Demand for food and fuel may lead to destruction of forests
A new report has warned that demand for land to grow food, fuel crops and wood is set to outstrip supply, leading to the probable destruction of forests.
According to a report by BBC News, the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) has calculated that rising demand for food, biofuels and wood for paper, building and industry means that 515 million hectares of extra land will be needed for growing crops and trees by 2030.
But only 200 million hectares will be available without dipping into tropical forests.
The dual crises of fuel and food are attracting significant land speculation.
"Arguably, we are on the verge of a last great global land grab," said RR''s Andy White, co-author of the major report, "Seeing People through the Trees".
"It will mean more deforestation, more conflict, more carbon emissions, more climate change and less prosperity for everyone," he added.
The report cites studies suggesting that "If the current plateau in productivity continues, the amount of additional agricultural land required just to meet the world's projected food demand in 2050 would be about three billion hectares, nearly all of which would be required in developing countries."