A landmark new study provides the first ever high-resolution view of the extent of global cropland expansion over the last 20 years, revealing troubling news. Cropland has expanded by an area of land the size of Egypt, 102 million hectares, since the turn of the 21st century. Half of the expansion comes at the expense of natural ecosystems.

Food crop production is essential to feeding a growing global population, but how will humanity equitably meet these needs without destroying critical ecosystems that protect against climate change and species extinction?

Join us on March 3rd to learn more about the complex nature of global cropland expansion and the implications for people and the planet. You’ll hear details from the data developers about the first-ever high-resolution maps of global cropland extent and change as well as plans to continue to update this information via WRI’s Land & Carbon Lab. Experts will share their perspectives on food production and critical considerations as the world attempts to decouple food production from global cropland expansion.


  • Matt Hansen, Co-Director, University of Maryland GLAD Lab 
  • Wanjira Mathai, Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, WRI 
  • Tim Searchinger, Food Program Senior Fellow and Technical Director, WRI 

Moderated by Crystal Davis, Director of Land & Carbon Lab, WRI