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Blog Posts: agriculture

  • Closing the "Food Gap" Means Renewing the Global Commitment to Crop Breeding

    The world is on a path to need almost 70 percent more crops in 2050 than those it produced in 2006. To close that crop gap without large price increases or clearing more valuable forests and savannas, yields are going to have to grow 33 percent more in the next 44 years than they did in the last 44.

    Using advances in molecular biology to breed better crops can sustainably secure more of the global food supply.

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  • Wanted: Better Indicators of Agriculture's Environmental Impact

    How does the world feed more than 9 billion people in the year 2050 in a manner that not only advances economic development but also reduces agriculture’s impact on the environment? How will we know if we’re on the right path?

    WRI recently reviewed a number of existing indicators on the environmental sustainability of agriculture and identified gaps. Our analysis uncovers a need for improvements in indicators as well as the data underlying them—in particular, what we call the “3Ps, 5 themes, and 7 criteria.”

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  • 3 Myths and Facts about Forest and Landscape Restoration

    Reflecting on World Forest Week 2014, where the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN launched a Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism to help countries meet the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020, we need to further think about creating the rich landscapes that the world needs.

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  • Overcoming Barriers to USDA’s New Conservation Program

    For more than 30 years, the USDA has worked to reduce water pollution by offering farmers throughout the nation financial and technical help to put conservation measures in place. While these efforts have successfully addressed environmental problems at the individual farm level—such as soil erosion—agriculture remains a key source of water pollution.

    However, it’s only a small portion of farms that generate the majority of agriculture’s contribution to U.S. water pollution. New research shows that targeting conservation funds to these farms with the most potential to reduce pollution could be up to 12 times more cost effective than the usual practice of disbursing funds widely. And encouragingly, a new USDA program aims to capitalize on a similar targeted approach.

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  • Getting More from the U.S. Farm Conservation Water Quality Budget

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture could potentially spend part of its budget for water quality improvements seven to 12 times more cost effectively than it does now. A new WRI analysis shows how, explains why USDA isn’t already doing so, and proposes ways to make a complex policy a reality.

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  • 7 Unexpected Places for Forest Landscape Restoration

    There is a tremendous amount of underutilized and unproductive land throughout the world that has the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services if trees are returned to the landscape.

    In collaboration with the University of Maryland and IUCN, and as part of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, WRI recently updated its Atlas of Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities. We found that more than 2 billion hectares of land worldwide have the potential to be restored—and many of them are located in some unexpected places.

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  • Everything You Need to Know About Agricultural Emissions

    The Greenhouse Gas Protocol launched a new guidance this week to help agricultural companies measure and manage their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from crop and livestock production.

    But what exactly are agricultural emissions, and why is it important to manage them? Drawing on the latest research and data, here is everything you need to know about agriculture’s climate footprint.

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  • Tudo o que você precisa saber sobre emissões na agropecuária

    O GHG Protocol (sigla para Protocolo de Gases de Efeito Estufa em inglês) lançou novas diretrizes para auxiliar empresas agropecuárias a mensurarem e gerenciarem suas emissões de GEE na agricultura e na pecuária. São as primeiras diretrizes internacionais para o setor e irão ajudar nos esforços de mitigar seu impacto ambiental.

    Mas o que são exatamente estas emissões agropecuárias e por que é importante reduzi-las? Baseados no que há de mais recente em termos de pesquisa e de dados, aqui está tudo o que você precisa saber sobre a pegada de carbono na agropecuária.

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  • Restoration: It’s About More than Just the Trees

    Almost half of the world’s original forests have been cleared or degraded. So naturally, most people think of the “forest restoration” movement as an effort to re-plant these lost trees.

    But it’s time to see restoration as more than just the trees.

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  • Indonesian Fires Bring More Haze to Southeast Asia

    Clearing land for timber and agriculture is likely to blame for Indonesia's latest bout of fires. According to data from Global Forest Watch—a new online system that tracks tree cover change, fires, and other information in near-real time—roughly half of these fires are burning on land managed by oil palm, timber, and logging companies—despite the fact that using fire to clear land is illegal in Indonesia.

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