Study: Ag Reform Needed for Biodiversity

Jan. 15, 2021
Global agricultural practices will cause the loss of millions of acres of natural animal habitat unless changes are made, according to a new study.

Global agricultural practices will cause the loss of millions of square miles of natural animal habitat, resulting in reduction or elimination of a variety of species, unless changes are made, according to a new study.

Almost 90% of land animals stand to lose substantial portions of habitat under agriculture as currently practiced, according to a study published in the journal Nature Sustainability by researchers from the University of Leeds and the University of Oxford.

“Ultimately, we need to change what we eat and how it is produced if we are going to save wildlife on a global scale,” one of the authors told The Guardian.

The study made a variety of recommendations, including consuming less meat, increasing farmland yields through technology, and reducing food waste. These approaches should be tailored by region, the authors say. For instance, consumers in North America and other affluent regions should be encouraged to eat less meat, but the farmland there is likely to be near its maximal yield. Conversely, most consumers in poorer regions like sub-Saharan Africa don’t eat much meat in the first place, but yields on agricultural land can be significantly improved.

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