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August 09 2012


Another Jolt to Global Food Prices

A global food price index jumped 6 percent in July, with the drought afflicting grain crops in the United States the leading factor.

September 08 2011


Tracking the Global Food Situation

Prices rose 2.2 percent in August for staple grains, which supply the bulk of human calories and on which many of the world's poor depend. Those prices are now 36 percent above the levels of a year ago.
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June 15 2011


New Push on Sustainable Agriculture

The Food and Agriculture has compiled the best techniques, from minimizing the use of pesticides to meting out water more judiciously, in one document and urged specialists to use it as they plan development projects.

March 31 2010


Forest Carbon Emissions Decline With Reduced Deforestation

The first decade of the 21st century has seen a decrease in global deforestation, bringing with it a reduction in forest carbon emissions. According to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for the first time on record a declining rate of deforestation, combined with the planting of new forests and natural regeneration, has reversed a trend and slowed the rate of global forest cover loss.

Good news, or less bad news?

Over the past decade, on average, the world lost about 13 million hectares of native forest every year, compared with 16 million hectares in the 90's. Actual net global forest loss is 5.2 million hectares on average annually for the past decade when accounting for reforestation, afforestation, and natural regeneration. Down from a net loss of 8.3 million hectares annually through the previous decade.

Of course, there's more to the dynamic than just total global forest cover, and the good news isn't distributed evenly. The report warns that deforestation remains "alarmingly high" in some countries, and that forestland undisturbed by human activity continues its steady decline.

The big winners in the report are Brazil and Indonesia, two heavily-forested nations that have historically gone at their forest with a vengeance. The report says that both nations have "significantly reduced" their rates of deforestation.

According to FAO estimates, forests are responsible for storing 289 gigatonnes of carbon. On average, about 500 million tonnes (half a gigatonne) are released into the atmosphere annually from forest loss, but emissions are off their high of the 90's, declining in concert with reduced deforestation.

To answer the question: less bad news, in this case, equals good news. Continued good news is even better.

Source and further reading:

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