Archive for FAO
www.independent.co.uk 4th February 2011
As the United Nations launches the international year of forests, a top official within the organisation has claimed that the global forest cover could actually start expanding in the next few years. The statement followed research carried out by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, which revealed that in Asia and Europe forest cover has actually increased over the past decade. In Europe, forest cover has risen above the 1 billion hectare mark. In Asia, China, India, and South Korea have all been singled out for praise in their attempts to increase forested areas. China alone has announced it plans to increase its woodland from 120 million hectares to 200 million. However, due to widespread deforestation in African and South America, global forested area declined from 4.085 billion hectares in 2000 to 4.032 billion in 2010. Furthermore, the FAO study declared that much of the new forested areas had only ‘junk value’ in relation to their ability to absorb greenhouse gases. Overall, global deforestation rates have dropped considerably from 30 years ago when 50 million hectares were cut down each year. The figure now stands at around 5.2 million.
www.lemonde.fr 31st January 2011
A new report released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has stated that the global consumption of fish hit an all time high in 2010. The need to reconstruct collapsed fisheries was labelled as “urgent” as the number of fish stocks either overfished, depleted or recovering from depletion rose in 2010 to 32% of total stocks. The increase, according to the FAO, is mainly down to the rise of aquaculture, which has almost overtaken wild fisheries in supplying people with fish. Almost half the world’s population, around 3 billion people, rely on fish for 15% of their diet. To combat falling fish stocks (global catch rates have been in decline since 1988), the FAO has said that the world’s governments needed to clamp down on illegal fishing practices, which account for between $10 and $23.5 billion of fish stocks per year. It has also been suggested that a global register of fishing vessels be created with each ship being given an identification number that cannot be changed, even if the vessel changes its flag.
www.telegraph.co.uk 15th October 2010
Quoted from source:
Scientists are poised to eliminate the deadly cattle disease Rinderpest, ending a malady that has devastated animal herds for centuries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation said. “It would be the first time in history that humankind has succeeded in wiping out an animal disease in the wild, and only the second time, after smallpox in 1980, that a disease has been eliminated thanks to human efforts,” the FAO said in a statement. The organisation said it expected to confirm the eradication of the disease in mid-2011 after final reports are sent from a small number of countries to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). “We are confident that the World Assembly of Delegates of the OIE will officially recognise all remaining countries as free from the disease in May 2011,” Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE Director General said in the statement. Rinderpest does not affect humans directly but has caused huge outbreaks of famine by killing millions of cattle. After entering Africa in the 19th century, one Rinderpest pandemic was responsible for the death of up to a third of the human population of Ethiopia, the FAO said.
Sources: ourworld.unu.edu (United Nations University) 10th September 2010
For the first time in history the population of Japan’s capital city Tokyo is consuming more meat than seafood. The dramatic shift highlights the increasing ‘Westernisation’ of diets in Southeast and East Asia. In 1950 the average resident of Tokyo ate around 5 grams of meat per day compared to 90 grams today. That is a 160% rise in beef consumption since 1970 and a 90% rise in pork consumption. The demand for meat has gone beyond Japan’s production capacity and the country is now a net importer of every type of meat. In 1960 the country was almost self-sufficient in meat. Japan currently has the second largest number of McDonalds in the world.
Meat production in the world is spiraling upwards with a new study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN stating that 30% of the worlds land-surface is now being used for livestock activities with 70% of this land created through deforestation. The demand for further pastoral land is such that 23 out of the 35 world’s biodiversity hotspots (as identified by Conservation International) are under pressure.