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Facts and myths about livestock and the environment


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Presented by Mario Herrero at the International Tropical Agriculture Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 11−13 November 2019

Published in: Science
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Facts and myths about livestock and the environment

  1. 1. Facts and myths about livestock and the environment Mario Herrero International Tropical Agriculture Conference Brisbane, Australia, 11-13 November 2019
  2. 2. Some issues • A large sector • Misunderstood by scientists and consumers • Generalisations • Dynamic and with many good and bad things • Mis-represented in the press Presentation title | Presenter name2 |
  3. 3. Presentation title | Presenter name3 | The demand for livestock products to 2050 – an example Rosegrant et al 2009 Annual per capita consumption Total consumption year Meat (kg) Milk (kg) Meat (Mt) Milk (Mt) Developing 2002 2050 28 44 44 78 137 326 222 585 Developed 2002 2050 78 94 202 216 102 126 265 295
  4. 4. Wide variation in over and under consumption of ASF in different regions Willett et al 2019, The Lancet Wide variation in under and over consumption of ASF between regions
  5. 5. Win more, lose less: Capturing synergies between SDGs through agricultural research The dynamics of demand for livestock products 1990 - 2015
  6. 6. The environmental efficiency of livestock has been improving… …but we have traded lower land use and emissions for increased N use Davis et al 2015 ERL Davis et al. ERL 2015
  7. 7. Environmental impacts – life cycle analyses Poore and Nemecek, Science 2019
  8. 8. Why also focus on demand and not only of making the supply of ASF more efficient? 8 0. 2. 4. 6. 8. Tilman and Clark vegetarian Tilman and Clark mediterranean Tilman and Calrk pescetarian Hedenus flexitarian Hedenus climate carnivore Bajzelj 2 Bajzelj 1 Sehfest no animal products Stehfest no meat Stehfest mediterranean Stehfest Health diet Supply-side measures Herrero et al 2016 Nature Climate Change Economic potential Technical potential GT CO2eq
  9. 9. Scenarios Willett et al 2019, The Lancet The EAT-Lancet Scenarios reveal that healthy and sustainable diets have a big impact on emissions, but increases in productivity and waste reduction are fundamental to achieving planet health
  10. 10. 10 | Use of algae for energy and feed could reduce emissions to meet the 2 C degree climate target Walsh et al. CBM 2015
  11. 11. Decoupling livestock from land through a circular economy 11 | Van Zanten et al. 2018 Global Change Biology
  12. 12. Towards a safe-operating space for livestock Presentation title | Presenter name12 | Herrero et al 2019 GFS (in press) Beef  Low-opportunity-cost lands  By-product of the dairy sector Dairy  Smallholder dairy – evidence of intensification, plenty of demonstrated livelihoods benefits  High-intensity / high-welfare with careful assessment of opportunity costs of land  As much circular feed as possible Pork and poultry  High-intensity / high-welfare  As much circular feed as possible
  13. 13. Thank you Twitter: @GlobalFoodTeam Website: