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Resource Efficiency

Assessing Global Land Use: Balancing Consumption with Sustainable Supply

29/01/2014

A report has been produced by the Land and Soils Working Group of the International Resource Panel (IRP) that explores how the management of land-based biomass production and consumption can be developed to provide a higher degree of sustainable management of global land use as a whole. The report intends to provide decision makers with an overview of key challenges and possible options related to sustainable land use. Read more...

In its first report, Assessing Biofuels: Towards Sustainable Production and Use of Resources, the IRP Working Group on Land and Soils raised concerns about the environmental impacts of land use change induced by the growing demand for biofuels.

Global cropland is expanding, and changing trends in the production and consumption of land-based products are putting increasing pressure on land resources. In this second report, Assessing Global Land Use: Balancing Consumption with Sustainable Supply, the IRP looks at the impacts that global trends (population growth, urbanisation, and changes in diets and consumption behaviours) have on global land-use dynamics, and considers the consequences for biodiversity; the supply of food, fibres and fuel; and the long-lasting implications for resource security. This report discusses the need and options to balance consumption with sustainable production. It focuses on land-based products (food, fibre and fuels) and describes methods that enable countries to determine whether their consumption levels exceed sustainable supply capacities.

Upcoming IRP reports

In its third report, the IRP Working Group on Land and Soils will focus on improved land use planning and land management systems, one of the policy options recommended in this report is to minimise cropland expansion. Specifically, it will assess the effectiveness of existing land potential evaluation systems in sustainably increasing landscape productivity, resilience being one of its key components.

The fourth report will look at current dynamics of natural resource use in global food systems and their environmental impacts, identifying opportunities to enhance resource efficiency throughout these systems.

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Press release

Full report

Summary

Factsheet

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