These economic and political considerations are the object of many studies (e.g. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties. Export citation and abstract mechanization, water-saving irrigation, fertilizers), trade of water-intensive food products, or virtual water trade, is a way to improve global and regional water-use efficiency by virtually transferring water resources from more to less water-productive areas. volume of water needed to dilute river and aquifer pollutants to acceptable concentrations. Thus, among different strategies to increase agricultural water-use efficiency (e.g. The widely held conclusion has been that importing countries gain environmental benefits and displace environmental costs to the source of food. In a study of world trade and its role on greenhouse gas emissions, Cristea et al (2013) account for emissions related to both food production and transportation. Scarcity-weighted water footprint of food. Second, research is needed to improve the evaluation of some key aspects of the relative value of each resource depending on the local and regional biophysical and socio–economic context. Water Use. By moving food from its production to consumption places, trade facilitates growth but also distances consumers from the potentially damaging environmental impacts of agriculture (D'Odorico et al 2010). Agriculture contributed 70% of global nitrous oxide emissions in 2010, mainly from synthetic fertilizers, animal waste dropped on soils (either as animal manure or by animals during grazing) and agricultural waste burning (IEA report http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/docs/IEA_PARTIII.pdf p 4). Importantly, unlike the impact of food production, the overall impact of food trade is assessed by comparing relative impacts between trading partners. Top net importers and exporters of biodiversity threats. "Unless a world is examined in a systemic, holistic way, environmental costs will be overlooked.". Single-use food packaging is taking a huge toll on our environment. This site uses cookies. This important issue also needs to be studied and quantified at regional scales, as multiple studies point out that current trade contributes to concentrated N pollution impacts in exporting regions (Galloway et al 2007, Schipanski and Bennett 2012, O'Bannon et al 2013, Lassaletta et al 2014). Because of the spatial heterogeneity of resource productivity, farming practices, climate, and land and water availability, the environmental impact of producing food is highly dependent on its origin. Virtual water trade between Chinese provinces and the rest of the world (ROW) (A), and associated positive global water savings (B). domestic cultivation of substitute commodities, or imports from regions with different land use practices. However, it is important to point out the role of temporal, spatial and sectoral scales in the estimation of trade flows and resource consumption per unit commodity. Here we will discuss work on land use and land use change for agriculture, and on the use of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizers as potential pollutants around and downstream of fields. Studies of the impact of food production and trade on greenhouse gas emissions take a similar approach as studies on embedded water use, where water productivity ({\mathrm{kg}}_{\mathrm{water}}/{\mathrm{kg}}_{\mathrm{food}}) is replaced by carbon equivalent ({\mathrm{CO}}_{2}^{\mathrm{eq}}) intensity of products ({\mathrm{kg}}_{{\mathrm{CO}}_{2}^{\mathrm{eq}}}/{\mathrm{kg}}_{\mathrm{food}}). Screened for originality? You will only need to do this once. The biggest news about While pointing out important remaining improvements required in nitrogen use efficiencies, Galloway et al (2007) do not compare these values across trading partners. How … Soybean trade offers but one example of the unexpected environmental impacts of global food trade—and a heads up that negotiations of trade agreements need complete information, the paper notes. In addition, irrigation drives 90% of global freshwater consumption (Hoekstra and Mekonnen 2012).

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