Bad news/good news: Land-use change in the era of globalization

Feb 18, 2011

A central challenge facing the planet is how to preserve forests while providing enough food to feed the world's population. It's really a "bad news/good news" story, says Eric Lambin, professor of environmental Earth system science and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford; and professor of geography at the University of Louvain.

The bad news: The world might run out of productive agricultural land by 2050, thanks to rising global demand for food, biofuels, and forest products, along with land degradation and urbanization. The good news: A handful of – including Vietnam, India and Costa Rica – have actually increased their cover in recent decades while enhancing food production. The success of these countries suggests that innovation, sound land-use policy and good governance can actually prevent hunger and restore forestland, even in an era of economic globalization.

Lambin's findings will be presented on Friday, Feb. 18, at the symposium, "Telecoupling of Human and Natural Systems," at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at the Washington Convention Center, Room 140B.

His AAAS talk, "Land-use changes in a globalization era," comes on the heels of his study, "Global land-use change, economic globalization and the looming land scarcity," published the week of Feb. 14 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Explore further: Gold rush an ecological disaster for Peruvian Amazon

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Future of food policy should start at home

Jan 10, 2011

Long accustomed to plentiful and affordable meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, Australians may have to get used to higher prices as the soaring cost of agricultural staples suggests an era of cheap food is coming to an end.

Recommended for you

Gold rush an ecological disaster for Peruvian Amazon

2 hours ago

A lush expanse of Amazon rainforest known as the "Mother of God" is steadily being destroyed in Peru, with the jungle giving way to mercury-filled tailing ponds used to extract the gold hidden underground.

Australia out of step with new climate momentum

4 hours ago

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power in large part by opposing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, is finding his country isolated like never before on climate change as the U.S., China ...

Education is key to climate adaptation

19 hours ago

Given that some climate change is already unavoidable—as just confirmed by the new IPCC report—investing in empowerment through universal education should be an essential element in climate change adaptation ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
1 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2011
How to survive?

1. Plant more trees, waste less paper products.
2. Seriously study Earth's heat source - the Sun.

arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

Otherwise, we're wasting time discussing the problem.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASDA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.