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The inter-linkages between rapid growth in livestock production, climate change, and the impacts on water resources, land use, and deforestation (English)

Livestock systems globally are changing rapidly in response to human population growth, urbanization, and growing incomes. This paper discusses the linkages between burgeoning demand for livestock products, growth in livestock production, and the impacts this may have on natural resources, and how these may both affect and be affected by climate change in the coming decades. Water and land scarcity will increasingly have the potential to constrain food production growth, with adverse impacts on food security and human well-being. Climate change will exacerbate many of these trends, with direct effects on agricultural yields, water availability, and production risk. In the transition to a carbon-constrained economy, livestock systems will have a key role to play in mitigating future emissions. At the same time, appropriate pricing of greenhouse gas emissions will modify livestock production costs and patterns. Health and ethical considerations can also be expected to play an increasing role in modifying consumption patterns of livestock products, particularly in more developed countries. Livestock systems are heterogeneous, and a highly differentiated approach needs to be taken to assessing impacts and options, particularly as they affect the resource-poor and those vulnerable to global change. Development of comprehensive frameworks that can be used for assessing impacts and analyzing trade-offs at both local and regional levels is needed for identifying and targeting production practices and policies that are locally appropriate and can contribute to environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, and economic development.


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    Thornton, Philip K. Herrero, Mario

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    Policy Research Working Paper

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    The World Region,

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    The inter-linkages between rapid growth in livestock production, climate change, and the impacts on water resources, land use, and deforestation

  • Keywords

    demand for livestock product;water;Livestock Production;grazing intensity;water use;livestock system;impact on water resource;greenhouse gas emission;Natural Resources;demand for food;water scarcity;per capita income growth;productive use of water;Economic Growth and Trade;water use in agriculture;impact of climate change;Land and Water Resources;role in water supply;mixed crop-livestock systems;high population growth rate;cubic meter of water;livestock production system;land use;food production;consumption;human population growth;Water and Land;water consumption;land-use change;world population;increased demand;competition for water;consumptive water use;global land use;growth in population;purchasing power parity;demand for water;South East;crop area;agricultural sector;meat consumption;estimates of food;public policy action;assessment of water;intensive livestock production;Supply of Water;agricultural production system;abstraction of groundwater;cattle water supply;area of forest;production of livestock;decrease in rainfall;fresh water resource;water use efficiency;water per day;global water supply;domestic water consumption;degradation of land;access to food;food processing industry;scarcity of water;cost of production;animal genetic resource;poor water quality;food consumption level;crop and livestock;world population growth;rapid population growth;gdp growth rate;negative population growth;sustainable production system;conservation of wildlife;demand for meat;greenhouse gas concentration;economic growth rate;errors and omission;availability of water;livestock production cost;climate change impact;agricultural land use;surface water supply;amount of water;water for agriculture;lack of investment;Urban Water Supply;patterns of consumption;water allocation issues;Science and Technology;access to ground water;global agricultural area;feed conversion efficiency;structure of production;fruit and vegetable;per capita consumption;increase in population;high growth rate;cereal yield;livestock number;livestock sector;production growth;production response;urban consumer;water need;food crop;coarse grain;food demand;livestock water;global change;climate variability;consumption pattern;water pollution;livestock population;total water;water availability;cereal imports;cattle number;regional variation;feed resource;rural area;livestock feed;grazing land;technological change;agricultural yield;production practice;production risk;poverty alleviation;subsequent growth;urban growth;ethical consideration;environmental sustainability;rapid urbanization;irrigated area;energy crop;biofuel crop;Industrialized countries;industrialized country;food safety;consumption rate;ethical issue;communal sector;grazing system;stocking rate;infrastructural constraint;



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Thornton, Philip K. Herrero, Mario

The inter-linkages between rapid growth in livestock production, climate change, and the impacts on water resources, land use, and deforestation (English). Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5178 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.