultural raw materials should also be a key objective in developing countries. We recommend again the adoption of agricultural technologies that allow sufficient production to be obtained on reduced land areas.
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The role of intensification in minimizing cropland and slowing deforestation is often disputed. We make a broad distinction between technology-induced and market-induced intensification. We find evidence at the local level that technical progress in a few cases may induce land expansion although much depends on where the technical change occurs (near the forest frontier or away from it) and the type of market (local or global). At a global level, technology-driven intensification is strongly land saving although deforestation in specific regions is likely to continue to occur. Market-driven intensification, however, is often a major cause of land expansion and deforestation especially for export commodities in times of high prices. Beyond land saving, the type of intensification matters a lot for environmental outcomes. Finally, technology-driven intensification by itself is unlikely to arrest deforestation unless accompanied by stronger governance of natural resources.
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The aim of this paper is to summarize results of two research projects implemented as collaborative actions of Joint stock company "Latvijas Valsts meži" (LVM), SKOGFORSK, The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk), Latvian State Forestry Research Institute "Silava" (Silava) and State limited company VSIA "Vides projekti" (Vides projekti). The first project, "Forest energy from small-dimension stands, infrastructure objects and stumps" (LVM, Skogforsk and Silava), has the aim to estimate productivity and prime costs of stump extraction in Latvian conditions; the second project, "Biomasas izmantošanas ilgtspjbas kritriju pielietošana un paskumu izstrde" (Application of sustainability criteria of utilization of biofuels and elaboration of preventive actions to secure sustainable use of biofuels, Silava and Vides projekti), besides other tasks has targeted to estimate environmentally sustainable resources of stumps for biofuel in Latvian forests. The results of the first project demonstrated, that harvestable amount of stumps in calculation to dry tons is 12% of harvested volume of roundwood in cubic meters under bark. This assumption corresponds to average Swedish and Finnish conditions, but it should be evaluated further in Latvia, taking in account different dimensions of trees and composition of forest stands. The productivity of two key elements of stump harvesting, extraction and forwarding is, respectively, 5.2 and 5.1 t dry E0-h (dry tons per efficient hour) with one way terrain transport distance 500 m. The total time consumption to produce and supply 1 LVm 3 (LV - loose volume) of stump chips is about 12 minutes in calculation to E 0-h, if one way terrain transport distance is 500 m, road transport distance of stumps - 7 km and road transport distance of chips - 50 km. The prime cost of stump biofuel production under the same conditions is 4.89 LVL LVm 3 in calculation to current fuel price. This cost includes soil preparation for forest regeneration. The total potential of stumps in clear-cuts according to the Forest inventory data about harvesting in 2007 was 1350 th.t dry . A part of those stumps are located in poor forest types on sandy soils, where stump extraction is not recommended, therefore, from environmental point of view the available resources are about 1228 th.t dry . Taking in account technological losses, technically available resources reduce to 737 th.t dry yearly corresponding to about 3903 th.MWh of net energy. It should be taken in account, that no technical or economical limitations are included in this estimation. The total carbon (C) emissions during harvesting and supply of stump biofuel as well as utilization of wood ash as a compensatory fertilizer corresponds to 5.6 % of carbon content in biofuel.
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This article presents a medium resolution land use data set (5 arc min, c. 10 × 10 km) for the year 2000 that reproduces national land use statistics for cropland and forestry at the country level. We distinguish five land use classes displayed as percent-per-gridcell layers: cropland, grazing, forestry, urban and infrastructure areas, and areas without land use. For each gridcell, the sum of these five layers is 100%; that is, the Earth's total land area is allocated to these five classes. Spatial patterns are derived from available thematic maps and reconciled with national extents from census data. Statistical comparisons of the resulting maps with MODIS and CORINE data demonstrate the reliability of our data set; remaining discrepancies can be largely explained by the conceptual difference between land use and land cover. The data set presented here is aimed to support the systematic integration of socio-economic and ecological data in integrated analyses of the coupled global land system. The data set can be downloaded at http://www.iff.ac.at/socec/.
