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Newsletter 09

Livestock’s long shadow – environmental issues and options

This report aims to assess the full impact of the livestock sector on environmental problems, along with potential technical and policy approaches to mitigation. The assessment is based on the most recent and complete data available, taking into account direct impacts, along with the impacts of feed crop agriculture required for livestock production. The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
Livestock's contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency. Major reductions in impact could be achieved at reasonable cost.

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Livestock impacts on the environment: the challenge is to reconcile demands for animal food products and environmental services

Related article about the "Livestock's long shadow" publication, from Magazine FAO Agriculture 21, Spotlight.

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Cows, pigs and sheep: Environment's greatest threats?

Related article about the "Livestock's long shadow" publication, from NewScientist.com news service.

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Livestock's long shadow