Grazing systems in sustainable food futures

Livestock grazing systems are one of the Earth’s major ice-free land cover types. They provide food and support livelihoods for millions of people around the world in addition to delivering important ecosystems services. However, livestock grazing systems also emit 30% of the livestock sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. They compete with other land uses, such as croplands, energy production, forests and urban, and may be associated with biodiversity losses, water pollution and zoonotic diseases emergence and spread.

In a fast-changing world, the social, economic and environmental implications of grazing systems are shifting. With increasing demand for livestock products, land pressures, demographic change and urbanisation, environmental concerns and climate change, a key question is increasingly attracting the attention of the academic community and civil society: what is the role of grazing systems in a sustainable food future?

Our research reviews and analyses key dynamics of the grazing sector from local to global scales, their socio-economic and environmental drivers and trade-offs. For this work, we use grassland, land-use and climate models such as G-Range, NABSA, and CLEM, as well as herd dynamic models. We also assess grazing systems potential contribution to sustainable food futures and offer novel insights as to the relationship between the grazing sector and climate change.

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Contact Cécile Godde for more information.