About 69% of the planet´s fresh water is used by the agricultural sector. In addition to public health risks from not having access to safe water, there are many other problems such as higher energy prices and political instability.
Forest being burnt to create new agricultural land. Madagascar.
Pasture and cropland account for 50% of the Earth’s habitable land. Cutting down forests and clearing land for growing food, biofuels and/or cattle grazing destroys wildlife’s natural homes in fragile places such as the Heart of Borneo and the Greater Mekong region.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions intensifying climate change
Newly planted oil plam trees in smoke from forest fires, Sumatra, Indonesia.
Farming practices are significantly building up greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the livestock sector alone is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas production. Additionally, clearing land for agricultural production sends ever higher amounts of such gases into the atmosphere too.
More than 85% of the world's fisheries are fully exploited or overfished. Fishing of commercially important fish stocks such as tuna or white fish damages marine environments, undermines legal fisheries, threatens livelihoods and erodes food security around the world. In the EU alone, yearly illegal fisheries imports amount to approximately 500,000 tonnes, for a value of 1.1 billion euros.
Aquaculture can threaten wild species and coastal habitats. Forty five percent of the shrimp we consume is produced by aquaculture, and more and more space is taken by this industry to the detriment of important natural ecosystems such as mangroves.
Increasing land area for livestock
Grazing animals, like grey cattle, have been restored on Tataru Island. Without them the floodplain forest ran wild due to lack of grazing.
Farm animals take up 70% of all agricultural land, and over 40% of the world’s grain harvest is fed to livestock. Farming animals for meat and dairy requires huge inputs of land and water for growing animal feed.
New chemicals regulations in the EU will lead to safer products around the world.
To boost outputs and reduce losses, farmers turn to intensive pesticide and fertiliser use. Such practices can poison fresh water, marine ecosystems, the air and the soil, where chemicals can accumulate and persist for generations.