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There is an emerging consensus that protected areas are key in reducing adverse land-cover change, but their efficacy remains difficult to quantify. Many previous assessments of protected area effectiveness have compared changes between sets of protected and unprotected sites that differ systematically in other potentially confounding respects (e.g. altitude, accessibility), have considered only forest loss or changes at single sites, or have analysed changes derived from land-cover data of low spatial resolution. We assessed the effectiveness of protection in reducing land-cover change in Important Bird Areas (IBAs) across Africa using a dedicated visual interpretation of higher resolution satellite imagery. We compared rates of change in natural land-cover over a c. 20-year period from around 1990 at a large number of points across 45 protected IBAs to those from 48 unprotected IBAs. A matching algorithm was used to select sample points to control for potentially confounding differences between protected and unprotected IBAs. The rate of loss of natural land-cover at sample points within protected IBAs was just 42% of that at matched points in unprotected IBAs. Conversion was especially marked in forests, but protection reduced rates of forest loss by a similar relative amount. Rates of conversion increased from the centre to the edges of both protected and unprotected IBAs, but rates of loss in 20-km buffer zones surrounding protected IBAs and unprotected IBAs were similar, with no evidence of displacement of conversion from within protected areas to their immediate surrounds (leakage).
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Countries are encouraged to identify drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the development of national strategies and action plans for REDD+. In this letter we provide an assessment of proximate drivers of deforestation and forest degradation by synthesizing empirical data reported by countries as part of their REDD+ readiness activities, CIFOR country profiles, UNFCCC national communications and scientific literature. Based on deforestation rate and remaining forest cover 100 (sub) tropical non-Annex I countries were grouped into four forest transition phases. Driver data of 46 countries were summarized for each phase and by continent, and were used as a proxy to estimate drivers for the countries with missing data. The deforestation drivers are similar in Africa and Asia, while degradation drivers are more similar in Latin America and Asia. Commercial agriculture is the most important driver of deforestation, followed by subsistence agriculture. Timber extraction and logging drives most of the degradation, followed by fuelwood collection and charcoal production, uncontrolled fire and livestock grazing. The results reflect the most up to date and comprehensive overview of current national-level data availability on drivers, which is expected to improve over time within the frame of the UNFCCC REDD+ process.
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Biofuels from land-rich tropical countries may help displace foreign petroleum imports for many industrialized nations, providing a possible solution to the twin challenges of energy security and climate change. But concern is mounting that crop-based biofuels will increase net greenhouse gas emissions if feedstocks are produced by expanding agricultural lands. Here we quantify the 'carbon payback time' for a range of biofuel crop expansion pathways in the tropics. We use a new, geographically detailed database of crop locations and yields, along with updated vegetation and soil biomass estimates, to provide carbon payback estimates that are more regionally specific than those in previous studies. Using this cropland database, we also estimate carbon payback times under different scenarios of future crop yields, biofuel technologies, and petroleum sources. Under current conditions, the expansion of biofuels into productive tropical ecosystems will always lead to net carbon emissions for decades to centuries, while expanding into degraded or already cultivated land will provide almost immediate carbon savings. Future crop yield improvements and technology advances, coupled with unconventional petroleum supplies, will increase biofuel carbon offsets, but clearing carbon-rich land still requires several decades or more for carbon payback. No foreseeable changes in agricultural or energy technology will be able to achieve meaningful carbon benefits if crop-based biofuels are produced at the expense of tropical forests.
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The paper explores the impact of an agricultural trade agreement, simulating alternative liberalization scenarios, and studying the outcomes of the interaction between the strategies of country groups in the negotiation. The analysis is based on the model of the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), and on the related version 5.4 database. Scenarios are run on a 2013 baseline, built by taking into account a number of events that have affected (and will further affect) world agricultural markets up to that period, allowing to focus on the effects that are specifically attributable to further trade liberalization in the Doha Round. The policy strategies analyzed are two liberalization scenarios based on the proposals made in the present round of agricultural negotiations in terms of market access and export competition, plus a free agricultural trade benchmark scenario. Simulations are employed to study the interactions between the possible strategies of two wide country groups – developed and developing countries -on the basis of game theory, and to search for mutually advantageous agreements to be compared with actual agreement hypotheses. Results indicate that welfare gains could be reaped both by developed and developing countries and the possibility of inter-country compensations would allow, at least in principle, to reach an agreement.
