COP 17 Presentation

Agricultural Solutions to Support
Food Security, Sustainability &
Animal Welfare
Mia MacDonald
COP 17 - Durban
December 2, 2011
Climate Change and Ag./Food
• Estimated ONE-THIRD of all human-caused
greenhouse gases (GHGs) result from agriculture
and changes in land-use related to the production
of crops and farmed animals
Climate Change & Animal Ag.
• FAO ‘06: Livestock
sector (meat, dairy,
eggs) emits 18% of
GHGs: nearly ONEFIFTH of global total
• More GHGs than world’s
transportation systems combined (14%)
• About equal to GHGs from forest loss and
degradation (17%)
GHGs & Animal Ag.
GHGs from farmed animals, global %
• Carbon Dioxide (CO2): 9%, land changes:
deforestation, expansion of feed crops, fertilizer
production for crops
• Methane: 37%, digestive processes - mostly
belching, also manure
(23 x CO2’s global warming potential)
• Nitrous Oxide: 65%, mostly manure
(296 x CO2’s global warming potential)
By the Numbers
• U.S.: 10 billion farmed animals
raised and slaughtered each year
(9 billion+ = chickens)
• Globally: 60 billion+ each year
• Average in U.S.: 200+ lbs. per
capita of meat/year
• Rest of world: 70 lbs. of meat per capita per year . . .
but rising
Livestock Sector Intensifying
• Globalization of Western
production methods & diet;
search for new markets
• Urbanization, growing middle
class; status of meat
• Global South: meat production up
3 X in past 25 years (pigs, poultry)
• Rapid transformation of industry,
livelihoods, diet, resource use;
gender impacts
• 54 kgs of meat/year;
dairy consumption rising
• Fast food gaining
foothold & Tyson,
Smithfield, Goldman
Sachs active
• Manure = significant
source of water pollution
• Farmland lost to urbanization, degradation; climate
change; enough grain to feed animals & people?
Leasing land elsewhere
• Top 5 producer of meat
chickens: 2 billion+/year
• 300 mill. cows & buffalo:
world’s largest share of
methane from livestock
• Water, land, grain:
resource pressure (Bank
study); but seeks markets
• High child malnutrition;
inequity in food access
• More cows (190+ mill.)
than people
• World’s top exporter of
beef, poultry; 2nd in soy
• Beef and soy: huge
ecological, climate
footprints in Amazon,
• Cattle sector = 50% of
Brazil’s GHGs
• Africa’s largest livestock pop.:
40 mill. cattle; 23+ mill. sheep
and goats; 35 mill. chickens;
• Continent’s top livestock
producer & exporter; some
industrial operations
• 1-2% of diet = animal protein; demand up among
urban middle/upper class; driver: export markets
• Hunger still widespread; ecological deficits,
climate change impacts intensifying (drought)
Food Security, Equity
• Land degradation, desertification; water scarcity
• Livestock production is water
intense; industry = largest
global water polluter
• 2007-08: biofuel production = 100 mill. tons/cereals;
but livestock feed = 756 mill. tons/cereals
• Demand for grain = food price rises; underfed and
overfed, often side-by-side
By the Numbers: 2050?
• 120 billion farmed animals?
• 39% rise in GHGs from animal ag.; climate
• Projections aren’t destiny…
Reaching Limits
“It’s going to be almost impossible to feed future
generations the kind of diet we have now in western
Europe and North America.”
- Stockholm World Water Institute, 2004
Mitigation & Adaptation Policies
• Ag. & development policies w/priority on food security for all
vs. creation of meat-centered diet/intensive animal ag. (focus
on sustainable livelihoods: e.g., medium-sized, co-ops)
• Price and ensure payment for externalities of livestock
production (land, forests, water, GHGs)
• National dialogue (gov’t, civil society) on industrial ag. &
alternatives; develop plan for low-GHG food system; public
• Priority on/incentives for less resource-intensive, more
sustainable, equitable industries than livestock & feed crops