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Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.

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Biodiversity and food security

Foresight
  • Approximately 20-30% of the Earth’s vegetated surface shows persistent declining trends in productivity over the past 20 years. This is mainly due to land and water use, as well as management practices.
  • Globally, 76% of the population derives most of their daily protein from plants. If CO2 levels continue to rise as projected, researchers estimate that roughly an additional 150 million people may be placed at risk of protein deficiency because of elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
  • Loss of biodiversity in an area could trigger a domino effect to future extinctions, leading to an "extinction cascade". 
  • Models on co-extinction (extiction of several species due to synergic mechanisms) show that "ecological dependencies amplify the direct effects of environmental change on the collapse of planetary diversity by up to ten times."
    | Related Megatrends: Climate and environment;  Consumerism
  • The extinction rates of large number of species has critical impact on global food security:
    • by challenging the sustained provision of fisheries productivity and other ecosystem services;
    • by continued negative impact on wheat, rice and maize production;
    • by shifting production areas of food and non-food crops around the world;
    • by impacting water availability and supply, food security, infrastructure and agricultural incomes and by intensifying competition for water among sectors an countries.
  • Extreme weather and climate related events influenced by the strong El-Niño in 2015/2016 report had significant negative impacts on agriculture and food security. More than 60 million people around the world were affected by these events;
    | Related Megatrends: Inequalities

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