Access To Land

EU’s Land Footprint: The True Cost of Consumption

July 2016

Friends of the Earth Europe just released a report about the EU’s land footprint, equivalent to the size of France and Italy.

Friends of the Earth Europe "campaigns for sustainable and just societies and for the protection of the environment, and unites more than 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups".

In July 2016, it released a new report on the EU’s land footprint. The land footprint is "an indicator used to measure the amount of land used both domestically and overseas to produce the goods and services consumed by a country/region". In this report, the land footprint of the EU is estimated to 269 million of hectares, i.e. 43% more than the agricultural land available in the EU. 73% of this land footprint is due to the consumption of animal products and the rest to vegetable oils and plant-based products.

The quantity of land used per capita is much greater than the world average (1.5 time more), which has important environmental and social impacts such as deforestation... The report presents an "impact matrix" to better analyse these impacts. This is all the mpre concerning as EU’s land footprint is still increasing: "the EU’s use of overseas cropland increased by 34% between 1990 and 2009".

This reports make some recommendation such as the reduction of agricultural expansion into forest or other natural areas, the monitoring of production impacts to ensure environmental and social just practices and to support changes in our consumption models.

Find the report and briefing on Friends of the Earth Europe website.


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