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Development and Environment - Food for thoughts on calculating the environmental footprint of livestock
28 December 2018

FAO publishes an eye-opening report on how the Livestock sector can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12 years after Henning Steinfeld's controversial Livestock's Long Shadow Report that the UN later admitted to be flawed.

Numbers of note from FAO can be found in here

Currently, livestock production employs at least 1.3 billion people worldwide.

About 600 million of the world's poorest households keep livestock as an essential source of income

Between 2000 and 2014, global production of meat rose by 39 percent; milk production increased by 38 percent.

Meat production is projected to increase another 19% by 2030, and milk production another 33% in the same period.

Livestock production accounts for 40 percent agriculture output in developed countries and 20 percent of agricultural output in developing countries

Animals remain an important source of power. In India, for instance, two-thirds of the country's cultivated area is ploughed using animal energy, and 14 million animal-drawn carts haul up to 15 percent of the country's total freight.

The introduction of advanced genetics, feeding systems, animal health controls and other technologies over the past four decades allowed industrialized countries to reduce their overall land requirements for livestock by 20 percent while doubling meat production.

Wider adoption of existing best practices and technologies in feeding, health and husbandry, and manure management - as well as greater use of improved technologies - could help the global livestock sector cut its GHG emissions by as much as 30 percent.

APLF thanks Secretary General of COTANCE Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano for pointing out this interesting video from the FAO