Food Systems Are Causing Biodiversity Loss

To save biodiversity, our food systems need a major overhaul. According to the EAT-Lancet Commission, agriculture takes up 40% of the land on Earth (making agro-ecosystems the largest terrestrial ecosystems). It is the single largest driver of degradation to the natural environment and biodiversity. Not to mention that the way our food is produced creates 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions and uses 70% of our available freshwater resources.

To help remedy this, the EAT-Lancet Commission proposes international cooperation to grow more diverse crops, and close yield gaps so that less food is wasted. Globally, the commission recommends a “half-Earth” goal of protecting 50% of the remaining ecosystems so as to save at least 80% of preindustrial species richness. To do this, we would need to feed humanity on already existing agricultural land and stop the expansion of land conversion into forests and natural ecosystems.