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The pressure on land as required input in competing uses fuelled research on trade-offs in land use due to agricultural land expansion to meet food demand which is explicitly and implicitly treated in global land use modelling. Global land use studies rely on assessing the trade-offs by assuming policy, environmental, and economic constraints on the availability of land but do not base on consistent land use budgets. Commonly, they lack the focus on a holistic view on land use which employs different categories including trade-offs without mixing land use with land cover categories. We pursue a spatially-explicit land use budgeting approach in global available land assessment to overcome overlaps in classification. Objectives pertain to (a) identifying and integrating plausible environmental datasets in consistent land use datasets and (b) identifying and analysing the available land base and plausible exogenous land conversion rates in the agricultural land use optimization model MAgPIE. Methodologically, consistent spatially-explicit land use datasets and incorporated climate, physical and normative constraints are used in a static geographical approach to overcome overlaps in classification. In a second step, the generated available-land-input datasets from pre-processing are implemented in MAgPIE as constraint equations. Assumed environmental trade-offs are complemented by economic trade-offs in terms of costs of land conversion and technological change. The analysis of model behaviour until 2055 builds on joint land expansion scenarios including available land stocks and historical cropland conversion rates. Results and conclusions refer to the available stock for conversion and land use patterns including the trade off between expansion versus intensification, the average technological change and relative total costs of production for three regions in two scenarios.
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In the past, deforestation, mainly driven by the conversion of natural forests to agricultural land, contributed up to one-fifth of global human induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Substitution of bioenergy for fossil energy is an intensely discussed option for mitigating CO2 emissions. This paper, by applying a global land-use model and a global energy–economy–climate model, explores how demand for cellulosic bioenergy crops will add an additional pressure on the land system in the future. In accordance with other studies, we find that CO2 emissions from land use change due to energy crop production will be an important factor in the GHG balance of bioenergy if natural forests will not be protected. But restricting land availability for biomass plantations by conserving natural forests requires additional efforts in the agricultural sector: First, our simulation results indicate that significant additional crop yield increases will be needed due to the combination of forest conservation and the cultivation of dedicated bioenergy crops. Secondly, our simulation results show that forest conservation in combination with increasing demand for dedicated bioenergy crops will lead to higher agricultural production costs of approximately 20%.
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Understanding the forces that drove policy in the past can inform expectations of the effectiveness of policy implementation today. Forest policies of countries with forested frontiers transition through stages of forest management, reflecting the orientation of governments toward economic development. The article follows Brazilian national forest policy from the early 20th century from colonization to protectionism, during which extrasectoral policies largely served to marginalize forest policy. More recently, profound changes in Brazil's governance structures, civil society's progressively important role in influencing policy, and recognition of the biophysical importance of forests have fostered an emerging vision of the Amazon as a region whose primary vocation is sustainable forest management. The sustainable management phase of forest policy development and the approval of Brazil's first Public Forest Management Law, given the current socioeconomic, political, and environmental context, present an unprecedented opportunity for increasing the relevance of forest policy in shaping land use.
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Human activities such as research & development, infrastructure or management are of major importance for agricultural productivity. These activities can be summarized as agricultural land-use intensity. We present a measure, called the τ-factor, which is an alternative to current measures for agricultural land-use intensity. The τ-factor is the ratio between actual yield and a reference yield under well defined management and technology conditions. By taking this ratio, the physical component (soils, climate), which is equal in both terms, is removed. We analyze global patterns of agricultural land-use intensity for 10 world regions and 12 crops, employing reference yields as computed with a global crop growth model for the year 2000. We show that parts of Russia, Asia and especially Africa had low agricultural land-use intensities, whereas the Eastern US, Western Europe and parts of China had high agricultural land-use intensities in 2000. Our presented measure of land use intensity is a useful alternative to existing measures, since it is independent of socio-economic data and allows for quantitative analysis.Highlights► We present a new, output-oriented measure for agricultural land-use intensity. ► The approach is model-assisted and extends current measures. ► Knowledge about applied technologies and management strategies is not needed. ► The concept bases on knowledge about the ecological system. ► We use the concept for a global land-use intensity analysis.
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Although global rates of tropical deforestation remain alarmingly high, they have decreased over the period 2000–2010, and a handful of tropical developing countries have recently been through a forest transition — a shift from net deforestation to net reforestation. This review synthesizes existing knowledge on the occurrence, causes, and ecological impacts of forest transitions and examines the prospects and policy options for a global forest transition. The ecological quality of forest transitions depends on multiple factors, including the importance of natural forest regeneration versus plantations. Given an increased competition for productive land between different land uses, a global forest transition will require major technological and policy innovations to supply wood and agricultural products. In the globalization era, national strategies aimed at forest protection and sustainable use of forest resources may have unintended effects abroad owing to a displacement of land use across countries. Decisions by consumers combined with certification schemes and moratoriums have an increasing influence on the fate of forests.
