ICCAFFE, a global research forum organized to address issues regarding climate change, is calling for the worldwide community to make a switch away from animal products and to turn towards a more vegetarian diet.
The ICCAFFE researchers, including leading scientists, experts, and policy-makers from around the world, say that the world is facing a global food crisis due to population growth, economic instability, widespread worldwide poverty, and climate change.
They assert that the growing global trend towards meat-based diets is unsustainable, as the global population is expected to soar to 9.2 billion by the year 2050. They also say that the worldwide dependence on animal products for food is significantly contributing to global warming in the form of rising greenhouse gas emissions due to livestock farming. Livestock production is also the main factor responsible for land clearing and the loss of biodiversity.
The United Nations agrees. Their 2010 UNEP report states: "Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth, increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products."
Agricultural impacts on the environment in the form of carbon emissions are as detrimental to the planet as fossil fuel consumption, says the UN, and this includes in particular the production of animal products.
The world’s fisheries are also becoming severely depleted due to factors such as global warming, pollution, and overfishing, and this too will have an impact on future food security, say ICCAFFE members.
Current models of agriculture are having a damaging effect on the planet's ecosystem, and are a major factor in the threat of the looming food crisis. It is imperative that more sustainable forms of agriculture and food production be implemented across the globe in order to lessen the impact of climate change on the worldwide food supply and as a way to help preserve food security.
According to ICCAFFE "Lowering the level of consumption of animal products is one of the key strategies which can benefit the climate, the environment and resource use" now and into the future.
The 2011 International ICCAFFE conference on Climate Change, Agri-Food, Fisheries, and Ecosystems: Reinventing Research, Innovation, and Policy Agendas for an Environmentally and Socially-Balanced Growth", was held May 20-22 in Agadir, Morocco. Further information can be found at their website: http://nrcs.webnode.com/scientific-events/iccaffe2011/english-version/
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