Hi this is Takeshi, CEO and principal researcher of su-re.co.
WRI (World Resource Institute) wrote this article recently. WRI always competing with the world no1 environmental thinktank with the Stockholm Environmental Institue which I am also working as a research associate. This report is relevant to our EC Horiozon2020 LANDMARC which study the decarbonisation impacts from land use. Also, this report has a very good example of the multidimensionality of environmental issues and an idea about understanding one-story from multiple data.
The orange arrow shows the rate of change in crop production in the past. The blue and black arrows are the target rates to achieve 2030 and 2050 goals. The agriculture sector is the best in achieving the world's outputs and in this case, producing foods. For 10 billion people by 2050, we need more agricultural outcomes which have to be faster than the last 60 years 'on existing agricultural land'. The figure shows the sector has been achieving the expansion speed, but not with the rule of 'on existing agricultural land'.
The two figures also show the rates of change in deforestation and emission from agriculture with the same colour codes. This left figure shows that deforestation is one of the two worst cases within all studies in this report. The deforestation supposed to reduced annually by 0.42 Mha (Million hectares) for the next ten years. If we expand the target until 2050, the rate of reduction will be 0.2 Mha. The current situation is an increase of deforestation rate as 0.12 Mha / year. So the situation is 'U-turn', i.e. we are moving to the opposite direction.
Also, the other worst case of 'GHG (Green House Gas) emission from agriculture (right figure)' shows the good food production performance of agriculture sector costs to climate change. The sector supposed to reduce 120.5 MtCO2e (metric tons of CO2 equivalent GHG) annually next ten years, but we have been emitting 36.9 MtCO2e / year. So, this is another U-turn situation.
This report shows that it is crucial to understand the multiple dimensions of environmental impacts and interprets one story from multiple data. The one-story from the three data is that the agriculture sector contributes to the world best in terms of producing food; however, it is on the cost of deforestation and climate change caused by GHG emission.
What's most interesting is that food production is the most well-advanced target, and the worst targets that we know of are deforestation and carbon emissions from agriculture. I thought it was interesting that because we are going too far with the best, we are also making the worst. Going too fast is also not good. There would be interpretation on trade-off and co-benefit, as well. What did you think from these figures?
This another interesting graph from the report. What do you think and from which part?