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abstractRecent analyses of land-use change in the US and China, together with the latest estimates of tropical deforestation and afforestation from the FAO, were used to calculate a portion of the annual flux of carbon between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The calculated flux includes only that portion of the flux resulting from direct human activity. In most regions, activities included the conversion of natural ecosystems to cultivated lands and pastures, including shifting cultivation, harvest of wood (for timber and fuel) and the establishment of tree plantations. In the US, woody encroachment and woodland thickening as a result of fire suppression were also included. The calculated flux of carbon does not include increases or decreases in carbon storage as a result of environmental changes (e.g., increasing concentrations of CO2, N deposition, climatic change or pollution). Globally, the long-term (1850–2000) flux of carbon from changes in land use and management released 156 PgC to the atmosphere, about 60% of it from the tropics. Average annual fluxes during the 1980s and 1990s were 2.0 and 2.2 PgC yr−1, respectively, dominated by releases of carbon from the tropics. Outside the tropics, the average net flux of carbon attributable to land-use change and management decreased from a source of 0.06 PgC yr−1 during the 1980s to a sink of 0.02 PgC yr−1 during the 1990s. According to the analyses summarized here, changes in land use were responsible for sinks in North America and Europe and for small sources in other non-tropical regions. The revisions were as large as 0.3 PgC yr−1 in individual regions but were largely offsetting, so that the global estimate for the 1980s was changed little from an earlier estimate. Uncertainties and recent improvements in the data used to calculate the flux of carbon from land-use change are reviewed, and the results are compared to other estimates of flux to evaluate the extent to which processes other than land-use change and management are important in explaining changes in terrestrial carbon storage.
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In the coming decades, an increasing competition for global land and water resources can be expected, due to rising demand for food and bio-energy production, biodiversity conservation, and changing production conditions due to climate change. The potential of technological change in agriculture to adapt to these trends is subject to considerable uncertainty. In order to simulate these combined effects in a spatially explicit way, we present a model of agricultural production and its impact on the environment (MAgPIE). MAgPIE is a mathematical programming model covering the most important agricultural crop and livestock production types in 10 economic regions worldwide at a spatial resolution of three by three degrees, i.e., approximately 300 by 300 km at the equator. It takes regional economic conditions as well as spatially explicit data on potential crop yields and land and water constraints into account and derives specific land-use patterns for each grid cell. Shadow prices for binding constraints can be used to valuate resources for which in many places no markets exist, especially irrigation water. In this article, we describe the model structure and validation. We apply the model to possible future scenarios up to 2055 and derive required rates of technological change (i.e., yield increase) in agricultural production in order to meet future food demand.
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In order to better assess the role of agriculture within the global climate-vegetation system, we present a model of the managed planetary land surface, Lund–Potsdam–Jena managed Land (LPJmL), which simulates biophysical and biogeochemical processes as well as productivity and yield of the most important crops worldwide, using a concept of crop functional types (CFTs). Based on the LPJ-Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, LPJmL simulates the transient changes in carbon and water cycles due to land use, the specific phenology and seasonal CO2 fluxes of agricultural-dominated areas, and the production of crops and grazing land. It uses 13 CFTs (11 arable crops and two managed grass types), with specific parameterizations of phenology connected to leaf area development. Carbon is allocated daily towards four carbon pools, one being the yield-bearing storage organs. Management (irrigation, treatment of residues, intercropping) can be considered in order to capture their effect on productivity, on soil organic carbon and on carbon extracted from the ecosystem. For transient simulations for the 20th century, a global historical land use data set was developed, providing the annual cover fraction of the 13 CFTs, rain-fed and/or irrigated, within 0.5° grid cells for the period 1901–2000, using published data on land use, crop distributions and irrigated areas. Several key results are compared with observations. The simulated spatial distribution of sowing dates for temperate cereals is comparable with the reported crop calendars. The simulated seasonal canopy development agrees better with satellite observations when actual cropland distribution is taken into account. Simulated yields for temperate cereals and maize compare well with FAO statistics. Monthly carbon fluxes measured at three agricultural sites also compare well with simulations. Global simulations indicate a ∼24% (respectively ∼10%) reduction in global vegetation (respectively soil) carbon due to agriculture, and 6–9 Pg C of yearly harvested biomass in the 1990s. In contrast to simulations of the potential natural vegetation showing the land biosphere to be an increasing carbon sink during the 20th century, LPJmL simulates a net carbon source until the 1970s (due to land use), and a small sink (mostly due to changing climate and CO2) after 1970. This is comparable with earlier LPJ simulations using a more simple land use scheme, and within the uncertainty range of estimates in the 1980s and 1990s. The fluxes attributed to land use change compare well with Houghton's estimates on the land use related fluxes until the 1970s, but then they begin to diverge, probably due to the different rates of deforestation considered. The simulated impacts of agriculture on the global water cycle for the 1990s are∼5% (respectively∼20%) reduction in transpiration (respectively interception), and∼44% increase in evaporation. Global runoff, which includes a simple irrigation scheme, is practically not affected.
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During the last two decades Indonesia has experienced immense forest and land fires. Often these fires are associated with extended drought and widespread use of fire to clear previously logged forest and other degraded land in preparation for oil palm, rubber, or pulpwood plantations. There are many reasons for the use of fire in land clearing activities, but probably the most important one is economics. There is still acceptance that fire is the cheapest, fastest, and most effective land clearing method with the added benefit of providing nutrients from ash residues. This paper provides a review of existing information on the financial costs and benefits of using fire for land clearing in agriculture and forestry plantations as compared with zero-burning techniques. The findings indicate that the economic advantage of fire use varies widely and depends on many factors, such as soil fertility, vegetation density, labour cost, equipment and training costs, and the costs of fire management. For large-scale land clearing, the financial analysis of the costs and benefits of fire versus zero-burning shows that when applied to low-volume vegetation, zero-burning methods are not more expensive than burning – and may actually be more cost effective in the long term. This is the case for clearing oil palm or rubber plantations for replanting, low secondary vegetation, and heavily logged-over forest. Under high-volume forest conditions, burning remains less expensive because it is more difficult, time consuming, and costly to dispose of high volumes of piled wood mechanically.
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With the wide acceptance of forest-protection policies in the developing world comes a requirement for clear demonstrations of how deforestation may erode human well-being and economies. For centuries, it has been believed that forests provide protection against flooding. However, such claims have given rise to a heated polemic, and broad-scale quantitative evidence of the possible role of forests in flood protection has not been forthcoming. Using data collected from 1990 to 2000 from 56 developing countries, we show using generalized linear and mixed-effects models contrasted with information-theoretic measures of parsimony that flood frequency is negatively correlated with the amount of remaining natural forest and positively correlated with natural forest area loss (after controlling for rainfall, slope and degraded landscape area). The most parsimo-nious models accounted for over 65% of the variation in flood frequency, of which nearly 14% was due to forest cover variables alone. During the decade investigated, nearly 100 000 people were killed and 320 million people were displaced by floods, with total reported economic damages exceeding US$1151 billion. Extracted measures of flood severity (flood duration, people killed and displaced, and total damage) showed some weaker, albeit detectable correlations to natural forest cover and loss. Based on an arbitrary decrease in natural forest area of 10%, the model-averaged prediction of flood frequency increased between 4% and 28% among the countries modeled. Using the same hypothetical decline in natural forest area resulted in a 4–8% increase in total flood duration. These correlations suggest that global-scale patterns in mean forest trends across countries are meaningful with respect to flood dynamics. Unabated loss of forests may increase or exacerbate the number of flood-related disasters, negatively impact millions of poor people, and inflict trillions of dollars in damage in disadvantaged economies over the coming decades. This first global-scale empirical demonstration that forests are correlated with flood risk and severity in developing countries reinforces the imperative for large-scale forest protection to protect human welfare, and suggests that reforestation may help to reduce the frequency and severity of flood-related catastrophes.
