Global Land Use Practices 'Biggest Threat' to Human Health

A new study shows that the global pattern of "massive conversion" of of land use from natural to agricultural and urban uses has the "most significant impact on the world's biosphere."
August 12, 2005, 11am PDT | Michael Dudley
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"Land use, according to the report, is no longer just a local issue. It is a force of global importance as the world's six billion people compete for food, water, fiber and shelter. The report...is a comprehensive review of scientific research on the world's major land-use practices - agriculture, urban and rural development, deforestation and other natural resource extraction - and their impacts on the world's ecosystems.

"Nearly one-third of the world's land surface is now in use for agriculture and millions of acres of natural ecosystems are converted each year. Many of the agricultural practices, built on Western-style methods, are unsustainable, requiring large applications of chemical fertilizers and further sculpting of the landscape to divert water to marginal lands."

Thanks to Michael Dudley

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Published on Tuesday, August 9, 2005 in GreenBiz
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