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This study explores the effects of agricultural trade liberalisation and concomitant changes in agricultural areas and livestock production on greenhouse gas emissions using the coupled LEITAP–IMAGE modelling system. The results indicate that liberalisation leads to an increase in total greenhouse gas emissions by about 6% compared to the reference scenario value in 2015. The increase in CO2 emissions are caused by vegetation clearance due to a rapid expansion of agricultural area; mainly in South America and Southeast Asia. Increased methane emissions in the case of full liberalisation are caused by less intensive cattle farming in regions such as South America and Southeast Asia. This pattern is observed up to 2050. Total global production of milk, dairy and beef do not change with full liberalisation, but production shifts were observed from North America and Europe to South America and Southeast Asia. Results are less pronounced in variants where trade liberalisation is only implemented partially. Remarkably, our study shows in the trade barrier removal scenario larger numbers of dairy cows in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) then with full liberalisation scenario or a variant in which only milk quota are abolished. This illustrates that different types of liberalisation need to be analysed regionally and per commodity before general conclusions on the impact of trade liberalisation can be drawn. Our study contributes new information on greenhouse gas emissions to a vast number of trade liberalisation studies that focus on economic impacts. The combined economic-environmental impacts need to be assessed in detail before general conclusions on trade liberalisation can be given.
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The objective of this paper is to examine the land-use dynamics between cattle production and forestry: when forest production takes place in a sustainable manner and cattle production is without the benefit of artificial production incentives. Data from the Lowlands of Bolivia are used in the empirical analysis and although the results directly reflect that situation, they are pertinent to much of Latin America and the continuing land-use conflict between forestry and cattle production. The results suggest that contrary to conventional wisdom, higher stumpage values do not always lead to a decrease in the land converted to pasture. In circumstances where per hectare stumpage values are very low, increases in stumpage values will provide the capital required to convert land to pasture and thus exacerbate land conversion. This will occur until a certain threshold value, after which further increases in stumpage values will decrease land conversion to pasture, as would be expected.
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The impact of globalization on trade, production and land use was key to the Doha development round. Although many studies have shown the positive influence of liberalization on trade and production, the environmental questions remain unanswered in most studies. Here we present a combination of an economic (Global Trade Analysis Project, GTAP) and a biophysical (IMAGE) model. The methodology is innovative as it combines state of the art knowledge from both the economic and biophysical worlds. First, the treatment of agriculture and land use is improved in the economic model. For example, information from the OECD Policy Evaluation Model (PEM) was incorporated to improve the agricultural production structure and a new land allocation methodology was introduced using regional land supply curves to facilitate the conversion of idle land to productive land while giving consideration to the level of intensification. Secondly, the adapted economic model is linked to the biophysical modeling framework IMAGE allowing feedbacks of detailed heterogeneous information on land productivity to the economic framework. While often a rather pessimistic picture is portrayed for future developments of the agricultural sector in the EU (especially in liberalizing scenarios), our results show that no drastic decrease in land for agricultural purposes is expected for the EU25 the coming 30 years, since the global food market will experience an increase in demand because of expected growth in GDP and population in many developing countries. Moreover, the negative impact of liberalization of agricultural policies on European agricultural land use is small because on the one hand loss in EU's competitiveness leads partly to extensification instead of land abandonment, and secondly, the recent agricultural reforms of the EU changed the protection from market to income support which has less production effects. Changes in land use will be more outspoken in developing countries like Africa.
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Liberalization has caused an increase in the global trade of goods and services. In particular, the value and physical volume of agricultural goods traded have largely increased. As the environmental and social consequences of trade are complex, they are rarely included in the national and international agricultural policies. One reason is that there is a lack of concepts and methods for assessing the environmental and social impacts of trade policies. In this paper we develop a method for quantifying and assessing the land use hidden in the export and import of agricultural goods for the case of Switzerland. For our analysis we focus on arable crops. The first methodological step of our research illustrates the spatial relationship of Switzerland with countries all over the world through the import and export of land use for arable crops. The second step links this spatial dimension with a qualitative assessment of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of agricultural land use. We applied the method to the case of wheat cultivation within Switzerland and import to Switzerland. The major problem we were confronted with was the availability of data, which had both to be reliable and available for the countries wheat is imported from. The results show that the calculation of land use is credible. In spite of the problems related with data availability, the assessment results for each indicator are in agreement with the current situation in the respective countries. In addition, the aggregation seems to accurately reflect the countries’ agricultural polices. The developed method is used to estimate the overall environmental and socio-economic impacts of an increase in wheat imports to Switzerland. We argue that this method could be applied for anticipating potential impacts of trade agreements. Still, further research is required for fine-tuning of the utility functions, including a weighting procedure in the aggregation procedure. For practical applications important aspects like water shortage should enlarge our limited set of indicators. In addition the average impact on a country level was assessed. To refine that, different agricultural systems ranging from intensive to extensive to organic should be considered. Beyond our scope was to analyze impacts due to other life cycle stages than the agricultural production. For informed decision, however, information on the whole life cycle of agricultural products is required.
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Increased future demands for food, fibre and fuels from biomass can only be met if the available land and water resources on a global scale are used and managed as efficiently as possible. The main routes for making the global agricultural system more productive are through intensification and technological change on currently used agricultural land, land expansion into currently non-agricultural areas, and international trade in agricultural commodities and processed goods. In order to analyse the trade-offs and synergies between these options, we present a global bio-economic modelling approach with a special focus on spatially explicit land and water constraints as well as technological change in agricultural production. For a global bioenergy demand scenario reaching 100 ExaJoule (EJ) until 2055 we derive a required rate of productivity increase on agricultural land between 1.2 and 1.4 percent per year under different land allocation options. A very high pressure for yield increase occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, even without additional bioenergy demand. Moreover, we analyse the implicit values (shadow prices) of limited water resources. The shadow prices for bioenergy are provided as a metric for assessing the trade-offs between different land allocation options and as a link between the agricultural and energy sector.
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Land-use change to meet 21st-century demands for food, fuel, and fiber will depend on many interactive factors, including global policies limiting anthropogenic climate change and realized improvements in agricultural productivity. Climate-change mitigation policies will alter the decision-making environment for land management, and changes in agricultural productivity will influence cultivated land expansion. We explore to what extent future increases in agricultural productivity might offset conversion of tropical forest lands to crop lands under a climate mitigation policy and a contrasting no-policy scenario in a global integrated assessment model. The Global Change Assessment Model is applied here to simulate a mitigation policy that stabilizes radiative forcing at 4.5 W m−2 (approximately 526 ppm CO2) in the year 2100 by introducing a price for all greenhouse gas emissions, including those from land use. These scenarios are simulated with several cases of future agricultural productivity gr
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An accurate estimate of carbon fluxes associated with tropical deforestation from the last two decades is needed to balance the global carbon budget. Several studies have already estimated carbon emissions from tropical deforestation, but the estimates vary greatly and are difficult to compare due to differences in data sources, assumptions, and methodologies. In this paper, we review the different estimates and datasets, and the various challenges associated with comparing them and with accurately estimating carbon emissions from deforestation. We performed a simulation study over legal Amazonia to illustrate some of these major issues. Our analysis demonstrates the importance of considering land-cover dynamics following deforestation, including the fluxes from reclearing of secondary vegetation, the decay of product and slash pools, and the fluxes from regrowing forest. It also suggests that accurate carbon-flux estimates will need to consider historical land-cover changes for at least the previous 20 years. However, this result is highly sensitive to estimates of the partitioning of cleared carbon into instantaneous burning vs. long-timescale slash pools. We also show that carbon flux estimates based on 'committed flux'calculations, as used by a few studies, are not comparable with the 'annual balance'calculation method used by other studies.
Article
Today, the agricultural sector accounts for approximately 15% of total global anthropogenic emissions, mainly methane and nitrous oxide. Projecting the future development of agricultural non-CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is important to assess their impacts on the climate system but poses many problems as future demand of agricultural products is highly uncertain. We developed a global land use model (MAgPIE) that is suited to assess future anthropogenic agricultural non-CO2 GHG emissions from various agricultural activities by combining socio-economic information on population, income, food demand, and production costs with spatially explicit environmental data on potential crop yields. In this article we describe how agricultural non-CO2 GHG emissions are implemented within MAgPIE and compare our simulation results with other studies. Furthermore, we apply the model up to 2055 to assess the impact of future changes in food consumption and diet shifts, but also of technological mitigation options on agricultural non-CO2 GHG emissions. As a result, we found that global agricultural non-CO2 emissions increase significantly until 2055 if food energy consumption and diet preferences remain constant at the level of 1995. Non-CO2 GHG emissions will rise even more if increasing food energy consumption and changing dietary preferences towards higher value foods, like meat and milk, with increasing income are taken into account. In contrast, under a scenario of reduced meat consumption, non-CO2 GHG emissions would decrease even compared to 1995. Technological mitigation options in the agricultural sector have also the capability of decreasing non-CO2 GHG emissions significantly. However, these technological mitigation options are not as effective as changes in food consumption. Highest reduction potentials will be achieved by a combination of both approaches.